March 2017 Editor's Note: This post was originally published in October 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Guest Blogger: Dean Robert T. Burrus, Jr., Cameron School of Business
Cameron is now proud to offer an online Executive MBA program. This is an exciting opportunity for Cameron to meet the needs of individuals and firms in the region and, beyond that, their desire to develop the knowledge and skills needed to lead in a fast paced business environment.
While most business professionals know the value of an MBA, many may wonder, What is an Executive MBA program and how does it differ from other MBA programs? There are several distinguishing characteristics of Executive MBA programs including: the target market; inclusion of residency requirements; size of the program; and program selectivity.
An Executive MBA typically conjures images of universities catering only to C-suite executives. Our program, however, follows the more recent EMBA trend of targeting aspiring executives, as well as those who have already reached the executive level with their companies, including Fortune 500 companies.
In fact, we envision the actual participants for this program being very similar to that of our hybrid Professional MBA program, except that the EMBA program will attract students from around the Southeast United States because of the convenience of completing the program online.
In other words, the EMBA program targets students with more than five years of professional experience who have a demonstrated record of career effectiveness. This target market will value the flexibility that an online program affords for those busy executives with very little precious time to spend in a classroom.
Also, with this online Executive MBA program, Cameron has the opportunity to expand our reach beyond our corner of North Carolina.
One of the standard characteristics of Executive MBA programs is residency experiences, where students travel to a high-impact destination for intensive face-to-face learning.
These residencies help overcome one of the major deficiencies of other online MBA programs - soft skill development. Fully online programs often work quite well for learning concepts and some skills, but they don’t always prepare managers for the people side of management.
Effective managers need to present their ideas, persuade others, negotiate effectively, build networks and lead diverse work teams. These soft skills are every bit as important, if not more so, than the analytical skills a student might learn in a finance or economics class. Our residencies will focus largely on the soft skill development that is an essential aspect of our Executive MBA program.
One of the most attractive aspects of the online Executive MBA program is the weeklong international residency. This residency will expose students to international business practices and issues. Students will have a chance to apply concepts they have been learning to real world cases.
We will be rotating these international residencies among our partner universities located in Germany, France, Spain and the U.K., with the cost mostly built into our tuition and fees.
One of the common characteristics of Executive MBA programs is small cohorts of students who progress through the program together. This format allows participants to develop relationships among classmates that span over their careers.
Many online MBA programs feature hundreds of students working their way through the program at their own pace. Consequently, there is a lower level of connectivity among the students.
Cameron’s EMBA program will foster student engagement and promote student relationships though smaller cohorts of 20 to 30 students.
One of the factors that differentiates learning at the graduate level from the undergraduate level involves peer learning.
At the undergraduate level, students learn primarily from the instructor and other mentors. At the graduate level, students generally learn as much from one another as they do from the instructor. Thus, it is vital to the quality of the educational experience that student peers have knowledge, experience and insights that they can share.
We seek students with a demonstrated record of success in their professional careers and a minimum of five years of professional experience. By developing a program that is intentionally smaller and more selective, Cameron is opting for quality over quantity and the highest level of student experience. While our program will be selective, we value the diverse backgrounds of students that will lead to career development, personal growth and solid business skills.
We welcomed our inaugural EMBA cohort in January of 2017 and look forward to welcoming the fall cohort in August. You are encouraged to apply and give flight to reimagining your career development.
We are excited to talk to you about this new program. Please call Candace Wilhelm, Director of Graduate Programs for the Cameron School of Business, at (910) 962-3903 or visit our website to learn more.