If you have more than ten years of work experience, extensive career advancement and managerial experience, an Executive MBA may be a great choice. Full time MBA programs are typically seeking candidates who are early enough in their careers to benefit from the boost an MBA degree may provide, and are wary of candidates who may not fit squarely into the full-time MBA recruiting stream. If you are interested in remaining with your job, have their support to pursue an MBA and are ready to seek your education, an EMBA degree may be the perfect path for you. EMBA students are exceptionally happy with their decision to pursue education, and it typically seems to result in better salary and career opportunity.
Starting the research for your EMBA journey is similar to the path of any full time applicant. Thinking first about your career goals and how an EMBA is going to accelerate your growth is key. Next you will want to research programs (businessweek has a great set of school rankings and profiles). Finally, you will want to start strategizing about your application process.
Similar to full time programs, EMBA admissions committees are interested in the fit between you, the candidate, and the program. For more detail on the admissions committee viewpoint, see these posts from the Wharton and INSEAD adcomm. There is a combination of criteria that schools typically look at for business school applicants ”“ from GMAT and GPA to resume and recommendations. The essays are the area you have the most control over, and you should devote considerable time to pulling together solid written materials.
There are a few differences between the weight placed on the various factors between a full time program and an EMBA program. Your history of advancement at work and your perception as a high potential employee are far more important to your EMBA admission prospects than your GMAT score or GPA. Since MBA programs are meant to assist you in real world situations, your skills as a manager are far more directly applicable to an EMBA than your skills in math. While you will still have to demonstrate your ability to understand quantitative disciplines like finance and accounting to gain admission to very selective EMBA programs, there is much more latitude for EMBA applicants in the academic area.
EMBA programs are interested in knowing who you are, and what your potential is. The admissions committee will expect maturity and introspection in a senior level candidate, and will want to understand your own personal business case. What do you see accomplishing with the EMBA degree? As you approach your essays, be as specific as possible. Your strategic thinking abilities have resulted in career success ”“ apply those skills to explaining why an EMBA is the next step for you.
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