Ask any recruiter or hiring manager who hires MBA talent what their ideal candidate looks like and you will get a variety of responses. As a matter of fact, you may get such variance that asking this question may begin to confuse you!
GMAC’s annual Corporate Recruiters Survey asks employers about the critical factors they consider when selecting candidates to interview, and the results for 2015 are not surprising. Employers identified a proven ability to perform, strong communication skills, sharp technical and/or quantitative skills, and a history of increased job responsibility as the driving factors behind offering interviews. In addition, one theme that is emerging that employers have identified that makes a candidate stand out in a crowd and excel within their organization is leadership. Employers don’t just want an MBA with skills, they want an MBA capable of personal leadership, team leadership, and organizational leadership.
Through its Leadership Catalyst Program, the full-time MBA program at Wisconsin prepares its students in these three areas, focusing on personal leadership skills like self-awareness, ethics, and integrity. It also allows students to hone their team leadership skills in conflict management and organizational leadership skills like influence, persuasion, and driving results. Employers want an MBA who is a skilled practitioner, that hasn’t changed. However, what has changed is that they are now looking for a skilled MBA who possesses core leadership abilities that will take their organization to new heights.