Yale School of Management

What the 'E' in EMBA Really Means at Yale

Every year, over 100,000 men and women matriculate into MBA programs across the world. The majority do so with the intent of building relationships, establishing new skills, and defining a career path. However, there is a group among them that is often overlooked: Executive MBAs.

September 9, 2014

The Executive MBA program was created as a vehicle to allow professionals the opportunity to attain an MBA while working. The belief was that these individuals would benefit greatly from an MBA, implement learning immediately and rise quickly through the ranks of their organizations.  

The Yale School of Management introduced the EMBA program a few years ago and set out to find the caliber of student who would measure up to the challenge of studying the full Yale MBA while in full-time employment. At the EMBA program's conception, it was aimed at professionals in the Healthcare sector. However, its success led to this year’s addition of two new focus areas—Sustainability and Asset Management. These new programs have expanded Yale’s reach and opened up the school to a much larger demographic of leaders for business and society.

Before I arrived at Yale for the EMBA Class of 2016 orientation, I spent some time pondering the endeavor I was about to take on. What will I get out of the program? How will I use my time at Yale? And lastly, is the EMBA program considered somehow a different degree to a traditional program? Considering the cost and time commitment, this last question weighed on me.

Upon arrival in New Haven, I made my way down Whitney Avenue to the glass cathedral that is Evans Hall. The first person I met was Dean Snyder and his soft spoken voice and confident demeanor reminded me of former U.S Treasury Secretary and Goldman Sachs head Henry Paulson. He said that as graduates of the Yale School of Management, we would be equipped with all the tools necessary to succeed in business and society, however, it would be up to us to grasp the opportunity. Based on these comments and recalling the success he has had at the University of Chicago, I felt infused with confidence about the program.

The Yale School of Management’s EMBA program has brought together doctors, engineers, lawyers, military officers, scientists and business leaders from 5 different continents, some who travel from as far as Brazil. These graduates of Stanford, Yale, Cornell, West Point, Annapolis and Berkeley to name a few, represent some of the finest minds in the world, but it is the effort that these individuals make to balance professional and personal responsibilities that stands out to me as a true testament to their character. I realized that the EMBA is different and one can only respect the herculean task that the “E” requires of these individuals.

When I finished the two week orientation, I finally understood what the “E” in EMBA really meant at Yale. It meant Ambition, Drive and most of all Excellence. These men and woman are true captains of industry and to take time out to study full-time will only slow them down at this advanced level in their careers.

Retired Brigadier General and Yale Professor Thomas Kolditz says that the EMBA student at Yale is “an experienced leader who uses an academic experience to learn more,” but I will go one step further and say the EMBA student at Yale is an experienced leader who does not define success by what they have accomplished, but by what they will accomplish and by the positive impact they will have on society as a whole.

I am honored and humbled to be among this “E” class of 52 and I look forward to spending the next 22 months of my life working and learning from each of them.

Academics Student Life
About the author

Matthew Wilkens