Are you ready to return to graduate school? Is the EMBA Program at The University of Alabama right for you? UA’s EMBA program is designed for working professionals and allows students to continue working while completing their degree in four or five semesters. Students may earn an MBA degree in one of two locations, Tuscaloosa or Huntsville.
Students enter the EMBA program with specific needs and set expectations. Interviews conducted before starting the program show that the number one reason for enrollment is “increasing business knowledge.”
What are the top 5 benefits for UA EMBA students?
1. Increased business financial skills
Students are given tools to assess new financial strategies and develop a deeper understanding of annual reports and related financial data. Students report a better understanding of how their businesses run.
2. Building a business network
Without a doubt, one of the greatest benefits is the strong network forged in the UA EMBA. Students form lifelong friendships and make valuable business contacts. Diversity in student backgrounds, academics, industry, and culture provides a rich environment to learn.
3. Achieving Personal and Professional Goals
Students set goals at the beginning of the program and encourage each other to reach their personal and professional goals by the end of the program. Achieved goals run the gamut from company promotions to running a marathon, from improving business skills or starting a company to becoming a more effective leader or even learning how to skydive.
4. Improved Negotiating Skills
In combination with other courses, the negotiation class helps students understand their businesses better and teaches them to make more informed decisions. Graduates attribute the skills they learned to negotiating savings for their companies, as well as obtaining better raises and signing bonuses.
5. Thinking Strategically
A boardroom approach to learning encourages the exchange of ideas, discourse, and executive-level strategic thinking. The program builds to a final semester focusing on strategic communications, management, implementation, and global strategy, including a final project that provides valuable ROI to companies.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” This statement is a pretty powerful thought if you think about what choices you have made to become the person you are today. What you prioritize in your life makes you “you,” and although everyone can improve or change themselves at any moment, a new year is the perfect time to analyze 2017 and turn ideas of the person that you want to become into reality.
According to YouGov’s study, although 32% of Americans did not make 2018 New Year’s resolutions, 68% of us did. 68% of us still believe in that “new year, new you,” idea, and I have to say – I’m one of them.
Perhaps the 32% answered this way because of lack of time, a hectic work schedule, or family obligations, but if you don’t accomplish what you want to now, when are you ever going to do it? I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I have ever heard a family member, friend, or coworker tell me they had more free time than they knew what to do with.
There are always the eating healthier/getting fitter resolutions, but how do you want to make 2018 an impactful year for you? Do you want to become more knowledgeable about what other companies are doing or how to motivate your employees? Do you want to learn something new or completely change your career?
All of the things above that the average American wants to complete in 2018 take time and planning, but I have to say –a good number of these goals can be achieved through The University of Alabama Executive MBA Program. Yes, it is a time and financial commitment, and it definitely isn’t easy, but in our 2017 alumni survey, 99% said they would do it again.
I can safely say that my classmates and I read more – probably more than any of us expected, but we learned so much about other corporations that several of us were able to apply techniques from other industries to our own, or felt comfortable starting new businesses altogether. Eight percent of our classmates have started our own businesses and 15% are currently developing a start-up.
We did the EMBA program for different and/or multiple reasons, but being with the same people either one weekend a month for 21 months or around two weekends a month for 17 months brings you together.
The bonding could be cramming together over a project management quiz, with one person exclaiming the acronyms they used to remember processes, together acing a group presentation that you put your heart and soul into for weeks, or shouting at one another in glee as each one of our individual motorbike drivers raced through the streets of Vietnam with you on the back.
For me – I met one of my best friends in the EMBA Program – and she’s actually a bridesmaid in my wedding!
Even if you come from a business background, you are going to learn a new skill that you don’t have now. It could be nonlinear optimization, negotiating, or blending infographics into a presentation seamlessly. Or possibly Project Libre, Minitab, or Excel Solver. The words I use in my writing became less poetic and more analytical, and although I found myself to be a strong presenter, there is always room for improvement!
Several classmates of mine moved to different companies or industries, and although I stayed at The University of Alabama, I received two promotions during the 17 months of my program. Many alumni can say the same, with 79% receiving promotions (average number is 3.3 promotions per student) and 98% receiving an increase in pay, with 8% stating they make at least twice as much as when they were a student. Others loved and wanted to stay in their current jobs but wanted to add to their skillsets, with 13% now serving on a corporate board of directors, and 29% serving on a non-profit board.
