Tyra “Bankable” Banks already has a budding multimillion-dollar media empire, but the model-turned-mogul has been attending Harvard Business School since last year in an effort to become America's Next Top Businesswoman.
"Harvard Business School [is] the No. 1 business school in the entire world,” Banks said in a recent CBS interview. “In order for my company to grow and be the best, and to reach these women, and to serve them, I needed the best. So I went to the best."
The model student is enrolled in the Harvard Executive Education Owner/President Management Program, which comes with a $31,000-a-year price tag and requires a commitment of three weeks a year on campus for three years.
At the age of 17, Banks decided not to pursue a degree program and traded in the books for the runways just months before she was due to start at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. "The day that I put college on hold because I got discovered to go to Paris and try this whole modeling thing ... was one of the most difficult decisions of my entire life," she said.
She’s done well for herself regardless. In 2009 Forbes listed her as the highest-paid woman in prime-time, with an annual income of $30 million. Still, the new education tab on her resume can only strengthen the way she runs her various business ventures, which will expand next week to include a beauty and fashion advice website called TypeF.com.
"I think I could've leaned on all of my advisers. I have accountants, and lawyers, and investment bankers," she says. "But I don't want to be that girl when I'm meeting with them, where I'm like, 'Uh-huh, great.' I now can say what's the net present value on that, what's the discounted cash flows of that, and that's because of Harvard."
(Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)