Alumni Perspectives: Top EMBA Programs |

Alumni Perspectives: Top EMBA Programs

By Craig O

Updated April 26, 2018 Updated April 26, 2018

The QS Global EMBA Rankings 2018 feature over 100 of the world’s best EMBA programs, with the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania ranked best in the world this year.

You can see the full table here, and there are also regional breakdowns and a separate table for joint programs. However, to get a better insight of what it’s really like to study an EMBA at these top schools, we asked alumni to share their experiences.

INSEAD (Ranked 12th)

Australian Annabelle Helps graduated from INSEAD’s EMBA program in 2016. She’s the Head of Investment Execution at Westbourne Capital.

What were the most valuable skills you gained from your executive MBA program?

A better understanding of myself and how I operate and respond in certain situations. I also gained the perspective to look at things differently and the confidence to move from a narrow professional path.

If you could have changed one thing about your executive MBA experience what would it have been?

Travelling away to study allowed me to focus while on the course which was imperative, however I would have appreciated more time when not on the course (i.e. back at home or work) to do preparation and assignments. I could have tried to free myself of some of life's logistical matters over the year.

IE Business School (16th)

Swiss national Mehdi Cherif-Zahar graduated from IE Business School in 2017. He works at Microsoft, as a senior account executive.

How did you choose IE Business School?

I chose IE Business School because it offered the best combination of ranking, flexibility (blended on site and online format) and international presence, and also because the tuition fees were somehow moderate compared to other schools in the same league.

How did you finance your executive MBA and do you feel you have received a return on investment?

I financed my EMBA on my private funds. I believe I already had a good ROI as my EMBA helped me move to my current job in one of the most admired companies in the world.

If you could have changed one thing about your executive MBA experience what would it have been?

I wish we had spent a bit more time together with the other students at the very beginning of the program. The first face-to-face session was two weeks and another week would have been welcome.

Imperial College Business School (17th)

Saurabh Deb graduated from Imperial in 2013, and now works in the UK for Sky as their Head of Innovation Strategy.

How supportive was your employer when you chose to pursue an EMBA?

The organization was somewhat supportive. I paid for my tuition, but my employer assisted me by giving me the holidays and flexibility that I needed, particularly during the crunch period of the course.

What advice do you have for EMBA candidates in the application process?

Time management will be key throughout the process. Your ability to be disciplined and allocate time to your MBA process will be tested. Students can often get fixated on the MBA rankings of schools as they are the only objective attribute to compare schools but do take into account that those rankings vary a lot over time. In the long run, you have very little control on where the school rankings will be in say ten years’ time, so it’s important to pick a place that resonates with you and your future aspirations.

ESADE (23rd)

Graham Allport graduated from ESADE in 2017, and works as a general manager at Calsonic Kansei.

What was the best moment of your executive MBA experience?

I have many great memories but perhaps the one that really stands out is the study trip to the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad and Mumbai. The trip was super well-organized, it was a great group, the academic content was fantastic, and the company and house visits arranged were amazing learning experiences.

What were the most valuable skills you gained from the EMBA program?

An appreciation of how the many business disciplines link together. Up until my EMBA I had some experience with entrepreneurial ventures but had mostly developed in the operations field, so I’d had limited exposure to marketing and some corporate finance concepts.

The EMBA program allowed me to take a much broader view of organisations and business and, as a result, approach problem-solving with a much more holistic mindset.

Copenhagen Business School (28th)

Claudia Mathiasen graduated from Copenhagen Business School in 2008. She’s now a partner at a law firm in Denmark.

What were the most valuable skills you gained from the EMBA program?

The ability to analyze and understand how important it is to define a market.

If you could have changed one thing about your executive MBA experience what would it have been?

It would have been useful if there had been classes with more focus on the service industry, rather than production or sale of products.

This article was originally published in April 2018 .

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