UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA Blog

Qualities of a Successful MBA Student

February 15, 2013 By Kelly Lynch

So you think you’re ready to return to school to get your MBA, but aren’t sure if your background or business acumen are the right fit for a particular school.  While we can’t speak for all schools, we can tell you what qualities we look for in top MBA candidates for the Full-time program at UNC Kenan-Flagler.

UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA &

UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA students master both the technical and emotional aspects of business.

Let’s start with the basics.  Naturally, we expect our students to have a strong intellectual capacity and quantitative ability.  These are typical qualities of a successful MBA student.  In addition, we also look for our students to maintain a high level of emotional capacity as well; students who are collaborative, passionate and empathetic.  It is the combination of these two, seemingly distinct character traits, however, that truly makes the Kenan-Flagler student unique.  Our students are extraordinary leaders as well as cooperative group members.  They know both how to accurately analyze multitudes of data in excel and how to present an engaging case.  If you were to look at a Venn diagram of “quantitative abilities” and “qualitative abilities,” our students would fall within the intersection of the two circles.  That is what makes them so spectacular; they can master both the Science & Heart of business.  And that is where the not-so-mysterious ampersand (&) comes into play.

If you have met with us at an MBA fair, reception, or here on campus, you’ve likely seen the large, white brochure we hand out, outlining the details of all our MBA programs.  On the cover is, standing alone, a big, bold ‘&.’ This simple, one-character symbol represents the beautiful blend of contradiction our students bring to the table.  They understand a business’ need for financial success & social responsibility.  They have the knowledge to be accomplished in their field & the courage to do what is right.  They not only learn in the classroom, but also take what they have learned & apply it to real life scenarios.  Simply put, they are highly skilled in both book smarts & street smarts.  Altogether, these are the qualities of a successful MBA student at UNC Kenan-Flagler.

If you’re reading this and thinking that you don’t quite fall into both of these categories, that’s ok.  These qualities are what we strive to evoke and instill in our students by the time they graduate.  So if you walk in the front doors of McColl the first day of classes without formal leadership experience or you’re still nervous when presenting to company VP’s, don’t worry.  You will acquire the necessary qualities to be a successful business-leader by the time you walk out.