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For me, the decision to pursue an Executive MBA was not easy. I had been playing with the idea for quite some time, wanting to improve my skillset in general management. With a mainly technical background in engineering and quality management focusing on aerospace, automotive and lighting industries, it was important for me to gain additional skills especially in areas such as economics, finance and business strategies to improve my management.
However, the investment in an EMBA program requires significant time, energy and resources and therefore a good return on investment is crucial.
The rankings allowed me to filter through the top EMBA programs, leaving me with a short list of EMBA programs based in Europe with a global focus.
I believe rankings and brand matter as they promise great faculty, smart and experienced leaders as classmates in addition to enhancing credentials with a globally recognized EMBA degree.
My first priority and main drive to pursue an EMBA was to broaden my business knowledge and improve my general management skills through a proven concept within a highly ranked university.
As someone who lived in three different countries and feels home when surrounded by like-minded global people, one of the key criteria was to gain access to a global network of leading international professionals. As I am currently living in Germany I also wanted to make sure that I was taught by experts, who could provide me with firsthand knowledge of the local as well as global markets and industries.
After short listing the top global EMBA programs in Europe and Germany, I checked out each program more in detail starting with the # 1 EMBA program in Germany: the Kellogg-WHU EMBA Program.
EMBA programs are ranked according to various parameters, which are based on information from schools and alumni. For me, the most important categories indicating a healthy ROI were “aims achieved” and “career progress” (based on alumni information) as well as “international students” (based on school information).
Once I completed my research on the internet about potential EMBA programs, the Kellogg-WHU EMBA Program was on top of my list. The next step was for me to get a feeling of the business school culture. When you decide to go ahead with an EMBA, you are entering a global alumni network and the business school culture, which will be part of you forever.
Before I decided to go ahead with my application, I attended a Kellogg EMBA Global Network event, a leadership workshop and a lecture on Operations Management at the Kellogg-WHU campus in Vallendar, Germany. These events gave me the opportunity to meet and talk to current students, alumni, and faculty members and provided crucial information about the business school’s culture.
I expected an EMBA program to provide me with the skills and knowledge, which will enable me to see the bigger picture and understand the influence of economic, political and technological factors on business strategies. Pursuing an EMBA is the start of a continuous personal development journey. In addition to providing you with the business knowledge, which a well-rounded manager absolutely needs, an EMBA also develops your interpersonal and leadership skills allowing you to increase your self-awareness.
I would advise a prospective EMBA student to first of all define his/her criteria. Why does he / she want to do an EMBA? What benefits does he/she expect from an EMBA – is it to gain new skills for a desired career change or advancement? Is it the access to expert knowledge, an influential global alumni network? Where does he/she want to work post-graduation? In what field does he/she want to work? Is it general management, finance or any other focus?
Once these questions are answered the rankings are a good way to filter through the top EMBA programs and start checking in more detail which program is a good fit for the prospective candidate’s defined criteria.
Once a short list is completed, I would advise prospective candidates to get in touch directly with the pre-selected business schools and meet with the admissions’ team and if the opportunity occurs, meet with the alumni and faculty to get a feel for the student body and business school culture before making the final call.
Another decisive criterion when choosing an EMBA program is the schedule. Because executives in general are already busy and have demanding schedules, it can be a serious challenge to find the time to take part in a course and study/ prepare for it. It is crucial to take a closer look at how the different curricula are scheduled at various business schools and assess if those suit your work schedule before proceeding with the application.
"My first priority and main drive to pursue an EMBA was to broaden my business knowledge and improve my general management skills through a proven concept within a highly ranked university. As someone who lived in three different countries and feels home when surrounded by like-minded global people, one of the key criteria was to gain access to a global network of leading international professionals."
Head of Quality Department
Alanod GmbH & Co. KG
"I invested almost two years in identifying the best match for my defined needs. Rankings were my first anchor point, kind of the bird’s eye view before spending hours scanning university brochures, reading business articles and blogs, and talking to alumni. Without the rankings I would have been lost in an information overload, searching for insights in the most unstructured way."
Manager Commercial Planning
Philip Morris Norway