We Need More Specialized Generalist MBAs, Schlein Tells FT

Bruce Schlein, Vice President of Citi’s Corporate Sustainability Unit, took to the “Soapbox” in Tuesday’s Financial Times to explain why the ideal employee is one who combines specific expertise with the ability to understand broader environmental and social issues and trends.

He says MBA programs are challenged with finding the perfect curriculum that balances coursework for building specific business skills with classes that develop softer skills to meet client and societal objectives.

“Many business schools have made great strides on this front,” Schlein writes, “but with limited class time and increasing demands on graduates, a goal must be to bring general themes into each class in ways that augment and complement the core topic without diluting it.”

Schlein attributes the growing need for MBAs with a broad range of skills and sensitivities to the increase in companies facing pressure to address sustainability issues such as global warming.

“We look to MBA programmes to produce graduates that are able to embed sustainability into all aspects of their work: the products and services they develop, the strategic advice they offer clients, their day-to-day operations and the leadership roles they play in the communities within which they live and work,” Schlein writes.

To read more about the vital role of the specialized generalist, read the original FT article here.

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