How the VT MBA turns students into strategic leaders
October 27, 2022
There are many reasons for an experienced professional to pursue a Master of Business Administration degree, including earning a higher salary, growing their professional network, advancing in their current career, or making a major career change.
In one survey conducted by the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants (AIGAC), the number one reason for aspiring toward an MBA was to “acquire new information, skills and/or knowledge.”
The MBA programs available through Virginia Tech's Pamplin College of Business are designed to provide students with various business-related skills, including strategic thinking and leadership.
What is strategic thinking and its relationship to business management?
Strategic thinking is the rational process of analyzing and manipulating the variables at play in a situation to achieve a certain outcome. In the context of business management, strategic thinking involves finding solutions to organizational problems and opportunities for growth.
Why does thinking strategically matter?
For businesses, the competitive landscape can shift very quickly. Innovation happens at a rapid pace, and success often favors leaders who react quickly and decisively in the face of complex advancements and changing trends.
“Learning to think strategically in business--to recognize which issues are truly important and then develop projects that address those issues--requires an understanding of the business environment, an understanding of how to conduct analysis,” says Donald Hatfield, associate professor of Management. Hatfield notes that students must learn that though “following the herd is safe, it doesn't take into account your unique situation, and the willingness to go from thinking to action.”
Take the COVID-19 crisis, for example. During the pandemic, leaders adapted to a variety of management challenges, from technology and supply chain disruptions to shifting public health guidance and a suddenly remote workforce. Some businesses succumbed to the struggle, but many leaders saw challenges as opportunities for innovation and change.
How the VT MBA prepares managers for strategic thinking
Virginia Tech's MBA programs prepare today's professionals for the challenges of tomorrow. To help them gain a competitive advantage, the VT MBA trains leaders in problem-solving, planning, and management skills.
Problem-solving is an important part of the VT MBA curriculum. In addition to lectures and discussions on the topic, students are encouraged to apply their new problem-solving skills in their day-to-day work as leaders and managers. At Virginia Tech, MBA students enjoy career growth long before completing the program.
VT MBA courses are designed to help students practice business planning based on research and data, not assumptions and trends. Keen planning skills help managers foresee opportunities and roadblocks, ultimately leading their teams to greater success.
“To develop the Pamplin MBA's strategic thinking, we move beyond simple cliché thinking,” says Hatfield. “We are able to translate the current scholarly research into understandable frameworks to guide in problem identification and the development of action plans and give the MBAs plenty of opportunities to hone these skills.”
Pamplin College of Business MBA students learn and practice a variety of management skills, including:
● Financial management
● Team building
● Change management
● Program management
VT MBA programs equip students to understand all realms of management in order to lead and thrive in the modern workplace.
Become a more strategic thinker with an MBA from Virginia Tech
Although there are several reasons to pursue an MBA, expanding business skills is a top motivator for many students. Virginia Tech's MBA programs help ambitious business leaders build strategic thinking, problem-solving, planning and management skills. Learn more about how you can advance your career as you earn your MBA at Virginia Tech.