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Snapshots From Hell: The Making Of An MBA

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  580 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Peter Robinson’s Snapshots from Hell is a hilarious and enlightening insider’s answer to the paramount question every prospective student asks: what is business school really like? During his frenetic first year at Stanford Business School, Peter Robinson began keeping a journal of his day-to-day impressions which evolved into this book. From his harrowing days at ‘maths c ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published April 26th 2005 by Nicholas Brealey (first published 1994)
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3.69  · 
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 ·  580 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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Nov 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in those times when I did not have GR in my life.

I, being a fresh admit in college, was enjoying the privileges that are being bestowed on the once rare specie of a PG student, in a decent college, getting ready to leave some new prints on the corporate history.

I used to read books and move ahead. Some books leaving me permanently scarred, some with that sweet smell which leave you stumped for a few moments and there were those which I read and forgot.

With GR happening late in
Apr 30, 2011 rated it liked it
This easy-to-read book is entertaining and miserably frustrating. The author decided to quit his job of being one of Reagan's speechwriters to go to Stanford to get an MBA, and this book tells the story of his first year. Like most of his classmates, his has had a few years of real-world experience; unlike most (but not all) of them, he has very little technical background in math, accounting, finance, etc.

The book is written well and gives interesting insight into a group of people that I'll ho
Himanshu Modi
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a book a lot of my friends had been talking about during my MBA days. When I saw it at the bookstore of my company, I finally decided to give it a read. I wasn’t disappointed.

There is a line on the cover which sums up the whole book, “The making of an MBA”. Now my MBA was quite ok compared to my engineering, which was my hell. And believe-you-me, it was much more of a hell than Mr. Robinson can ever imagine. In fact, it reminds me of a line in the popular TV Series (my favorite) F.R.I.E.
Jul 27, 2009 rated it liked it
Didn't read this one too closely, kind of flipped through it and absorbed his general freak-out. He seemed pretty stressed out the entire time. He got his MBA in the 80s so it all seemed really dated, and the classwork amazingly irrelevant. I think probably too long ago to be much use to someone considering business school now...
Apr 30, 2007 rated it liked it
its all about what a perfect B-school experience should be. a must read for everyone - aspirant B-school student, B-school passout and those who have decided not to visit one.
Bansal Patel
Jan 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
A book you should read if you are an MBA aspirant or a MBA degree holder. It portraits a series of character quite maticulously and gives you a choice of what part you would like to play upon joining the MBA course yourself. Except for the high dose of technical questions that author encountered, it's a wonderful book that will give you titillation at some points.
Suraj Shankla
Apr 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Arnab Padhi
May 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
obsolete. inaccurate. and not for any person who aspires to go for MBA. The MBA world has changed a lot since the book.
Dipanshu Chaursiya
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Best book for mba students
Neha Bhambu
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The book is a an idealist guy's view of the grueling years at Stanford Business School for someone who has a non financial and non mathematical background. These students are referred to as poets, while those with financial backgrounds are referred to as non-poets. The book is a detailed thorough undertaking of how a person felt at Stanford, how his classmates handled it, the difference in experiences of everyone. It's an overview of how a business school can change a person, change the opportun ...more
Arathi Mohan
Jan 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Peter Robinson decides to give up his job as speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan so that he can attend Stanford School of business in 1988. From the start, he has his doubts as to whether he has made the right decision. I am sure that this is a feeling most MBA students, especially those who are leaving a job to go back to school, would have had. I sure did. Such people have to shell out not just the high tuition fees at B-School, but also forego the opportunity of making money on the job ( ...more
Feb 26, 2017 rated it liked it
First things first: This author completed his MBA from Stanford in the 80s, so a lot if it will seem dated and irrelevant. My boss’s boss gave this book to me as a gift after he learned that I am quitting the job to pursue an MBA. Incidentally, he is also from ISB – he told me to read it as soon as possible so I’m aware of the (un)rosy parts of an MBA. I am hoping against all hope that my experience at a B-school is nothing like the author’s – The author seems mostly stressed, but he does manage ...more
Sep 26, 2014 rated it liked it
The author had been a speech writer for President Reagan and had quit his job to get his MBA from Stanford. He was one of few student who didn't have a technical background, referred to as "poets" in the book. He complains about the grueling work, the outdated professors, and the competitive students. I felt that this book is outdated. He got his MBA in the 80s, and many of the assertions seem unfair or wrong.

