Perspectives from the corporate world: the skills demanded of MBAs

Employer and graduate perspectives on entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, innovation, and creativity – the skills needed to be successful in the modern world for startups and established businesses 

Jason Allan Scott, Podcaster, Entrepreneurial Advisor and Author 

‘Everyone who I have met who has done an MBA says their network is their net worth. There is a certain greatness that comes from the five people you spend the most time with, whether that is in Zoom meetings or virtually through the books and case studies you read together, your lecturers, and your peers. That makes a gigantic difference.’ 

Sharon Cunningham, Co-Founder, Shorla Pharma; Winner of the MBA Entrepreneurial Venture (Private Sector) Award 2020

‘Creativity tends to be a mindset which is very consistent among entrepreneurs. It’s not about needing to think “outside the box”, it’s about realising that there is no box. There is always a solution – you just have to find it.

‘Second, you have to have passion. Remember your vision and be hyper-focused on what you’re trying to achieve. Finally, you need to have a healthy attitude to risk and be able to take a calculated risk.’ 

Marianne Gaulhet, Innovation and Transformational Leader, GE Healthcare

‘Everyone can learn to be creative because that is how we were as kids. As adults, we sometimes forget to use [creativity] but there are tools, such as design thinking, and once you practice, it becomes second nature again. 

‘Learning to learn is important. If you come away from an MBA or any degree thinking “I know it all”, that is the wrong attitude. Things change very quickly, and what you have learned this year or last year on an MBA is probably already obsolete. 

‘When you continue to open up and listen to what’s happening – that’s when you will learn the most.’

Matt James, Head of Scouting (UK and Europe) NatWest Group Innovation and Solutions

‘Innovation requires three things: inspiration, perspiration and a bit of frustration. 

‘You have to be resilient enough to deal with all of those things. It is a fantastic environment to work in, it’s forward looking, interesting and very much at the forefront of strategy and where organisations are going. But that [environment] doesn’t come easy; you have to be able to learn to adapt and change, and you’ve got to have agility. You must have the resilience to pick yourself up when you fail and to keep trying. 

‘In larger organisations, you have to recognise that sometimes you will be pushing against the way things have always been done and the status quo. You have to be able to keep going when you feel like you’re that one voice in the wilderness. Reliance and persistence are really important for anyone wanting to get into either entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship.’

Hamilton Mann, Group Director, Digital Marketing and Digital Transformation, Thales 

‘There are many skills that are needed when you want to be successful as an entrepreneur. One person will not have all of the skills that are needed to succeed. You will never have all the skills, mindsets and perspectives to see all the different aspects that are needed. That is why you need to see your project as a teamwork project. 

‘Your first challenge is to be part of a good team: recruit a good team and be with the right people, but also be part of your ecosystem. People matter. It is not about the idea, sometimes people focus on the need to come up with a great idea, and people get worried about having their idea stolen. But I have never seen an idea running by itself. There is always a team behind it and it is the team that make the difference, no matter what.’

You may also like...

responsible business

Connecting passion with impactful projects

Nyenrode’s Désirée van Gorp talks to David Woods-Hale about enabling students and graduates to pursue their desire to make a positive contribution in the world through a new digital ecosystem

Read More »
AMBA Excellence Awards

From boardgames to boardroom: AMBA’s MBA Entrepreneur of the Year

Taking inspiration for the name from his love for Scrabble, Oluwatobi Ajayi founded Nord Automobiles with a desire to bring affordable and reliable cars to Nigeria. Earlier this year, he won MBA Entrepreneur of the Year at the AMBA & BGA Excellence Awards 2021. Ellen Buchan finds out more about his company and Nigeria’s unique business environment

Read More »