Executive MBA: Getting a peer-led 360 perspective

E-MbaWhen working professionals step into Executive MBA (EMBA) classroom after gaining average work experience of five years, they can instantly connect the dots between practical knowledge they already have and theoretical knowledge they gain in the classrooms. Unlike 2-year regular MBA students who acquire theoretical knowledge first and put them to practice later, the EMBA students quickly relate to applications of the concepts taught in class. The 1-year programme often acts as a catalyst for working professionals to realize their career transitions.

Practical aspects in focus

Students with prior work experience can easily identify with the teachings offered and the concepts don’t seem vague as it appears to freshers at a 2-year MBA programme. Nishant Goyal, a student of Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai’s 1-year PGPM programme says, “The programme focuses on practical aspects rather than digging deep into theoretical concepts. As the average work experience of the class is 3 years, we can all relate class discussions to our own experiences in corporate life, helping us absorb new management concepts very well.”

Bringing clarity to career ahead

Working professionals are clear about the direction in which they want to drive their career path. This distinguishes them from 2-year MBAs who aim to bag a job in the placement process irrespective of the sector, domain or role. Digvijay Singh, IIM Calcutta PGPEX student, says, “I want to work for a company for some years and collect the seed-money to start my industry.” Sharing her career goals, Amrita Acharya, IIM Ahmedabad PGPX student says, “I am passionate about information technology and its impact across business domains. After completion of the programme, I would like to be in a position to conceptualize and lead the delivery of innovative technology products.”


Family life goes along

Many B-schools that offer Executive MBA programmes provide family accommodation on the campus. The maturity and focus of the students of the Executive MBA makes them balance both ends so as not to compromise on either personal life or professional aspirations.  For Sagar, a PGPEX student of IIM Calcutta, the company of his wife and daughter on the campus is the biggest stress buster. “After a hectic day, spending time with my wife and daughter makes my evenings perfect.” But sometimes the demand of the programme takes over personal life. “At times, it gets difficult to convince my two-year-old daughter why I couldn’t play with her,” adds Sagar. 


Student life sans mistakes

We all cherish our student life. EMBA students get the chance to relive their student days; enjoying hostel life, late nights to complete assignments, preparing for classes and adding up the fun quotient by being part of various clubs and societies. But they avoid a reckless lifestyle and the mistakes often committed during youth. “The Executive programmes are much more rigorous in general in comparison to 2-year regular MBA programmes as we have less time to complete our course. Hence we utilize the time at hand to the fullest without wasting any opportunity to imbibe knowledge and experience,” says Pranjal Joshi, EMBA student at IMT Ghaziabad.

Pranjal JoshiPranjal Joshi,
EMBA Student,
IMT Ghaziabad

The Executive programmes are much more rigorous in general in comparison to 2-year regular MBA programmes as we have less time to complete our course. Hence we utilize the time at hand to the fullest without wasting any opportunity to imbibe knowledge and experience.

Industry interface

The students of 2-year regular MBA often lack the contextual understanding or connect with the curriculum even after attending lectures from industry players owing to lack of first-hand experience. On the other hand, the EMBA students hit a chord with the industry practitioners and leaders visiting the campus. Sneha Ranjan of IIM Calcutta PGPEX programme says, “After gaining considerable experience at work students in this programme are able to relate to the thoughts and content of industry speakers with ease.”

Sneha RanjanSneha Ranjan,
PGPEX Student,
IIM Calcutta

After gaining considerable experience at work, students of this programme are able to relate to the thoughts and content of industry speakers with ease. This also helps in quickly grasping a lot of concepts which probably is better spaced out in the PGP course.

Hone decision-making abilities

EMBA students would have already taken important decisions in their earlier capacities. The course enables them to hone their acquired skills on the basis of logical reasoning and critical assessment of the situation. “What we are learning through case studies is how top-management makes decisions in real-world situations,” says Saurabh Shekhar of IIM Ahmedabad’s 2016-17 PGPX batch. For freshers pursuing 2-year management programme, the focus is more on learning and gathering experience through internship.

Two-way communication

Unlike the regular classrooms where professors deliver lectures and students take down notes diligently, two-way communication is a norm at EMBA classrooms. Active discussions, debates, case study and quizzes are common in the classroom for working professionals taking management lessons. The prior experience of the students comes handy during case studies as they have undergone similar situations at work place. Avinash Dhanuka from ISB’s 1-year PGP shares, “The MBA at ISB focuses more on group learning and learning through case methods that allow the institution to save time as the insights people come up with are more diversified than can be taught in a class.”

Developing holistic perspective

Owing to the pedagogy, students get to learn and understand the concepts and imbibe the knowledge with situational learning. Rather than learning concepts without knowing the implications, which is more commonplace for the 2-year full-time MBA classroom, students of this programme blend their experience with learning, making it a holistic learning experience. Sanchay Maiti of ISB’s PGP 2017 batch says, “The pedagogy is research-based and case-driven and as such it is relevant and relatable. You can feel being in the shoes of the CXO’s and going through the same process which they went through when they took decisions which changed their company’s fortunes.”

Learning from the peers

The E-MBA classrooms buzz with students from varied professional backgrounds with an average experience of 5-10 years. As Ishan Channa of IIM Ahmedabad puts it, “The interactions with your peer group help you learn the skill of convincing people, putting across a point of view backed by logical reasoning and altering your own point of view which are critical attributes of a successful business manager.”   


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