As part of his interviews with M.B.A. students, Darren Whissen, a financial-services recruiter in California, provides an executive summary of a fictitious company and asks them to write about 500 words recommending whether to invest in the business. At worst, he receives "sub-seventh-grade-level" responses with spelling and grammar errors. "More often than not," he says, "I find M.B.A. writing samples have a casual tone lacking the professionalism necessary to communicate with sophisticated investors. I have found that many seemingly qualified candidates are unable to write even the simplest of arguments. No matter how strong one's financial model is, if one cannot write a logical, compelling story, then investors are going to look elsewhere. And in my business, that means death...
I've also seen other recent articles in the business media complaining about the lack of articulateness of college graduates, including MBAs. It's been suggested that MBA programs need to pay more attention to teaching effective writing.
Seems to me that an MBA program is way too late to be worrying about teaching effective writing, which should be learned at the undergraduate level if not in high school. So should at least the basics of effective presentation. How about making sure that these attributes are present to a reasonable degree before someone is admitted to an MBA program?
Before being admitted? Really?
Good thing I'm not submitting this particular post to a journal for publication!