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Global EMBA Programs Step Up

Executive MBA programs have maintained their overall net growth in 2011, but EMBA applicants are becoming more sophisticated and demanding, a recent survey finds.

According to the Application Trends Survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council, or GMAC, 16 percent of all executive MBA programs in the U.S. and abroad reported steady application volume, while 42 percent reported increased application volume. This means that 42 percent reported a drop in applications. European executive MBA programs were less affected--42 percent reported no change and 33 percent reported an increase, leaving just 25 percent reporting a drop. The study is based on summer research on 67 executive MBA programs.

In order to cater to today's EMBA applicants, schools are offering classes in art and business, as well as personal development and leadership, according to a respondent to the GMAC survey. Classes providing students a truly global perspective and emphasizing the need for professional responsibility are also increasingly popular.

Global executive MBA programs expand

One of the executive MBA programs benefiting from increases in application volume is the TRIUM Global Executive MBA. This MBA results from an alliance of the New York University Stern School of Business, the London School of Economics and Political Science, or LSE, and the HEC School of Management Paris. In the past 10 years, 500 senior executives from more than 70 countries have graduated from the program. They work for corporations and family businesses, as entrepreneurs, or in government, law and the non-profit sectors.

"We are now expanding this program because both the need and the value of having a global perspective have increased in the intervening decade," HEC Paris Dean Bernard Ramanantsoa said in a press release marking TRIUM's 10-year anniversary.


TRIUM participants attend six educational modules, hosted at each of the three alliance schools, as well as in India and China. TRIUM integrates international economic, political and social policy into the business curriculum through the participation of LSE. The executive MBA program's capstone project has led to the creation of several businesses including Parentstroika, a Russian developer of nursing homes. leadership and professional development elements are also part of the curriculum.

From executive MBA programs to the global marketplace

Engineer Paul Lavergne, president of QB Construction in San Juan, Puerto Rico, graduated from the TRIUM Global Executive MBA in 2009. QB Construction employees have worked on some of the largest and most complicated projects in Puerto Rico, including a multimillion dollar airport terminal, a convention center and district, and residential buildings.

Lavergne decided to pursue the global executive MBA program to sharpen his management skills and learn how to do business in emerging markets such as China, where the company purchases supplies. He benefited from the formal business training, which he said helped him a lot, especially since his background was engineering. He continues to network with colleagues from various nationalities and business sectors.

"I've thought about exporting and I could always discuss it with the people from the program," Lavergne said. "Next week, I'm travelling to Africa to discuss a potential business opportunity with someone from the program."

When asked how he managed to complete the global executive MBA within a demanding work schedule, he said it was actually easier for him to leave the office every three months for a couple of weeks than to leave his home in Puerto Rico every other weekend to attend an executive MBA program. Besides, he said that traveling to business school for longer periods of time allowed him to get to know people and places better.

In both China and India, Lavergne said they were taught by local university professors and hosted by local executives at their firms. China was impressive because it was in the middle of its economic boom. In India, the class was impressed with an executive from an egg production company who was more focused on raising the standard of living for the Indian people than making money, he said. Lavergne also traveled to Latin America to develop a business plan with a group of classmates to build time-share apartments. They later presented the venture as their capstone project.

"It was a great experience," Lavergne said of the global EMBA program. "You're spending 10 weeks of your life with people you never thought you'd meet, in their own countries."

Business school education to make a world of difference

Lavergne's story illustrates the useful education you could gain through an executive MBA program. While there are a variety of MBA programs available, the executive MBA can be useful to people already in the business world. Lavergne's story also demonstrates how an executive MBA can help you use your knowledge and your professional network to boost your career and offer your services worldwide.

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