What to consider when choosing an EMBA.
The Executive MBA (EMBA), being the high-end MBA degree experience, is an avenue to the community of top senior business leaders globally. The gains from an EMBA in terms of mindset building, leadership growth and self-discovery, coupled with the state-of-the-art toolbox for C-level management will enable you to fully unfold your potential. With your wealth of experience, a boost in confidence, and a powerful support network you can take your career in whatever desired direction – corporate, entrepreneurial, and/or socially impactful.
To feel that you truly belong in the EMBA type of programme, explore all aspects of immersion in the business school experience with your already advanced management career.
Reputable degree, executive experience
An MBA degree is the academic qualification that you will gain both in an MBA and an EMBA programme. The MBA has established itself as the gold standard of quality management education around the globe, as well as across industries and sectors.
In this context, the EMBA stands out for its focus on senior business leadership. Business schools only admit a select group of experienced managers to their EMBA classes. Sharing a year or two with peers with diverse backgrounds, but who are all in managerial and strategic roles, mature, and open to transformation, skyrockets the net worth of the studies compared to the MBA, where participants are much younger and consequently at an earlier stage of their managerial career. So, gaining the same highly recognised degree, but in a top executive environment, calls for a rightful consideration of EMBA studies.
Indeed, your peers in the classroom – all executives - are your immediate community. EMBA peer interaction will be the most intense and with the highest potential to grow into long-term relationships. This will also be your highly responsive support network long after you have gained the degree. If you are joining a cohort-type or a multi-campus programme, then you will be rubbing shoulders, although not daily, with even more executive students.
Your new executive community will also include the faculty members – many of whom will have real business rather than just academic experience, high-calibre guest speakers and industry thought leaders, and top-notch managers from international immersions at business hubs around the globe.
Finally, tapping into the community of those who have graduated over the years will exponentially grow your potential contacts into a network that is highly responsive to the keyword “alumni”. Spending time at the same school, even if not simultaneously, is a bonding experience which can be the best icebreaker to start a meaningful conversation.
Endorsement and sponsorship
Showing determination for the intense EMBA experience, in addition to keeping your professional responsibilities, positions you well for employer sponsorship. There are a number of highly tangible benefits for employers whose management talent commit to executive studies. Implementing the new knowledge, mindset and EMBA class collective intelligence in the workplace; leading by example in times of lifelong learning; improving the leadership style and management approach for better business results; changing the perspective and gaining C-level understanding of the business; retaining the talent in the company – all these define just part of the added value for employers.
EMBA programmes require a minimum sponsorship from the employers of EMBA participants – endorsing the time they will commit to the programme. However, the ground is laid for negotiating financial sponsorship due to the reasons listed above. As sponsorship always comes with strings attached, the EMBA participant can assess its value depending on their progression plans. If they see a bright future with their current employer, then a binding contact will be no burden. If they plan to change paths, they might wish to refrain from considerable sponsorship. However, the EMBA fees could play a part in the deal with a new employer, as executive talent that is highly committed to professional development and achievement is much sought after.
Full-time or full schedule
A concern that often evokes hesitation among EMBA prospects is how to fit intensive business school studies into an already busy executive schedule alongside a successful career and personal and social commitments. If this is one of your worries, rest assured that there is a huge diversity of feasible EMBA learning schedules that will make your studies not only mission possible, but truly a success.
“Executive” in EMBA means executive level, but also executive style education. Delivery is always part-time and participants can opt for weekend, modular or blended schedules, even when their studies are truly global and will take them to several continents. Time investment in required team-work, self-preparation, and time off work is announced in the programme descriptions, along with the fixed calendar of programme activities. So, all all you need do is choose the schedule that will work out best for you.
The golden age
Professionals in the golden age of their early to mid-thirties can gain access to either of the MBA worlds – MBA and EMBA. If you are at a stage when you could step back from your job and commit fully to a transformational MBA experience, then you should consider a full-time MBA. In this case, depending on your professional profile and experience, make sure you select the right programme in terms of student profile and admission requirements. Some MBA programmes, especially at business schools that provide both MBA and EMBA programmes, have an age range preference for each programme. Keeping this in mind, you should also know that if you have really strong arguments for your programme choice, most schools will not turn down you application just because of your age.
This works the other way round as well. Highly selective EMBA programmes can welcome younger executives if they have a sound profile, realistic expectations, and the potential for success. Ultimately, applicants need to convince the business schools of how they will benefit from and contribute to the programme and demonstrate the potential to succeed.
So, is the EMBA experience the place where you belong? If you are not convinced yet, keep exploring, as it takes confidence to commit, contribute, and succeed on the stage of premier business leadership.
This article is original content produced by Advent Group and included in the 2019-2020 annual Access MBA, EMBA, and Masters Guide under the title “Go Premier with Confidence”. The latest online version of the Guide is available here.