How to Maximize the ROI of Your EMBA

How to Maximize the ROI of Your EMBA main image

There’s no arguing an executive MBA degree comes with a substantial price tag and with that cost comes the inevitable question: is it worth it?

The short answer is “yes, in most cases it is” but, like most things in life, it’s what you choose to do with it. Here are a few suggestions that will not only guarantee your EMBA ROI, but also build up your EMBA value well after graduation day.

Tap into your new network

Most successful businessmen and women will be the first to admit the people they’ve surrounded themselves with are one of the greatest factors for their advancement and subsequent success. Chances are you’ve already started creating a valuable support network of friends, co-workers and peers who will help you in your business pursuits. One of the most notable EMBA ROIs is the potential you’ll have to secure and grow that beneficial network.

Fellow students – The people who are going through the program with you are your most obvious new connections. You’ll sit next to these people, discuss topics and theories with them and carry out required projects together. In other words, you’ll have plenty of time to get to know one another and help each other. Make a point of getting acquainted with the people you’re studying with and see if there are ways you can assist fellow program participants. Being of service is one of the best ways to gain someone’s trust and confidence.

Faculty – Faculty members are often more than just great teachers. Usually, they’re also respected members of the business world. Take the time to get to know the people teaching you, read up on their contributions and background, and question them about their experiences and what they’ve learned along the way. What you’re learning in the EMBA program is valuable, and your professors will be just as valuable too. Make the most of every moment you have with these knowledgeable, new additions to your growing support network, they’re a fountain of knowledge not to be ignored.

Alumni – Business schools make a point of creating solid alumni associations so that current and past students alike can benefit from networking. Explore this interesting group of professionals and find if you share any mutual connections, as well as the new connections that could benefit both of you.

Build a brain-trust

One of the most obvious - but often overlooked - elements of being part of an EMBA program is that you’re in a classroom full of experienced individuals who come from many different sectors of business, as well as diverse specializations. This diversity makes for a powerful mix and allows you to see new perspectives and gain broader understanding.

Use this unequalled opportunity to analyze current projects at work. You might be able to propose one of your company projects as a group project for your EMBA class. This kind of high-level consulting would usually come with a hefty consulting firm price tag, but by making it part of your EMBA learning, you (and your company) get it as a complementary addition to your program.

Open up to new opportunities

As a busy executive, chances are you rarely have time to get out of your fast-paced, non-stop routine.  Time to stop and think about anything but the job at hand is considered a luxury. Therefore, taking time to reflect on what it is you really want or the next step you’d like to take rarely happens.

During your time in an EMBA program, you’re not only given the time to think and question, you’re encouraged to do it. You need to break out of your routine and look at all things from new angles to get the answers you seek. You’ll be asked to move away from what you know and expand your thinking. This EMBA benefit will be an asset during the program and will continue to provide you with a boost long after leaving the classroom.

Share your knowledge

What better way to confirm your EMBA learning than by teaching it to others? Suggest to your boss or company training officer that you could have monthly sessions to share the things you’ve learned with other company executives. This will not only confirm the EMBA ROI to your company but will also make you a valuable asset to your employer and demonstrate your business leadership skills. 

Seek out new horizons

You may go into your executive MBA program with the idea of moving up the corporate ladder within your current company and that could be exactly what happens. But many executives have found the learning and growth they experience in their studies prompts them to look further afield than they had before starting their EMBA.

You’ll likely become aware of how you can contribute to your current post, but you might also see that there are other areas that could interest you. Let the knowledge you acquire push you to test new boundaries and see what other opportunities are out there for you. Advancement can be lateral, perpendicular or vertical, and the EMBA offers you a more secure future. And the best way to guarantee that is to explore every opportunity that comes your way.

Written by Dawn Bournand

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.

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