Books to Read Before Business School

If you’re entering business school this fall, or are just starting to prepare for the GMAT, there are certain books that are easy to read while giving you a good grasp of basic business-related concepts. BusinessWeek just wrote a piece featuring some of these books, based on recommendations from professors at a few top MBA programs.

There are a few usual suspects here, such as Goldratt and Cox’s The Goal, which is required reading in many Operations classes (including my first-year operations course at Kellogg). That anyone could take Ops and turn it into a novel is a wonder. No one will mistake it for a John Grisham novel, but the authors do a good job of presenting Operations lessons in a pretty easily digestable format.

Other recommendations include Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, Friedman’s The World Is Flat, and Levitt and Dubner’s Freakonomics, which is a popular title at Veritas prep headquarters. None of them is directly applicable to your first-year business school courses the way The Goal is, but each will give you a good mental workout and get you thinking about business matters in new ways.


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