KENNESAW, Ga. | Sep 1, 2022
By Allan Bishop
Director of Recruitment and Business Development, Coles College of Business Executive MBA Program
When considering whether to invest in an Executive MBA, most prospective students weigh the financial investment and time commitment against the return on investment. The numbers themselves certainly make a compelling case as to why an EMBA is a good investment. While payback period and percentage salary increase are easy to measure, an often overlooked (and harder to quantify) benefit of an EMBA is the networking component.
Mention the word “networking” and most people think of conferences and cocktail parties; not higher education. The problem is the traditional education they experienced in undergrad is far different from an EMBA experience. Since most EMBAs are designed for working professionals with a minimum of five years of relevant work experience, the cohort is much more than a group of students; it’s a rich network of individuals with varying backgrounds and experiences. From aspiring managers to CEOs, your fellow classmates could become your employees, your employers or your partners in a new venture.
As with anything else in life, you get out of an Executive MBA what you put into it. The networking needs to be intentional. If you don’t take the time to develop relationships with your class, you’re diminishing the value of your EMBA. If you’re a slacker on your team or doing just enough to get by, you are not going to earn the respect of your fellow students and will be missing out on a tremendous networking opportunity.
It’s also important to think beyond your class and begin networking with alumni during the program. Aside from adding to your network, Alumni can be an important support system to help you through your EMBA journey. They are also not a bad group to get to know: A good number of EMBA students are promoted while they are in the program and many others are promoted soon after graduating. It’s a good bet that many of them will be at high levels in their organization.
So, if you’re comparing the costs of an MBA and an EMBA, and the stats aren’t enough to impress you, consider the hidden value of networking. After all, they say it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. With an Executive MBA, you’ll have both…
Allan Bishop is the Director of Recruitment and Business Development for the Michael J. Coles College of Business Executive MBA Program.