Advantage: E-MBA

The EMBA remains an instrument of choice for both participants and employers, ensuring both accelerated personal and professional development, as well as enhanced corporate performance. Hina Gonfreville presents the basics of the EMBA program.

Up until 2008, the demand for the EMBA program has consistently risen, and a growing number of schools, including Cambridge University’s Judge Business School, Cass Business School, and the University of Virginia’s Darden School, have recently launched new programs. Other business schools are also developing partnership executive MBA programs.

The executive MBA is a full-fledged MBA program for experienced managers, who are either already in top positions in their organizations, or are aspiring future top managers. Most EMBA programs require that participants have a minimum of five to six years of managerial experience (EMBA classes often have age ranges of 30 to 50+
years). The rich diversity of cross-functional and cross-industry experience in the classroom, in addition to the expert professors, is a key benefit of EMBA programs. Participants gain insights from the varied experiences of their classmates and the invaluable networking opportunities.

Executive MBA programs are designed to fit the needs and schedules of working professionals. They are not part-time programs, but rather, intensive programs, compressed into reduced timeframes. Course delivery formats will vary and it is essential for candidates to anticipate how they will manage their absences and start putting into place their support systems, both at work and at home. Fordham University’s Francis Petit emphasizes the necessity of a sound support foundation, especially for women, saying, “I believe that women, who want to pursue the EMBA, must have support from their families in order to successfully complete their degree. If they do not receive this support, then their experience may not be optimal, and women may not fully ‘roll up their sleeves’ and take it all in. However, programs are always looking to recruit more women, so definitely, aim high!”

Why does the executive MBA program maintain its popularity? After all, the program requires a considerable investment of time and money from both employer and employee. For IESE Business School’s EMBA alumna Ana Paul Reis, General Manager at Selplus, a company specialized in sales management services, the impact of the program was felt immediately. She says, “I am amazed at how much I learnt in the first week alone. It has changed my view on business and the way I look at the world. I’m making some changes to my company as a result.”

Participants walk away from each class with immediately applicable skills and knowledge, as well as a holistic approach to understanding and solving business problems. Moreover, professionals and experts from other industry sectors also benefit from the general management skills gained from the EMBA experience, and add to the diversity of today’s EMBA classrooms, enriching the cohort experience. As Dr Patricia Geller, EMBA Development Manager for Abbott GMBH, explains, “Coming from the field of medicine and natural science, the program helped me gain the theoretical background to match my responsibilities as a manager in an international biotech company. The heterogeneous international class and professors broadened my view for cultural aspects in business and helped me develop personally.”

Moreover, alumni continue to benefit from the networks they forge years after graduation. As Kellogg-WHU alumni, Pierre-Yves Rahari, VP, Head of Shareholder Services, PIMCO Europe Ltd, puts it, “As an alumni, you continue to receive the benefits of the Kellogg alumni network for a lifetime. I feel that the network has really opened doors to me.”

As long as there are individuals seeking to invest in themselves, redesign their careers, confront their limits and push their boundaries, the EMBA is here to stay, crisis or no crisis.


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