Companies hiring MBA students are looking to hire the future leaders of the firm. They want the candidate that will turn into the next executive, the next partner, or the next managing director.
They commit a substantial amount of money, time and resources to recruit MBA students.
When MBAs arrive at the firm they commit more money, time and resources on training and development. Companies are not simply hiring MBAs to perform the immediate (likely more narrow) role they are filling right out of school – they want leaders, general managers, broad business thinkers.
MBAs and other ambitious professionals need to stay well versed across the business spectrum. They need to be capable of speaking intelligently around many different functions. They need to understand how all pieces of the puzzle work, not just the piece that is their specialty or immediate focus.
There are thousands of stories of MBAs that are excellent at their job immediately after business school that can never make the leap from strong individual performer to general manager. Immediately after business school, success is more defined around an ability to perform strong analysis. But after just a couple of years the hard technical skills become a lot less important. Success is more defined around an ability to lead others, an ability to understand the entire business environment and an ability to think broadly.
While MBAs and successful professionals spend most of their time reading in their area of focus or expertise, it is important they stay well versed on a range of relevant business issues. General Managers care about learning the best thinking across different functions, they stay apprised of important problems different companies are trying to solve and they follow important leadership thinking.
This guest post is from Jack Mara, a recent Darden MBA graduate and founder of 10Thoughts, a site that provides high quality article content recommended by other MBAs, designed to keep you well versed across the business spectrum.