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7 Major Skills You Need before joining MBA

Updated: Oct 5, 2022

Shatakshi Sharma, co-founder global governance initative, indian school of business MBA, former BCG management consultant, advisor to Tony Blair Institute, St stephens college, University of Delhi graduate, strategy role at Government of India, Linkedin Top Voice

Career insights by GGI is a new series by GGI sharing hacks and tips around management consulting, MBA, product management and public policy.

In this GGI career insight, we will be sharing insights into: the hard and soft skills you need to excel in an MBA.


Have you wondered what are the skills required to succeed in an MBA program? Or what kind of people get the best offers during their MBA?

To begin with, you need to advance your skills in a T-shaped format. The horizontal bar refers to the breath of knowledge and skills. These are the varied and generalised skills you need to advance your career.

And the vertical bar signifies specialisation which could be in anything. It could be a sector like health care and finance. Or it could be a function like artificial intelligence and blockchain.

Henceforth this career insight is divided into 2 parts- hard and soft skills.

1. Hard Skills

1.1 Web 3.0

Needless to mention, emerging technologies are gaining all the attention now. You need to know the applications of advanced technologies across sectors to advance in your career. It could be the usage of blockchain in the private or the public sector.

Knowing data and predictive analysis will help you stand out.

1.2 Platform Models

Most organisations today are just not FMCG, IG or Automobile. The top employers nowadays are actually platform based like- Flipkart, Amazon and Google. Thus, your understanding of technology is going to be pivotal for your MBA program.

I would advise you to get into the nuances on platform models. Knowledge about their network effects and supply demand curve are a must.

1.3 Growing Revenue

You get a 360° view of an organisation when you are looking to grow their revenue. From sales to marketing and supply chains, you really have to think holistically. If the opportunity arises, you should try to look into the strategy side of your organisation.

1.4 Microsoft Excel

Learning Excel will not only help you advance in your school, but also in your career. If you are comfortable with tools like VLookup, Pivot and Modeling, it will act in your favour.

You shouldn’t be wasting your time learning the basics when your peers are submitting assignments on time and running on a schedule.

2. Soft Skills

2.1 Working in teams

Cooperating with people is an essential skill. MBA is all about peer to peer learning and peer to peer assignments.

To have a promising career, you can not just work in silos. You should be able to work with people from all sorts of backgrounds and beliefs.

2.2 Work Ethic

In my opinion, work ethic is not a skill per se.

It involves more of your personality and character. You should not let your natural inclination towards diffusion of responsibility get to you.

I say so, because the reputation of your ethics doesn’t restrict to your campus. It retains itself further in your professional life also.

I still collaborate with my peers from ISB who left a good impression on me. People who were simply looking forward to score marks at the expense of others are not held in high regards even after graduation.

2.3 Communication Skills

If possible, before your MBA, try to work in front end consulting or client tools. This sharpens your negotiation and communication skills. It will give you an edge over the others, stand out and help you get hired.

If you need more help with management consulting and product management, feel free to check out MBA scholars program at my venture, Global Governance Initiative. We host live and interactive masterclasses are taught at the intersection of emerging technologies and business by the CEOs and chairmen of leading companies.


Author: Shatakshi Sharma, Co-CEO Global Governance Initiative, Ex-BCG Management Consultant, Former Policy Advisor, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change

If you are interested in learning about GGI's MBA Scholar program, you can learn here.

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