A freshman at Harvard was told not to list rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z as her business role-model, despite his great success in business.
According to Business Insider, in 2005, Chanequa Campbell was called into the Office of Career Services and told that she should list someone else, because listing Jay-Z was "not appropriate." The career counselor said: "I don't think people will respond well to this."
Campbell holds a special place in her heart for Jay-Z, as she grew up seven blocks from where he grew up in Brooklyn.
She argued with the counselor, and finally offered to use Jay-Z's real name, Sean Carter, instead.
While Campbell ended up getting kicked out of Harvard for other reasons, she still gets angry about her inability to list Jay-Z as her role-model.
"I know his resume," Campbell said. "He made most of his major respect - Wall Street respect - since '04."
Jay-Z seemed to always have his eye on business. In 1996, he started as an independent artist with Reasonable Doubt. Campbell explained, "Even though he wasn't going platinum, at the beginning he was making money because he owned his own label, he was his own business."
Once he gained popularity, and sold over 50 million albums, he started investing.
Carter invested in the Brooklyn Nets, ad firm Translation, cosmetics company Carol's Daughter, Rocawear, and 40/40 Club, to name a few. These ventures collectively earned him a networth of half a billion dollars.
Campbell believes the thing that makes Carter different from other successful businessmen is that he did not change who he was. "It's rare he's ever lost his cool. He never lets a situation bring himself out of character. He's someone who can articulate any position he has," she said.
She also admires Carter's meaningful lyrics.
"Most of Jay-Z's songs, if you understand his vernacular, he's telling you how to be cool, how to be good at life," Campbell said. "He's promoting things of content, things to aspire to. He mentions Warhol, he mentions Basquait. He mentions people you've never heard of. He brings this light to our normal conversation."
Carter says he is "not a businessman," but a "business, man."
He has been seen spending time with Barack Obama and Warren Buffett, and is behind only Sean "Diddy" Combs on the Forbes' list of Future Hip-Hop Billionaires. If he or Diddy end up making it to billionaire status, they will join the list of five current black billionaires in the world.
It turns out, Harvard got it wrong. Sean Carter ended up being a wildly successful business, man.