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Delivering the Soft Skills Recruiters are Demanding

By Wisconsin School of Business

November 16, 2016

Wisconsin Full-Time MBA Program’s innovative “Coaching 360” approach gives every student a trio of coaches to develop communications and career skills that stand out

Ranked above technical skills or even years of work experience, employers want strong communications skills in their new hires, according to the Corporate Recruiter Survey Report by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). Strong oral and written communications skills were two of the top five attributes recruiters looked for when hiring MBAs.

“Soft skills are the new core skills. That’s what we are hearing from recruiters again and again,” says Blair Sanford, assistant dean of the Wisconsin Full-Time MBA Program. “Recruiters come here knowing we’ve got strong academics, and our innovative coaching approach lets them know we are committed to building the skills our graduates need to be the excellent communicators and collaborative leaders they want to hire.”

The Wisconsin Full-Time MBA Program at the Wisconsin School of Business of the University of Wisconsin–Madison has developed an innovative coaching approach to ensure graduates are strong communicators, excellent team members, and collaborative colleagues in the workplace.

The program assigns each MBA student with three different coaches:

  1. Career Coach to assist with career management and preparation
  2. Communication Coach to improve public speaking and writing skills
  3. Peer Coach to provide first-year students with guidance and feedback

“Taken together, these coaching resources provide our students with the practical support and meaningful skill development they need to succeed,” says Sanford. “We are focused on promoting the individual development of each Wisconsin MBA student, giving them the strong academic base they need along with the ‘soft skills’ that will allow them to make immediate, impactful contributions in the companies where they go to work.”

The highly personalized and comprehensive coaching approach continues to make Wisconsin MBA students competitive with top employers. Nearly 90 percent of Wisconsin MBA students accepted a job offer within three months of graduation, a placement rate rivalling top MBA programs nationally.