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Obtaining a master’s of business administration (MBA) can involve years of difficult study, gaining relevant experience in the workplace, and passing several rigorous examinations. If these challenges sound enticing, you may be the right person to pursue an MBA. Learn how to get an MBA at our business school, the California School of Management and Leadership (CSML) at Alliant International University, led by top educators in San Diego.

MBA students are diligent, forward-thinking individuals who foster strong interpersonal relationships. Their sharpened pragmatic skills can set them apart from the pack and make them leaders in entrepreneurship, management, human resources, marketing, and more.1

To better understand their characteristics and skills, we’re highlighting the top 5 qualities that can help an MBA student succeed in their degree, and professional development.

#1 Tenacity

Alongside the credit hours they'll be putting in during their study, many students in robust MBA programs may also be required to complete curricular practical training (CPT) and pass certification exams.2 This is also available to international students to gain work experience and pursue their career goals.

Often, MBA classes take place during evenings and weekends, as practical training generally takes the form of a job or internship in a field related to your study.3 Thus, diligence, a hard work ethic, and balancing many responsibilities are vital to completing an MBA.

#2 Amiability

Intellect is essential to scoring high on assignments and exams, but strong interpersonal skills can foster relationships that stick with you throughout your life and career. An MBA isn’t only a time for rigorous study, but also an opportunity to shake hands, develop valuable partnerships, and hone your professional social skills. 

The Harvard Business Review found people with larger social networks perform better when their practical skills are tested. They have more broad intellectual trusts to confide in, potentially widening their breadth of knowledge.4 So, maintaining a personable attitude and getting to know your classmates and professors is a key concern as you work through your MBA life.

#3 Foresight

Aside from predicting market trends and making sound investments, graduate students should consider their next steps after they finish their MBA degree. CPT can familiarize you with the intricacies of an occupation, so students should seek a placement (or job) in a field of their interest.

Additionally, many MBA programs offer the option to specialize in concentrated fields of study, such as:5

  • Hospitality Management
  • Information and Technology Management
  • Marketing and Digital Trends
  • Management and Leadership

While MBAs can prepare graduates for various fields, having a general idea of how they want to use their degree can help students determine a path through their program. 

#4 Leadership Skills

Students frequently pursue MBAs with hopes of career advancement, often to senior positions with greater responsibility and authority. As such, hard and soft management techniques are key for students to learn during their MBA.6

Not every MBA graduate goes on to a managerial role, but they may be required for senior positions in fields such as:7

  • Corporate finance
  • Consumer marketing
  • Commercial banking

Thus, MBA students should have a strong sense of how to work in a team, delegate tasks, and identify others’ strengths and weaknesses. A solid MBA program can further hone its graduates’ leadership skills by offering classes in:8

  • Operations Management and Logistics
  • Organizational Behavior and Global Leadership
  • Technology for Managerial Decision Making
  • Strategic Marketing Management

#5 Experience in School, Life, or the Workplace

There’s a persisting myth that applicants need a Fortune 500 work history (or similar) to gain entry into an MBA program.9,10 The reality is there are a variety of experiences and diverse backgrounds that make students qualified candidates for MBA programs. From education to charity work to the corporate world, there’s no perfect path leading up to an MBA—only a desire and willingness to learn.

Furthermore, MBAs can be a tool to help graduates shift gears in life and pursue their career aspirations, so you don't necessarily need to work in your desired field already to pursue one. Many schools can require only prudence and:11

  • An undergraduate degree
  • A decent GPA
  • A few recommendations from individuals you know on a professional level—including professors, colleagues, and charity organizers

So, in the end, a desire to do well in your MBA may be of equal value to relevant practical experience when it comes to getting accepted. 

Pursue an MBA on Your Terms With Alliant International University

If this list reads like a reflection of your personality, you might just be the right type of person to pursue an MBA. And, if you want flexibility in your study and the opportunity to pursue your passions, Alliant International University may be your school. 

Is an MBA worth it? We believe so when you receive best-in-class education. The Alliant MBA program offers tracks that adapt to your unique situation. Classes in our executive-style program meet in-person as seldom as once per month, and your current employment can be approved as practical training hours toward obtaining your degree.

Alternatively, our evenings/weekdays track offers increased class hours and curricular practical training to help prepare students for a future in their desired field. Likewise, our range of available specializations—from hospitality to marketing—can give students the skills to help them pursue their career aspirations.

Contact our admissions department to learn how to get started at Alliant.


  1.  “Master of Business Administration.” Alliant International University. Accessed April 14, 2023.….
  2.  “Master of Business Administration.” Alliant International University. Accessed April 14, 2023.….
  3.  “Master’s in Business Administration Evening and Weekday Track Overview.” Alliant International University. Accessed April 14, 2023.….
  4.  “Why Business School Is a Great Time to Network.” Harvard Business Review, October 15, 2021.…;
  5.  “Master of Business Administration.” Alliant International University. Accessed April 14, 2023.…;
  6.  “MBA vs Emba: What's the Difference?” The Princeton Review. The Princeton Review. Accessed April 16, 2023. 
  7.  “10 Smart Mba Stats to Know before You Apply.” The Princeton Review. Accessed April 16, 2023.…;
  8.  “Master of Business Administration.” Alliant International University. Alliant International University. Accessed April 14, 2023.…;
  9.  “10 Smart Mba Stats to Know before You Apply.” The Princeton Review. Accessed April 16, 2023.…;
  10.  “Thinking about an Mba? Here's How to Plan for It.” Harvard Business Review, October 11, 2021.
  11.  “Graduate Admissions.” Alliant International University. Accessed April 16, 2023.

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