The Case For Pursuing an Executive MBA
That’s a popular image of executive MBA students. By day, they run 20-person divisions and million dollar accounts. On nights and weekends, they are students, hoping to change careers, take the next step, or simply keep pace. Some even hop the red eye, flying across the country to join their peers for weekend classes.
Sure, executive MBA programs require heavy sacrifice. For many, it is a small investment considering the return. Learning alongside other leaders breathes new ideas and inspiration into their worn routines. They don’t have to re-locate for school, let alone conduct a job search. Some employers sponsor their schooling (or provide some tuition reimbursement). In an executive MBA program, students develop a diverse network of classmates (and alumni) who can provide always a great resource for real world advice. And let’s not forget: Every work day is an internship, where executive MBAs can demonstrate and apply what they learn to help accelerate their development
Like athletes, executive MBAs need a coach to open their eyes, challenge them, hold them accountable, and point them in their right direction. That’s what these programs do: They take professionals out of their day-to-day minutia and show them where business is going and how to capitalize on it.
These are just a few of the arguments made for executive MBA programs. Recently, Sophia Matveeva, a Forbes columnist who’s enrolled in the University of Chicago Booth’s EMBA program in London, shared her own experiences with this model. Here are some of her impressions on the benefits of an EMBA program:
- “You apply and test what you learn: What is the point of taking a negotiations class in a full time programme and trying to remember what you learnt when you’re negotiating a salary two years later?…Your clients, advisors and financiers are in your class already – you don’t have to wait for them to get jobs. Finally, your employer is likely to start valuing you more as you progress in your degree. I know a student in his final EMBA at Booth who got a bumper bonus because his employer already knows that many doors will swing open for him after graduation and they want to keep him.”
- “The people in your class are likely to be far more interesting and impressive than in the full time programme: Full time MBAs at the top schools are undoubtedly bright, but simply by the virtue of their age (the average at Harvard Business School being 27) many have not had the chance to flex their muscles yet. In my class I have a guy who runs his own hedge fund in Monaco and a lady running a top PR firm in Hong Kong. These are the people who can seriously help your career, not a 26-year-old Goldman Sachs analyst.”
- “Many professors prefer teaching the executive MBA course. This is because the students ask better questions and make more intelligent comments than their less experienced peers. Again, this is not questioning the ability of the full time MBAs. It is simply a reflection of their relative lack of experience. Seeing a world-class professor excited to teach a class makes the entire class excited too. Overall this makes the learning experience far more pleasant and effective, which is important if you’re paying the fees out of your own pocket!”
Do you agree with Matveeva? Let us know your thoughts.
To read the full article, click on the Forbes link below.