We asked our alumni to offer insights on their student experience in the Broad College Executive MBA program. Here’s what some had to say.
Broad EMBA: What led to your decision to pursue an MBA?
Kevin Day (Class of 2019): I started my MBA journey as a senior director of development. I was leading the department I joined as an entry-level software engineer 15 years prior. I received feedback that although I was doing a great job at my current job, my experiences were too narrow for future consideration.
The Broad EMBA enabled me to think beyond my function, to connect with business leadership and stakeholders with confidence, and demonstrated I was investing in my future.
Amanda Barnhardt (Class of 2021): For me, I saw my life calming down and thought it would be a great time to pursue this program. Little did I know that during my EMBA experience, I would start dating someone, get engaged, get married, sell two homes, buy a home, move across the country, get a puppy, change jobs and earn a promotion — all during a global pandemic. So much for the EMBA staff’s recommendation: “Don’t make any big life changes!”
When the world shut down in March 2020, I was thankful to have the stability and challenge from this EMBA program because it gave me something productive and meaningful to focus on. It helped me realize that I have a say in how I spend and protect my time and that I could pursue it all.
Broad EMBA: What was your experience as someone in a senior role with a demanding schedule?
Galynn Beer (Class of 2018): I asked myself, “Why further your education now, when you are so busy with work and life?” Because there will never be the perfect window of time. Investing the time in the EMBA program pays dividends.
The program is built to balance the demands of work-life with the journey through the EMBA experience. The synergy from having real-life experience in a career coupled with additional education makes the experience fly by. You get to apply what you learn immediately, which helps with retention. No need to wait for the perfect time. The time is now to experience personal and career growth.
Leyland Lindie (Class of 2021): I’ll second that, Galynn. From “Go!” the EMBA program was intense! From pre-work, to residency, until graduation, the program required more time, energy, effort and mental bandwidth than anyone could have anticipated. Balancing work, toddlers, projects, exams, spouse, deliverables, pandemic and sleep was extremely difficult and stressful. You have to give everything to get the most out of the EMBA program, but what you earn in return is invaluable.
Broad EMBA: What would you share with someone coming into the MBA from a non-business background?
Erin Lipsey (Class of 2019): I was incredibly nervous as I completed my application. My undergraduate degree was in English. It took more than the “standard” four years because I was working full-time. I’d never set foot into an accounting class, let alone a microeconomics or supply chain class.
But I knew I had to do to it. When the admissions director at the time asked me how I was going to get through those accounting classes, I said, “If you give me 10 problems, I’m going to do 15 to make sure I understand it.”
Broad EMBA: And what about return on investment?
Lipsey: Shortly after [I met with the admissions director], I was admitted to the program that transformed my career and life. The EMBA program gave me the confidence, support and executive presence that I needed to stop setting limits for myself and to continue to challenge myself to take the leap. It’s been two years after graduation, and I’ve not only been promoted and changed companies but also changed industries after 10+ years in the financial services space. I would have not had the preparation or courage to make such a leap without the EMBA program.
Day: Big ROI for me. Huge. About two-thirds through the program, we went through significant organizational changes yielding opportunities for increased responsibility. I firmly believe I would not have been considered if I had not been able to discuss the benefits of the EMBA program during the selection process. I was promoted to VP of technology as I started the final semester of the program.
Lindie: Let me add that there’s extreme value in having access and opportunity to connect, converse and network with Fortune 500 CEO alumni of the EMBA program, industry-leading faculty, cohort members and other thought leaders at the top of their fields. Even more so, however, is the confidence gained knowing that you’ve overcome the same obstacles and challenges faced by those trusted with leadership. Knowing that you’re forged in the same fire as CEOs of some of the world’s biggest companies gives you confidence to succeed that can’t be understated!
Beer: Regardless of where you are in your career, the growth you experience in the program will open opportunities for you.
Lindie: Worth infinitely more than the three letters after your name is the transformation that occurs inside.