Why MBA Employers Want You To Be A Problem Solver

MBA careers involve a number of industries and positions within those industries, but each of these roles have similarities that all MBA students are required to possess, including management, organization, and problem solving skills. Although each of these elements has its uses within business fields, problem solving has quickly become one asset that employees and employers have come to assess as absolutely crucial.

As lovely as it would be to assume that the world of business was full of streamlined tasks and easily processed information, this isn’t the case at all. In fact, many areas of business such as those involved in healthcare and HR can have a number of problems that simply aren’t covered in any manual or textbook. This is where a person’s problem solving skills become particularly important, and those graduates who have a good record for working out issues within their offices are regarded with esteem and respect.

Identifying Problems Within The Company

MBA graduates are professionally trained to be able to identify problem areas within their field of expertise, and this is one reason why employers are looking for highly skilled problem solvers. A typical undergraduate student may be able to look at a company and decipher that something is amiss, but without the tools and education to expertly assess exactly what’s wrong, nothing can be done to solve it. An MBA student learns a multitude of strategies to uncover exactly what a business is going through and which areas of the office are lacking; this could be in finance, management, hiring processes, policy work, or even safety protocols. Once a diagnosis is made on lost time, money, safety, or staffing, the creative thinking process can begin in order to quickly and efficiently find a solution.

Creative Thinking

Many people associate creative thinking with artistic work, but creativity comes in many forms, and the world of business, finance, healthcare, and international services is no stranger to this skill set. Thinking creatively doesn’t always mean that you are creating something, it can be thought of in reference to the ability to use more than one method of solving a problem as well. By thinking outside the box, the way that an MBA graduate is trained to do, professionals can find ways to suitably and effectively prevent and halt issues that are occurring. MBA students focus on breaking their preset thought patterns to approach difficult situations in new and unique ways. They take courses that encourage different points of views on a particular subject matter and force students to develop innovative solutions for problems without turning to common fixes.

Sometimes thinking creatively does involve a certain level of visual aid and other tools that stimulate original thought formulation. Graphs, charts, diagrams, and even storyboards can be used to familiarize yourself with processes occurring within a company, and to pinpoint problems and execute solutions. Looking at a problem from outside rather than as an insider can often bring about a whole slew of new and interesting information, which is one of the reasons that so many companies hire consultants.

Real World Knowledge

MBA students are different from students who graduate from other degree programs because of their experience in their field and the level of training that they acquire in problem solving alone. Many employers are seeking those employees who have real hands-on skills in their field of study, rather than a simple classroom education. This is because the typical graduate doesn’t understand the reality of how a company works; sure, the logistics are easy to see, and writing a topical research paper can prepare them for common day to day practices, but they often don’t have a true comprehension of the complex nature of business.

During an MBA program, students are expected to work one on one with a faculty member on a research assignment, as well as gain practical experience by completing a work term or practicum placement. This gives them an edge over candidates who are coming straight out of a lecture hall or classroom setting without having the appropriate field knowledge to complete tasks and keep up with current employees.

Steps To Problem Solving

Throughout the problem solving skillset learned by MBA graduates that corporations and businesses are so attracted to, there is a system that is taught. The steps within this system begin by first identifying the issue through keen observation and research. Once this problem is out in the open and all of the characteristics can be properly identified, the second step involves strategic thinking and creative processing to discover uncharted possible solutions that could ultimately rid the company of these occurrences for the foreseeable future. Finally, the last step in the process that is taught within many MBA programs is to look at the big picture, not just the individual issues at hand, and solve the crisis with a plan of action that will work the first time and not require further future problem solving on that particular item of interest.

MBA employees want you to be a problem solver because good management requires the ability to not only lead during daily tasks, but to take control when problems arise and stabilize these issues so that staff can continue to function normally and efficiently. More and more problem solvers are needed within companies because they can lead other professionals, but also train them on how to solve future problems on their own. MBA students are well known for their analytical minds and creative thinking, and when these skills can be elevated and evolved through work experiences and management roles they can blossom into even more effective techniques.

“Hands on” management is quickly becoming one of the more popular methods of controlling a business, and not only because it gives managers the ability to see how staff is doing in their daily work. Hands-on managers guide employees when they lose sight of the big picture, and MBA graduates are masters of big picture thinking because of their in-depth training in problem solving and strategic thought development.

Resources:

  • http://www.aib.edu.au/mba/2297/why-an-mba-graduate-will-be-the-best-candidate-for-your-company
  • http://www.usnewsuniversitydirectory.com/articles/4-reasons-an-mba-can-get-you-hired_12272.aspx#.U4tTpvldWSo
  • http://www.phoenix.edu/forward/careers/2012/11/7-essential-skills-every-MBA-grad-should-possess.html
  • http://www.topmba.com/why-mba/faculty-voices/six-innovation-skills-mbas