Thursday, November 19, 2009

Attended an Executive MBA Open House

The other night, I spent some time chatting with students, alumni, and prospective students at the Villanova University Executive MBA (Master of Business Administration) Open House. Executive MBA programs are often referred to as EMBA programs. Don't get these confused with "part time MBAs" or "evening MBAs" even though the EMBA is technically obtained part-time through weekend classroom sessions and group projects.

This particular program is 21 months long and involves every other weekend. Are you willing to give up your weekends? Like many business schools, the GMAT is not required for admission if you have a terminal degree.

The curriculum is based on a "Systems Thinking" approach. The admission process involves 4 rounds and tuition for 2009-2010 is $90,000. If you're not getting any company sponsorship, then that's quite a large amount to be funding by yourself. Many EMBA programs are over $100k! The EMBA program at the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) costs $160,000. EMBA programs are traditionally substantially more expensive compared to standard MBA programs (even at the same school).

I really enjoyed attending the EMBA Open House. I met students and alumni who work in pharma, medical devices, diagnostics, and many non-health related industries. It's always interesting to hear their stories: Why did they get an MBA? What are they doing now? What was the most valuable aspect of their education? Why did they pick this particular school over other schools in the area? How are they leveraging their alumni network? What types of career growth opportunities did their MBA open up? What would they do differently if they had to go through it again?

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