Why an MBA Leadership Development Program Will Help Your Career

Clemson University MBA Program
4 min readSep 9, 2020

Marketing yourself as the right candidate to fill a leadership position at your company doesn’t stop with updating your resume. When throwing your hat in the ring for a promotion, it helps when your self-belief is backed with evidence of leadership. What makes you qualified?

Considerations such as past performance, job history and internal relationships will all be a part of the decision-making process if your company is hiring from within. While every candidate will be assessed this way, there is a powerful way you can stand out.

A degree, certification or license showing you have spent the extra time outside of work pursuing leadership development will give decision-makers a reason to pause on your resume. That’s why it may be time to pursue a post-grad degree online and differentiate yourself from your peers.

For 2015 Clemson MBA graduate Caroline Aneskievich it was simple, “I wanted to set myself apart and be more marketable.”

Aneskievich used Clemson’s dual MBA/MIB program to begin her career at the BMW Group in their Global Leadership Development Program. “I wanted real-life academics as a sort of pivot point for me to transition into the next phase of my own career,” Aneskievich added. While she used this unique opportunity to join one of the world’s largest automotive companies, many will use it to rise internally.

Not only does a record of leadership courses look great on a resume, but it also gives you the tangible skills necessary to be a successful leader in any organization. Just like Brian Morgan, who is the President and Chief Growth & Strategy Officer with The Plexus Groupe. Morgan explains how his MBA allowed him to grow as a young professional.

Register for the next Innovative Leadership Series webinar to hear from Craig Haydamack, the Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer at Milliken & Company.

What are the 3 most important roles of a leader?

Many MBA leadership development programs structure their programs around teaching the pillars of good leadership. Here are three of the most important roles a leader needs to play:

  • Formulate an organized vision: It’s difficult to lead with no end game in sight. That’s why leaders must have the ability to identify goals and present an organized plan on how to accomplish them to their team.
  • Teach, inspire & motivate: Getting everyone on board with the vision for the team is the definition of leadership. Leaders must show the way for their team while knowing what motivates each individual person to play their role for the greater good of the team.
  • Delegate: Great leaders trust the people they give responsibilities to. By delegating tasks, the leader opens themselves up to ensure the team is moving in a positive direction toward the ultimate vision.

What leadership development opportunities should you look for in an MBA Program?

Many MBA and leadership development programs will have the three qualities listed above woven into the coursework and lectures. They will also include lessons on coaching, accountability, change management, influence and communication. While these are important lessons for young leaders to learn, an MBA will give you the chance to apply these new skills while achieving a higher level of education.

Ethics is a key component of good leadership and at the foundation of any MBA leadership development exercises. The goal of an ethics course is to expose inexperienced leaders to various ethical, leadership and personal development challenges through a combination of speakers, networking activities, workshops, competitions, personal development exercises and other related activities.

MBA programs also help open doors for new opportunities. Take Clemson’s Oxford University study abroad courses, for example. While learning valuable international business management and global leadership lessons, MBA students are introduced to the executive teams at some of the top companies in the world.

What leadership roles does an MBA qualify you for?

Exhibiting leadership skills is applicable in any industry and any occupation. From entrepreneurs to mid-level management positions, an education in leadership can teach you how to elevate the people around you, which helps the entire organization become more successful. Here are some examples of what you can do with the leadership lessons taught during an MBA program:

  • Change your career or pivot to a new industry
  • Qualify for mid-level management
  • Innovate effectively within large, complex corporations
  • Pursue entrepreneurship or launch a start-up
  • Prepare for becoming a C-Suite executive
  • Become a consultant for other businesses
  • Move your career forward

Are leadership degrees worth it?

Even if your final destination as a professional is undetermined, the leadership concepts alone make pursuing an MBA worth your time. These programs will leave you with plenty of room for potential job growth in whatever industry you land in after graduation. You may be working in the industry right now. And a leadership degree could help you run the show someday.

Josh Kettler, a strategic planning assistant for global sales at Patagonia HQ, started putting his MBA to work before he finished his coursework in 2014. “I was ready to take the next step toward reaching my goals. The Clemson MBA Program provided me the skills and academic experience I needed to change industries and shift my career focus,” said Kettler. He credits his MBA for his current role at the popular outdoor clothing company. “An MBA degree clearly made me more visible and valuable during the application and hiring process.”

MBA leadership development programs are now available online. Don’t miss the chance to give yourself higher earning potential, skills that employers love, and greater knowledge of the business world. Strong leadership can move the needle forward.

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Clemson University MBA Program

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