Interesting article about the value of an MBA
“In today’s economic climate, some have claimed an MBA isn’t that useful because most holders have little real business experience. Those who hold the degree know different, however. Here’s how to underscore your value as an MBA, and how to outline what you can do for any prospective employer say,” Arn Bernstein, Managing Editor, Diversity MBA Magazine
The Value Proposition: How To Declare Your Value As An MBA
By J. Todd Rhoad
Economic depression has ushered in a flurry of conversation and debate regarding the value of the MBA. Some sources say MBAs are unethical, while others claim they possess little to no real business expertise. As if students and graduates didn’t already have enough difficulty defining and communicating their offering to corporate society, questions of ethics and understanding of today’s business environment further dilute the value of their stock.
The good news is that the blame game is a never-ending ebb and flow with an undercurrent shifted to the larger global concerns of bankrupt governments and high unemployment rates. The challenge for MBA graduates, however, is still their ability to paint a clear, undeniable picture of who they are and what they can do for their future employer.
The first step in development of an effective value proposition is to create a snapshot of what you want people to see when they look at you. Imagine you’ve found your ideal job and must send a photo of yourself along with your resume to the hiring manager. What do you want your future boss to see when he or she sees your picture? Maybe you want to seen as a leader, so you include a photo of yourself in front of a classroom teaching a class of undergraduates on how to read an income statement. Perhaps drive and determination are your best attributes, so you include a picture of your climb to the summit of Mt. Everest. This analogy may be an oversimplification of the value proposition you must make, but it should give you some guidance on where you need to begin.
Once you’ve identified your defining characteristics, you must paint that picture everywhere people will see you. This includes your resume, cover letter, website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles. Your message must be clear and consistent everywhere. Inconsistencies raise questions. The last thing you want or need is a potential employer questioning the validity of your resume because of something they saw on your Facebook profile. While the Internet provides the ability to create both professional and personal profiles, it doesn’t encourage viewers to consider only the professional aspects. Since most profiles are developed by their owners, the information people read on these sites is assumed to be the truth.
Resume and web-site profiles constitute the written you, which tells your story in your absence. But the verbal story can’t be undersold. When you run into a new opportunity, you don’t just simply hand it a business card that has your web-site address on it so it can go learn who you are. The verbal introduction is the best opportunity you can hope for. It provides you the ability to quickly create the image you want. Why? The only information anyone has to make an assessment of you is the information you give.
Of course, this requires planning and practice. While we simplify the process for defining and communicating your potential contribution to the corporate world, it is a difficult activity for most MBA graduates, and an area most MBA programs seem to overlook. In our t ebook, The MBA Value Proposition, MBA graduates from around the world tell the story of how they managed to effectively market their value to various audiences, including their current company, potential employers, their manager and even MBA admissions. It provides real examples of how the pursuit of the MBA has provided specific knowledge and skills that are…