It’s 2018, what is it that you want to do? Whatever it is, make an action plan and get started. One of my favorite Walt Disney quotes is, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” You owe it to yourself to be courageous in this new year, and work on the person that you want to become, starting today. ❤︎
Huntsville, Alabama, the newest location of the UA Culverhouse College of Commerce EMBA Program, is packed with unique history, culture, and industry. The oldest English-speaking settlement in the state, Huntsville is constantly featured on lists such as NerdWallet’s “Top 10 Cities on the Rise,” Forbes Magazine’s “Top 20 Leading Metros for Business,” or the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations.” Expansive greenery, a diverse population, and modern technology make Huntsville the perfect location for EMBAs to study as well as relax and unwind.
Huntsville’s location near the geographic center of the Southeast makes the Rocket City an easy destination. Sitting within half an hour from the Alabama-Tennessee state line, the drive to Huntsville is less than two hours from Chattanooga and Nashville and around four hours from Knoxville, Memphis, and Atlanta. With the Huntsville program’s new one weekend a month format, an MBA is just a few short commutes away for Executive MBA students from Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee alike. For those outside of the tri-state area, the Huntsville International Airport has nonstop service to nine nationwide destinations such as Denver, Charlotte, Dallas or Washington, D.C.
Huntsville’s history is sprinkled with stories of warfare, innovation, and pride. When Huntsville was founded in 1805, the city was named after the London suburb of Twickenham. After the growth of anti-British sentiment and the War of 1812, the city took its current name after its founder John Hunt. By 1819, Huntsville had transformed into the largest Alabama Territory. The city quickly became a hub for cotton trading in the Tennessee Valley. In the middle of the twentieth century, Huntsville was still a small cotton town with a population under 20,000. Since the addition of the aerospace and defense industries after WWII, the city’s vast metropolitan area has grown to include nearly 420,000 residents.
While the defense industry is still the city’s overwhelming leader in employment, the technology, engineering, and education industries also have a strong presence in Huntsville. Schools and universities such as the University of Alabama at Huntsville, where UA EMBAs attend class, help make the Rocket City Alabama’s best-educated metropolitan area. Huntsville’s metro also houses the highest per capita concentration of engineers and the third-highest per capita concentration of computer, science, and technology workers in the country. Forty-seven Fortune 500 companies call Huntsville home, while sixty foreign companies from seventeen countries also populate the city. Huntsville’s entertainment industry is also thriving; the city embraces live music and performing arts at venues such as Theatre Huntsville and the Von Braun Center.
Huntsville and the surrounding areas have plenty of destinations and activities perfect for an excursion from EMBA coursework. With an average temperature of 71.5 and over a hundred sunny days each year, Huntsville’s climate makes enjoying the outdoors easy. If you love golf as much as our Associate Dean Dr. Gray, Huntsville’s many golf courses are waiting – including the expansive Hampton Cove Golf Course, the first of the 21-course statewide Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Another kind of green, Huntsville is surrounded by mountains, rivers, and lakes on the Cumberland Plateau of the Appalachian Mountains. The Rocket City also has over 3,200 acres of public parks brimming with natural beauty.
If you prefer culture to recreation, pay a visit to one of Huntsville’s several museums such as the Alabama Constitution Village or the US Space & Rocket Center. The historic districts of Twickenham, Old Town, and Five Points each flaunt their own unique sophistication and antiquity, splendidly preserved alongside the city’s more modern structures. Featuring Alabama’s largest collection of pre-Civil War homes, walking tours of Huntsville’s historic districts are popular year-round.
The next Huntsville Executive MBA class begins on August 7. For more information or to start your application, please contact Cheryl Altemara at 205.348.4501 or submit an interest form here.
Career counseling is essential to ensure that each student is informed and focused on meeting their goals. Since EMBAs at The University of Alabama have an average of 15 years of experience, they usually have a good idea of where they would like to be; career counseling provides them with the knowledge and resources to get there. Instead of forcing each individual into pre-packaged options, the Manderson Career Services office helps students construct their own personalized plans based on their unique desires. By adopting a position of neutrality, Gary understands each student’s aspirations and transforms them into reachable realities. This transformation includes prioritizing and planning by dividing an overall vision into smaller, more manageable steps.
