5 Benefits of an EMBA to Your Employer

5 Benefits of an EMBA to Your Employer main image

When the time comes for you to discuss the value of an executive MBA (EMBA) with your employer, the most pressing question you will hear is “Why should we support your participation in this program?” Due to the time and potential travel commitments an EMBA will ask of its participants, this is a legitimate question whether your employer is considering sponsoring your course of study financially, or not. 

Fortunately, an executive MBA not only advances you professionally, but also provides numerous benefits to your company. Here are five ways in which professionals taking an EMBA will benefit their employers:

Introducing fresh ideas to the workplace

It's important to find ways to present new ideas without inciting concern, dismay, or annoyance - a skill upper and middle managers alike strive for.

Fresh ideas can often be associated with change and upheaval, especially when introduced into a well established company culture, and so it's wise to introduce new elements in an appropriate manner. 

It will be rewarding for all involved if a new idea is planted into the company's consciousness by gently leading people to the new idea but not demanding it be accepted. Start by getting management to agree to a certain observation or situation, then introduce the new idea as the solution. If you make the new idea a logical outcome of an agreed upon issue or problem, this will certainly push forward your new idea in the eyes of the company.

If you're in a position of power within a company, it's important to ensure employees also develop ideas to promote growth. This can be done by encouraging brainstorming and allocating time for new ideas to emerge. A team involved in a brainstorming session will become more effective and work better in developing new ideas. To ensure new ideas are developed organically, you could place suggestion boxes around the company, appeal for new ideas to solve particular problems and always keep your door open for new ideas.

An EMBA allows you to bring newly acquired classroom concepts, knowledge and tools learned from peers and expert faculty to your workplace and apply them. 

Becoming a better leader

Most executive MBA programs provide business coaching and leadership training throughout the program, helping participants learn more about themselves and their managerial styles. Such development makes them more effective leaders on the job and in real time.

There are a number of leadership skills associated with an EMBA that will boost your career outcomes post-graduation, including: 

  • Communication - an essential skill for all, and especially for those in leadership positions, as you'll need to be able to communicate with clients, employees and superiors
  • Confidence - it's not uncommon for students entering onto an Executive MBA program to have a minimal business background, and so students will become more confident in their knowledge of the business world as you work through the program
  • Analytic thinking - It's important to think analytically as a leader, especially when it comes to dissecting and understanding different areas of business. During an EMBA program you'll receive an overview of all business areas, providing students with working knowledge to make educated decisions within your business.
  • Problem-solving skills - EMBA programs allow students to continue working full-time while studying, meaning you'll immediately be able to apply what you learn in the classroom to your current role. This could prove to be very helpful when problems arise, prompting you to use the problem-solving skills you've learned. The coursework on an EMBA program allows students to analyze workplace issues that may well occur during your career. Such as analyzing case studies, learning from peers' personal experiences, group projects, you'll graduate better prepared to handle a wide range of issues.

Applying team/consultancy projects to your company

Consultancy projects play a key part in EMBA programs. They offer students the opportunity to get familiar with an industry or function, proving to be a very interesting and worthwhile exercise for your skills and understanding of business.

The sorts of issues students provide consultation on include new market strategies, best practice analysis, benchmarking, diversification assessments and complete strategic reviews.

Students can apply an EMBA program’s team/consultancy projects to their own companies, solving major issues and challenges for their employers. As a ‘homegrown’ consultant with an intimate understanding of their employers’ internal culture and dynamics, EMBA students can add real value while saving employers costly external consulting fees.

Consultancy projects give an insight into the types of obstacles that could arise, including changes in client staffing, insufficient resources, or a lack of clear direction or follow through from the client's side.

Connecting your employer to a broader, deeper network of talent

EMBA students can expect to expand their business networks through global electives, experienced faculty as well as through an institution’s international student and alumni community, allowing them to make connections that can immediately help them in their current professional roles.

Alumni networks give graduates (and therefore the company they work for) a foundation to broaden your professional network all over the world. Being a member of an alumni network gives you the opportunity to beat the common challanges associated with networking faced by executives.

One of the top networking mistakes made by executives is not asking for help. Alumni networks are set up to ensure help is readily available so graduates don't feel as though asking for help is inconveniencing anyone.

Graduates will be invited to conferences, discussion panels, and guest speaker events where they will meet top executives and learn about the latest business insights. Alumni networks give members access to employees in top companies who are keen to give assistance and guidance to others.

Opening your company to the world

Globalization has revolutionized business as we know it today. If it is your goal to succeed in an executive position it's important to be able to cultivate a network that crosses borders. Professional networks limited to a singular city or country only has the capacity to take you so far.

If you're looking to create an international network, you must be able to work collaboratively with global partners, meaning you and the company must learn how to overcome any possible cultural barriers to succeed.

Through global electives, EMBA participants become experts in international business, allowing them to internationalize their profiles, build global connections and learn about global opportunities that are potentially attractive for their organizations.

Getting your employer on board is not always an easy task but it is a necessary step. Even though most executive MBA programs will not require formal support from your employer, it is important to get your employer’s approval particularly when it comes to time away from work. An executive MBA provides endless benefits for employers who very often do not realize that they are getting as much out of developing your management and leadership skills as you are. You are already a brilliant executive, so it’s time to use your power of persuasion to your and your company’s advantage!

This article was originally published in July 2016 and was updated in April 2019.

Written by Sophie Mathiaut

Sophie M Mathiaut has been working in higher education management for over nine years in both North America and Europe, and now heads QS’s executive MBA product division. Prior to this, Sophie worked for the Kellogg-WHU Executive MBA Program in Germany, and the New York Institute of Technology and World Education Services in New York City. Sophie specializes in higher education marketing & recruiting, research, and executive education.

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