How an EMBA can empower you to lead during uncertainties


The people who join Executive MBA (EMBA) programs tend to come from two main camps: Those with technical expertise looking to broaden their understanding of business, and those with general business skills who wish to update their knowledge. Find out how an EMBA can empower both groups to become stronger and better leaders of tomorrow.

The average Executive MBA (EMBA) participant is around 40 years old and comes with decades of experience. Most are also already recognized leaders in their respective sectors, Cedomir Nestorovic, Professor of International Marketing and Geopolitics and Academic Director of the ESSEC & Mannheim Executive MBA Asia-Pacific shares.

Still, with its holistic curriculum focused on current affairs, and its diverse networks of participants, the ESSEC & Mannheim Executive MBA (EMBA) remains a valuable asset capable of transforming the careers of these leaders. Here’s why:

It Prepares You to Tackle the Latest Trends

Like other EMBA programs, ESSEC’s curriculum offers rigorous training in business school staples like marketing and finance, so those from specialized sectors like oil and gas, defence, or engineering can develop and refine their business acumen.

What stands out at ESSEC, however, is “how the professors are teaching, and what they teach,” Nestorovic explains. Supply chain management is now explained in the context of the pandemic, and modules that focus on e-commerce have evolved to account for the exponential increase of customer-to-customer platforms available, so even those from traditionally business-based backgrounds have much to learn.

In addition, the ESSEC EMBA has an extremely comprehensive focus on geopolitics. The reason is simple, Nestorovic states: “If you want to become a general manager or a CEO, you must have knowledge of political culture because you will be exposed to geopolitical problems.” 

There is an Emphasis on Developing The Timeless Soft Skills of Leaders

Through these courses, there are an abundance of opportunities for one to hone their leadership skills, Timothy Kooi, alumni and Business Unit Digital Manager at an American energy corporation, recalls.

His experience rising the ranks to a leadership role has taught him that “leaders need a more intentional approach to groom people, to build them and motivate them.” By helping him answer questions like “How do you inspire? How do you get people to learn? What motivates them and shifts that mindset?” the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA has therefore enabled him to hone his approach and improve his management skills.

Having these skills may be all the more salient in light of the uncertainties in the post-pandemic world, Nestorovic notes.

He explains that as pandemic-stressors have caused mental wellness to decline, “a good leader now is one who can go beyond career progression to also look at the mental health of the employees.”

 “If you don’t care about this aspect, there will be burnout and people will just resign.”

It Offers Diverse Perspectives to Train Your Adaptability

Arguably, to thrive in the post-pandemic world, leaders must be extremely adaptable. An EMBA program is a good training ground for this simply because its diverse cohort exposes you to the different perspectives of how other people may approach similar or familiar topics.

“[My classmates] had a completely different way of looking at challenges and dealing with things. I learned that to acknowledge that I don’t know everything and that I need to ask for help sometimes,” Wesley Alves, alumni and APAC VP and managing director at French industrial company ARMOR, explains.

He adds: “Even if you think you know something, there’s always a different perspective and a lot to learn if you go in with a humble mindset.”

It Empowers Women to Rise up

Diversity is also a focus in programs like ESSEC’s, where approximately 40 percent of the cohort is female. A good proportion of valedictorians from the school are also women, and significantly, these participants also hail from stereotypically male-dominated industries like engineering and defence.

 Efforts are in place to maintain this gender equality, Nestorovic shares, explaining that with the Women Leaders Scholarship, ESSEC hopes to be able to encourage, enable and empower more women to take the EMBA route.

The benefits of this are two-fold: First, these women contribute to the vibrance of the EMBA classroom discussions, and second, their presence sends a simple but important message about gender equality—that if they can do it, you can too.

It Builds Confidence and Inspires Ideas

Ultimately, one of the biggest benefits of an EMBA is simply the chance to immerse in an environment of incredibly capable and accomplished individuals, alumna, entrepreneur and founder of three start-ups, Carisa Mann says.

“It was interesting to see my strengths and weaknesses in a setting with such strong equals,” she explains, adding that the discussions taught volumes about negotiation and people management, encouraged reflection, and shaped her to become “a much better leader than before”.

Her experience, and that of many others, reflects what ESSEC Asia-Pacific hopes to deliver: A journey that is equal parts intense and invigorating. An experience that both inspires and equips one with both the mindset and tools to confidently lead.

Interested in the ESSEC & Mannheim Executive MBA Asia-Pacific program? 

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