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Tyra Banks Expands Brand With Harvard Certificate

Tyra Banks can add one more nod to her repertoire—a graduate with a certificate from the Owner/President Management Program at Harvard Business School in Cambridge, Massachusetts!

The retired supermodel who enrolled in the business program in 2010 to better her brand, graduated last Friday, tweeting a photo of her walking across the stage in a simple, little black sleeveless dress and pencil-thin stilettos with certificate in tow.

The caption read:   ‘On stage at my Harvard Business School graduation! Lil blurry but SUCH an exciting moment 4 me & wanted 2 share w/u!’.

“In order for my company to grow and be the best, and to reach these women, and to serve them, I needed the best,” the Bankable Productions CEO told CBS News in 2011. “So I went to the best.”

While the “America’s Next Top Model” creator hushed naysayers who had “low expectations” about the once-talk show host receiving her certificate, the gorgeous mogul also wow’d her professors enough that a case study will be performed on her business.

“My marketing professor Rohit Deshpande is now doing a case study on my business, so I’m now going to be part of the Harvard Business School curriculum.”

The founder of Bankable Productions is cognizant of the potential criticism that could come with the honorable territory which she anxiously welcomes.

“Of course you’ve got to be worried because these guys are going to come and tear apart your company,” Banks explained. “As the protagonist of the case, I am welcome to be in the classroom when they present it. So it is like free advice – free, harsh, honest, unfiltered advice. I just have to put on my armor to go there.”

So, how was Tyra able to successfully complete school at Harvard, author and promote her book Modelland, host the many America’s Next Top Model cycles, and stay abreast of the happenings within her production company?

The certificate program Banks was enrolled in was designed specifically for owners with existing hectic business schedules which offers three-week installments over three years.

The 38-year-old, who dropped out of school from Loyola Marymount University to pursue modeling at the tender age of 17, began to see how her perspective to business decisions altered just after her first term.

“After my first term at Harvard, I came back and killed a whole bunch of businesses we were going to go into,’ she told Business Week. “We have to say no more often than we say yes, no matter how much money people put on that goddamned table.”

Congrats Tyra!

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