The Executive MBA class of 2021 consists of more than 130 students, eager and determined to become transformational business leaders. They made their introduction to MSU and the Broad College on Friday, Aug. 2, and Saturday, Aug. 3, at the EMBA orientation held at the Henry Center in Lansing.

Dean Sanjay Gupta welcoming class of 2021 students at the EMBA orientation

“We are truly honored and privileged to be able to have this time with you and to partake in this journey that you are going to embark on,” Eli and Edythe L. Broad Dean Sanjay Gupta said during his address to the incoming class over lunch. “It means a great deal that you have taken the time and are going to be putting forth the effort to invest in your human capital.”

Broad’s EMBA program is designed for working professionals who want to pursue a higher education degree and advance their career. The 20-month program takes a weekend format and is offered in three locations: East Lansing, Troy and Detroit.

Dean Gupta emphasized to the class of 2021 their new role in the Spartan family. “We are over 500,000 alumni scattered throughout the world. Included in that group of alumni are immensely successful individuals that are leading organizations, that are doing things that each and every one of you would be proud of … Today, you are taking that first step toward becoming Spartan alumni as well.”

Justin Huyser, EMBA Alumni Association scholarship recipient, and Cheri Declercq, assistant dean for MBA programs

On Friday evening, three scholarships were awarded and presented to students to mitigate their program tuition costs. Justin Huyser was awarded $10,000, collectively donated through the EMBA Alumni Association. This scholarship allows past Broad EMBA students to financially support a current EMBA student each year.

In addition, Alyssa Hernandez and Michael Wallace were each awarded $40,000 (50% of the program tuition) through the EMBA nonprofit scholarship. This scholarship is dedicated to professionals who currently work for a nonprofit organization and intend to return to the nonprofit space after completing the program. Hernandez currently works for SER Metro Detroit, and Wallace works for Albion College.

Greg Janicki, a Broad EMBA graduate and the current program director, has been the driving force behind developing the nonprofit scholarship. “We wanted to find a way to assist students that are making an impact in the nonprofit sector because they often aren’t able to receive financial support from their organizations for their education,” he said.

Each of these scholarships must be applied for, and recipients are selected by a committee of EMBA staff, faculty and alumni.

Throughout the two-day orientation, time was allocated for group activities, networking opportunities, a scavenger hunt in the Minskoff Pavilion and an alumni panel discussion. Four recent EMBA graduates were able to share their major outcomes from the program and advice for how to be successful.

EMBA alumni panel featured at the EMBA orientation

“The biggest value was getting to be around other working professionals, learning from world-class faculty, and from a financial return, I practically doubled my salary,” said Rachel Gonzalez (EMBA ’18), director of global compensation and benefits at Dayco Products.

Alumni Steven Jackson (EMBA ’19), Jason Bandy (EMBA ’19) and Janeice Arwady (EMBA ’19) encouraged the class of 2021 to steadily apply what they learn in the program to their current work projects and to take advantage of the network that they will grow during the program.

“The networking is absolutely extraordinary,” said Steven Jackson, business operations manager at Stahls’. Because of Broad’s focus on teamwork, EMBA students can build a strong network in the program that they carry with them and harness for their careers after graduation.

As John Wagner, professor in the Department of Management, explained, “Business management is a team sport these days … you work with and through people.” The EMBA program helps students learn how to be a good team member and how to be a leader.

Welcome to the Spartan family, Executive MBA class of 2021!