EMBA Up Close: What you should know about the Executive MBA
By Michael Desiderio, Executive Director, EMBA Council
You Are Worth It!
I feel privileged to be an alumnus of an Executive MBA (EMBA) Program; I feel privileged
to have had the opportunity to be the one interviewing potential students entering an EMBA
Program; I feel privileged to now be running an organization that represents EMBA Programs!
Having truly had a 360-degree experience with the EMBA, seeing it as a buyer, seller, and as
a leader within the industry, I am not ashamed to admit I am an evangelist for the space that I
have come to know and love! And with good reason.
The Executive MBA Council is an association of business schools throughout the world that
offer accredited EMBA Programs. We currently have 200 plus member schools, which are
represented by 300 plus EMBA Programs in 37 countries. We provide a vehicle for the sharing of
best industry practices, and report industry trends and analysis.
Since our position in the space allows us to be an aggregator of industry knowledge, we serve
as the voice of the EMBA industry worldwide. With this we feel comes a responsibility to help
inform and educate the marketplace about the Executive MBA. We know that for prospective
students to make an informed decision about their path for graduate management education, they
require facts, insights, and knowledge that may not be easily accessible in one place. Our unique
position in this industry enables us to do just that…provide easy, comprehensive access so you
can make a wise choice about your future.
While I am “school agnostic,” all 300 plus programs that represent our members share some
common characteristics: quality, rigor, lasting value!
When I entered an EMBA Program back in August of 1999 as a manager for a large
technology firm, I was certain this was the right move for me. When I came out the other end in
May of 2001, I would never have predicted that my perspective of the business with which I was
involved, of business globally, of my life, would now be viewed with a completely different lens,
one with a sharper focus that provided a clearer vision.
I now viewed business problems, strategies, and opportunities with an acumen I just didn’t
have before, which raised my effectiveness, opened doors, and increased my value as a
professional one-hundred fold!
In life we are faced with many choices. Pursuing a Master’s of Business Administration
degree in an EMBA format is not for the faint of heart; it’s not for those who are looking to “just
get by.” Instead it’s for those who recognize preparing ourselves for today is important but it’s
not enough. Leaders must prepare to seize tomorrow’s opportunities by increasing our
professional value, and to do this in a substantive way we must take bold steps. While certainly
an EMBA is not the only step one can take, it’s one that clearly pays dividends, as you will come
to read in the pages that follow.