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If you are a teenager dreaming of making your mark in the financial world, junior MBA is bound to have crossed your mind. You could have dreamed of offering financial consultancy while working with JP Morgan, finalizing a million-dollar deal with a Japanese investor or leading to an influential start-up.
While dreams are an inseparable element of what constitutes success, we need to realize how competitive the world is becoming. You need to be resourceful and demonstrate a skill-set that can prove why someone else should show the same belief in your dream as you have in yours.
Here, I list some of the top skills you must work on if you are passionate about Junior MBA.
Junior MBA is gaining momentum but with these uncertain times, it has created space for unconventional skills and ideas. Covid-19 has reshaped lives in a dynamic way. Against a rigid set of rules and procedures, the corporate world has been forced to adapt to flexibility.
All of this intermingling with today’s rapid globalization is a challenge. New information sets afloat each day, new connections arise and rigidity is no more the key to success. Therefore, I believe that adaptability is the best junior MBA skill for teens.
There is no other generation that can relate to the phrase “It’s a small world” better than the current lot. Boundaries no more seem to be a barrier, especially with the exponential growth of social media and the digital world.
As the financial world adapts to this digital connectivity, teenagers have to learn the significance of adaptability.
By the time you are fast asleep, someone from the opposite side of the globe could have reached next to you. In a fraction of seconds, you could connect to negotiate a deal with a potential investor. As you finish that meeting, you would realize that the stock market has completely turned over.
Connectivity has reduced the expanse of the world, making this limitless space fuse into a measurable entity. Everything can undergo a complete transition in a short span of time, not giving you the time to adapt unless you are prepared for it.
Participating in junior MBA courses can reduce the severity of this challenge as you would already have a hands-on experience of adapting when the situation demands.
2. Case-Method Compatibility
The case method is traditional but being proficient in it is still a relevant skill.
Pioneered by Harvard Business School (HBS) and employed by many top business colleges, the case-method reflects your skills to admission committees and employers.
Simulation of a real-world situation and your way of dealing with it majorly impacts the judgment of these committees. Get involved in case studies and junior MBA courses to be able to get a taste of what the case method brings on the table.
Consider you participated in a junior MBA course. You attended webinars to learn about entrepreneurship. You even ended up pitching your idea in front of a top investor.
But unless are you are able to articulate your experiences, your shortcomings, and learnings as a result of them, there is no way to prove that these were productive for you.
Every time you come back from an experience, take out some time for some self-reflection. Ask yourself some questions, not only for your profiles but to discover who you are. And irrespective of what you do in the future, being aware of your strengths and weaknesses will save your time as you learn of your abilities.
4. Soft Skills
We have all been through those days when we have logical points in our head and yet, we cannot find the appropriate words to express our ideas. At times, we are unable to convince others about the viability of our ideas.
Lack of effective communication, especially in the world of finance and management, comes hand-in-hand with missed opportunities.
But don’t worry if you are struggling with this skill. The most important way to improve is to keep communicating. Some tips for effective communication are:
At times, all our points may sound logical to us. But they might not be appropriate in response to the points being made. Listen to the conversation carefully before you start answering.
Maintain eye contact.
Not maintaining eye contact gives the impression that you are not confident enough. Also, you should be able to judge what someone is taking from the conversation. If they are losing interest, say something to get them back on track.
Do NOT beat around the bush.
Diplomacy might sound like a safer option but in the hindsight, it displays a lack of clarity. It might also portray your lack of belief in what you are trying to convince others of.
For some more strategies that can be put into use in a practical environment.
ii. Conflict Resolution
Diversity of thoughts is what makes the world beautiful if interpreted calmly. Due to such differences, conflicts are bound to arise. The way you resolve these conflicts determines your character.
- Disagree respectfully.
- Arrive at a common consensus.
Sometimes, you have to understand that many factors govern the adoption of an idea. There can be multiple factors such as resources and connectivity where you have to take a step back.
Try to reach a common consensus but you cannot get a hundred percent results all the time.
The first step towards solving a problem is to identify it. Analyze the problem and find evidence to support your claim. Have reliable information regarding where exactly the problem stems from.
Secondly, create an action plan to eliminate the factors leading to the problem.
Your implementation of the action plan and the results you yield speak for themselves. Simple analysis without the required outcomes creates a negative impact, as it gives a view of not being solution-oriented.
iv. Time Management and Prioritization
Learning to deal with pressure is a necessity to be successful in the field of finance and management. To enhance your productivity while being surrounded by exhausting amounts of work, we have to realise how to prioritize.
Prioritization does not mean you can miss deadlines and be lethargic about work that is not on the top of the list. You have to learn to manage your time to give everything the emphasis they need.
- Set personal, small goals before the actual deadline.
Suppose you need to pitch your start-up idea to a group of investors in a fortnight. Set small, practical goals such as finalizing the draft in two days, creating the presentation in five, and so on.
You might have heard this innumerable times before and yet; I’d say it again: delegate. Don’t take on your plate more than you can handle. Also, it’s okay to say no but do not compromise on the quality of work you deliver.
- Do not multitask.
Multitasking might sound like a tactic that would save you time but contrary to this assumption, it actually disallows you to concentrate on your task. In trying to reduce your load, many studies show that you are actually putting both your mental health as well as your productivity at stake.
- Lead by example.
A true leader does not merely pass orders to their subordinates. Nor do they consider the ones working under them as inferior. They work collectively as a team and prove the impact of what they are suggesting.
- Be decisive.
Switching between what you decide frequently reduces the confidence of your team on you. Analyse the evidence that you have and try to make the best decision within your capacity.
Remember that effective decision making is a by-product of experience. You cannot be correct all the time. Strive to do the best job you can but don’t be too harsh on yourself.
- Be empathetic.
A good leader is sensitive towards the needs and issues surrounding their team members. Please remember that your teammates are humans who can be struggling to get through their lives. You have to ensure a balance so that you are not taken for granted, but your team members can get to trust you.
The growth and development of people is the highest calling of a leader: John Maxwell.
Henry Harvin’s Junior MBA Course
To sum up, adaptability, case-method compatibility, self-awareness, soft-skills, and leadership are essential skills for Junior MBA. However, none of this comes overnight, It requires constant efforts from your side and efficient mentorship to guide you ahead.
This is exactly what Henry Harvin’s Junior MBA Course does. This course gives e-learning access, profile building support, certification, gamification, and a chance to demonstrate your skills in front of influential people. You can download a complete brochure and register here.
If you are doubtful if Junior MBA is for you, active readers can also check out this book. (MBA at 16.)
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