Camaro SS Versus the MBA SS-Which Has More Power?

Aug 20, 2013
Tags: Admissions Committees, B-School, MBA

David FrasierSubmitted by David Frasier, associate dean at the The University of Iowa Tippie School of Management

OK, did I get your attention?  If you’re even a casual car guy (or gal) you know what a Camaro is, and probably know that for years the SS has been a high-power moniker used by Chevrolet to indicate Super Sport.  I checked and I could get a really loaded Camaro SS for about $46,000.  On the other hand I could use that money to pay for two years’ worth of MBA tuition and fees at Iowa, or some other great program.  But what is the SS moniker on the MBA? That stands for “soft skills” and I just made up the combination to grab your attention and make a point.

Your MBA Needs to Be a “Soft Skills” MBA

To that point – from a career standpoint the MBA has a lot of power to benefit you, business, and society.  But here is the key – it needs to be a “SS” MBA.  I keep hearing that cry from executives across the country.  From New York, to Iowa, to California, and globally, corporations are begging for talent with soft skills, or emotional intelligence, needed to really flourish in management roles.  Our dean and I met just last week with the incoming and outgoing CEOs at Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and heard the plea again.  Adaptability, results orientation, teamwork, leadership, global awareness, strong communication skills, problem solving/analytics, strategic thinking – these are the skills critical to success today, along with integrity and innovative thinking.

So, when you are looking at MBA programs look for opportunities to build these skills. Look for experiential learning opportunities too.  Consulting projects, “live” functional projects and internships all add to your portfolio.

Looking for power? Invest in an MBA soft skills today. The Camaro, or better, will come later.