About a quarter of advanced degrees in the United States are MBAs putting it at the top of the graduate degree list. With the options that candidates have, where do they even start when it comes to applications? What factor(s) might set a certain business school above another? I would say it’s the soft skills acquired with the business acumen. Most MBA students take the typical finance, accounting, and human resources classes, but to me, it is things like leadership skills that set Broad apart. Broad has stressed on communication and teamwork in order to further develop my leadership skills.
There are no specific classes in most MBA programs that focus on communication, but it is the experiences embedded in the degree that helped develop my skills. I have to communicate answers and solutions whether it is in class, with my team in group assignments, while interviewing, or during the summer internship. The combination of these experiences further advanced my communication skills to become a better leader equipped to effectively communicate to different audiences in difference scenarios. Driving for results is important, but selling the vision is what sets a leader apart.
The teamwork embedded in the Broad MBA program since day one also helped engrave several essential skills. Being assigned to a team with different majors, experiences, ages, genders, and ethnic backgrounds expands the boundaries. Teamwork naturally places you in situations where you must listen to the views of others, work with different styles, and learn to delegate—more commonly known as “divide and concur.” Being able to effectively work on a team helps develop your leadership skills that can be transferred to the “real world.” Being a leader does not mean you can only work autonomously. Being able to relate to your team, work productively, and effectively coach while developing others is essential to your success; Broad has done that for me. I want to be a leader, not a boss.
The Broad MBA program is designed to challenge your views and push your limits. Students are placed in situations with ambiguous information and business practices which are made to challenge a student’s view in class or case competitions/situations proctored by corporations in different industries. Many find it difficult to step away from strong opinions and listen to others. The Broad MBA program forces you to step aside from your opinions and consider all options. Having your views challenges further develop your leadership skills, something that you certainly cannot learn out of a textbook.
In conclusion, many degree programs emphasize on developing graduates’ technical/business abilities, and much less focus on the interpersonal and leadership skills. It is often up to the student seek out opportunities, but at Broad, it is expected. This gap is filled with group projects and informal leadership opportunities that further develop a candidate personally and professionally. Who will make business happen? Spartans Will.