As an MD who thrives on contributing to academic medicine, Kathleen C. Kobashi, MD, thought studying for an executive MBA at University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business would be like riding a bike. Once you learn the mechanics of good study habits, you’ll never forget them.
That turned out to be the biggest myth of the EMBA experience for Kobashi, a physician at Houston Methodist Hospital and a Class of 2022 Best & Brightest EMBA Candidate.
“I quickly realized that the study habits required to learn brand new concepts and disciplines took a tremendous amount of effort to rekindle,” she says. “The intense pressures and anxiety that I experienced during the timed online exams were only balanced by the indescribable relief to have that same exam behind me. It gave me renewed respect and admiration for students of all levels.”
THE BIGGEST EMBA MYTHS FROM TOP EMBA GRADUATES
For Katie Cardon, an EMBA from Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Business, the biggest myth was that the experience would be hard, grueling, and requiring a huge amount of sacrifice across the board.
“It’s not a myth because those things aren’t true. It’s a myth because it’s incomplete,” Cardon says.
“What that myth fails to convey is that it’s an investment in yourself that is so fulfilling and empowering that the sacrifice is easy. As a full-time working mom of two little boys, I can’t remember the last time I invested some much time and effort into just myself. At work, I am consistently the one making the plans, doing the work, under evaluation for my efforts. Being at school was this almost self-indulgent time to explore new ideas and meet like-minded people. I absolutely loved spending that time every other weekend.”
Each year, P&Q honors 100 EMBA candidates among the Best & Brightest of their class. As part of the nomination, these students answer the following question: What is the biggest myth about pursuing an executive MBA?
We poured over those answers to find the 12 biggest myths of all, according to the Class of 2022. Read them below.
1. EMBAs Are Only For Corporate Execs
“Going into an Executive MBA, I expected to only meet people pursuing corporate careers. Instead, at CJBS, I’ve met serial entrepreneurs, accomplished scientists, world-class sportsmen, talented musicians, brilliant doctors, and courageous military professionals. And even amongst those who did come into the Executive MBA in pursuit of a career growth, some decided to venture on their own and started their own businesses during the program.” – Max Silin, University of Cambridge (Judge)
2. EMBAs Require Less Study
“I actually studied much harder than when I was in university, because people around you who are even more senior in their business world are so committed and study hard. Then we all get quite competitive and inspired, challenging each other to do better. The amazing thing is our lovely classmates can party even harder, or kick ass on a football match.” – Brandy Yu, CEIBS
“My biggest misconception about going back to school was that business school would be easier than medical school. It was more like apples and oranges. I was certainly pushed out of my comfort zone. The quantitative courses such as accounting, data, and finance were quite challenging and comparable to some of the difficult medical school courses. Furthermore, I was not used to the immense amount of group work. The significance of collaboration has steadily permeated my approach to problem-solving.” Sira Duson, M.D., University of Maryland (Smith)
3. EMBAs Are Too Competitive
“In such a renowned program, I expected people to be very competitive, potentially only looking out for their own best interest. Instead, everyone was encouraging, supportive and valued the team over the self. We all leaned on each other and showed up for one another, in the classroom and out of it. I came in expecting I would establish a strong professional network, and instead came out with an extended family.” – Leslie DeMoss, University of Chicago (Booth)
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