McCombs School of Business | Ms. Registered Nurse Entrepreneur
GMAT 630, GPA 3.59
Harvard | Mr. Australian Navy
GMAT 770, GPA 3.74
Kenan-Flagler | Mr. 10 Years In Finance
GMAT Not Required / Waived, GPA 2.65
Harvard | Ms. Social Enterprise/Healthcare
GRE 324, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Supply Chain Photographer
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Former SEC Athlete
GMAT 620, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Ms. FMCG Enthusiast Seeking Second MBA
GMAT 730, GPA 3.1
NYU Stern | Ms. Civil Servant To Fortune 50
GRE Writing May 31st, GPA Undergrad: 3.0, Graduate: 3.59
MIT Sloan | Ms. Designer Turned Founder
GMAT 720, GPA 3.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Low GPA To Stanford
GMAT 770, GPA 2.7
Harvard | Mr. Strategist
GMAT 750, GPA 73%, top of the class (gold medalist)
Harvard | Mr. Brightside
GMAT 760, GPA 3.93
Berkeley Haas | Mr. All About Impact
GMAT N/A, GPA 63%
Harvard | Mr. Forbes U30 & Big Pharma
GMAT 640, GPA 3.4
Wharton | Mr. Asset Manager – Research Associate
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Ross | Mr. FP&A
GMAT 730, GPA 3.5
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Kellogg | Ms. Not-For-Profit
GMAT TBD, GPA 4.0
INSEAD | Mr. Big Chill 770
GMAT 770, GPA 3-3.2
Harvard | Mr. Captain Mishra
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Ross | Mr. Dragon Age
GRE 327, GPA 2.19/4.0
Wharton | Ms. Type-A CPG PM
GMAT 750, GPA 3.42
Harvard | Ms. 2+2 Trader
GMAT 770, GPA 3.9
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Young Software Engineer
GRE 330, GPA 3.60
NYU Stern | Mr. Indian Analytics Consultant
GMAT 700, GPA 3.0
Chicago Booth | Ms. Start-Up Entrepreneur
GRE 322, GPA 3.4
Columbia | Mr. RAV4 Chemical Engineer
GMAT 750, GPA 3.62

What Employers Want From Their MBAs

When corporate recruiters interview MBA students, what exactly are they looking for? And what do they ultimately expect when they hire an MBA?

From a list of desired traits, knowledge, skills and abilities, you’d think they were looking for Superman and Wonder Woman, according to a new study of employer expectations released yesterday (May 10) by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). The report is based on the opinions of 1,509 corporate recruiters who hire MBAs at 905 companies in 51 countries. Each survey respondent was asked to check off the five most desired traits or skills he or she wants to see in an MBA.

The top five traits employers are seeking in 2011 MBA hires are initiative, professionalism, motivation, integrity, and the ability to deal effectively with pressure and unexpected obstacles. The top five skills and abilities? Communication skills, strategic skills, the proven ability to perform, core business knowledge, and the ability to manage change.

And when it comes to work experience, the largest single number of recruiters, slightly more than four in every ten companies, want their new MBA hires to have between three to four years of experience on their resumes.

Yet, it was an MBA’s ability to communicate with others–something that most B-schools have been working hard at for more than a decade–that trumped every other sought after trait or skill. Some 86% of employers who responded to GMAC’s survey said strong comunication skills are the single most important ability they seek in an MBA. “Communication skills has definitely gone up in importance,” says Michelle Sparkman Renz, director of research communications for GMAC. “Core business knowledge is always high but some of these other traits appear to be increasingly desired by recruiters.”

And what do students want? Adds Renz: “It’s always been that students wanted challenging and interesting work. Today, grads want room for growth. They want advancement opportunities. They want that proving ground or test turf for their business knowledge. For the first time ever, that is above challenging work.” The survey of MBA employers found that three-quarters of them seek initiative (77%), professionalism (77%), motivation (76%), integrity (76%), ability to deal effectively with pressure (75%), and an achievement goal orientation (74%) in their new MBA hires.

Desired Traits Employers Seek in New 2011 MBA Hires

Desired Trait in 2011 MBA HIresPercentage
Initiative77%
Professionalism77%
Motivation76%
Integrity76%
Ability to deal effectively with pressure/obstacles75%
Achievement/goal orientation74%
Innovation/creativity68%
Adaptability68%
Collaboration65%
Efficiency49%
Listening ability48%
Discipline45%
Persuasiveness39%
Cross-cultural sensitivity39%
Diplomacy/tact33%
Capacity and willingness to follow a leader30%
Empathy25%
Delegation skills21%

Source: GMAC 2011 Corporate Recruiters Report

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