For many people, employer sponsorship is an important part of the application process to an Executive MBA program. That sponsorship can take the form of a willingness by your employer to give you time off work to attend classes or financial support, such as covering all or some of the costs of tuition or travel.
Obtaining employer sponsorship is something you will likely need to think about early in the application process. In fact, many EMBA programs require you to obtain a guarantee from your employer that they will give you time off to attend classes.
Whatever form of sponsorship you are seeking from your employer, you’ll need to pitch the value of your EMBA program to them. Here are a few tips for doing just that.
Ask for help with your Executive MBA admissions process by explaining an EMBA’s benefits
The benefits of an EMBA to students are impressive. According to the 2019 EMBAC Student Exit Survey, for example, EMBA graduates receive an average 13.5 percent increase in compensation after completing their program. However, when pitching an EMBA program to your employer, it’s important to emphasize how you attending an EMBA will benefit them. Whether your employer provides you with time off or financial sponsorship, they will want to see how their support will lead to a return on investment. The good news is that employers are highly positive about the value business school graduates bring to their companies. Our own research, for example, shows that 86 percent of employers say that the value of business school education is high or above average.
To prove the value of your EMBA to your employer, propose tangible benefits that they will see from your program. For example, you can propose holding workshops at your company to help incorporate what you’ve learned in your EMBA into your workplace. Also, point out to your employer that EMBA students are more experienced and further along in their careers. As a result, your EMBA is an opportunity to network with established professionals, and those contacts could lead to new opportunities for your employer. Similarly, discuss any international components of your EMBA program. Many EMBA programs also include an international component that typically involves spending time overseas. If your employer is interested in expanding into new markets, this international aspect of the program could be especially attractive.
Show how the EMBA and preparing for it will not disrupt your work
Your employer will likely want reassurances that you pursuing an EMBA will not significantly disrupt your performance. Fortunately, EMBA programs are structured so that students can continue their career progression while studying. In some programs, for example, classes may be held a couple of days a week on alternating weeks, during the evenings, or on weekends. While some time off will be necessary, it is typically not a significant amount and it is important for your employer to understand that. And if your EMBA program requires you complete an executive management assessment to apply, you’ll be glad to know that the Executive Assessment is geared towards working professionals and requires only modest preparation.
Interested in learning more about how you can study and work at the same time? Check out Too Busy for School? Find Out if an Executive Business Program Could Help.
Giving your employer a long-term commitment can help encourage their support
One of the main reasons some employers are hesitant to provide sponsorship is because of concerns that the employee may leave the company shortly after completing their EMBA. You may want to emphasize your willingness to stay with your company long-term so they fully realize the benefits of supporting your EMBA.
For example, some companies ask employees to sign a contract guaranteeing that they will stay with the company for a certain amount of time after graduation. You may also propose that any loans your employer provides will only be forgiven if you stay with the company for 2 to 3 years after your EMBA. Offering these sorts of guarantees to your employer can help ensure that your Executive MBA admissions process goes smoothly.
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