What do MBA's learn that can't be learned on the job?

MBA Learn Different from On-JobThis should be the first question that any MBA aspirant should ask before deciding to choose an MBA program. With MBA, students are introduced to new management concepts, and Business fundamentals that cannot be traditionally learned on the job. These courses also introduces systematic, and process oriented thinking, which eventually will play an important role in learning complex business concepts, and human behavior.

Current Students and Alumni have shared some of the unique courses, and learning experiences in an MBA.

1) Business Fundamentals

Almost all top Business Schools have mandatory core courses that build the foundation for a career in management. Students will have a broader understanding of Strategy, Finance, Sales, Marketing, Operations and HR, and how each element inter-operate. A core skill that an MBA develops during the course of the program is Quantitative analysis skills, which is essential for executive decision-making.

Although most MBAs have the option to choose a concentration by selecting electives after the core courses, learning about Business Fundamentals gives a new perspective that can be utilized in the future while leading a team with various cross-functional skills.

Eric Schwalm, Bain & Company, Vice President & Director, MBA '87 discusses the importance of quant in Business fundamentals.

Oliver Fetzer, Cerulean Pharma, Inc., President and CEO, MBA '93 discusses analytics as part of the essential fundamentals of an MBA program.

2) Learning Skills

Although experiential learning is slowly taking over the tried and tested Case Study Method, the later is still relevant as analysis of the case gives new insights into actual scenarios that a Business face. By discussing with the class about each case, MBAs develop scenario-based thinking that can be useful in future roles, as executives. During case discussion, students will introduce new issues about the scenario that might have not been considered by the learning team during the pre-case discussion. This allows students to develop skills to create solutions dynamically and address issues as they come – a skill that is essential for being an effective manager or a CEO.

Watch  Inside the Case Study Method - Harvard MBA

Now Read>>Case Study Method: 5 MBA programs that are good at it

In University of California – Berkeley’s Hass School of Business, half of the MBA electives involve real-life projects. Students must choose a course from eight experiential learning courses with topics ranging from Social Sector Solutions to International Business Development. Experiential learning takes a different approach to learning. Students need to develop different modes of thinking to solve complex problems, and this approach is solidified by exposing students to real-world problems and out-of-classroom activities.
Now Read>>5 Experiential Learning MBA programs that you should Know

3) Negotiation

Negotiation is a skill that cannot be learned in a single class. But that doesn’t mean that you cannot develop the framework for negotiation. This is exactly what Moty Cristal is teaching at Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO MBA Program with Negotiation Thinking. We asked him whether negotiation can be taught. This is what he had to say

“You can teach negotiation. However, unlike many of my colleagues who believe that there is one way to negotiate, therefore they adopt a "manual" approach to negotiation teaching, we've developed a unique methodology, based on a blend of academic research and years of practical experience, which trains MBA students, (and some of the executives we work with at SKOLKOVO), in "Negotiation Thinking"

Beyond Negotiations: Mastering the Unexpected

Here is a brief video with advices on how to reshape your understanding of the nature of negotiations.

In the real world, mistakes in negotiation can be costly but in MBA Classroom negotiations, and simulations, testing out various strategies during negotiation can not only help MBAs learn, it will also give insights into how human’s behave under stress.

4) Leadership

Leadership skills depends a lot on our upbringing and influences but top MBA programs boast of developing frameworks, courses, and activities that inculcates skills in planning, motivating and talent spotting – three key ingredients for being an effective leader. Harvard’s Leadership and Organizational Behavior (LEAD) is a prime example of a course that is developed with this objective in mind. The initiative to develop leaders is not limited to courses as is visible in Harvard MBA. Right from case study method to Field Based learning to Immersion Programs, the activities are planned to develop leadership skills.Other top schools like Haas,Tuck and Stanford Graduate School of Business Schools have similar objectives.

Watch the below video where HEC Paris MBA Class of 2012 describe their transformative leadership learning experiences

Now Read >> Leadership Development Programs for MBAs: Top 3, Curriculum, Experiential Learning and Clubs to Improve your Leadership Skills

2020 MBA Research Guide - Choose your MBA

"I attended three MBA Tours in US and Canada. I could just scratch the surface compared to what the guide has included. Thank you guys for the amazing book"

F1GMAT's Comprehensive MBA Research Guide will teach you how to select MBA programs through a bottom-up approach. 

Articulating your Post-MBA Goals and Career Path is the FIRST step. Which program will give you that hike in Salary, Switch in Career, Change in Location or Job Satisfaction?

We cover them all through our extensive analysis. 

Pages: 506

+ How to Choose the Best MBA Program: Factors to Consider
Define Post-MBA Goals
Pick your Path: Generalize or Specialize
Use Moral Algebra Method 
Use Multi-Attribute Utility Theory
Understand the Top 5 Risks
Measure MBA Career Service Team's Effectiveness
Use Bookending to Calculate MBA Admission Chance
Use Net Present Value to Calculate MBA Return on Investment
Don't Fall for the Mere Exposure Effect
Best Practices to find the truth in MBA Information Session or MBA Tour

Comprehensive MBA Research Guide:
Top MBA Programs by 19 Specializations:
+ General Management
+ Finance
+ Consulting
+ Marketing
+ Strategy
+ Operations Management
+ Supply Chain Management
+ Luxury Management
+ Information Systems
+ Hospitality Management
+ Accounting
+ Energy
+ Non-Profit
+ Wine
+ Sports
+ Sustainability
+ Leadership Development
+ Military &
+ International

+ Top MBA Program Ranking
Top 20 MBA Programs - Tuition Fee  
Top 31 MBA Programs in United States – Total Cost & Salary

Top 60 MBA – GMAT and GPA (Average & Median)
Top 20 European MBA Programs - Tuition Fee, Total Cost & Salary    
Top 20 European MBA Programs (Based on Actual Salary Increase)    
Top 20 European MBA Programs (Short-term return on investment)    
Top 20 Affordable European MBA Programs    
Top 10 MBA in UK – Salary & Fee   
Top MBA Destinations Based on Happiness Index    
Top MBA Destinations based on Innovation Index    
Top 10 MBA Job Markets based on Cost of living and Purchasing Power    
Top MBA Destination: By Economy    

+Comparisons - Top MBA Programs
Wharton vs. Columbia MBA
MIT vs. Stanford MBA  
Haas vs. Ross MBA    

Kellogg vs Ross MBA    
Booth vs Wharton MBA    
MIT Sloan vs Tuck MBA    

IIMA vs. ISB   

Harvard vs. Stanford MBA

+ MBA in France (2018)
Top Industries in France   
Top MBA Programs in France  

  Class Profile   
  Post-MBA Salary

Scholarships in France
External Funding 

+ MBA in the UK (2018)
Top Industries in the UK   
Top MBA Programs in the UK

  Class Profile   
  Post-MBA Salary

Scholarships in the UK
External Funding 

New Visa Rules: Post-Brexit

+ Germany: Industry Trends, Post MBA Jobs and Salaries (2020) (NEW!)
  • Manufacturing  
  • IoT and IIOT   
  • Technology   
  • FinTech   
  • Management Consulting   
  • Post-MBA industries (German Top Schools)   

Download F1GMAT's MBA Research Guide (2020)

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