Since EMBAs have interview experience, many believe that there isn’t much room for improvement; however, practice and advice are always beneficial. The Career Services office can keep EMBAs refreshed on the basics as well as up-to-date on the latest interview etiquette. Recently, interviews on video chat services such as Skype and Google Hangout have become popular and require their own customs and norms. Mock interviews can give EMBA students the familiarity they need to feel calm, collected, and comfortable during innovative as well as traditional interviews.
If a picture says a thousand words, a resume says a million. Since UA EMBA students must have 5 years of experience, they have at least half of a decade of knowledge to shrink onto one page. The Career Services office can assist EMBA students in writing and formatting to ensure a clean and informative document. For example, Gary helps refresh resumes by replacing an unoriginal list of responsibilities with achievements and skill development. Gary can also give advice about building Linkedin profiles, which are becoming a leading resource for hiring companies.
Online Reputation Management
The Internet is constantly evolving, and with this evolution comes increasing opportunity for expression via social media. But exactly how much should we share and who should we share it with? From Facebook and Twitter to Pinterest and Linkedin, the Graduate Career Services office can help EMBA students understand what information to reveal or conceal to ensure a professional online reputation. For more about managing your online reputation, check out this blog post.
Just like the UA Executive MBA Program, the Manderson Career Services office goes the extra mile to work around students’ busy schedules. Since EMBA students are usually full time employees, Gary is available by phone, email, and appointment before, during, and after business hours. He also holds extended office hours on Tuesday evenings and Thursday mornings during the fall and spring semesters.
For more information about the Manderson Graduate School of Business Career Services, contact Gary Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org or (205) 348-4502.
For advice about how the Executive MBA Program at The University of Alabama can enhance your career, contact Cheryl Altemara at email@example.com or (205) 348-4501.
In the midst of the holiday season, we want to recognize the strongest support network for students in The University of Alabama’s EMBA program — their families.
The decision to return to graduate school and pursue an M.B.A affects not only the student, but their family members as well. It is important for students to work together with their spouse and children to maintain a healthy balance between school, work and family time.
According to Susan Maples, having a spouse attend grad school is an adventure for the whole family. Susan’s husband, Sam Maples, graduated from the UA Tuscaloosa EMBA program in May of 2013.
“Be ready to give up many of the things you do together as a family for about 18 months, and be ready to say no to other things and invites that are not as important. That way, the little time you have together will be quality time doing things you enjoy,” Susan said.
Susan previously worked for 10 years in manufacturing engineering and management for Toyota, but is now a stay-at-home mom. She and Sam have four children — three girls, ages 14, 12 and 10, and their youngest a boy, age 7.
“Seeing their father studying at home had a good influence on the kids. They were able to see it takes time and effort to achieve goals, and they also learned it takes the whole family working together to help each other,” she said. “It wasn’t always fun for them, though. They had to learn that we make choices in life and sometimes the choice made was not always what they desired at the moment.”
Finding a balance between work, school and family time that worked for everyone can be difficult. Susan recommends using study breaks and mealtimes to spend time together and catch up. She also suggests trying to take interest in what your spouse is learning.
“If you are able to help them study, that is still time spent together,” she said. “Get to know the members of your spouse’s team as well. We enjoyed having Sam’s team study at our house and spending time time with them.”
Andrea Elrod agrees that finding a balance between home, work and school is difficult for EMBA students, as well as their families. Andrea is married to Russ Elrod, UA Huntsville EMBA class of 2013.
“It was difficult for everyone, but we all saw that it was the most difficult for Russ to juggle the pressures of work, home and school,” Andrea said. “I was personally amazed at the way he carved out time for the children in the evenings and stayed up late almost every night to read and study.”
Andrea is a CPA and Director of Accounting for Davis Lee Companies in Guntersville, Ala. She and Russ have two daughters, ages 7 and 9.
“Russ used his books and study time as teachable moments with the girls anytime possible. He enjoyed his professors and classes so much that the children even enjoyed hearing about them,” she said.
According to Andrea, spouses of EMBA students should expect conversations to revolve around interesting topics in the classroom.
“I found that even though Russ and I had some stressful times during the program, we also grew closer in some ways because he got me involved,” she said. “He even convinced me to read and enjoy some of his books and articles!”
While the EMBA program requires help and support from the family, it also provides them with new and exciting opportunities. Both Susan and Andrea accompanied their husbands on the 2013 UA EMBA international trip to Istanbul, Turkey.
