You’ve got your EMBA, now what? – Career advice from Top Business Schools |

You’ve got your EMBA, now what? – Career advice from Top Business Schools

By Dawn Bournand

Updated November 25, 2014 Updated November 25, 2014

Perhaps you are only just now considering an EMBA and have not even filled in your first application but it is never a bad idea to move forward keeping the end in sight. So, with that in mind, we went to top business schools around the world to find out what career advice they would offer to new EMBA graduates to help them take full advantage of their degree.

Here are the top 10 pieces of advice they shared with us…

1. List your priorities

Kathy Harvey, director of the Executive MBA Program, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

“Before you complete your course, create a network map of all the contacts you have made in the two years you studied and make sure you keep in touch with your peers. You should never underestimate the power of your EMBA network. Also, the workload often piles up towards the end of the course so take time to sit down and make lists of your professional and personal priorities in the six months after you graduate, to keep you focused on your goals in the months after the course finishes.”

2. Act humble

Michael Schmidt, director of marketing for the OneMBA and EMBA programs, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina

“Continue to act humble. Having an EMBA degree is an excellent differentiator; however, within organizations, individuals with MBAs may be viewed differently – for better or worse – than those who don’t have the degree. An EMBA will provide individuals with a tremendous skillset and students often want to demonstrate their abilities as quickly as possible. But, it’s important to listen, learn, and understand situations; then act using the outstanding EMBA skills developed from the program.”

3. Share your knowledge

Chantal Poty, Executive MBA program director, EMLYON

“Three essentials to keep in mind:

• Continue learning

• Maintain all the relationships you have developed with the members of your cohort so you continue to grow together and act as a strong network.

• Share what you have learned with your colleagues and different stakeholders in your company so as to contribute to the organization’s learning as a whole.”

4. Take charge of your career

Christo Nel, Program director of the Executive MBA Program, Nyenrode Business Universiteit

“Take proactive charge of thinking about and developing your career – the days of relying on so-called ‘career planning and progression’ that is managed by the organization are long gone. Instead, organizations that are serious about talent management create an environment that stimulates thinking and provides growth opportunities for talented people. In that sense an organization is a ‘supermarket of learning and career growth’ but the individual must do their own shopping!”

5. Make an impact

Marianne Vandenbosch, director of the EMBA Program, McGill-HEC Montreal

“In short, we’d say have an impact. Whether it’s at work, in private projects, or in the community, use your knowhow and your networks to have a positive impact. The design of our program certainly helps in this, providing lots of opportunities for the participants to take their learning back into their organizations. It’s a great way to ensure that the tuition doesn’t just benefit one person, but many within the company as well. And you don’t have to wait until you graduate to do so.”

6. Use your skills and knowledge

Dr Marian Iszatt-White, director of the Executive MBA, Lancaster University Management School

“Keep your skills and knowledge fresh by using them and building on them every day! An [E]MBA is not just a collection of tools, but an active mindset.”

7. Network, network, network

Ashley Arnold, director of recruitment for the EMBA and Flexible Executive MBA programs, Henley Business School

“Network! The [E]MBA will be a great achievement and it also opens up a wonderful opportunity to network within the world of [E]MBA alumni (and not just from your alma mater but other top business schools as well).”

8. Seize the opportunities

Marjo Jarvinen, marketing director for Global Business Development, HEC Paris

“Dare to apply everything you have learned during the program and seize all the opportunities that an EMBA opens up – increased responsibility, promotion, implementing innovation, changing career, networking, launching a business venture…”

9. Follow your dreams

Dan-Thi Nguyen, communications manager, HEC Lausanne

“Follow your dreams, stay true to yourself, and be brave enough to explore and take new opportunities to become who you always wanted to be.”

10. Integrate your employer

Nick Barniville, director of degree programs, ESMT (European School of Management and Technology)

“One sure way to manage success after an EMBA program is to integrate your employer in the program experience from the first day. Certainly this means including them in your decision and hopefully having their full support during the program, both financially and from the perspective of time management. It is also important to work with your company and school to find ways to integrate as many aspects as possible, including career advice and hiring, networking, EMBA projects and milestones, in your current day to day, or having your company CEOs and vice presidents active as speakers or even guests in the classroom.”

This article was originally published in November 2014 .

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Written by

Dawn Z Bournand is associate director of the Executive MBA department at QS and handles editorial content for the department which includes serving as editor-in-chief of the QS TopExecutive Guide. Along with two of her QS colleagues, she recently wrote the book, QS TopExecutive Passport - Your essential document for entry into the world of Executive MBAs.  One of her favorite parts of the job is serving as an MBA/EMBA expert on webinars and panels, at conferences and in the media.