Career advice, insights & tips for HR professionals
Financial routes to funding, scholarships & loans 13/06/2012
In this roundtable discussion, Natalie Cooper asks leading experts from global business schools their advice on how you should approach your employer when considering an MBA.
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- Samantha Bown
- Dr Lydia Price
- Koen Dewettinck
- Dr Kerry Sullivan
- Professor Vivien Hodgson
- Professor Amir Sharif
- Keith Porter
- Christie St-John
- Professor Dr Désirée van Gorp
- Iain Henderson
Samantha Bown, London Business School
Each individual should plan a support case regarding the programme for their employer. Our participants have shown success by structuring a case by laying out the business need, recommendation, support request and it's very important to show your commitment to your organization.
Dr Lydia Price
Dr Lydia Price, CEIBS
Many employers encourage MBA education for managerial staff, so it makes sense to have open communication about your plans and goals. Some companies offer financial support for MBA studies, in return for a guaranteed period of continuing employment afterward. Others seek to leverage the opportunities for building deep links to a key business school and its professional networks.
Koen Dewettinck, Vlerick Leuven Management School
Make sure that you have a strong story to share about why you believe that taking an MBA would fit your broader career plan. Also think about the opportunities the MBA will offer to help your employer to become better. The more clearly you can picture the benefits for the organization (next to your personal boost in motivation, dedication and loyalty), the more chance that they will be willing to support.
Dr Kerry Sullivan
Dr Kerry Sullivan, Surrey Business School, University of Surrey
There is no golden rule. Previous students have had varying degrees of support from their employers. Some employers have been incredibly helpful giving study leave and financial assistance others less so. This is a matter for the individual to make a judgment on. Whether to raise this during the formal appraisal process or informally in the first instance depends on your personal circumstances.
Professor Vivien Hodgson
Professor Vivien Hodgson, Lancaster University Management School
By selling the benefits to the employer such as they will get a more motivated, energized, learned ‘new’ employee who can create a rapid injection of creativity into the business bringing about potential business growth, increased financial performance, reputational increases and also minimizing risk. Make this into a business case as to how study will benefit the organization; possibly include specific deliverables that can be achieved.
Professor Amir Sharif
Professor Amir Sharif, Brunel Business School, Brunel Brunel University
The most successful training and development interventions are always those which are best suited to the needs of not only the individual, but also the organization. Lasting and deep experiences will help to support and embed new knowledge into practice.
Keith Porter, Westminster Business School
The best way is to make a sound business case. Sometimes you will be pushing at an open door, but the more sceptical the employer, the better the business case has to be. You need to show how you will be able to add more value once professionally qualified.
Christie St-John, Tuck School of Business
Many employers already understand the benefits of an MBA, but for those who do not, look around your office – or at your competitors – and find people who already have an MBA. Talk to them about their experience. Where are they now, how do they contribute to the business to make it more efficient, more profitable, more in tune to employees' needs?
Professor Dr Désirée van Gorp
Professor Dr Désirée van Gorp, Nyenrode Business Universiteit
When approaching employers with a request for executive education, individuals should be well aware of their personal development needs. It's important to make clear what this personal development plan means with regard to the relevance for the organization.
Iain Henderson, Edinburgh Business School
You would be best approaching your employer as part of an organization-wide policy rather than trying to make a specific HR approach. HR people as the usual originators of development policies are in a key role to influence management to implement individual development policies.
To read the rest of part two...watch out for June's printed issue
This is a snapshot of part two and has been taken from a guide ‘Why do an MBA – Your global MBA guide’. Find out your financial routes into studying for an MBA, how to research and work out which business school will work best for you, and how to build a business case to your employer and what the return on investments are.
You can read 'Part one' here: MBA – why invest in your HR career
Natalie Cooper, editor, Changeboard
I’m a storyteller at heart. Do you help develop your employees, provide them with a career that gives meaning to their life or offer advice to help empower people? If you have a story to share, please email: email@example.com