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What employers expect from MBA grads

May 11, 2009 11:05 IST

How often do you hear MBA graduates from premier business schools complaining about their employers? The most common comments are usually: not getting enough exposure, visibility, and opportunities to contribute towards the growth of organisation.

Employers offer hefty salaries to fresh MBA graduates and most new hires would take anywhere between 12-18 months of classroom or on-the-job training to be productive and contribute towards organisational objectives. Given the resources the companies invest in this process, they would naturally want each one of their employees to be successful in their roles. 

So how can you ensure that your degree is put to good use and your pay package justified? Here are some of the things most employers expect from MBA graduates they hire:

Learn quickly
Most grads do not have enough understanding of the business or the industry they enter into. However, two years at business school offers enough exposure to be able to understand new business faster than most of their colleagues who did not get that opportunity. It is expected that new hires will pick up the right skills and knowledge required to be successful in their roles quickly.

Ability to scale and take greater responsibility
This is most important. Salaries generally do not depend upon current levels of productivity. Organisations offer higher salaries in the hope that most of these management students will grow and take up greater responsibility in the organisation. Every employer wants employees to scale faster, take responsibility and contribute towards the growth of organisation.

Ability to deal with uncertainty
Unlike in the classroom, we do not have enough information to be able to take the most optimal decision. Most decisions in business are taken with incomplete and questionable information. There is always uncertainty because of factors beyond the control of the employee and the organisation. Great employees can handle uncertainty and take decisions based on the limited information available.

People skills
Most business functions depend on others to be successful. For example, a salesperson might depend on the marketing, legal or engineering teams to be able to close a sale. Their effectiveness in business roles depends a lot on how they get work done from people who don't report to them. It is important that MBA graduates are able to work with others in the organisation to achieve common organisational goals.

The writer is the founder of iimjobs.com, a job portal for MBAs from IIMs and other premier business schools in India. He holds a BTech in Computer Science & Engineering from Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University and an MBA from Indian Institute of Management Indore.

Tarun Matta