MBAs have long been criticized for having poor writing skills, reports a Wall Street Journal article, “Students Struggle for Words,” and according to recent test scores, that proficiency may be dropping.
The article states:
While MBA students’ quantitative skills are prized by employers, their writing and presentation skills have been a perennial complaint. Employers and writing coaches say business school graduates tend to ramble, use pretentious vocabulary or pen too-casual emails.
Employers and recruiters are demanding better writing performance, and schools are beginning to take their demands seriously. Stanford GSB has employed writing coaches to help students improve their writing through the Empowering Innovators to be Effective Communicators program; Wharton plans on doubling its communication courses starting in 2012 (from six to 12 classes); U. of Rochester’s Simon Graduate School of Business has already hired new writing coaches; and Northeastern’s College of Business Administration also increased their focus on writing, implementing a double grading system whereby each paper is graded by a professor and by a writing coach.
If MBA students want to continue scoring jobs in top management positions, they are going to have to “unlearn bad behavior” and begin to write concisely, effectively, and persuasively.
A side note: Our clients routinely tell us that they have learned a lot about writing, storytelling, and communications by using Accepted’s services, especially our more comprehensive services. Applicants may not be seeking a writing tutorial when they choose to work with us, but if Stanford and Wharton recognize the need for writing coaches once applicants become MBA students, clearly there is a need. And applicants’ pre-MBA communications education is an unintended benefit of working one-on-one with Accepted’s skilled wordsmiths.
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