When MIT Sloan decided in 2010 to launch an Executive MBA program, it was a game changer for the northeast market. The school’s prestige and brand is among the best in the world so the demand for the new program was immediate: 306 people applied for the first 62 seats in the inaugural class that would launch in October of 2010.
The result: a 25% acceptance rate that rivaled the best full-time MBA programs and was significantly better than the selectivity at number one ranked Wharton whose acceptance rate of 44% had made it the most selective EMBA program in the world before MIT came along. The first few classes into the program have been nothing less than exceptional: one in four in the Class of 2013 already hold a C-level title, while 40% already have earned an advanced degree. Students had on average an unusually high 17 years of work experience, and 54% live and work outside the greater Boston area.
What they have signed up for is a pretty expensive and rigorous 20-month program delivered through 26 Friday-Saturday sessions, four week long on-campus residencies as well as another week abroad to work with your team on a consulting project. Expect to spend between 12 and 20 hours every week on coursework and team projects. All together, the program will throw as much work at students as MIT does in its full-time, one-year Sloan program. The Saturday sessions go until 4 p.m. and students who travel from outside the Boston area are encouraged to arrive on Thursday night before the all-day Friday sessions.
“This is not a dumbed down program,” insists M. Jonathan Lehrich, program director, in the superb webinar that describes the program in detail. “You should expect an intense experience. There is a rumor, a nasty smear among EMBA programs, that E stands for easy. We don’t think like that. If anything, our E stands for experiment because we’re always innovating.”
This is a general management program, with segments in global leadership, data-driven analysis, finance and financial management, and innovation and entrepreneurship. Some students in the program are known to keep two notebooks open on their desk: one to take notes on the class and the other to write down ideas that can be applied at work on Monday. “You should be applying what you learn immediately,” adds Lehrich.
Students will be able to take between three and six electives over the course of the program, though several of these, including Law for the Senior Executive and Financial Statement Analysis, are packed in just two days. These quickie electives are delivered in January when MIT sets aside two dedicated weekends for elective coursework. In the spring of the second year, students can do a few electives, such as the highly popular Power & Negotiation course, over a longer period of time.
Unlike some other business schools, Sloan says that its EMBA candidates are given “full access” to the school’s career development office which has one staffer dedicated exclusively to the EMBA program.
Application Deadline: Feb. 16 and May 31