George Clooney Has Nothing On These EMBA Road Warriors

Despite the setbacks, Bouck went ahead, making the 3,097-mile roundtrip nearly  every other weekend. Typically, he’ll work half a day on Friday and head to the airport for a 2 p.m. flight to Miami. He waits in the Admirals Club until his next flight to New York’s La Guardia Airport. When he arrives between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m., a car service is waiting for the 12-mile ride to Palisades, N.Y., where Cornell holds its EMBA classes. By the time he checks into his room, it’s often midnight. Classes start early on Saturday morning and last until Sunday at 12:30 p.m. when the travel begins anew.

Chris Bouck endures a 3,097-mile roundtrip, 20 total hours of travel, to get to Cornell's EMBA program outside New York City from the Cayman Islands.

“I catch a 2:05 p.m. flight from Newark, N.J., to Miami,” he says. “After a layover, I arrive at Grand Cayman at about 8:30 p.m., try to get to bed by 10:30, and start my work week early the next morning. The experience has made him a “very efficient traveler, sort of like George Clooney in ‘Up in the Air,’” he says. “I travel in economy, but I get the best seats (reclining exit row window seats), go through the shortest lines, and I have everything ready ahead of time. I can move through an airport with lightning efficiency. That is a skill which will be with me for life.”

Those skills will be further tested when Bouck and his wife have their first child at the end of this month. “Having gone through this hectic schedule for about 20 months now, I feel a bit shell-shocked,” he admits. “Once it’s all over with, I’m sure I will look back and realize that all the travel, expense, and time away from home was a small price to pay for the experience, the friends that I have made, and my Ivy League degree.”

“Is it worth it?” he asks aloud. “Absolutely.”

Stephanie Carlton: Commuting from Washington, D.C., to Austin, Texas, for the University of Texas’ EMBA program

Chris Bouck: Commuting from the Cayman Islands to Cornell’s Johnson School EMBA program outside New York City

Harsh Gupta: Commuting from Dubai to Evanton, Ill, for Northwestern University’s Kellogg School EMBA program

Christopher Min: Commuting from Seoul, Korea, to Wharton’s West Coast campus for the school’s EMBA program.

Arun Sasikumar Nair: Commuting from Singapore to Toronto for the Rotman School’s EMBA program