From Mon Capitaine to a Global Asia EMBA

My EMBA Global Asia fees were $125,000, which covers accommodation for the first three terms. We also pay for our own airfare (in my case, commuting from Tunis via Paris, roughly €16,000) and hotel rooms (€5,000 for terms four and five). The grand total smashed a €145,000 ($210,000) hole in my personal account. That’s if you omit – as I always choose to do – the extra costs generated by my dissolute lifestyle, fuelling too many nights with antics and buffoonery. But of course I do blame the jetlag for giving me no other option on all these dire, lonely, sleepless nights. What was I supposed to do? (Did anyone say “study” at the back? I thought not…).

Candidates should consider cost saving opportunities by (a) finding a new job by end of the first year in one of the three cities, move there and take all electives at the local school; (b) make arrangements with relatives, friends or fellow students who have a spare room in those cities; or (c) join the Forces and stay at the Victory Services Club in London or the Soldiers Sailors Marines & Airmen Club in New York – great locations at a subsidized rate!

I’m not being sponsored yet. The Bank’s scholarship program has been under revision since I was admitted. I still hold the schools’ invoice, ready to negotiate my next promotion with the Bank. If this does not work out, let’s face it: the program has helped me to become visible and therefore employable on no less than three continents. I do not doubt for a second that I’ll be able to convert the try and yield ROI within two-to-three years.

Any married applicant to EMBA Global Asia should secure the support of your spouse! My marriage survived the EMBA Global test. Our first child was born in November 2009. A second one is scheduled for next August.

If I could give any more advice, it would be to make sure you have finalized a solid hand-over to your team at work before the start of your first block week. Pace yourself throughout the 20 months–it’s going to be long and exhausting. Don’t miss any opportunity to save or regain some puff: remember to keep physically fit (the damn thing is straining). Don’t forget your sleeping pills – you’ll need them to dampen repeated jetlag shocks. And, most importantly, keep smiling. Remember that happiness is not about being in Heaven. It’s about being able to choose your own personal Hell.

Where do I want to live next? Somewhere in Asia or North America–a place that is sufficiently civilized to appeal to my very Parisian wife. A place without riots, lootings, urban warfare or coup would be nice for a change


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