Many returns in many ways
When the phone call came, Sara Howe stepped out of her EMBA class on negotiations to literally apply what she was learning.
Then the CEO for the Illinois Association for Behavioral Health, Howe was advocating for legislation to enhance mental health services. In the end, the Illinois Legislature passed five out of the six related bills under consideration.
“We had our very best legislative session,” she says. “The ROI was pretty clear at that point.”
Howe’s EMBA experience also helped open a new career opportunity. Jordan Powell, colleague, EMBA alumnus, and CEO and president of the Illinois Primary Health Care Association (IPHCA), hired her. Now as executive vice president at IPHCA, she leads a team to help the association’s members, the state’s community health centers.
Stories and numbers
Howe’s story touches on a few of the many returns of the EMBA experience: The ability to immediately apply new skills and knowledge – in this case, just by stepping outside of the class – the building of an impressive network, the forward career movement.
She is far from alone: While each alumni’s story differs in some ways, there are many common threads. Whether through personal stories or research, the returns are diverse and powerful.
For example, 72 percent of surveyed graduates responded that the EMBA Program positively impacted their careers, according to the Executive MBA Council (EMBAC) study, Return on Education: Understanding the Impact of an EMBA Degree. In addition, 28 percent of surveyed graduates saw a substantial increase of salary in the first few years.
A 2018 research project included 2,465 respondents throughout the world and added insights into perspectives on career advancement. Conducted by EMBAC in collaboration with Ivy Exec, business leaders answered the question: What do you personally need to advance further in your career?
Their top two answers:
- Broader network and opportunities to other companies and industries
- Better understanding of business knowledge and skills
The survey reinforces the good news that EMBA supplies what business leaders say they need – access to a broader network and business knowledge and skills.
And EMBA offers so much more as well: Hands-on experiences and coaching to strengthen leadership abilities, personal and professional growth opportunities, global business perspectives, and services that help you bolster your career advancement.
With some five years of experience as an implementation analyst, Erich Gertz started thinking ahead to next steps.
“I wanted to take my career to the next level,” says Gertz, who viewed a return to higher education as a way to prepare for greater responsibilities. As he gathered counsel from his mentors, the direction became clear: “They said do it before you are 35.”
Gertz took the advice and expanded his network, applied what he learned to his workplace, and moved his career forward with a new management position as a senior operations lead at R1 RCM.
But the new job is just part of the ROI for Gertz, who says he thinks he has tapped only about 30 to 40 percent of the degree’s value to date. His credentials, knowledge and tools, and network will continue to make a difference for him and his career.
“The ongoing value was one of the selling points for me,” he says. “There is a time release of value – it will stick around for quite a while.”