Archive for August, 2009

Week One Extra Readings

Wall Street Journal Article on MBA Skills:

It is interesting to think that even though people have succeeded in their undergraduate programs and are now working on their MBA that they would still lack the defining qualities of a good leader.  However, after working in at a company for several years and interacting with other master’s students i can see how unprepared a lot of people are, including myself, to successfully handle leadership roles.  Although i think that my undergraduate work in education has somewhat prepared me for the skills of forming relationships with “clients” as well as listening, i think that the context in which my skills are geared for differ from that of a traditional business leader. 

Furthermore, the Ronald Alsop also makes another interesting argument about the ability of new and old MBA studetns to form coherent and well organized thoughts on paper and through personal communication.  I have read countless emails from business professionals with poor grammar and misspelled words.  Just putting on a suit and walking into a corporate office does not make someone a business professional; all aspects including speaking, listening, writing, and all other required skills need to be done in a professional manner.  Although I am in no way claiming to be a poster child for professionalism, being aware of the fact there are still things that I need to work on makes me one step closer. 

WSJ-How to Get Hired:

From reading this article, I can see a huge connection with the first article.  The overwhleming theme of these articles is that current MBA students are taking for granted that they have all the skills required to be hired.  Personally after interviewing for several teaching positions it became obvious that not every school was looking for the type of personality i would be bringing to their school environment.  The same thing also happens in the world of business and MBA’s.

Before this article, i never really had thought about how showing humility could actually be beneficial to the interviewing process.  Employeers aren’t looking for the cookie cutter employee, they are looking for the person who is open-minded, can relate to all levels or employment, can take constructive ciriticism, and maintain a healthy working relationship with collegues even when things go wrong.  Being egotisitical and showig no faults gets you no where.  Something to keep in mind as i go through this program and prepare myself for future employment opportunites.

MBNA Winner (2004):

I don’t know about anyone else, but this article makes this program sound too good to be true.  A program that is constantly changing and adapting to ensure learning and practical application are optimized and not just maintaining a status quo sounds like a dream.  Yet, after reading how MCB actually initiates its learning process, i can see how they can be so successful. 

These individual qualitites, high-touch, wide-tech, and professional depth, are the qualities that the first two articles are looking for in MBA studnet interviews.  With the students have a voice in the planning process of the college’s programs, they gain those communication, writing, and hands-on experience that employers are desperately seeking in future employees.  Although, I dont think that this school is the perfect model that will work for all graduate or undergraduate programs, I do think that it does have a lot of qualities that would benefit a lot of scholastic programs.

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Teaching Smart People How to Learn

After reading this article, I realized how much of what is said is actually true and happening right now in my work place and i am sure in others.  I never really took notice of the defensive behaviors that occur when employees, sadly to say including myself, are confronted with concerns by managers.  When considering the fact that my daily objective used to be to teach students, the idea that i myself cannot actual learn at work is hard to grasp. 

However, from the article i have learned that it is quite possible to change this defensive behavior not only in my self but with my collegues.  By avoiding the detrimental “single-loop” learning I can start to take responsibilty for my both my successes and failures.  It is not so much that I have avoided taking responsibility for my actions, I have never been required to take responsibility. 

Furthermore, the idea that they we think we behave and how we actually behave is not anew concept to me but one that i have not spent a considerable amount of time to acknowledge.  Even though a person may think they know exactly how and think they are acting in a certain fashion does not always mean that that is the way their behavior is perceived by others. Yes, we think have control of our behaviors.  Yet, after reading this article it is clear that  a more conscious effort must take place both think and act in the same manner.  This article just may be the turning point in my professional life.