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10 skills to add with a one year MBA

Updated: Feb 21

We wish every one is safe and healthy! We are walking into a month of May like no May ever before. Unprecedented events call for unprecedented action. Here are some tools that we would suggest should be added to your profile to prepare for future career options. To get the maximum access to opportunities after your one year MBA, expand your skill sets from beginner to advanced levels in the below mentioned skills.

1. Agile: Agile will no longer be limited to the IT workplace. Study agile and innovate your workplace. Adoption of Agile as a workplace norm would be increased in the times to come till it takes more specific industry forms. A one year MBA might introduce these concepts during the course but your perspectives on the applications is what the prospective employers would value.

2. Blockchain: The economy has seen an unprecedented slowdown. This has necessitated the use of blockchain in far more diverse business applications as have not yet been envisaged. Blockchain and its business case should be a key skill for any future ready professional.

3. Purpose: Why does purpose fit in here? The way people evaluate their future organisations will change. Professionals will value the purpose of the organisations they interview with and the brand more than the remuneration they are paid. Being laid off in times of crisis with no respite is not a situation where one would choose to go. Similarly, organisations will value human resources which fit to their purpose. It just helps in times of crisis to have resources who "fit" and give in their extra bit when required.

4. Artificial Intelligence: Artificial intelligence is no more a technology which will come. It is time that organisations will look into proactively adopting this technology in the workplace. Accessibility and acceptability for artificial intelligence will see a paradigm shift. Whatever industry you belong to, your professional capabilities will increase by multitudes with this tool in your kitty. Is doing courses enough? Not quite! Even Coursera and other platforms provide capstone projects which allow you to become hands on with the knowledge you gain. Aim for not just courses but implementation of the knowledge you learn. Show not tell!

5. Analytics: Know how analytics applies and will be applied in the future in your industry. Every job role virtually can apply analytics and it is an essential skill set in a management professional's tool box, especially ones seeking higher education options like an MBA as game changers. Analytics and advanced knowledge of the subject is today a part of all leading one year MBA programs in India and abroad. Make sure you select the right electives.

6. Resilience: Meditation, yoga, exercise helps you build a mental resilience to face challenges. Unexpected jerks in our careers are things that we are never prepared for. The practice of meditation helps build an inherent shock proof layer to hold upto such challenges. There is no better time than to start today if you have not paid attention to this skill. The decision to forego current salaries and pursue a one year MBA is a tough one. You need resilience and focus on the bigger picture that has motivated you for many stages to come.

7. Activate your Vagus Nerve: Vagus nerve is the information super highway in your body. It connects the main organs of the body and it is a major part of the parasympathetic nervous system in the body. This system is responsible for the body's rest and digest state of the body. When we are faced with a tough situation our body activates the flight or fight response i.e. the sympathetic nervous system. The vagus nerve should be consciously activated daily to keep the parasympathetic nervous system in control. The vagus nerve also connects to the pre frontal cortex which controls logic. Thus, you are able to think of solutions to a problem.

8. Be serious about your hobbies: Your hobby that you loved but didn't get time to pursue because of the undying hard work you had to put in at office could offer you many advantages today and in the years to come. It's worthwhile to build advanced skills in a hobby because it is something that you of course love to do. Second, it keeps you motivated. Third, your advanced knowledge in any domain could just be a strategic side gig which gives you a financial stability to take risks and face challenges on the work front.

9. Communication skills for remote working: Update yourself on different means of virtual collaboration. In a day's work it is important to realise what tool must be used when. Know when to use instantaneous and delayed communication. This goes one step further from understanding multicultural teams. Even during a one year MBA teams might be collaborating online for quite some months to come. Even, as a manager you would need to empathise and choose the right means of communication for smooth work flow in the team. No doubt that clarity of communication is an added plus in the scenario. Speaking skills now involve an element of subliminal communication that connects with the audience which is not in front of you. There's no eye contact here and getting your message across as you want it to across multicultural teams can be challenging.

10. Enhance your adaptability: Being adaptable is an acquired skill. Being savvy today means being adaptable. Listen carefully, actively, and ask questions to clarify. Don't assume. Establish a trust in your teams and develop coaching skills to lead the careers of your teams. Rest assured that a one year MBA would be a taut test of your adaptability and you will see the results or the lack of it long before you enter the work force.

These days will be over but make sure you calibrate these skills every now and then.

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