Tyra Banks Shares Photo from Her 'Dorm' Room After Harvard Business School Return
It was back to school for Tyra Banks, who returned to Harvard Business School this month to brush up on her skills.
The supermodel and entrepreneur, 45, is prepping for the launch of her brand-new modeling amusement park Modelland, set to open by the end of 2019. But before she does that, she returned to Harvard Business School — where she studied in 2011 and 2012 — for a bit of a refresh.
“I am sitting in my @harvardhbs dorm pondering the massive undertaking of @Modelland that launches later this year,” Banks wrote on Instagram, Thursday, captioning a black and white photo of herself sitting on a bed.
“I came to the business school many years ago with the Modelland dream in mind and now launch is so close,” Banks continued. “I have returned to school to refresh the knowledge I gained and to make sure I am more than equipped to bring you an attraction like you’ve never experienced before. A place that allows you to be the fantasy version of yourself.”
She added: “The genius professors here at [Harvard Business School] are sharing their world class knowledge so that I can then take that and give YOU what you deserve. Thank you to all of the faculty for your tireless teachings and for believing in your students so much. I hope to make you proud.”
Banks previously completed Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management Program, a non-degree-granting certificate course designed to expand “leadership skills, confidence, and vision” while preparing students for “the challenges and opportunities ahead,” according to its website.
The course is taught in three, three-week units (for $44,000 per unit).
“Each three-week unit delves into essential business fundamentals, emerging best practices, and areas of special interest to entrepreneurial business leaders,” its website reads. “Immersed in dynamic case studies, interactive faculty presentations, and individual and group exercises, you will focus on corporate growth, leadership expertise, and financial success. In addition to renowned industry guest speakers, the program features self-assessment and one-on-one coaching sessions to help you balance your business objectives with your personal and professional goals.”
Back in February 2012, she shared photos of herself on campus, both with her “diploma” and at her “graduation.”
This August, Harvard Business School launched a new offering for alumni of the program, OPM Renew.
It appears Banks took that course, having hashtagged her post on Thursday “#OPM” and #OPMrenew.”
A representative from Harvard Business School told PEOPLE the OPN Renew program lasted four days and cost $7,000 ($10,000 with the 30 percent discount for alumni).
That fee, like the regular course fee, covered tuition, books, case materials, accommodations, and most meals.
As for the benefits of the program, Harvard Business School’s website detailed opportunities to “broaden your global perspective and entrepreneurial leadership skills; reenergize and reignite your passion for learning; and expand your personal and professional network.”
“Immersed in nine intensive sessions with OPM faculty, guest speakers, and other successful OPM alumni, you will explore how the world’s top entrepreneurial business leaders are starting new ventures, driving operational excellence, and capitalizing on disruptive innovation,” the site stated. “As you join in on the global conversation, you will have the opportunity to rekindle old alliances and spark new connections through cross-cohort collaboration.”
Banks announced her Modelland amusement park in February. Modelland was also the name of the 2010 young adult novel she wrote about her life.
It’s reportedly going to be a multi-level 21,000 sq. ft. space in Santa Monica Place (an open-air shopping center) that will feature retail shops, dining destinations, interactive entertainment, and much, much more.
“I’ve always been insanely inspired by attractions like Disneyland and Universal Studios and have wanted to bring that spirit of adventure and storytelling to the world of modeling,” Banks told Variety about the project which has been in the works for the past 10 years. “But not the exclusive modeling industry. I’m talking about modeling for the masses.”
So what exactly does “modeling for the masses” mean? The details of the attractions are still pretty unclear, but Banks clarified to WWD that it won’t just be a pop-up, it will include clothing for guests to wear created by Hollywood costume designers and stylists and won’t include daily runway shows. “That’s low hanging fruit,” she said. “This is bursting the door open and redefining what a model is. It’s all about inclusiveness.”
“Modelland is going to be a place where the modeling world meets fantasy, meets entertainment, meets technology, meets retail, meets dining, meets … your fiercest best self you could ever imagine,” she told Variety.
She said there will be special social media components but the main focus is celebrating all types of beauty. “Men and women, young and older — are invited to transform into the dream version of themselves. When people leave Modelland, we want them to feel overjoyed and empowered.”
Modelland’s website still isn’t quite up and running yet, but there is a place for those interested to sign up for updates.