Your EMBA Guide: What Is an Executive MBA and How to Choose the Right University
Discover what the executive MBA degree program is all about and what to look for when choosing the right EMBA for you.
Does your aspiration to earn an MBA seem like an impossibility because of career and family commitments? That’s understandable. After all, adding more responsibilities, such as attending classes and completing coursework, into an already hectic schedule may seem daunting.
But even busy, experienced professionals can benefit from additional education and training –opportunities that not only elevate daily performance but also accelerate career growth and earnings. As a professional who’s committed to boosting you career and growing your strategic vision and leadership skills, an executive MBA (EMBA) may be your answer.
What Is an EMBA?
The executive MBA is strategically designed for experienced professionals who wish to attend business school without trading off existing personal and professional commitments. Compared with other MBA formats, EMBA programs offer a unique classroom experience, teaching style and class profile while still providing the same high-quality business education from tenured university faculty and carefully selected industry practitioners.
The EMBA Program Schedule and Logistics
The executive MBA is strategically designed for experienced, working professionals who are interested in continuing to work full-time while attending business school. That’s why strong EMBA programs are specifically structured to offer the balance and sustainability needed to succeed in a rigorous educational environment. For example, classes may take place on select days or on weekends and will likely be compressed into shorter periods of time. This may sound intense but being able to structure your evenings or weekends in a predictable manner provides flexibility to manage professional and personal responsibilities without taking days off for schoolwork.
Your classes may also take place in satellite locations in business hubs and city centers, rather than on the university’s main campus. Close proximity to major business headquarters provides valuable advantages such as opportunities for experiential learning and networking, guest lectures by industry executives and other benefits.
The EMBA Class Profile
Since the EMBA is designed for seasoned professionals, the classmates you will meet in your program are one of the major advantages of an executive MBA program. According to the Executive MBA Council’s 2020 EMBAC Student Exit Survey, the average EMBA student is 38 years old and has at least 14 years of professional experience, including about nine years of managerial experience. On top of this, TopMBA.com adds that one in every four EMBA student is already at the C-suite level or has some senior leadership experience. Baylor’s own EMBA students share a similar trend – the average work experience is 12 years, though only five years are required for admission consideration.
At the Hankamer School of Business, successful EMBA students are energetic, positive, organized and driven. Many are striving to enhance their leadership skills, expand their capabilities and knowledge across industries and become strategic decision-makers in their organizations.
The EMBA Classroom Experience
Executive MBA students often value community and want to learn in a face-to-face environment. Representing a variety of backgrounds, functional areas and industries, each student helps make classroom discussions practical, relevant and diverse. EMBA students bring a wealth of real-world experience that enriches learning and challenges you to think and work in new ways. The ideas and lessons you take away can be applied as soon as the next day at work. Plus, in-person learning allows for the opportunity to build relationships with your peers, give each other professional advice and share work challenges.
If an EMBA sounds like the right MBA format for you, keep reading for tips on how to pick the best EMBA program for your personal and professional goals.
What to Look for When Choosing an EMBA Program?
Location, Location, Location
There is an undeniable benefit to hands-on, face-to-face learning, so most EMBA programs will require in-person interaction. Where this in-person learning takes place matters.
Look for schools with EMBA campuses located in areas central to businesses. These locations have two major advantages:
• They are convenient for most working EMBA candidates as they tend to be in established city centers and near major employers and transportation hubs
• They draw learners and faculty with diverse business backgrounds and experience
Baylor University’s EMBA program gives you a choice of two locations in key corporate and cultural centers: Dallas and Austin. Both cities are homes to thousands of companies and a variety of industries, with booming innovation and entrepreneurship activity. Therefore, Baylor EMBA cohorts include experienced corporate managers and entrepreneurs from a wide range of sectors. Plus, you have access to leaders of international corporations and global organizations as instructors and guest speakers.
Convenience for Busy Professionals
Executive MBA programs typically prioritize in-person interactions, so it's important to understand the logistical details of your chosen EMBA program. When do your classes take place? Do you have enough time to work them into your existing schedule?
At Baylor, we believe in giving you maximum flexibility for a healthy learn/life balance™, so both of our EMBA programs hold classes differently. Our Dallas EMBA Cohort meets once a month on a weekend, starting on a Friday afternoon and finishing on Saturday at 5 p.m. Classes are strategically scheduled to enable you to miss only one half-day of work a month. Meanwhile, our Austin EMBA cohort meets Monday evenings, after business hours. This format is convenient for frequent business travelers and professionals with busy family lives.
Experiential Learning: The New Apprenticeship
It’s tempting to think you’ve seen it all, especially after you’ve been in the workforce for years, but even the most seasoned experts benefit from expanded worldviews. Acquiring new perspectives to familiar challenges can spark innovation and help you disrupt the status-quo in your team and beyond. This is why experiential learning is a key component to look for in an EMBA program.
Choose a program that offers multiple experiential learning opportunities. At the Hankamer School of Business, we want to give our EMBA students a local, national and global perspective of doing business ethically and sustainably. That’s why we lead our EMBA cohorts through strategic experiential learning trips:
• Strategic leadership residency in Waco
• Active learning in Washington, DC
• An international trip to a global business center of choice, like Singapore, Dubai, Cape Town, Buenos Aires, Berlin, Athens and other destinations
Reputation, Accreditation, Connections
With over 300 executive MBA programs worldwide, according to the Executive MBA Council, it’s important to find one that’s provided by a trusted and accredited institution, with a proven track record of shaping strong and successful business leaders.
Baylor University is not only among the 5 percent of universities worldwide to have earned the prestigious AACSB accreditation, but it also is an institution with rich history and a 175+ year legacy of educational excellence and commitment to students’ long-term success. By earning an EMBA degree from the Hankamer School of Business, you will join a supportive, tight-knit community in a top-ranked program.
Further, Baylor’s EMBA alumni are driven, talented and experienced executives from diverse industries and global backgrounds. They remain in touch with the program and with each other long after graduation. Studying together means not only learning from each other in the short run but also building a strong and supportive network of close collaborators for the rest of your career.
At Baylor, our top priority is to develop successful leaders with integrity and desire to contribute to a better and more sustainable way of leading teams and growing business organizations. Our Learn/Life Balance™ promise is that you can become this kind of leader without compromising your success in and outside of the classroom. Interested in learning more about the Hankamer School of Business Executive Master of Business Administration degree? Complete the form below and our team of admissions advisers will contact you directly to answer any questions you may have.