How Many Levels?

Some firms teach students how to apply to MBA schools:

Graham Richmond, founder of Clear Admit, helped one client get into Wharton by persuading her to scrap her essay about an energy deal she worked on and focus on something else: shooting guns. The Texas-based private-equity firm she worked at was a male-dominated environment where the senior executives liked to talk business at the shooting range. So the Asian American learned to fit in by joining them for target shooting.

“I was all about getting her to understand who’s reading the file,” Richmond said. “The people reading the file are more like your high school English teacher than the colleague sitting next to you at an investment bank,” he said; they’re more interested in getting a good sense of who you are than your business experience. (more)

This seems a vivid example of learning to signal. You may recall a month ago I said school need not be simple learning nor simple signaling; it could be learning how to signal:

People in business signal to each other all the time. In fact, most of the on-the-job business learning that employees do after college, such as how to dress well, how to give presentations, how to write memos, how to talk with clients, etc. might be skills that are mainly useful to signal innate features to bosses, co-workers, clients, etc. So employers might pay more for students with prestigious degrees because such degrees show an ability to learn how to later send good business signals. (more)

So we could have firms helping applicants learn to signal to MBA schools, schools that teach students how to signal well to businesses that such students will be good at learning on the job how to signal to bosses, co-workers, clients, etc. How many levels of signaling are there anyway?!

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