8. Getting An EMBA After PhD Isn’t Worth It
“My experiences of going back to school have opened many doors and opportunities for me. Although I have my PhD, I feel I am never ‘too educated’ to learn more valuable information that will benefit my family and my career. My children saw my dedication and determination to the program and I want to be their motivation to never give up…they must continue to put forth the effort towards accomplishing those goals others said they couldn’t achieve!” – Dr. Kimberly Pettaway Willis, North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)
9. It’s Just ‘Going Back To School’
“We say ‘going back to school,’ but you aren’t really going back. When most people were in school last, it was likely their primary (and often sole) job. Their identity was ‘student.’ With the executive MBA program though, student is just one of your identities. For me I was not only a student, but also a mother, wife, employee, colleague, and leader. Juggling so many ‘jobs’ is often stressful and exhausting. At the same time, because of the stress and exhaustion, the accomplishments and successes are that much sweeter. The sense of accomplishment in completing an executive MBA program while having so many other jobs, it’s truly an academic and life accomplishment unlike any other.” – Debra L.A. Schrader, Ohio State (Fisher)
“There’s a myth that it’ll be very hard to return to an ‘academic/student’ mindset because prospective EMBAs have not been a student for a long time. While I share and understand the sentiment, I would challenge this myth by reminding ourselves that, regardless of industries and functions, we’re always learning. To be sure, there’s an adjustment period with the class assignments (i.e. getting problem sets done, writing reflection papers, taking exams, etc). It’s important to know that the faculty members understand the demographics of EMBAs, your fellow classmates are there to help from a place of understanding and kindness, and the support and the pace of the program is such that the students go through the adjustment period quite quickly. In short, it’s not possible to fail. As long as one enters with an open mind and ready-to-learn attitude, no one should second-guess themselves of whether they will turn out to be successful students.” – Seo Yeon Yoon, U.C.-Berkeley (Haas)
10. You’ll Get The MBA Title, But What Else?
“Many people have different experiences in their MBA programs. I recall one local surgeon sharing his MBA experience with me as I embarked upon my journey. He did not attend the Wharton School. He shared that he was the same person at the end of the program as when he entered the program except now, he had MBA behind his name.
“My experience was the complete opposite. I am a different person at work, at home and in my social life. I can recognize unique opportunities at work and most importantly take advantage of those opportunities. I am far more effective at communicating as well as invoking others on the team to communicate. I am a more effective leader; I am fully aware of my risk aversion metric and manage it better when making financial and corporate decisions. My deep understanding of operations management has also allowed me to be more effective in my leadership role. Personally, I am a better person and a better father.” – Ledford Powell, The Wharton School (San Francisco)
11. I Don’t Have Time For An EMBA
“The biggest myth is that one cannot afford the time. I didn’t think I could afford the time, but school forced me to prioritize my home, work and school activities to a depth I had not contemplated before. As an executive MBA student, I was forced to consider my values as a whole and to create systems, habits, and practices in order to be successful in all areas in keeping with these values. It took time and included occasional letdowns. Then I had to keep adjusting as each semester passed. It feels never-ending, but is very doable, and ultimately, very satisfying to reach the end of the program.” – James Derry, Southern Methodist University (Cox)
12. The Network Is As Valuable As The Lessons
“Myth: Your MBA network will be as valuable as the classroom education.
“Reality: True! The myth often implies the network’s greatest value is to help you land a new job. That may be true but to me the bigger value is that your classmates and the alumni base also serve as your teachers. The world is changing so fast, nothing beats learning from peers deep in the trenches of the most current and complex challenges. From the moment you walk in the door, you have access to people leading through every imaginable industry and situation.” – Megan Wenrich, Northwestern University (Kellogg)
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