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It's all a question of motivation: Which MBA personality are you?

December 11, 2018

by Dalibor Babic

What motivates people to start an MBA? A journey into the professional future can have completely different backgrounds and motivations. Dalibor Babic, Head of Graduate Programs of the WU Executive Academy, took a closer look at the most important MBA personalities.

Picture of students throwing a graduation hat
There are many different backgrounds and motivations to do an MBA - which MBA personality are you?

Dalibor Babic knows that an MBA will radically broaden your horizon: Increasing knowledge, improving certain skills, exchanging with other participants, a better salary - these are the tangible reasons that speak in favor of an MBA. However, when people decide to invest time and money in such education, it is not only a matter of sobriety, but above all of the motivation behind it. So what actually gets them to do an MBA?

Global Striver, Balanced Careerist or Impactful Innovator?

Recent studies and surveys show that there are different aspects to the motivation to do an MBA - while recognition from their professional and private environment is important for some for some students, for others creating a long-term security for themselves and their own family is the most important motivator. Generally speaking, the most important motivators for an MBA can be defined and is comparable to the travelers' motives. In fact, such a program is a journey - to new possibilities, most likely in a different professional direction, but also to oneself.

Picture of a travel bag and a passport
The most important motivation boosts for an MBA can be compared to travelers' motives. Photo © CC0 Licence

The Respect Seekers

A journey is only fun when the others know about it. Respect and recognition are the most important criteria for these MBA students to embark on such an educational journey. "The MBA offers the "Respect Seekers" solid proof that they are looking for something special in their career and do not want to travel in a package tour. They want to become role models and distinguish themselves from others through what they have achieved,” explains Babic.

The Global Strivers

The home country as a destination is never enough for these MBA travelers; they need and look for international experiences. They want to underline their international orientation with appropriate skills, which goes far beyond the language itself. They exemplify globalization and are thus globetrotters in the best sense of the word. "Global Strivers focus on two things: success and an international exposure in everything they do," says Babic.

Picture of a globe cut out of paper
Global Strivers look for international experience and exemplify globalization. Photo © CC0 Licence

The Balanced Careerists

A little adventure now and then, but the trip shouldn't move too far away from familiar terrain. Stability and predictability are important to them. The MBA should therefore be easy to arrange with the current professional circumstances. "This MBA type wants to improve financially and at the same time advance in their own careers - but ideally with as little disruption in life as possible," says Babic.

The Career Revitalizers

A journey brings the chance to discover new sides of yourself and change the direction of your life. The Career Revitalizers want to steer their careers in new directions with the help of an MBA; these types of students seek that additional impulse. "They are usually experienced experts who want to reinvent themselves professionally. For a successful career they are constantly expanding their own skills and always want to learn something new," outlines Babic.

Picture of a welcome reception for the GEMBA students
The motivation is to steer their careers into new directions - that is the #1 motivation of the Career Revitalizers.

The Socio-Economic Climbers

Travel must be well planned - and the same applies to executive education. Those who belong to this type see an MBA as part of their life plan and orient themselves towards practical conditions. An MBA serves to consolidate career and social status. "The aim of these Socio-Economic Climbers is to improve socially, be able to offer something better to their children, and also become fulfilled through their profession," says Babic.

The Impactful Innovators

There are hardly any white spots left on the map, but those who keep their eyes open can still enter unknown territory while traveling. This is exactly the motivation for these MBA adventurers: Impactful Innovators want to leave the beaten track and put their daring ideas into practice with the help of an MBA. Innovation is their constant travel companion. "For this group, the main thing is to breathe life into their dreams, to change the world - and for that you need the necessary skills," says Babic.

For more information about the MBA programs of the WU Executive Academy, please click here.

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