Posts Tagged ‘executive mba’

After about 2 years attending an Executive MBA program at London, I felt like I needed to end it on a high note. Having completed almost all my electives, I wanted to achieve a threefold final purpose: 1. working again with a faculty I did enjoy learning from, 2. bringing something practical from LBS to my company and 3. deepening into a subject useful for my career path.

Finishing my Executive MBA, one of my concerns has been to look back on these two years and show my company that the time spent away from the office was worthwhile. Moreover, at this stage, enjoying a very interesting job, I wanted to be sure about what would be my next job and be able to provide HR department an accurate image of my expectations.

After some realignments done on my project’s outline with David MYATT, I worked closely with my colleagues at the office in order to use Strategy and Managerial Economics academic frameworks in our professional context. It lead to a double production: a) a thorough assessment report on Energy Efficiency markets my company is targetting, and b) a practical approach to figure out how profitable it is to break into some submarkets.

At some point, I smoothly met my three objectives. And it turned out to even go beyond my expectations. Indeed, this work not only offered me the opportunity to base discussion on tangible content about my next job, but people who read it also invited me to share my thoughts more regularly. That’s why I decided to launch a professional blog on Smart Energy Efficiency, in order to help SMEs sell Energy Efficiency solutions (http://smartenergyefficiency.eu/).

I haven’t chosen yet what will be my next job. All I know is that Independent Project elective has been for me the highpoint of this Executive program. It has simultaneously made my Executive MBA’s payback more tangible for my company, and shown what I want to do next very explicitly.

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I won’t lie, it’s been tough. Running a growing PR business and maintaining two blogs (on B2B PR and social media) alongside an Executive MBA is a massive undertaking. Much bigger than I had anticipated in fact, and while the thought of it all being over in less than two weeks leaves most of my classmates heartbroken (if the comments on the Facebook group are to be believed) I can’t wait to close the door on the studying part of my MBA experience.

Don’t get me wrong here – I’m not saying that it hasn’t been fabulous (it has exceeded my expectations in almost every way). I’m just looking forward to being able to focus on my business, my social life, and reading something that wasn’t published by Harvard Business Review. I also know that as a soon-to-be-alumna, my LBS experience has only just begun.

People keep asking me whether the EMBA was worth the money, which I find very difficult to answer. It’s certainly been transformational, both personally and professionally, but how do I quantify that in a way that business school applicants (who have just completed their GMAT and are obsessed with data) will understand? Unfortunately, I can’t reduce my LBS experience to numbers (at least not at this stage), but I’ll try to paint a picture of the value of the EMBA with words.

In a professional capacity, the EMBA has been brilliant. I’m more effective as a manager, more confident and commercially savvy as a consultant and more efficient as an entrepreneur. That’s not to say that every entrepreneur needs an MBA to succeed (I know loads who have done it without any degree at all), just that the MBA has helped me identify and put in place better, quicker and cheaper ways of doing things.

I now have an enormous international network of successful professionals in every industry that goes well beyond the 80 people in my stream. The alumni community is extraordinary, and I have already found that every time I meet an LBS graduate, there is an immediate connection and a willingness to help.

Personally, it’s been a rewarding journey too. The EMBA creates a perfect environment for forming lasting friendships and I know that I will remain in close contact with many of my classmates for life. Add to that the self esteem benefits associated with any type of learning, achievement or professional development and it is genuinely worthwhile.

Does this justify the £50k spend? Well, firstly, when you look at all the hours that go into getting an MBA, you quickly realise that the cost is a lot higher than the fees alone! Even so, my answer is yes, definitely. My business has more than doubled in size since I started, I have already won my first client through the alumni network, and I am generally more effective. When you consider that I haven’t even graduated yet, and I get to enjoy these benefits for the rest of my career, it’s hard to argue that the EMBA wasn’t money well spent.

Every EMBA’s experience is different, but, from talking to my classmates, there seems to be a common theme– it’s been without a doubt positive and valuable. So if you’re considering applying, I can’t tell you what to expect, but I can assure you that you will never look back!

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