“Istanbul was not on my list of places to visit prior to Sam starting his EMBA, but it turned out to be an incredible experience,” Susan said. “The optional excursion to Ephesus was definitely a highlight. It was a time where Sam and I could enjoy traveling together since the ‘class’ part of the trip was over, and gave us a chance to enjoy a few stress-free days.”
“The trip to Turkey was a fun and wonderful experience. It was the one point in the entire program where I was truly able to bond with the other students and their spouses,” Andrea said. “My tip for future spouses on the international trip is to research and plan outings with other spouses before your trip. The students have plans all day and night, but the spouses have plenty of time to goof off, so make the most of it!”
Another point in the program that is enjoyable and rewarding for all members of the family is graduation.
“We enjoyed the reception hosted by the EMBA department and the graduation ceremony,” Susan said. “We felt it was important for our children to see their dad receive his degree so they could realize it was one of the rewards of completing the program. We also had a graduation party for him at home.”
“The EMBA office does a great job with their reception before the ceremony, and we enjoyed and appreciated that,” Andrea said. “The most memorable part of the ceremony was when our normally non-emotional 9-year-old looked up during the graduation and admitted that she was so proud of Daddy, she wanted to cry.”
We welcome spouses to attend an upcoming event or an open classroom along with their spouse who is considering the program. For more information on the EMBA program or to attend an upcoming event, contact the EMBA office at 205-348-4501, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are like me, your days are filled with activity and your mind with an ever growing list of “to do’s” and “things to be done right NOW.”
Every morning as I back out of my garage, I am thinking of the first meeting or project I need to work on, so by the time I get to the end of my street, I wonder, “did I close the garage door?” I say, “every morning”, because this happens a lot with me backing the car up my street to my driveway to ultimately face a closed garage door. And no, it is not creeping dementia. It is, as I like to put it, so much mundane in the brain clouding the wisdom. In other words, simply too much to do in a small window of time.
So, how to overcome the clouding of the brain? For me, it was remembering something I read by Arvind Devalia. Devalia said, “Gratitude is a way of reaching back to your natural state of happiness. Notice what’s right instead of what’s wrong and begin to see every “problem” as an opportunity for growth and development.”
We often find ourselves overworked and second guessing ourselves. Did we do this? Did we forget something? Usually because we are looking ahead instead of focusing on the now. We can fall apart or get frustrated when we miss a step or make a mess along the way, or we can take a breath and take a moment to give thanks for the opportunity to learn and make it right.
The garage door has now for me become a moment of reflection. No matter what may be racing through my head as I leave in the morning, as I back up my car, I stop. I take several deep breathes thinking of nothing but breathing in and out as the garage door closes. One benefit has been that the mind stops racing, even if it is only for a few minutes.
What is your garage door? What is your problem that will lead to a growth opportunity?
The University of Alabama will be closed the rest of this week for the holiday. From all of us in the Executive MBA office, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.
As most of the students in UA’s EMBA program will tell you, there is never a “perfect” time for graduate school. If you are considering returning to school for an M.B.A. degree, why not go ahead and begin making the necessary steps to achieve this goal!
The benefits greatly outweigh giving in to procrastination and thoughts of “No time, too busy.” Certainly not all jobs require an M.B.A. However, if the next step on your career list does require an M.B.A., or if you are overlooked in a job hunt because someone else has an M.B.A., now is the time to begin an EMBA program. See how an EMBA can benefit you.
At UA we have two EMBA programs to fit your busy schedule: a four semester, every other weekend program; or a five semester, one weekend a month program.
Check out some of our previous articles to learn more about The University of Alabama’s EMBA program:
You can also visit our website for more information about the application process, requirements and program costs.
To schedule an information session, open classroom visit, personal interview or to request more information, fill out the form below:
[contact-form to=’email@example.com’ subject=’Request for EMBA Info – Blog’][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]
Robert, along with company President and co-founder Bill Zapf, was recently featured in a CEO profile in Franchise Canada Magazine. You can read the full article here. The Waiting Game is a free, full-color, interactive, incentive-based monthly publication distributed to waiting rooms.
It offers low-cost advertising with extensive local reach to small businesses. Waiting Game Publications launched in 2009, began franchising in 2011 and now has 23 franchise locations with 15 more in the works for the coming year.
