As part of Globalmbacareer, I regularly interact with several talented MBAs across the globe. One of the common questions, I get asked everyday is “What do Employers expect from MBAs”. How to get to know this? This is a perplexing question especially for MBAs who are currently pursuing their MBA.
Understanding this is vital to succeed in your recruitment process. Based on the role, function, employer and the location the expectations might vary, but below I share the key expectations that can be applied to all situations.
1. Deliver Value
The number one expectation is value-value-value. Employers recruit MBAs for a reason, compensate them well and give them strategic and leadership roles. Why? Because they believe that you can contribute more to business and business results. During the term of Employment, they want to see you deliver value, often better than what they had expected.
This is the standard you are going to be measured against. Employers would like to see this in action as it serves them the confidence and incentive to keep hiring MBAs. They would not like to be disappointed on this front.
2. Hit the Ground Running
MBAs are recruited for important roles – roles in which the contribution from day one matters. They are paid good salaries including perks such as signing bonus, relocation expenses, guaranteed bonus, stock options etc. Hence, they expect you to use all your experience, knowledge, skills, learning ability and potential to hit the ground running. The world has changed significantly and quick results are a norm.
I have hardly seen Employers being patient/keen to invest time and energy to grow you into a role, though the MBA programs and internships might do that. You are going to be judged based on your contribution from day one.
3. Experience in the Recruited Area
Employers tend to recruit MBAs who can demonstrate solid proof of what they are looking for as otherwise it is a potential risk. Hence, based on the requirements of the role, they look for candidates who have similar or comparable experience in a particular field / business situation / turn-around situations / dealing with business growth and profitability.
This is one of the reason why almost all Employers seek some sort of connection between your past experience and their requirement. It could also be through your MBA Projects / internships / consultancy engagements. If you are looking at switching careers, it is vital to show clear evidence of having taken necessary efforts, preferably through your grades in that area and fantastic results on the consultancy projects, internships and group exercises.
4. High Performance
There is a higher benchmark applied to MBAs. This is often an unwritten rule amongst Employers that you should be aware of. In my interaction with several top management and C-level Executives who are MBAs, they have mentioned this repeatedly. I have also seen this during my career as a HR professional. I think this is connected to the fact that MBAs are rewarded more (in most cases) and hence their bars are higher.
I compare this to any competitive sport. The public, team and critics always expect higher results from the top performers. I also know several executives who play down their MBA qualification in order to lower down expectations and ease the pressure. So, if you are an MBA, you will eventually come across this type of unwritten expectation.
5. Leadership in Action
Employers expect MBAs to demonstrate Leadership in all possible ways. Often, not under the context of an authority or mandate to do so. Especially, working in global teams, matrix structure and remote offices, this is a valuable trait they look for. While, this has become the most popular topic on management education and corporate boardrooms, it remains the fundamental expectation of an MBA.
This is going to be absolutely necessary to thrive and contribute in the current business context. Take extra efforts to develop and cement your leadership skills while pursuing your MBA. For the majority of us who have already graduated this is equally applicable and will help to stand out.