Pursuing an executive MBA: It can be your best strategic investment decision

January 4, 2021 4:30 AM

EMBA courses are part time in nature, typically completed over 18-24 months and targeted at working professionals who are able to bring years of working experience into the classroom.

An EMBA degree can hone your leadership skills, including building leadership competencies such as strategic thinking, business acumen, and the ability and confidence to sell.An EMBA degree can hone your leadership skills, including building leadership competencies such as strategic thinking, business acumen, and the ability and confidence to sell.

By Gary Stockport

Studying for a part-time executive MBA (EMBA) has become increasingly popular. EMBA courses are part time in nature, typically completed over 18-24 months and targeted at working professionals who are able to bring years of working experience into the classroom. There are many benefits of pursuing an EMBA. These include:

Transitioning to become a generalist: EMBA is a generalist management master degree. Students learn new knowledge, skills and competencies, and apply these to better analyse business issues through putting on many different ‘hats’ such as accounting, finance, marketing, HR, strategy, etc. Consequently, this helps transition persons from being a specialist such as an engineer to becoming a generalist.

Leadership skills: An EMBA degree can hone your leadership skills, including building leadership competencies such as strategic thinking, business acumen, and the ability and confidence to sell.

Study whilst working: EMBA courses are typically taught on weekends and/or evenings, and out-of-the-fray of a hectic work weekday schedule. Consequently, this enables participants to focus on their studies within an ‘uninterrupted’ and quiet learning environment. Online EMBA courses offer increased flexibility as students can access from anywhere; work, home or whilst travelling.

Applying what you learn immediately: Doing an EMBA enables students to apply what they learn in a class immediately back at work. Assessments are applied in nature and some projects undertaken may specifically relate to a student’s organisation.

Learning from state-of-the-art academics and practitioners: Typically, faculty brings 20-plus years of work experience into the classroom. Therefore, the real world of business is brought into the class and is looked at through the ‘lenses’ of models, frameworks and theory. This intense practicality is also supplemented with learning through case studies and other applied materials.

Soft skills: The best EMBA courses focus on the development of students’ soft skills (as well as hard skills). These include the ability to speak to an audience with clarity and confidence, as also fine-tuning listening skills as well as building empathy. The importance of building empathy has been emphasised by Satya Nadella of Microsoft in his book ‘Hit Refresh’ as a part of cultural change within Microsoft.

Career acceleration: EMBA students are typically ambitious. It is quite common for a student’s career to progress during their studies and there is certainly no need to wait until after studies are complete. This upward career trajectory usually continues many years after studies.

Turbocharging your CV/LinkedIn profile: An EMBA can help turbocharge a student’s CV/LinkedIn profile (as an integral part of a student’s personal branding strategy). Students are advised to update these every six months.

Building a professional network for life: Doing an EMBA is an ideal way of building a professional network of peers for life with student peers and alumni. The best EMBA courses offer many opportunities for students to network with current students and alumni, whether inside or outside of the classroom.

Strategic investment decision: It is often said that doing an EMBA is the best strategic investment decision that you will ever make and the RoI may be infinite. Why don’t you do one and find out for yourself!

The author is dean, EMBA, and professor, Strategy, SP Jain School of Global Management. He is based in the Dubai campus

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