About 10 years ago, one of my psychologist colleagues was offered a HR director position in a company managed by someone she met during her Executive MBA (EMBA) studies. I think this was the first time I heard about EMBA and I became curious about the kind of professionals that pursue this degree and the kind of relationships that are formed among students.
One of the reasons I enjoy my Henley EMBA so much is the possibility to network with professionals from different industries and functions.
From a personal point of view, spending time with experienced and insightful business leaders is a great way to develop and become a ‘better’ person myself. In the lines of a famous Jim Roth quote, “You’re the average of the five people spend the most time with”. Another good heuristic that I really like is “If you’re the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room”. It’s also great to see that sometimes I can contribute to other people’s learning with my experience.
Aside from the personal benefits of networking, there is also a professional angle. During my EMBA journey so far, I have bought services from a fellow student’s company and my company has provided services for another student’s company. In addition, I have facilitated exchanges between people from my EMBA intake and companies that I’m familiar with. Although EMBA is mainly about studying and less about business networking, it’s also a great place to find potential customers, partners and service providers for your business.
Trust is a pivotal ingredient in business and during the studies you develop trust towards the people you study with. Therefore it’s quite natural that EMBA students start to develop business relationships within their peer groups and cohorts. Pursuing or completing a particular EMBA programme can also act as a good door opener with people who have studied in the same university. Familiarity creates trust.
If you want to extend your professional network outside your current organisation, whether for business or your own career development, EMBA studies can act as a great platform for this. Compared to other EMBA programs, the global alumni network that Henley has to offer is both amazingly active and surprisingly wide. In addition, you become alumnus from day one of your studies, joining a dynamic and engaging community of more than 80,000 business professionals in over 180 countries.
In the company that I currently manage, one of our strategic objectives is to expand internationally. In finding clients and partners in new geographies, global networks like the Henley alumni network are helpful and speed up the process of getting to business talks with the right people. From what I’ve seen so far, the Henley alumni network really lives up to the expectations.
So, next time when you think about EMBA, do not only think about the learning, but also about the networking opportunity. Who knows what will happen?
You can follow my EMBA journey through weekly updates with the hashtag #JuhoGoesEMBA on LinkedIn.
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