| August 20,2010 11:43 am IST
Still wondering if MBA is of good value to you?
1. Which basic characteristics of a potential new MBA a corporate recruiter looks for?
Which of employees' expectations according to employers are unrealistic?
3. You may still be wondering if the MBA is a good value to you. You have read articles and looked at some schools, but you would like to have insider knowledge about the value of an MBA degree. What if you could talk to some recent MBA graduates and alumni and learn what they think about the value of the degree? Are they satisfied with what they learned and with the jobs they are doing? What would they do differently if they could?
4. One of the ways graduating MBAs find post-MBA jobs is through companies that have a relationship with the career services office at their business schools. Those companies must choose the schools at which they wish to recruit. Corporate recruiters tell us they like to recruit at the schools that have consistently produced highly qualified MBA job applicants for them before.
5. Once you decide on a career path and begin to look for the right school for you, make sure that as part of your school search, you find out how successful the schools you are interested in are at placing graduates in jobs in your desired field.
6. Also, find out what companies recruit at the schools; if none of those companies interest you, you might want to look at other schools that have recruiting relationships with companies where you would want to work.
What Corporate Recruiters Look for in MBA Hires Recruiters have indicated what characteristics of potential new MBA hires are most important in their hiring decisions.
The top 10 are as follows: -
- cultural fit with the company
- proven ability to perform
- strong "soft" skills, including communication and interpersonal skills
- strong "hard" skills, including quantitative knowledge and technical skills acquired in the MBA program
- specific background (e.g., engineering, science, liberal arts)
- MBA functional area / concentration of study
- evidence of adaptability
- strong management skills
- prior internship / work experience related to the industry, job, or company
- years of professional work experience
What does this mean for you? The top three characteristics - your cultural assimilation, proven performance, and communication and people skills may be just as important to your job prospects as all the other skills you learn in your MBA program.
Make sure you develop good leadership and presentation skills; you could have the best budget-management skills, but if you can't communicate well with your colleagues and clients, your skills will be of no use to an employer.
Also, make sure that you pursue jobs in industries and companies where you are confident you will be a good fit. Self-assessment will help you determine the industries, jobs, and companies with the right fit for you.
MBAs both immediately before graduation and a few years out of school consistently cite the same top factors for taking their post-MBA jobs and staying in them - opportunities to learn new things, job autonomy, challenging work, and opportunities for advancement.
Alumni say the most important MBA skills they use on the job are the following: -
a) interpersonal skills
b) the ability to integrate information
c) oral communication skills
d) the ability to think analytically
Why Employers Like MBAs and What They'd Like to See Improved
Why do recruiters like MBAs in general, and how do MBAs measure up to expectations the most? What skills could MBAs stand to improve?
Here are the top five items on the recruiters' lists: -
- Most Attractive MBA Skills
- ability to think analytically
- ability to think strategically
- quantitative skills
- leadership skills
- oral communication skills
- Skills That Should Be Improved
- people management skills
- leadership skills
- ability to make decisions with imperfect information
- interpersonal skills
- written communication skills
Clearly, employers find that MBAs have well-developed quantitative and analytical skills, but they would like to see even-stronger management and leadership skills.
So how do you measure up, pre-MBA?
Do you have the skills recruiters are looking for? What skills and abilities do you wish to develop in an MBA program?
- Unrealistic Expectations
- Don't let them stand between You and a Job.
- To help you prepare to succeed in the job placement process, we asked recruiters to tell us what barriers they encounter when trying to hire new MBA grads - the deal-breakers that can derail the hiring process.
- The top three barriers they cite have to do with the inaccurate assumptions of MBAs: -
- unrealistic salary expectations
- unrealistic job expectations
- unrealistic view of advancement opportunities
To avoid the pitfall of unrealistic expectations, make sure that you thoroughly research the careers that interest you, the backgrounds of people who succeed in those fields, and the salaries those people command. Also remember that the school you attend, the location of your intended job, your work experience, and your academic performance, among other factors, can affect your salary and prospects for advancement. Be prepared for those realities before you start interviewing for a job, it'll stand you in good stead to get the job offers you want.