Many working professionals decide to break out on their own and become entrepreneurs AFTER they earn their MBA degree. But what about those aspiring entrepreneurs considering an MBA while trying to start a business? Is it a good idea? Would it be worth it in the long run? Here are some reasons why entrepreneurs selected the UA EMBA program:
To fill in knowledge gaps and combine formal business education with on-the-job experience
To connect ideas with other professionals in class to market and grow their business
To become better negotiators
To better understand financial aspects of business and become a more strategic leader
“The UA EMBA program gave me the tools and confidence to take my career to the next level. After graduation, I obtained a new position that doubled my previous salary. I then put my education to work by crafting out a plan to launch Waiting Game Publications, and I know this could not have happened without everything I learned from my fellow EMBA grads and the professors at Alabama.” – Robert Parfitt
The answer to this question is FALSE. Although the “E” in EMBA stands for Executive, it does not mean that students are required to hold executive positions within their companies. However, most EMBA programs do require that students have at least 5 years work experience. EMBA students are “successful and looking for an education that will broaden his or her knowledge base in order manage more efficiently.” (Roos, “How Executive MBA Programs Work”)
EMBA programs provide those in middle management positions with the knowledge and leadership abilities needed to advance in their career. According to the 2012-2013 class profile for the University of Alabama EMBA program, 57 percent of students held middle management positions. About 82 percent of UA EMBA alumni received promotions upon completion of the program, and the average salary increase was 23 percent.
EMBA students represent a variety of industries as well. Last year, UA’s EMBA class was made up of students working in defense, technology, government/nonprofit, manufacturing, healthcare, service/retail, financial, telecommunications, and other industries. This diversity allows students to gain a totally different perspective and learn from a broad range of experience levels and backgrounds.
Faculty, staff, alumni and classmates from diverse business backgrounds and industries also provides an EMBA student with an excellent networking opportunity. Students from different industries can share their knowledge and experiences, and benefit from the knowledge and experiences of others as well.
Any experienced business professional from virtually any industry can benefit from an EMBA degree, even if your title doesn’t include the word “executive.”
Always remember that the best way to determine if a program is right for you is to VISIT! Talk with current students, faculty, staff or alumni, tour the campus and get a feel for what it would be like to be a student. You can also learn a lot about a program and connect with other students via social media.
To learn more about the program and application requirements, visit emba.ua.edu or fill out the form below to request more info, attend an information session or open classroom, or to schedule a personal interview.
An average EMBA classroom consists of 25.4 percent female students, according to the Executive MBA Council. At The University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Commerce Executive MBA our female/male ration is 37 percent for women in the latest 2014 class. Although we continue to grow our female numbers we are often asking why such a large gap between the number of men and women? In talking with prospects, our top reasons include the added responsibilities of starting or caring for a family, securing support from an employer and time commitment required by work and family.
However, an EMBA program could be the perfect match for women who are looking to expand their business knowledge and professional development. Here are four reasons why:
1.) Convenient class schedule
One of the biggest benefits of an EMBA program for women is the convenience of the class schedule. The classes for EMBA at The University of Alabama meet every other weekend (Friday evenings and Saturdays). Not only does this schedule format reduce time away from work, but time away from home and families as well. Most women have an innate ability to multi-task. An EMBA program can improve on these skills and help women achieve a balance between work and home life.
2.) Female sponsors and role-models
In a Time Ideas post by Sylvia Ann Hewlett, “Women with sponsors are 27% more likely than their unsponsored female peers to ask for a raise. They’re 22% more likely to ask for those all-important stretch assignments, the projects that put them on the radar of the higher-ups.”
Female EMBA students have the opportunity to meet and learn from other business women professionals, and build strong networks. They also become role-models themselves, and are able to show other women that it is possible to successfully balance work, home, travel and study. 3.) Break through the “glass ceiling”
In Bloomberg’s 2013 Gender Gap in Earnings, men in the U.S. continue to out earn women by 23% and hold greater number of leadership positions. An M.B.A. does not guarantee a C-level position but it can lead to more opportunities, higher salaries, promotions, and gain the confidence to take on greater responsibilities at work.
4.) Taking time for yourself
Let’s face it by nature, women are nurturers who tend to put the wants and needs of others before their own; however, it is important for women to take time for themselves and pursue their dreams as well. The decision to pursue an M.B.A. is a huge step toward career development and improvement, and is a big investment in the future as well. By earning an M.B.A., women can prove to themselves as well as others that they are capable of achieving any goal they set for themselves.
For more information about UA’s EMBA program visit emba.ua.edu. 5 Top Business Schools Just as Great as Harvard and Wharton