A CEO says foregoing the Ivy League after high school taught him a lesson he uses to run a $3.6 billion company today

So many ambitious high schoolers dream of attending an Ivy League college. In fact, nearly 250,000 students in total applied to the eight Ivy schools last year, according to IvyCoach.com
In the early 1980s, Bracken Darrell found himself at a crossroads.

He “really wanted to go to an Ivy League school,” he told Adam Bryant of The New York Times, but thought he’d never be able to pay for it.

So instead, he went to a smaller liberal arts college — Hendrix College — in Conway, Arkansas, where he majored in English, but “took enough accounting and economics courses to move in the path I wanted, which was leadership through business.”

Attending a non-Ivy school as an undergraduate student ended up being a smart move for Darrell, who is now the CEO of Logitech, a technology accessories company with a market capitalisation of $3.6 billion.

He recently told Bryant:

“Hendrix was great for me. It was very small. It was even smaller than my high school, but it was a place where I could be a big fish in a small pond. One of my lines within the company is that we want to play where we can be a big fish in a small pond. That strategy is a lot better than being a small fish in a big ocean.”

Later, Darrell ended up attending Harvard Business School for his MBA from 1989 through 1991. He went on to work at big companies like Procter & Gamble, General Electric, Whirlpool, and Logitech, where he joined as president of the company in 2012, and took over the CEO role in early 2013.

Read the full New York Times interview here.

NOW WATCH: Ivanka Trump says working women are punished for having kids — and her dad has a plan to fix that

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.