Negotiating Success at the SOM & Beyond

September 29, 2015


SOM course is helping graduate students learn how to negotiate.

When asked, “why did you decide to go back to school for your MBA?” many students reply “to advance my career.”  While the degree itself opens some doors, it is the development of core skills that allows students to shine in the workplace. One core skill that is a staple in the Simmons School of Management education is the ability to negotiate.

In Negotiations and Problem Solving, MBA, Health Care MBA and MSM students learn how to prepare for difficult negotiations within their personal and professional lives. Many students enter the class hoping to learn how to best advance their careers. As an MSM student explains, “I negotiated into getting a promotion and a salary increase. I'm very excited and I couldn't have done it without the practices and tools I learned in [Negotiations]… I'll be using those tools for the rest of my career.”  

Along with negotiating salary, students develop the skills necessary to have difficult conversations to create mutual gains. In an environment where diversity of experience and perspective is highly valued, there is an increasing need to be able to discuss the challenges that accompany the benefits of diversity. As an example, health care students recognize the challenges of trying to get consensus between clinicians, workers, and insurance companies.  

The open, collaborative environment of the negotiations class enables students to work through their struggles and successes while learning from each other. A student describes the class experience as, “diverse and rich, with students of all races, nationalities, ages, genders, etc. contributing to a supportive classroom environment.” 

The benefits derived from the course extend beyond the classroom, as well. A Health Care MBA student explains, “I am now able to picture more creative opportunities for mutual gain in many of my day to day situations, not only at work but also in my personal life.”  Students leave the class, and the SOM, feeling empowered with a variety of tools at their disposal for future negotiation success.

This article was written by Audrey Markarian '16SM