Key Traits of an MBA candidateChen Wan Lim
In your quest to determine whether you are a prime candidate for an MBA or Master’s degree programme, you would have surely stumbled across many articles and have spoken to a few education counsellors on MBA programmes. If you have not, do read our articles on “Am I Ready to Pursue a Postgraduate Degree” and “Key Statistics for MBA Graduate in Malaysia” [insert link]. Whether or not you already possess qualities and traits an MBA candidate should have, you would at least be able to aim to attain some key traits an MBA graduate would have after successfully completing a two-year stint for an MBA.
Most business schools require candidates to possess and to display a certain level of leadership qualities. This would often be displayed via roles and responsibilities at your workplace. One of the aims of a business school is to produce future business leaders. However, fret not if you are unable to think of any instance of your displaying leadership qualities. Try volunteering as an organiser instead of a participant for a charity event or take lead in playing a more active role in business projects rather than a working member of the team. At the end of the day, an MBA graduate is expected to lead and to produce workable solutions.
Critical and Analytical Thought Process
Being analytical is also a key trait of an MBA graduate. In the course of the MBA programme, course works and group discussions are designed to allow candidates to analyse a situation and to propose an optimal solution to a specific problem. Such activities allow for creative and analytical thinking which is much sought after in today’s business world. According to the Harvard Business Review (HBR), succeeding in the 21st-century business world requires one to be a critical thinker. Hence, an MBA programme does exactly just that and candidates can expect a certain level of improvement in their critical and analytical thinking abilities.
Entrepreneurial skills should not be misconstrued as skills only relevant for business owners. In today’s globalised business world, employees are also required to display a fair amount of entrepreneurial skills in their day-to-day business conduct and decision making – more so if the job role involves managing. According to Stacy Blackman, founder of Stacy Blackman Consulting, “Being entrepreneurial means knowing how to recognize and capture opportunity, minimize risk, make the most of the limited resources, and make excellent decisions even with inadequate or incomplete information,”. As such, an MBA programme allows candidates to demonstrate an entrepreneurial mindset.
Being Community and Civic-minded
Another hallmark trait of an MBA graduate is a mindfulness of the community. Again, today’s business world emphasises on community welfare and corporate social responsibilities. The 2016 PwC Global CEO Survey noted that 64% of CEOs say that “Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is core to their business rather than being a stand-alone program”. The survey further noted that CSR generates trusts between the corporates and the community. When there is a high level of trust, it drives business performance by attracting new customers and retaining existing ones. Some MBA programmes assist candidates by offering placements at non-governmental organisations (NGO) whilst requiring candidates to assist in the management of the NGO.
With the entrance of more multinational companies (MNC) in Malaysia, businesses are undoubtedly global. MBA graduates are therefore required to be able to compete in a global environment. For starters, MBA classes are a melting pot of candidates from various backgrounds and nationalities. Coursework and programmes are designed to allow candidates to understand each other’s culture, mindset and to cooperate effectively. Hence, after you have earned your MBA degree, you can expect to be more knowledgeable about other cultures and be doing business in the global marketplace.
Famous American economist and professor at Harvard Business School, Theodore Levitt said that “Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things”. Innovation is simply putting two existing things together in a new way. MBA candidates are also known to be good innovators. Innovating and changing how things are done and to improve on current processes are part of the whole MBA experience. The many hours of case study discussion and analysis do exactly just that – To study existing issues and to think of new ways to solve an existing problem.
In conclusion, there are many other vital attributes to be obtained after completing an MBA. However, to be truly competitive, candidates would need to fully utilise the attributes they have obtained throughout the course of their MBA and to leverage it to their advantage. For more information on how an MBA can benefit your current career, contact STUDYMASTERS.MY and sign up for a Master’s degree that suits you best.