THE BENEFIT OF A BLOCK WEEK IN AN EMBA PROGRAM
“So we offered an EMBA Saturday program for that reason. If you don’t want the boss to know or you don’t feel you can be out of the office on Fridays, you can take the same curriculum on Saturdays. And then the plug and play features we’ve had in our mobile programs we do with London Business School led us to say, maybe we should take one of those innovations, the block week, and use it more in other things we do.
“I just taught a block week and I had people in there from the New York program, the London program, the Asian program and the full-time program,” explains Hubbard, an economist by training who teaches entrepreneurial finance. “I thought what an opportunity for these groups to expand their networks. The block week enables you to own students for a week. When I teach during the term, I’m aware when I see them wearing suits that something else is on their minds. But during the block week, I got them, from eight to six every day and they are prepping cases.
“We are trying to do that to create a new flavor of EMBA,” adds Hubbard. “EMBA Americas which is designed to draw people more from California, the American south and South America because more of the classes will be delivered in these blocks. The transaction costs would be really high for those groups to come to our New York program, but not so high to do this.”
WONDERS ABOUT HAVARD AND STANFORD DECISIONS NOT TO HAVE EMBA PROGRAMS
Columbia’s EMBA programs are a major source of ongoing revenue for the school.
“Going forward I just can’t imagine you wouldn’t want an EMBA program as a top business school,” believes Hubbard. “Some of my peers don’t agree with that. Two outstanding business schools are not in this business. I am quite happy with that but I do wonder.”
Without naming the schools, he is referring to both Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Management, which have stayed out of the EMBA market largely due to concerns that it would dilute the brand quality of their full-time MBAs.
COLUMBIA HAS BUILT SEPARATE CAREER MANAGEMENT RESOURCES FOR EMBA STUDENTS
Hubbard, however, also believes that serving the EMBA market isn’t especially easy.
“Working with EMBA students requires an order of magnitude greater hand holding than traditional students,” he says. “It’s really hard. It’s not for the feint of heart and you have to build a very different career services network. McKinsey hired 60 people last year from our regular MBA pool. But with EMBAs, it’s more coaching, more nichey. Recruiters aren’t used to people who are 35. They know how to hire MBAs and a CEO but not somebody in-between.”
Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.