5 things to know before embarking on your Executive MBA

2021 EMBA participant Derek Murray and Digital Advisory Lead - Asia at Mott MacDonald, together with Marc Nerva, Senior Manager, Business Development - ESSEC & Mannheim Executive MBA, Asia-Pacific weigh on the things that count the most when considering if you should do an Executive EMBA.

What do you think are the most important factors to consider when deciding if you should embark on an Executive MBA? Given the program’s hefty price tag, it’s no surprise that many are concerned about the cost.

But according to Marc Nerva, Senior Manager, Business Development - ESSEC & Mannheim Executive MBA, Asia-Pacific, price—while still a significant consideration— isn’t actually one of the most important factors.

Here are 5 things you should think about instead.

#1 Understand Your Strengths, Weaknesses, and Goals

In Nerva’s experience, there are two questions that one must answer throughout their EMBA application process: “What is your career background?” And “What are your ambitions?”

Being able to answer these questions is especially important as unlike a regular MBA or any other master’s program, the bulk of the learning in the EMBA classroom comes just as much from interactions from participants, as it does from the knowledge imparted by faculty.

To make the most of these discussions—and to catch the eye of the admissions or scholarships panels in the first place—you’ll need to be clear about what you bring to the table and what you want to take away.

#2 Be Aware of How the EMBA Can Help You

“An EMBA is not meant to make you a technical expert. Just because it has a data science component does not mean you’re going to be able to code in Python when you leave,” Nerva quips.

Instead, what an EMBA can do is “develop your business acumen so you are a more established business individual with a better understanding of how the business world works.”

So make sure this aligns with your career goals, and go in with the right expectations.

#3 Know That Part-time Does Not Mean “Easy”

A common belief participants have is that because of the EMBA’s part-time nature, it is less credible or even easier than a full-time MBA.

This is false. Just as the qualification is the same, so the commitment level for both is equally high.

Even on a part-time basis, the time commitment is huge as you need to attend school and complete assignments alongside your daily work. This is why Nerva believes the biggest challenge participants end up facing is not cost, but managing one’s schedule. This leads us to the next point

#4 Remember That No Schedule is Perfect

“There is no EMBA program and no school in the entire world that has a schedule that will fit every single person or every single candidate out there,” Nerva declares. His recommendation? Apply early – feedback shows that participants who apply and register early, usually have a more positive and productive experience with arranging their schedules.

Also, remember that there is also not going to be anyone “perfect time” to commit to a program, Derek Murray, Digital Advisory Lead at global consultancy Mott Macdonald, shares.

Although some may see the uncertainties of the pandemic as a reason to postpone their EMBA, Murray chose to begin his in 2021 with this in mind: “This is an important time in history and gives us the brilliant opportunity to learn to navigate challenges of climate change impact and wealth inequality on our businesses.”

#5 Factor the Pros and Cons of Class Size into Your Decision

Murray adds that he was drawn to the Asia-Pacific track of the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA program because of its compact class size of just 20 to 25 participants.

Other EMBA classrooms with around 60 to 100 students might offer broader perspectives and more networking opportunities, but Murray valued being able to have more face-time with professors and the opportunity to get to know his peers on a deeper level.

“It’s important because as much as we think an EMBA is about the professors and lecturers, it's actually the stories and experiences you get from the cohort that really help,” he says.

Interested in the ESSEC & Mannheim Executive MBA Asia-Pacific program? 

Find out more HERE or email us at emba-asia@essec.edu.

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