Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A recipe for success after getting your MBA degree

So you got your MBA degree. You've spent countless hours learning the principles of business administration and management. You've created a business plan or other proposal that you think will have legs. Now what?

If you're like most MBA graduates, you got your MBA degree because you want to advance your career, start your own business, or position yourself to earn a better salary. Now that you have the education under your belt, how do you start turning these goals into reality?

You might be feeling overwhelmed right now. Or you might have a clear picture in your head as to what your next move will be. No matter where you're at, though, there are a few pointers you should keep with you as a compass for guiding you to success after completing your MBA degree (or any degree, really).

I got to thinking about these pointers a couple of months ago. The holidays are always a good time to reflect on the conversations I've had with students and faculty, and use them as a guide for future curriculum and course design. In the midst of my thoughts, an idea struck me.

There are many ingredients that I believe go into having a successful future after completing your MBA degree. I started jotting these ingredients down, and before I knew it, I had essentially come up with a recipe for success upon completing an MBA degree. Looking it over, I thought that this recipe would actually apply after completing almost any graduate degree as well.

Then I thought, how can I share this with graduates to help guide them to their goals after earning their degree? I showed the recipe to some others at Post University, and we came up with the idea of turning it into an infographic that graduates can share, bookmark, print out, and hang up to remind themselves of how they can be successful now that they've completed their higher education.

So, that's just what we did. We've created the infographic below to give you a recipe for success after getting your MBA or other graduate degree.


We even used a photo of one of Post University's actual graduates in this infographic! I believe all of the ingredients listed here are essential for success, and not including one or more of them will reduce your level of success in your life and work experiences.

Note the Secret Sauce -- soft skills. They are a crucial component to this recipe. Many people think squishy/soft skills are "touchy feely" ingredients that don't matter in the recipe for success. These folks are wrong!

As the recipe reads, soft skills include emotional intelligence, social intelligence, the ability to schmooze intelligently, and the ability to build relationships with people across all walks of life. They also comprise the four Cs -- creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking -- as well as negotiation skills, and the ability to bring people together for a collective, positive vision for the future.

The soft skills are really the hard skills. They are the secret ingredients that will lead you to success, but only when combined with the other ingredients listed above.

The tendency for a first-time cook is to think there are too many ingredients in this recipe. Not so! The only way to success is to have all ingredients. However, the actual amounts can vary to some degree, with the exception of the Secret Sauce. Two cups are mandatory, and it must contain all ingredients listed here.

Good luck with this recipe. As we stated in the infographic, this recipe will be difficult to make some days, but oh so rewarding if done well.

Feel free to bookmark this recipe or print it out and hang it by your desk or on your fridge. Don't forget to share it with friends, family, and colleagues, too. I'd love to hear how you're doing if you follow this recipe. Get cooking! :)

Creative Commons License
Recipe for Success Upon Successful Completion of an MBA is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License. Based on a work at blog.post.edu.