How to Get Your Employer to Support Your EMBA

For seasoned professionals in senior positions who cannot afford to leave their job to study full-time, an Executive MBA (EMBA), which allows you to work and study concurrently, might be the solution.

Though the rewards of an EMBA are large, any employer releasing an employee for the program will have two major concerns: If performance at work will be compromised and how the business will eventually benefit.

Inside ESSEC, the business school found that the conversations that tend to be most effective are those where EMBA hopefuls talk about what they believe and what values the EMBA will bring to them.

So whether it’s funding or time off from work that you need to pursue an EMBA, here are four things your conversation needs to have to secure your boss’ buy-in.


The fact is that an EMBA program is designed to allow candidates to be present at both work and school. For example, at the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA Asia-Pacific’s 15-month long program, classes are conducted for approximately a week per month, with two week-long overseas residencies - one in Mannheim Business School in Germany and another in a university in Asia.

Other universities have different arrangements, but they all converge on the same point: candidates have a level of flexibility to accommodate their work commitments. This, alongside the flexibility and autonomy afforded by work-from-home arrangements, should only further smoothen the balance.

Ultimately, creating the work-study balance lies with you. So with proper expectations set and planning in place, it should be business as usual.


More than ever before, there’s a need for the global workforce to review their skillsets and long-term career goals to adapt to the post-pandemic world — Professor Cedomir Nestorovic, Geopolitics Professor at ESSEC Business School and Academic Director of the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA Asia-Pacific program, says in an interview with TopMBA.

Work-from-home arrangements and shifting consumption behaviors mean that innovative problem-solving, strategic thinking, and digital skills are becoming increasingly important. Businesses need people with this know-how to drive transformation.

That’s where EMBAs like the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA Asia-Pacific program come in. With its focus on digital business, innovation, and change management, graduates from the program leave equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate their organizations through these challenging times.

ESSEC’s program also has the added advantage of focusing on the ASEAN region. On the whole, Asia has been leading the world in the COVID-19 recovery, with countries like Taiwan and Singapore performing exceptionally in virus containment.

In an article that details the global recovery from the pandemic, the Wall Street Journal predicts that Asian consumers, especially from China, will become a “substantial force in the world economy.”

In the words of Steve Cochrane, chief APAC economist at Moody’s Analytics in Singapore, “While the new waves of Covid have created a whole new risk in terms of where the global economy may go…there will continue to be enough global demand for goods that the Asian supply chains should be relatively engaged,”

Your employer would do well to have employees equipped with the digital skills and Asian-knowledge to ride the wave.


The benefits of an EMBA start accruing the minute one begins the program as the seniority of EMBA participants means that lecturers delve straight into strategic work relevant to the modern business landscape.

Discussions about digitalization inspired a candidate from the Philippines, who worked in a utilities company, to improve the processes at her organization. Another candidate from Germany tapped on the insights gained and networks forged in class and started up two new companies, all during her EMBA program. There’s no reason why you can’t do the same.


Ultimately, a significant part of the ROI for an EMBA is the experiential and peer-to-peer learning that each participant gets out of the program, Ivana Ljubic, Academic Director of the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA program, says.

With an average of 14 years of work experience, candidates bring a wealth of experience and wisdom. As they hail from different industries, they bring different skill sets, ideas, and experiences that make the classroom fertile ground for the cross-pollination of ideas.

As candidates are selected for the ways they can contribute to the program, participants can expect that “conversations are very valuable and very, very rich.”

They also open up networks. For example, “if you’re a businessman who needs to reach someone from a particular industry, the EMBA is a good platform for you to reach out into the specific industry you’re interested in expanding into.”

Getting employers on board is innately tricky, as each organization and candidate has their own unique needs. Yet the ROI is high, both for individuals and businesses, and perhaps even more necessary in these challenging times.


Applications for the October 2022 intake are ongoing. Find out more about the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA Asia-Pacific program

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

Please fill out the form on the right to receive by email the link to download the ESSEC & Mannheim Executive MBA Asia-Pacific brochure.


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