How to Learn Like an Executive: Lessons from the Georgetown EMBA Program
The pace of change in the business world is dramatic, leading executives to seek out new learning opportunities for growth and strategic advantage as they navigate complex and dynamic issues facing their organizations.
At Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, the Executive MBA program (new window) is designed to equip participants with the tools, techniques, and mindsets for success in an ever-evolving global marketplace. According to Bardia Kamrad, the senior associate dean for Executive Degree Programs and the academic director of the Executive MBA, there are four ways executives can approach their own professional development:
- Learn by doing. We know from years of taking our students abroad for their company-based consulting projects that executives have more engaging and impressive learning experiences when they interact with business leaders and cultures around the world. It is common for our EMBA alumni to share that they are still drawing upon their global experiences years after graduating.
This is why our students complete both a global business consulting project for an organization abroad as well as a business research project that explore the impact of globalization at the national/international and industry levels. Both require international travel and are one of the differentiators of our Georgetown EMBA — our program is among the top U.S. programs in the Financial Times EMBA ranking for the percentage of the program that is conducted abroad.
- Surround yourself with diverse perspectives. We understand that our students learn just as much from one another as they do from our faculty, so we provide the forum for rich discussions in the classroom. By building a community of both faculty and students who have diverse experiences, the learning process is that much richer. For example, in this year’s incoming class, 40% of the students are female, 26% are from underrepresented minority groups, and 19% hold international citizenship from 11 countries, and 74% of the class has worked or traveled abroad for business.
- Expand your network. More than just exchanging business cards, meaningful networking can lead to new ways of thinking about an issue, connections to new resources, and expert advice. By joining our Executive MBA community, our students gain access to a tight-knit group of alumni from the program, from the business school, and from Georgetown University at large. The university provides numerous ways for alumni to connect with one another, and “Hoyas Helping Hoyas” is a common value among the alumni community. For this reason, the Economist recently named our EMBA program 11th in the world for the helpfulness of alumni to current students.
- Never stop learning. There is a myth in higher education that when you graduate with a bachelor’s degree, you’re equipped for success throughout your career. Yet, the world changes dramatically over time, and lessons from 20, 30, 40 years ago sometimes no longer apply. Even those executives who complete our EMBA program will still experience many decades of change in their careers. This is why we encourage our alumni to think of their education as a never-ending journey. Because we continually update our curriculum to keep pace with change in the business world, we invite our EMBA alumni to return at any time to audit our new electives as part of our Life Long Learning initiative.
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