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Published :  Saurav Seth | May 12, 2016 | 09:45 AM IST

You must hone your language skills to do MBA 

Businesses are no longer restricted to their immediate locations but are spreading their wings across the globe. In such a scenario, language skills have become an important aspect in facilitating businesses. For courses such as MBA, which hone the skills of prospective entrepreneurs and executives, language has become a major thrust area.

Masters of Business Administration is no longer a course restricted to a particular city or country. It has truly become a global endeavour and trains future business executives to excel in the competitive environs of business globally and be ready to meet all challenges.

Since a business is dependent on a continuous conversation between the business concern and other parties such as the clients, vendors and staff, language skills assume immense significance.

Good language skills will certainly give an edge to a student seeking admission to a good business school for MBA or an executive with an MBA degree looking for employment. A person who is able to articulate himself/herself well and express his opinions fluently will catch the attention of the recruiter.

As language is a means of expressing the thoughts in your mind, a person with impeccable language skills will, more often than not, display clarity of thoughts and a greater awareness of his/her mind. Conversely, a person with weak language skills will find it difficult to leave an impression even if he/she possess good ideas.

The significance of soft skills has only increased in recent times. Along with domain expertise or area-specific knowledge, soft skills development is of equal significance if not more. There is a considerable focus on branding yourself. This includes your verbal abilities, proficiency in foreign languages, presentation skills, listening and writing skills as well.

In India, soft skills development is often underestimated and not given due importance. A survey conducted on the MBA graduates from 220 business schools across India found out that only 10% of those tested had the requisite skills which the recruiters look for while hiring. A third of these students lacked basic English grammar skills, which is prerequisite for working in the corporate environment, particularly in consulting, banking, marketing and sales, which require regular interaction with the clients.

Except a few premium business schools, many others do not rigorously test the applicant on their language skills. As a result, these candidates suffer when it comes to finding a job, as they lack language skills.

The world is interconnected. It helps if the executive is able to converse in multiple languages. In any case, it is important to know more than at least two or more foreign languages. This is evident in the argument made by the Council on Foreign Relations in the US.

It notes that the global economy is shifting away from the English speaking world to parts such as China, Latin America and South Asia, therefore, future US growth will depend on US goods and services to foreign consumers who do not necessarily speak English.

MBA does not only mean learning the tricks of the business world. Analytical skills, marketing skills, entrepreneurial skills, leadership skills are all important part of being a business executive and can be acquired during the MBA course, but these skills can only be exploited well if you have good language skills because, in the end, how you brand yourself makes the difference.

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