Over the past few weeks, we have been hitting the road and speaking with candidates in all of our program regions. It is always great to meet our prospective students and catch up with our current students and alumni.
One question that we receive often is, “What are you looking for in a candidate?” This is a tough question! We truly value diversity in our programs, so there is no right industry, functional specialty, or educational background needed to guarantee admittance or success in the program.
Therefore, when answering this question, we tend to focus on characteristics that could apply to anyone in any field. To help articulate those characteristics, we’ve categorized them into four main areas. In this blog post, I’ll share some insights into the first category, Organizational Experience.
As expected, Executive MBA students should have significant experience. We assess that experience by not only looking at the number of years of experience, but also the quality of those years. Ideal candidates have had steady career progression. This progression could be within one company, industry, or functional area. Or, it could be more diverse.
Basically, we like to see growth. We are looking to see that a candidate has evolved, taken on leadership roles, developed an area of expertise, and had some exposure to the managerial concepts addressed in the program. For some people, it can take at least 10 years of experience to be able to demonstrate this progression. For others, it may take more or slightly less time.
While the program is designed to give graduates the tools needed for career advancement, that advancement is also highly dependent upon a strong foundation. Therefore, a progressive career path not only leads to success in the program, it can also lead to additional career success during and after.
Next time, I’ll address the second category, Academic Readiness.