What skills does an MBA help you develop?

18 Nov 2020

An MBA is more than just a degree. It’s more than just a title to add to your name (if that’s your thing). If you invest your time and are ready to grow, an MBA can be one of the most transformational learning experiences from your life – in more ways than one.

In a lot of companies, managers are chosen from the pool of individual contributors. That means that if you do your job well enough, your manager will notice and look to promote you, perhaps to a leadership position. However, at this point, you won’t rely on technical know-how alone, but shift your focus towards team development – how they work together, how motivated and inspired they are, how they stay aligned to the company’s objectives and so on.

There are plenty of courses that can help, punctually, with any of the skills you need. But in order to become a better manager, you will need a combination of hard and soft skills that will upgrade you to the next level. So, let’s see, what skills does our Executive MBA help you develop?

Hard skills

The basis of any good manager is a sound business understanding and you can’t have that without what we call Foundation Courses. These are Economics for Managers, Accounting for Managers and Finance.

As their names mention, don’t expect these courses to turn you into a finance manager or an accountant. And why would they? You won’t need to put together a balance sheet, but will need to understand it. Which is why the courses help you grasp the main concepts from the 3 areas mentioned above and use them in a management setting. Whether this is downwards, to your team or upwards, to your managers.

Another hard skill you will develop during the EMBA include Supply Chain Management, where you grasp the aspects that are critical to the success of a business. The curriculum for the course focuses on 3 dimensions: the business dimension, the technical dimension and the leadership dimension.

You will also grow your understanding of Marketing, in which managers learn to apply international marketing techniques to companies of all sizes. All the courses mentioned below will also be used in Global Corporate Strategy. In it, you focus on everything to do with deciding, implementing and analysing a course of strategy.

Soft skills

As you’ve guessed from the start of the article, soft skills are what we think makes the difference between a good manager and a great one. Great leaders are good decision makers, can navigate change, are able to propose a strategy that leads the business towards growth, but in an ethical way.

One of the first courses from the Executive MBA will teach you some more about Thinking & Deciding in Business, meaning to discern sharply and unbiased. This is something you will have to do frequently throughout the EMBA (and your life), in all the courses.

The ability to analyse complex arguments, dissect various types of reasoning and test your assumptions will increase your prowess in decision making.

If this year has taught us anything, it is how much a leader is needed, especially in a crisis. It has taught us to pivot, to never stop adapting, to be ready for change. The increased dynamic of markets, even before the pandemic, meant this is a prerequisite of a good leader and this is one of the aspects discussed in Leadership & Organization Behaviour.

One of the most important assets of the organisation is the human dimension, which is why you will learn how to engage them, inspire them and what makes them tick. Mind you, the MBA won’t give you a ready made recipe you can go and apply to your company immediately to have a better performing team, but rather advice on the areas you need to pay attention to, in both your teams and yourself.

Entrepreneurship isn’t something solely related to start-ups, which is how the intrapreneurship term was coined. In small companies and large, entrepreneurial skills are being valued more and more. They are associated with fresh ideas, but also seeing them through to implementation. About matching the resources to efforts and then to results, skills any business professional will find useful for their day-to-day activity.

Skills unrelated to classes

One of the main reasons the EMBA is such a complex learning experience is because your development doesn’t happen just in class – but also outside it. During the breaks, the week-end getaways and the group projects. Throughout all this time spent together with smart individuals, that have different backgrounds to your own, you will enhance your communication skills, teamwork abilities, time management and even networking know-how.

Most courses from our EMBA have a group project, that will be part of your final grade. Working on a real business issue, you will change teams every time, ensuring you get to know better all your colleagues. But this also helps you adapt to multiple personalities, building both your communication and teamwork skills. And knowing more about your colleagues will also increase your chance to work together or collaborate in the future.

Professional experience of over 7 years is a key requirement in access to the EMBA and to account for the fact that all our students are working full-time, courses take place during the weekends. With class time, group projects, individual projects and individual study time, you’ll need to be mindful of how you manage your time.

Expect your work-life balance to shift for the 2 years of the Executive MBA, but as long as you’re absorbing the know-how and applying it, you will see it as a benefit rather than a time-consuming activity. And your team will notice the change too!

The 12th intake of Executive MBA is currently filling in its final places, with the early bird discount active until 31 May. Find out more about the program.