Executive MBA

December 14, 2011
Lucas Weingarten

GMAT BlogDo you remember the first time you said aloud, “I think I’m gonna go to business school and get an MBA.”   Hearing those words spill out of your mouth can be pretty jarring.  I know it was for me.  How long had it been since you made the decision before you actually told anyone?  Everybody has a story.

That statement, as you all now know, unleashed a torrent of work.  The research, the prep, the GMAT, the letters, the applications…  Why again did you decide to do this?  Fundamentally, all of has have reached a point in our lives and careers that it just “makes sense.”  However, that point is different for all of us.  Depending on what you’ve been up to since undergrad, you may well be looking at the traditional, professional MBA versus the Executive MBA.  Is the latter right for you?  Have you thought about it?  Do you know what it is?

An Executive MBA (EMBA) is both very similar and very different from the “regular” MBA most of us think of when we picture b-school.  The major similarity is that the degree you receive will be a Master’s in Business Administration regardless of whether there’s an ‘E’ at the beginning of your program’s handle.  Much of the coursework will also be the same and the faculty delivering that coursework will spend most of their time working with your three-letter compatriots.

It’s really the differences that influence an individual’s decision to go the executive route.  From one document released by UT Dallas, those differences are really housed in four core areas: audience, delivery method, focus, and price.

In short, an EMBA is specifically designed for mid-career executives and managers rather than those closer to the beginning of their professional lives.  While the duration of the program is on par (approx. two years), it comes every other weekend and rarely, if ever, holds a class during the work week.  Inevitably, the focus of the curriculum will be different for a room full of seasoned, successful business men and women than for a group of individuals still trying to make their mark and accelerate their careers (think leadership over general management knowledge).  And, finally, an EMBA is more expensive (but, many companies reimburse or otherwise cover those expenses).

Some good information resources are the EMBA program websites at the business schools you are thinking of attending and The Executive MBA Council website.  If you are interested in having a look at EMBA rankings, here’s a link to WSJ’s Top 25.

Lucas Weingarten Lucas Weingarten is a full-time instructor for Kaplan Test Prep and he loves preparing GRE students for Test Day. The classroom is Lucas’ arena. When he cannot be found in one of Kaplan’s cage matches of learning, he is very likely dancing around DePaul University’s College of Commerce/Kellstadt Graduate School of Business in Chicago professing various courses offered by the Department of Management, up to and including monikers such as: “Managing for Effective and Ethical Organizational Behavior,” “Entrepreneurship Strategy,” “Strategic Managements and Analysis,” “Human Resource Management,” “Recruitment and Selection,” and “Foundations of Business Thought and Theory.” (Although that last one was cancelled just before the quarter started and he’s still not gotten over it.) Lucas spent most of his formative years in North Carolina, but hit the long road as soon as he was able. A world traveler with a currently expired passport, he has lived on and wandered around three continents with the expressed intention of finishing the job. He holds a BFA with a concentration in sculpture as well as an MBA with dual concentrations in Entrepreneurship and Finance. When not challenging standardized tests to a duel or wondering how to corrupt the business students of America, Lucas can be found brewing delicious beers, riding-then-fixing-then-riding his motorcycle, hanging out with dogs, pretending he’s a good cook, and feeling like the luckiest guy in the world to have such a fantastic wife and endlessly amazing young son. He’s in Milwaukee now, but is in Chicago often. Email him anytime about anything at: lucas.weingarten@kaplan.com

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