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A Rare Glimpse Inside Apple University, the Company's Covert Training Grounds

In exquisitely austere classrooms, Apple employees are taught brand values and corporate history by a full-time staff that hails from Yale, Harvard and M.I.T.
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At Apple University, an internal education venture designed to propagate the hermetically sealed company’s culture and history, even the toilet paper is top-notch.

This revelation comes care of three Apple employees who, for the first time, have spoken out about the enigmatic venture, which Steve Jobs created in 2008 alongside former Yale School of Management dean Joel Podolny.

From its lofty, trapezoid-shaped classrooms to its high-minded curricula, Apple employees clamor to participate in the optional courses, reports The New York Times, which are led by an illustrious full-time faculty hailing from Yale, Harvard, Stanford, M.I.T. and more.

Related: Apple Plans for Sept. 9 iPhone Event, Ends Overseas Patent War With Samsung

The takeaway of much of the coursework? The simpler, the better.

In a class called “Communicating at Apple,” for instance, a professor showed Picasso’s “The Bull” series of 11 lithographs, in which extraneous details are stripped away with every slide to illustrate the beauty and functionality of bare necessity.

In another course called “What Makes Apple, Apple,” a professor compared the Google TV remote control, which has 78 buttons, with the Apple TV remote, which has three. Whereas Apple’s designers debated to eliminate excessive components, the professor noted, Google’s engineers worked independently and “all got what they wanted,” according to the Times.

Related: Employees Yearn to Learn. Here's What Employers Can Do to Help.

Such lessons are disseminated all-year-round in an environment befitting Apple’s signature panache. Located in the City Center section of its Cupertino campus, the rooms are pristinely lit with elevated rows of seats, according to the Times.

“Even the toilet paper in the bathrooms is really nice,” an Apple employee said.

While no photos of the facilities have ever seen the light of day and instructors declined to comment, just a cursory glance behind the scenes reveals a culture-churning mechanism that should serve as a paradigm for companies that all-too-often rely on hollow stand-ins like happy hours and ping pong tables.

Related: Think Culture is About Ping-Pong Tables? You Are Wrong.