Continuing Business Education As An MBA Alumni
Business schools are working overtime to get their MBA alumni back on campus again.
For example, Harvard Business School offers advanced management programs aimed at senior executives and MBA alumni. According to Financial Times, more than a quarter (26.1%) of respondents who studied in their advanced management programs and 21.5% of those on lower-level general management programs already had an MBA.
“As market volatility, socioeconomic trends, and disruptive innovation reshape the playing field, visionary companies are turning to business leaders who can think globally and compete strategically,” the Harvard Business School’s website reads. “The Advanced Management Program (AMP) empowers senior executives with the analytical skills and cross-functional perspective to drive performance across domains, industries, and borders.”
Business Schools Attempt to Keep Alumni Close
The idea behind such advanced management programs is to keep alumni close.
In December 2010, Wharton announced “tuition-free” courses every seven years for its MBA alumni, Financial Times reports. UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business announced a similar initiative of two free days of executive education for all its MBA alumni within five years of graduation.
“As this is our pilot year, we are actively monitoring alumni selection and experience, so that we can tweak the parameters to better address the alumni population,” Jane Simons, head of life-long learning, tells Financial Times.
At Pepperdine’s Graziadio Business School, the MBA Plus program is offered to MBA graduates with a 75% discount on tuition for the first four units and a 25% discount on additional units taken per academic year.
Gaining Knowledge and Expanding Networks
For many MBA alumni, continued education beyond an MBA can come at a cost. That’s especially true when they are expected to pay for executive programs out of their own pocket, rather than being funded through an employer. But the benefits from an executive education are worth it to some.
Sung-Joo Lee, an MBA graduate of University of New South Wales Business School in Australia, paid for Stanford’s six-week executive program out of her own pocket. For her, the boost of confidence from an American degree and the expanded network she gained were worth the price
“I always had this chip on my shoulder about not going to a top US university,” she tells Financial Times. “To be really frank, I didn’t learn anything [on the program], but I had two people approach me with [job] offers.”
Kanika Gupta Shori, an MBA graduate from Dehli’s AIMA, started her own cross-border brokerage. In hopes of gaining more knowledge to improve her company, Shori enrolled in a five-week Advanced Management Program at Wharton.
Shori says her Wharton education gave her time to reflect as well as an expanded network and overall perspective.
One of the most important lessons from the course was about human resources and “connecting much more with my employees”, she tells Financial Times. “One area I can work on is understanding what people are trying to say and reading between the lines.”