As part of our MBA Return on Investment (ROI) series, the Admissions Team addresses commonly asked questions regarding the ROI of an MBA degree from the perspective of Boothies, alumni, and more.
- November 14, 2022
- Part-Time MBA Blog
An MBA from Chicago Booth is known for enhancing one’s technical and decision-making skill set through the use of data-driven principles to produce successful results. Aside from building technical skills, one should also consider how an MBA from Chicago Booth can noticeably improve their soft skills. Soft skills include anything from interpersonal skills to time and people management. Why are soft skills so valuable in the workforce? The development of soft skills assists someone in becoming more confident in the work they produce, which in turn establishes more credibility in the workplace.
A solid foundation of soft skills is one of the many returns people receive from their MBA experience. With that in mind, we asked current Boothies which soft skills have added to the ROI of their MBA experience. Here’s their take on the soft skill benefits associated with the MBA journey:
“Across the board, I've grown in every measurable dimension. A large part of that is due to the behavioral science focused classes I've taken. They have introduced me to a significant amount of ‘soft’ skills, which I believe ultimately to be as, or more, valuable than many of the ’hard’ skill classes at Booth.” – Tristan FlanneryAll of the Above
“Time management, networking, and group collaboration have been paramount in my MBA experience. Networking is key in recruiting for investment banking. Time management has been important since I'm co-chair of several clubs on campus and a teaching assistant. Group collaboration is interwoven from within all my experiences at Booth, no one is or should be alone during business school and that has made for an amazing experience.” – Larry Ferguson Jr.Time Management, Group Collaboration, and Networking
“Before Booth, I'd always thought of time management and prioritization as strengths of mine, but I never thought I'd be able to squeeze as much into a week as I do now. Booth has taught me to carefully consider each commitment I take on and ensure everything I commit to is personally or professionally meaningful to me, which has allowed me to squeeze more value out of each day.
A huge draw to Booth for me was the networking opportunity, and Booth has definitely delivered on that value. There's always an event going on, and I've already built such a strong network with fellow Boothies, alumni, and others who have all expanded my perspective.” – Jacquelyn Caldwell
“One of the great ways the MBA course work is structured is that you must work in teams and you must navigate disagreement while still developing a strong relationship with your team members. One great source of insight has been learning skills and strategies from really talented team members on how to have these conversations and put in the work up front to help teams succeed together.” – Douglas HamiltonGroup Collaboration and Problem Solving
“Leaders often come across many difficult choices in their professional career or in their personal life. At Chicago Booth I learned and practiced how to leverage frameworks and tools to more deliberately approach decisions. Booth gave me an insight about how to make the best decisions during the uncertainties of the distant future.” – Dhimant KorantDecision Making
“My Booth experience deeply enhanced my communication and interpersonal skills, which has helped me to create better relationships personally and professionally. My MBA experience has also exposed me to more diverse points of view, which has led to more creative problem solving and a more robust network.” – Tess CrossInterpersonal Skills, Problem Solving, and Communication
“Classes such as Managerial Decision Making with Professor Christopher Hsee, helped me to be as objective as possible and not make assumptions, especially in management consulting where little information may be provided and there is limited interaction with clients. The data-driven, research oriented aspect of the class that was surely eye opening.
Building a positive relationship is possibly the most important aspect of the professional world, especially in professional services, where changing project teams happens often and working with different clients is frequent as well.”
– Joseph Kim
“One of the biggest takeaways for me has been using the Expected Value Calculation matrix framework to evaluate major decisions. In particular, understanding that adding placeholder values for weights is a good way to begin and gets you a better answer than just guessing without the matrix. This has applications not only to business decisions but life choices as well.
Another area of soft skills that has seen improvement is my decision making when framed against risk aversion and Prospect Theory. By understanding that the framing of a problem is a critical step, it has forced me to spend more time on that initial step and understand if there is bias introduced there. It also allows me to see through any ‘cloudiness’ in decision making that might arise from looking at it in the context of a loss versus gain.
These two major insights apply to my work as a leader and team member directly, as well as pairing it with economic concepts for consumer/market applications.”
– Gilbert Jimenez
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