What started as an experiment by Chicago Booth in 1943 to impart busy executives with management education has now evolved into a standard program for most global business schools. An Executive MBA is structured to accelerate the careers of mid-level managers or senior executives by providing them with a platform to refresh their skill sets, learn about the developing industrial landscape and polish leadership skills. If a professional wishes to climb up the career ladder without giving up their job, or their current professional endeavors, then EMBA is surely the way to go!
Professionals can expect to be offered higher salaries or more important job roles once they complete their EMBAs.
Also, for professionals with deep expertise in non-business fields, EMBA is an opportunity to sharpen business knowledge both in general and specific to their industry. Take, for example, the healthcare industry. Many medical professionals take up EMBAs with specialization in the healthcare industry, after which they can transition into managerial roles at hospitals, non-profits or medical research institutes. Yale School of Management’s MBA for Executives includes Healthcare as one of its three specializations.
Lack of a business degree thwarts the career progression for many professionals even if they have several years of experience under their belt. Without business oriented skills, it is difficult for them to move on to more strategic leadership roles, and with fast-pacing technological progress, it’s hard to keep up with the constantly evolving business models. In such a scenario, professionals often take up EMBAs to build expertise in business strategy and management.
Pursuing an EMBA comes with many benefits for career acceleration and skill development. Maximising on the vast number of opportunities available through an EMBA can seem overwhelming, which is why we have identified a few key tips for you to chart your EMBA journey:
For EMBA programs, business schools admit professionals with extensive work experience in a variety of fields, representing an eclectic mix of social and cultural backgrounds. Additionally, students come from diverse domains of Finance, Marketing or hold degrees in industries of hospitality, medicine, law, etc. That’s why there’s a scope of sculpting a steep learning curve through peer interaction and discussions. It’s a perfect opportunity to mingle with high achievers from varied academic backgrounds, professional experiences, and cultures. Since students are from managerial or senior-level positions, their network is already robust with industry contacts, which they can share with fellow program students and receive more contacts in return.
EMBA programs are often run in a cohort structure, where a group of students, are paired up and expected to take classes and projects together throughout the program. The intention is to foster a collaborative team spirit among cohort members. In a cohort, students learn through business simulations, business case studies or live projects, which provide ample opportunities to develop professionally.
Students can also attend the Executive MBA Conference which acts as a global voice for the EMBA industry, where a confluence of topics pertaining to an industry is discussed. The conference is sponsored by known organizations such as Amazon, Financial Times, study.net, GMAC, etc. with renowned universities such as Chicago Booth, MIT, NYU Stern, etc. also participating.
An EMBA program’s ultimate aim is to accelerate career growth and allow students to outshine the competition. And the best part is that students get to apply these new skills in the workplace simultaneously. Interaction with executive level professionals will broaden your horizons and make you a better leader!! You’ll learn how to integrate knowledge from various industries to develop a comprehensive business strategy for your future endeavors, learn how different companies tackle their business issues and be exposed to a myriad of opportunities along the way. Your depth and breadth of knowledge only intensify, allowing you to understand varied business scenarios and apply your learning to produce results!
Hult Business School, for instance, has actually embedded four intensive leadership training courses, each targeting leadership competencies pertaining to direction setting, performance management, people development and team leadership.
Let’s consider somebody who acquired most of their current skills on the job and holds no formal business degree. It’s very likely that the career progression for this individual will plateau at some point and he’ll potentially be passed over for a promotion due to lack of technical knowledge. For him to climb the career ladder and take on more strategic roles, an EMBA will establish the much-needed credibility he previously lacked.
Business schools are also increasingly developing Executive MBA to mirror changing market demands and close the skill deficit looming large. Take, for example, Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management and Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, who have joined forces to offer an English language executive MBA to provide Chinese firms with Western-educated management to conquer international markets.
Before you embark on your EMBA journey, you must be crystal clear about what kind of skill set you are most keen on developing. You could decide to improve your soft skills like leadership, communication, or learn hard skills like accounting and marketing. This decision will depend greatly on where executives are in their career journey. For some, honing their soft skills is paramount to their career acceleration, while hard skills are the pressing need for others. Solving real-life or hypothetical business scenarios helps students hone both.
Many of the skills are transferable to a variety of career avenues. For instance, Said Business School under Oxford University mentions leadership, research skills, development of autonomous learning, negotiation skills as some of the many transferable skills students have the opportunity to build. Most business schools offer a bespoke learning experience, where students have the liberty to choose from a wide variety of electives and customize the degree to their personal career goals.
It’s natural for people to feel their career has plateaued, or perhaps just to yearn for an alternate career avenue. But lacking formal experience in any other sector makes it difficult to pivot to something more appealing. With an EMBA, they can turn the tables by focusing on an industry of their liking through course curriculum, gaining experience through projects, and pitching themselves more effectively to prospective employers. Suppose a communications professional wishes to venture into finance, an EMBA specialization in finance will bolster his case by equipping him with the necessary knowledge and experience. Similarly, an EMBA will also be a fantastic time for him to tap into the existing alumni network or build industry contacts through networking to ease his transition into new career streams. Even interacting with fellow program students can be a golden opportunity to learn from their experiences in different fields.
For a professional, an EMBA could be like a rebirth-providing them with enhanced and renewed skill sets, along with experience derived from experiential business projects and lectures. It’s not uncommon for students to deliberate a career move to newer industries after completing their EMBA. For instance, you shouldn’t be surprised if a chemical engineer pivots to the venture capital industry after obtaining his EMBA or English major transitions to a core marketing profile.
It’s often perceived that entrepreneurship is a trait embedded in an individual’s DNA, and not something which can be taught. However, this is a fallacy, and there are many aspects of it which can be acquired through right blend of grit, creativity, and experiential learning. It’s common for professionals brimming with entrepreneurial ideas to consider an EMBA to sharpen their skill sets before launching their entrepreneurial ventures. The rigorous intellectual environment helps them in solving business problems in the companionship of other experienced professionals. New experiences and a larger network only strengthen the probability of success in their venture.
- International Exposure: EMBAs often include some type of International Project or Business Assignment where students have to apply what they have learned in stimulating business environments. The Global Business Assignment covered under London Business School’s EMBA allows students to apply their skills in the critical economic destination of Dubai, China, and Argentina among others. Whether to tackle problems at a specific organization, or handle multiple organizational challenges, is a decision student get to make. Such intense global exposure helps students grapple with diverse and global business issues while establishing their credibility for future employment prospects.
- Leadership: And since EMBAs attach great value to leadership building, it’s a perfect chance for future entrepreneurs to learn how to lead with perseverance and effectiveness. INSEAD’s modular Global Executive MBA programme (GEMBA) has a unique feature of Leadership Development Programme (LDP) which focuses on delivering a leadership training module authentic to you with the tools of group coaching, 360-degree assessments, and team activities.
For all these reasons, an Executive MBA is the best bet for mid-level or senior executives to rejuvenate their career progression and explore new avenues. That’s why it comes as no surprise that professionals have been opting for EMBAs in greater numbers, a fact that only reinforces the effectiveness of these programs in fast-tracking career trajectories. Not only do professionals move around in the circle of other experienced and learned individuals, the available networking opportunities and collaborative projects offer them a shot at personal development and skill augmentation. And since these professionals come with years of experience, they already know the value of different skills and attributes allowing them to better apply all they learn.