How to convince your employer to aid you in your EMBA studies?
If you want to enhance your leadership and management skills you might be thinking of pursuing Executive MBA (EMBA) studies. But how do you convince your employer of the benefits of an EMBA and gain their support?
“I’ve worked at Johnson & Johnson for 12 years and had no intention of leaving because I love my job. This programme was a way to get more external experience and exposure to different perspectives,” says Laura River, senior director at Johnson & Johnson. She chose an EMBA programme at Wharton to accelerate her career at J&J.
If you want to make your employer your biggest ally in the pursuit of your professional goals, you need to prepare your case. Show them what they and the company will gain from investing, fully or partially, in your personal and professional development.
The benefits of an EMBA for the individual concerned are often talked about but others will also reap the rewards of this investment. Here are the top ways in which your executive studies can benefit your employer.
Leadership and strategic perspective
One of the main objectives of an Executive MBA is to improve your leadership skills through business coaching and leadership training. You will learn more about your managerial style and develop key soft skills that will boost your performance even during your studies.
Some of the main skills associated with an EMBA include:
Strategic perspective – the EMBA will take your business knowledge to the strategic level. This will enhance your management and leadership approach.
Analytical thinking – understanding different areas of the business puzzle will provide you with the necessary knowledge to learn how to make educated decisions within your company.
Communication – especially in leadership positions, communication is an essential skill when working with clients, employees and superiors.
Problem-solving – an EMBA programme allows you to analyse workplace issues that you may face throughout your career. This is a particularly useful skill that you can implement immediately in your current role.
Fresh ideas and innovation
A great benefit for your employer is the fresh perspective, ideas and knowledge, acquired from your EMBA studies that you can bring to the table. While still part of the EMBA programme, you will be able to introduce new concepts gained in the classroom and approaches you learnt from peers, to your workplace.
Bringing an innovative spirit, but one adapted to the company culture is of high value. The teamwork, enhanced communication style and confidence gained in business school will enable you to present new ideas without provoking annoyance or concern – something that middle and upper managers strive for.
New business network – for you and your company
If you want to succeed in an executive position, you have to be able to cultivate a network that goes beyond borders. Studying in an EMBA programme can open doors to many influential, international contacts for you and your employer. And if nurtured properly, that network can drive more business to the company.
As an EMBA student you can expand your network through global electives and experienced faculty, as well as the alumni community, forming connections that will help you in your current position, and by extension be useful to your employer.
68% of EMBA programmes require an international trip to prepare students for global leadership, according to a 2016 article on EMBAC.org. That experience can be hugely beneficial to companies with global reach or that wish to branch out into foreign markets.
Research and consultancy
Consultancy projects are a big part of an EMBA programme and they help familiarise you with an industry and exercise your skills of understanding the business. As an EMBA participant you will gain experience in new market strategies, benchmarking, best practice analysis, diversification assessments and complete strategic reviews.
Applying research and knowledge from those consultancy projects to your company can help solve major challenges for your employer. With in-depth understanding of your company’s dynamics and culture, but a fresh perspective, coupled with the knowledge and consulting approach you can add real value to the organisational and business growth, way beyond just saving external consultant fees.
Undoubtedly an EMBA provides many benefits to your company, not just to your professional advancement. It is in your employer’s best interests to support you in this exciting endeavour.