“The Right Attitude” as a Key Hiring Criterion For Graduate Students in Switzerland

BSL’s Dean, Dr. Katrin Muff, and Mary-Mayenfisch-Tobin, Stakeholder Relations at BSL, have published a new paper – “The Right Attitude as a Key Hiring Criterion For Graduate Students in Switzerland.” The paper follows an organizational research study conducted by BSL in 2013 and was published in “Psychosociological Issues in Human Resource Management”, Volume 2(2), 2014, pp. 43–55, ISSN 2332-399X (Addleton Academic Publishers).

The aim of the research project was to enhance the school’s practical learning approach in educating future leaders through understanding the needs of the real business. The study includes 27 interviews within 25 multinational corporations, international organizations, and government and non-government organizations located in Switzerland. CEOs (26%), Senior Executives (18%), Human Resource Directors (26%), and Management Executives(30%) were asked about their views on internships and experiential learning.

About the paper

Authors:

Katrin Muff, Business School Lausanne, Lausanne Switzerland
Mary Mayenfisch-Tobin, Business School Lausanne, Lausanne Switzerland

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Abstract

What do employers expect from recent business graduates or interns? And how do they think business schools should prepare students for their new positions? This practitioner-oriented article reviews these two questions which were addressed to a sample of executives in various job functions and across a wide range of industries. The answers are as surprising as they are enlightening: above all else, employers want new interns or entry-level employees to have “the right attitude”, outstanding communication skills and the ability to adapt and be flexible.

The authors frame the responses in a three-level personal attributes framework which has been developed based on current literature in professional learning and development. This connects the attributes to the five stages of professional mastery. They also discuss the impact of these findings for business schools and close with suggestions for further research to deepen this discussion.