Why you should not hire a random business school graduate


Vlerick Aramis 2015

First of all, here is an admission, I am completely biased, that is because I have been given a unique opportunity to explore aspects of business, by Vlerick Business School that I could not imagine before. So now that we have that out of our way, read on.

As an expat living in Belgium , who loves travelling and is living completely on her own, I have struggled to come to terms with the fact that I had no money, no financial backup to pursue an MBA degree from any top business schools around. And then it happened, after three written tests, one gruesome interview, one phone interview, I finally managed to get admitted in one of the top schools in Belgium with a 75% scholarship.

So thank you VBS!

So what makes me think Vlerick Business School graduates are great hires?

1. They have the unique ability to work in teams

Let us admit it, nowadays there are not many projects in the corporate world where people do not work in teams. Vlerick usually filters and recruits people who have a very strong backbone and a strong personality. Who can challenge status quo, think like there is no box as they come from a different mix of backgrounds. It is just what would happen in a real life – you work in teams where different people have different personalities. And where there are strong personalities, there is a spark or a clash of opinions. Vlerick students are forced into groups with teams randomly assigned, which they have no choice over and this gives them the practice to adapt to any personality type.

2. Vlerick graduates are good negotiators

In most of the courses in Vlerick Masters in General Management, the students have to negotiate their assignment scopes with their peers. This gives them the added practice of negotiations on top and apart from the intense Negotiation Skills courses taught by Vlerick professors. These professors are professional negotiators themselves (think war delegation and negotiations, business acquiring negotiations etc..). And when you learn from the best, some of it rubs off on you.

3. We are taught by great professors who know the industry inside out

Vlerick appoints top experts in their fields as professors. Not everyone can teach, however the professors in Vlerick Business School do not only have the right professional and industry knowledge due to their work experience / research, but also the right attitude to teach. Mostly the professors are also appointed by the school itself to do industry research projects which keeps them up-to-date with the trends, which are then relayed on to the students.

4. We have a great Alumni Network

I have noticed from day one, the Vlerick Alumnus are all very much engaged with the school even after graduation. They consistently support their Vlerick colleagues in any events / business competitions / hiring / advice etc. Our network of Alumnus spreads to top companies in the world and that gives us a three degrees of separation maximum, if in case we ever need to reach the top management of a Fortune 500 company for example. These experts are always their to help the students for their practical assignments whenever we need an industry expert feedback for the problem at hand.

5. We have the right overview of how a business runs in general

Because Masters in General Management course in Vlerick is pretty versatile, we have an overall “Queen-of-all-trades” overview on different facets of business starting from Accounting, Business Development, Operations process and Supply Chain, Innovation Management or Marketing and Sales. This overview gives us the unique ability to think from all angles of a business and look at all possible outcomes.

6. We have some cool entrepreneurial genes

Our graduates are made leaders within their communities and are known for their entrepreneurial skills. We are trained to think out of the box, heck, sometimes even without the box. The knowledge and experience that they gain during their studies provide our graduates with the necessary baggage to be top-notch business talent.

7. We do hands-on real-life kick-ass projects from top companies

Where have you heard the deep-set students being consultants? Since my course inception, I have done projects with Accenture, Nespresso, ABInbev, Duvel Moortgat and soon an International Turkish company as well as NXP Semiconductors. All these project solved real life business consultancy cases.

8. We have 8-months experience in sleep deprivation

Apart from the 500000000 cases that we have to solve for each course, we are tuned that we cannot receive more than 5 hours sleep. Not to mention over-night duties and under-pressure project completions. Of course I am exaggerating but that is what the past 8 months felt like.

9. We do cool stuff while we are at Vlerick

Apart from the usual stuff, our graduates are engaged in side-shows – like different sports competitions, several side projects like TEDxVlerick and Startup Weekend Leuven, Sales competition and Battle of Talents among others. In short, we can handle multiple projects when we put our hearts in it.

10. We do an intensive Consultancy project to wrap up our learnings

Apart from the above, we Vlerick students are happily allocated to different In-Company projects in the last two months of our Masters course. Currently for example, I will be doing a project with NXP Semiconductors on health-tech related next generation business modelling. Not only the students, but the researchers allocated to the project make sure that it is really a real-life- impacting and implementable project!

Conclusion: Definitely hire a Vlerick graduate!

While I do not want to be the reason behind your company-employee mismatch, I would like to encourage you for good hires. Reputed schools like Vlerick Business School do matter as they provide their students the right tools and training for a professional business structure and business development. In the end however, if is best to hire missionaries than mercenaries. If culture and fit is great with an individual, then you will have no problem retaining someone with a great skill set. If you hire on the contrary, someone who is very accomplished but does not believe in the mission of your company, he or she will destroy your company culture. You need to make sure you are always bringing on people who truly connect with, and are motivated by, the mission of your company and its culture.

And these reasoning my friends, should be a good enough to hire a reasonable Vlerick graduate! (hint 😉 )



Written by Shamma Raghib

First post appeared in LinkedIn:

MGM Aramis (Leuven)
Masters in General Management
Vlerick Business School

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