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Should soft skills be taught in an MBA programme?

Should soft skills be taught in an MBA programme?

We are in the midst of the admission season at my Business School. Potential students are put through a rigorous shortlisting process of taking the entrance exam, writing a statement of purpose and attending a stress interview test with a group of Industry panelists.

Over the past two months I have had the opportunity to regularly interact with Senior Executives from across different industries who are our interview panelists. These executives hold senior positions in the field of Human Resource, Marketing and Strategic Management. Between two interview slots, the panelists share with me their industry experience of recruiting and their own work experiences that throws light on what companies are looking for when they hire an employee.

Recently I came to know that one of India’s leading Conglomerate likes to retain fresh recruits only if they continue to be disciplined at work like being on time, taking responsibility for the tasks assigned to them and so on. All of these are soft skills.

A Senior Executive from a leading private bank in a country shared with me that he was born and brought up in a small town and he attributes his growth to soft skills. He says while climbing up the corporate ladder what he felt really mattered in this day and age were soft skills.  

 

What is soft skill?

According to Wikipedia ‘Soft skills are a combination of people skills, social skills, communication skills, character or personality traits, attitudes, career attributes, social intelligence and emotional intelligence quotients, among others, that enable people to navigate their environment, work well with others, perform well, and achieve their goals with complementing hard skills’.

So why are we referring to SOFT SKILLS and what is its connection with an MBA programme?  

Students at our Institute are not shortlisted based on only their academic performance or their work experience. We also look at their soft skills. Infact the stress interview is designed in a way to test the various parameters mentioned in the soft skill definition above. We look to take students under our umbrella who will allow us to nurture their soft skill set in order to get them job-ready.

 

How do we do it?

Our curriculum addresses development and or improvement of the soft skills in the following manner:

  • Communication skills –  Providing IELTS coaching to students to improve their English proficiency in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.
  • Personality traits-  Assign tasks and activities to students that will need them to work on their weak areas.
  • Emotional intelligence – Assign Community development project to the students.
  • Navigating work environment – Offering Internship in India and South Africa to understand workplace dynamics.

 

In addition, our MCMBA programme is known for nurturing the intelligent, emotional and spiritual quotient of every student to ensure that we deliver holistic managers to the world.

It is imperative that Business schools across the globe nurture the soft skills of their students to effectively contribute to a sound business economy.

To know more about our MCMBA programme, you can write to me at sandyaj@regenesys.in (Prof.Sandya Jadhav, Senior Faculty, Regenesys Institute of Management)