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7 Celebrities you never knew had a Business Degree

What’s better than being a celebrity? Being a celebrity with a business degree! Before these high-profile figures conquered their respective fields and achieved fame, they were academic success stories. While education and celebrity may not appear to go hand in hand, it’s clear in these cases that achieving a business degree massively contributed to their future accomplishments.

Here are seven celebrities whose background in business contributed to their rise to fame and fortune.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger

The Hollywood box-office star, former Governor of California and five-time Mr Universe is clearly a man of many talents; but did you know of his academic prowess?  In 1976, Schwarzenegger attained a business degree from the University of Wisconsin and put his knowledge to good use in a number of successful financial ventures, including the launch of the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain in 1991.   

Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O’Neal

Standing at 7’1 and weighing over 300lbs, ‘Shaq’ was a formidable figure on the basketball court and just as formidable in the classroom, as shown by his academic achievements. Prior to joining the NBA, Shaq earned a bachelor’s degree in General Studies from Louisiana State University. He continued his academic ventures during his NBA career and attended Barry University in Florida whilst playing for the Miami Heat, he became an MBA graduate in 2005. After retiring in 2011, he returned to Barry University and was awarded a PhD in Education in 2012. 

Calvin Brock 

Calvin Brock

The Bodysnatcher, Bonecrusher, Hitman…all names that evoke fear in opponents and fans alike. Calvin ‘The Boxing Banker’ Brock doesn’t fit in this list and isn’t exactly the scariest alias but it is accurate and well deserved. The former Olympian and heavyweight title contender achieved his Finance degree at the University of North Carolina and later worked for the Bank of America before establishing his own portfolio. Sadly, Brock was forced to retire due to an eye injury but quickly returned to the financial world where he now works in commercial real estate. 

Kevin Costner

Kevin Costner

Before he became one of the most popular A-list actors in the 1990s, featuring in blockbusters such as Dances with Wolves, JFK and The Bodyguard, Kevin Costner wanted to work in the business world. He attended Fullerton's College of Business and Economics, California State University, where he graduated with a B.A Business in 1976. After graduation, Costner started a job as a Marketing Executive but quit a month later to pursue an acting career. 

David Spade

David Spade

Before successively tackling the world of stand-up comedy and acting, David Spade planned on being whizz in the business world. He attended Arizona State University in 1986 and later graduated with a degree in Business. Nonetheless, comedy was always his true passion and he vigorously pursued this career instead. Spade has featured in countless hit TV shows and films over the past 30 years including; Saturday Night Live, Beavis and Butthead, Tommy Boy, Rules of Engagement and Grown Ups. 

J. Cole

J. Cole

Unlike most hip-hop artists, J. Cole did not receive his education from ‘the streets’. Before the Grammy nominated American rapper and songwriter shot to the top of rap stardom, he attended St John’s University, in New York, where he majored in Business and Communications. Cole graduated in 2007 with a 3.8 grade-point average, earning Magna Cum Laude honours. 

George W. Bush

George W. Bush

While undoubtedly one of the most polarising political figures of the 21st century, former U.S. President George W. Bush certainly had strong academic credentials that cannot be derided. He achieved a bachelor’s degree in History from Yale University in 1968 and after being drafted into the U.S. Air Force with the Vietnam War at its height, he attended Harvard University where he earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1975. This made Bush the first and only President of the United States to hold an MBA. After graduating, Bush focused on oil and gas exploration and used his knowledge to explore numerous business ventures. The former President certainly put his graduate education to good use as his net worth currently stands at $35 million.

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