Recruiting Season is Upon Us: Top 5 Qualities HBM Seeks in MBA Candidates

During on-campus visits, we help students understand the value of our patient capital approach that supports our portfolio companies’ long-term business goals — as well as our overarching strategic priority to developing talent within HBM and its enterprise. As we talk with students and learn what makes them stand out, we’ve found there are specific qualities that create a good fit at HBM. We recently spoke with Stacy Schlenk who leads our MBA recruiting. Read on to discover the top five qualities we seek to identify the best candidates for HBM’s team.


Action-Oriented Candidates Who Show Up Prepared

When HBM interacts with candidates at recruiting events, we want to learn what they know about us. It is important to hear if the candidate took the time to review our website and learn about our investment philosophy and current portfolio companies. “I don’t expect someone to be an expert on HBM, but I want to find out if they did their homework and learned what makes HBM different from other employers or programs like us,” says Schlenk.

Leaders Who Motivate and Build Morale

While it’s important to take the initiative and research some information about HBM, that’s just the beginning of what we look for in students. One of the essential qualities for ideal candidates is leadership potential. We want to hear about how you have built a team, how you motivate others, and how your resolve tensions and disagreements. “One question I like to ask is If you are part of a team, what role do you take — and how do you create strong morale or spirit on the team,” says Schlenk.

Interpersonal Savvy, With Flexibility and Humility

Effective leadership requires strong interpersonal skills — something that’s also critical for ensuring a cultural fit at HBM. To that end, we look at how candidates interact with others when working toward a common goal. “At HBM, it is important to be approachable and to relate well to people inside and outside of the organization,” she says. We want to learn how candidates build constructive and effective relationships.

“How you get the work done is just as important as getting the work done,” says Schlenk.

Problem-Solvers Who Embrace Continuous Improvement

To get work done — and do it well — it’s critical to be adept at problem-solving. Although we understand there is no “right way” to tackle problems, we do want to hear about the approach candidates take. Students should be able to answer this question: What do you do when you don’t know what to do? “I want to hear about the good and the bad,” says Schlenk. “What did you learn from each situation, and how do you use that information when solving problems now?’

Long-Term Intellectual Curiosity

The best problem solvers are life-long learners who want to understand the “why” behind things — and who can make connections among complex concepts. As a result, HBM looks for leaders who are eager to take on challenges and learn new things, says Schlenk: “Demonstrating intellectual curiosity helps to resolve complexity and is one of the quickest ways to get buy-in on ideas across a diverse set of stakeholders.”