Posted by: Louis Lavelle on May 14, 2008
That’s the upshot of some new research by Gregg Schoenfeld.
Schoenfeld surveyed graduate b-school students and the recruiters who love them (or hire them at least) trying to determine what each group viewed as the most important attributes when it came to the annual mating dance known as recruiting. What he found was really interesting: apparently MBA students are from Mars and recruiters are from Venus.
In some areas, there was widespread agreement. Both students and recruiters believe interpersonal skills are highly important, while your concentration is kinda meaningless. In fact, leadership abilities, a proven ability to perform, and a good cultural fit with the company are all important to students and recruiters alike. And your years of work experience and “cultural experience” don’t count for much with either group. But that’s where the agreement ends.
A lot of things that are downplayed by students--academic success, general management skills, technical/quant skills--are actually quite important to recruiters. And a lot of things that students think are really important to recruiters--your pre b-school occupation and the prestige of the b-school itself--don't mean a whole heckuva lot at all.
Does anybody else find this disconnect as interesting as I do? It's almost as if somebody did a survey and found that women don't care for men with broad shoulders and a chiseled jaw line. The bit about recruiters not caring about the b-school's prestige will probably come as a big surprise to the students who pay a fortune for the most prestigious schools, and the schools themselves. If anyone has a theory on why this is, please share.