Once you decide that you need to go through an EMBA program, you have to prepare yourself for the experience. The biggest mistake many executive students make is to assume that the program won’t be that difficult, since the hours tend to be part time. What they fail to realize is that juggling any MBA program with a full time career and possibly a family life and personal life can be stressful and exhausting. The following tips are designed to get you off on the right foot so you know how to survive the next year or two of study.
1. Choose your program according to hours and program structure, not just reputation.
When you went through degree programs in the past, you probably considered the reputation of the school before you thought about anything else. While that still remains important when getting your EMBA, you have to give more thought to the structure of the program you select this time around.
You probably have a lot more going on in your life this time, since you are now working full time and may have more serious personal relationships or even a family to take care of now. This means you need a program that will fit into your lifestyle in a reasonable manner. It may not be entirely comfortable or easy, but it should be possible to juggle other responsibilities while going through the program.
It doesn’t matter how reputable a program is if you cannot possibly meet all requirements of the program right now. Find something that fits your life right now.
2. Be realistic about what you will have to give up in order to make it through the program.
The EMBA is designed just for working professionals like yourself, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t have to sacrifice to get through the program. Once you know what the schedule will be for the program, figure out your schedule and take account of what you may have to give up to make it through the program.
For example, you may have to give up watching your child’s football games or being home on time for dinner every night. You may have to sacrifice weekends to be in the classroom while spending weekdays locked in the office at work.
If you are mentally prepared for these sacrifices going into the program, you will handle the stress much better. It is when these things come as a surprise that EMBA students struggle emotionally.
3. Keep your mind open to learn new things and expand your skill set.
Too many EMBA candidates come into the program thinking they have at least a few years of working experience in the business world and they already know it all. They feel like the degrees they have already achieved and their work experience has already prepared them for a successful career in management or even at the corporate level. They have closed minds and do not get the most out of their programs.
Whether you are going into your EMBA program on your own ambition or you have been required to undertake the degree by your employer, acknowledge that you still have a lot to learn. No matter how far you climb up the ladder at work, there is always something more to work. Keep your mind open and you will get more out of your time studying.