I got my MBA in a top 5 business school in the 90s, and my husband is a business schoo
Abhijit Chanda
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic book. It was ages ago that I read it, so I hardly remember the details, but it was the one thing that helped me feel better about doing an MBA. I related to it particularly because it referred to those better at the 'soft' subjects like Marketing and HR as 'poets'. And, in more ways than one, I am a poet.
Abhishek Sengupta
One of my favorites. Must read before you decide to do that so talked about MBA. MBA is great but one needs to understand if he or she fits into it and not do it just out of peer pressure. A great Story establishing the fact that MBA is a lot about learning from your class so choose that and not only a big school name. One needs to fit in.
Geetha Gangavarapu
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Got Hold of this book while i was crashing into rooms of my friends in thirst for knowledge.startled wid the title snapshots from Hell i finally recovered aftr cmpleting da book.
Here in MANAGE,Hyderabad our life z cmpletely dfrnt...
Gives a Good insight into life and making of an Mba.
A suggested readin for all Mba aspirants out There :D
Swathi Sridharan
Oct 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
Book was slightly funny and somewhat informative, but mostly failed to keep me interested.
Seriously, what is with all the constant whining? Every chapter basically says the same thing in different ways : "i reached a level of frustration at which white mice in mazes lie down and die" and more such analogies repeated over and over again.
Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Undoubtedly the best that has been written till date on this subject andin this category .Extremely amusing and fun.Absolutely a must read for all those who liked Five point someone by Chetan Bhagat and such reads.
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Should be read by everyone ,who are aspiring for Management. All things mentioned in this book are not mentioned anywhere else. it just gives the bitter real view of things happening in Business schools,and that too in one of the top Schools in the World.
May 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
A good read for anyone to get perspective on what is life like at a business school. A bit dated though, and lacks experiences of applying to top notch companies, and rather presents the experience of a "poet".
Prasant kumar
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I just finished this book, and it was an entertaining honest exposition of a first year's life at an MBA school. Though all of them can't claim to line up a peer group that Stanford manages to, the blitzy curricula is well the same almost at every good B-School.
Jun 12, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is second time that I read this. I initially read this in order to see if I wanted to go to B-School. Turns out I did not get in so there was not much of a decision. It is a bit dated, but I enjoyed it.
Vikas Dhawan
Sep 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Pretty interesting read. Gives a great insight to the life of an MBA student in the Bschool though sometimes can get a bit more into details of academic subjects but author himself warns of that right at the beginning.
Sameer Taimni
Sep 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Uncanny resemblance to b-school life!
May 26, 2009 rated it liked it
This is an interesting foray into life at Stanford Business School. This is definitely a must-read for prospective business school students, and especially those considering getting an online MBA.
Ray Shan
Jan 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Not enough that's Stanford-specific
Did this book popularize the term "poets" for those w/o a quant/biz bg?
Too much detail on classes
Gets better @ 2nd 1/2
Feb 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
good eyeopener before doing MBA!
Rishabh Jain
Jan 13, 2014 rated it liked it
It's a compulsory read for future MBA students. Although I believe its a tad dated and exaggerated. In some ways its cautionary and informative.
Khushbu Batta
Sep 20, 2012 rated it really liked it

Great fun to read Esp if u r already an MBA. I just didn't stop smiling throughout. Brought back a storm full of memories
Jun 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
awesome! now thinking of writing a journal of my own :D
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Peter M. Robinson is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he writes about business and politics, edits Hoover's quarterly journal, the Hoover Digest, and hosts Hoover's vidcast program, Uncommon Knowledge™.

Robinson is also the author of three books: How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life (Regan Books, 2003); It's My Party: A Republican's Messy Love Affair with the GOP, (Warner Books, 2000