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MBA Graduates Sought out for Critical Thinking Skills

  • MBA Alvernia

What’s the first image that pops into your head when you hear the word, Africa? If you answer a wide-open savanna filled with elephants, lions and giraffes, you probably didn’t read about the inaugural Entrepreneurs’ Emporium and Business Conference in last week‘s Reading Eagle.

Over a dozen African business leaders came to this conference in Reading to foster partnerships between Berks county and Africa.  Why should MBA students care about this event? It shows that the globalization of business is happening everywhere; not just in cities like Miami, London or Hong Kong.

After all, while the lobby in The Crown Plaza Reading was filled with food, clothing, jewelry and other items the African business leaders brought with them, any U.S. business needs to realize trade can be a two-way venture.

According to the Harvard Business Review, Africa is among the fastest-expanding economic region today. As their economy grows, so will their middle-class consumers hungry for new products.  And, the growth of Africa and other emerging markets is just one example of the complexities of today’s business world.

In order to stay competitive, businesses will need executives who have complex problem-solving skills. Which is exactly what MBA graduates bring to an organization.  Hiring managers interviewed in the article, Why Do Companies Prefer MBAs?, say they are like MBA graduates for their ability to think critically.  Here’s an excerpt of this article:

In the broadest sense, the master of business administration degree represents a way of thinking, not just a set of financial skills and business knowledge. When asked why Williams-Sonoma hires MBAs, HR manager Leslie Zurburg says, “We are looking for the 50,000-foot view — the strategic thinker who takes an analytical approach.”

At Basking Ridge, New Jersey-based Avaya, which sells enterprise telephony systems, MBA hires are part of the company’s strategy to build a leadership pipeline, says Rob LeFever, Senior Manager of University Leadership Programs. Avaya likes MBAs for their ability to deal with ambiguity and create changes that help the company compete in the telecommunications industry. On campus recruiting trips, Avaya looks for candidates who demonstrate the ability to maximize talent, enroll others, champion change, look at the big picture and optimize Avaya’s interests.”

Obviously, not all MBA graduates will need to understand the logistics of shipping merchandise to Africa. However, companies will always need MBA graduates who are capable of complex problem solving. What will be the most perplexing problems facing businesses in 2024? No one knows, however, MBA graduates will be tasked with finding the solutions.

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