One of the most important aspects of our admissions process is ensuring that your employer is fully aware of the commitment you will make if you are accepted into the Executive MBA program, and that they are ready and willing to approve your time. outside the office. From start to finish, our program requires you to be on campus for approximately 60 working days over the 22-month period, with its alternating schedule on Fridays and Saturdays and four weeks in residence covering the duration of the program.
The app’s employer endorsement form is easy to fill out – you provide the name and contact details of the person signing, which generates an email if you receive an interview invite. However, making this request to your employer may require a more nuanced discussion and additional preparation. Below I give some things to consider before approaching your supervisor:
Define your “why”. Share how the application process solidified your goals and helped you clarify the purpose and meaning of your work. Reflecting and taking the time to set your goals can be empowering as you prepare to share your plans with your co-workers (and anyone who supports you in other aspects of your life, too!). Pro tip: Once you’re in the thick of student life, going back to your reasons for applying can be a good grounding exercise, fortifying you through the rigors of the program.
Timing is everything. I meet many potential students who are determined and confident in their decision to pursue an MBA, but who are more hesitant around the question of “when?” While committing to an MBA is a major investment of time and money, I maintain that both are well spent pursuing this program.
First, review the application deadlines and make a plan for that timeline. Next, think about how much time you will need to prepare for a conversation with your employer. Take into account the possibility that you need to connect more than once to discuss upcoming work projects and make a short list of those who could take the lead when you are out of the office. If you hesitate, it can make the conversation awkward if you receive an invitation to an interview and you have not informed your employer beforehand. An informed and prepared supervisor will be in the best position to receive the employer endorsement form.
Prepare the terrain. Undoubtedly, you and your supervisor are both very busy. Set aside time to contextualize your decision to pursue an MBA. Be prepared to discuss the time commitment required with clarity and honesty and to answer their questions regarding the time commitment and the logistics of allocating your time.
Connect with like-minded peers. Pursuing an EMBA has become increasingly popular, and there are likely peers within your organization or network who have earned this degree. Schedule time with them to discuss your interest in following a similar path. Ask about their experience and ask what value the degree has added to their lives, both personally and professionally. Ask them for advice on how they prioritized commitments to family, outside interests, and career alongside school. Get their top tips for gaining employer approval and how they managed to stay productive, efficient and successful while in school.
Identify the unique value proposition. Discovering the value for your team and your organization is a great framework when talking to your supervisor. An attractive part of an Executive MBA format is that you apply what you learn in the classroom to work, immediately – I’ve confirmed with current students that the benefit is realized quickly! Research learning outcomes from Yale SOM’s unique integrated core curriculum and focus areas, survey faculty and their research, and identify resources and opportunities through the Yale Network that relate to your employer’s goals. How does your experience of gaining knowledge, skills and insight position you to improve your organization? What courses will you take to improve your leadership skills? Let your employer know the value and return on investment that an MBA would provide for your professional development and for the continued growth of your business.
Additional benefits. Going through the process of getting employer approval can provide clarity of purpose and can expand your network, leading to new opportunities. Much can be learned from those who came before you – colleagues who accelerated their careers within the organization, created allies for continuing education, and transitioned into a rigorous and intense educational opportunity. Some candidates have found unexpected funding through their organization’s benefits policies. For those who have encountered some resistance, it can be helpful to understand their organization’s culture and receive valuable feedback for future application. Stay curious and keep an open mind!
Our admissions team walks many applicants through this process, and we work diligently to provide the most up-to-date information and support. If you have any questions about the employer endorsement process, visit the Engage Your Employer page on our website and listen to our new Application Tips Clip Podcast. Finally, contact and connect with a member of our team at [email protected] or complete a pre-assessment to help you determine if the Yale SOM Executive MBA is a match for your aspirations and career path. .
I wish you the best as you prepare to make contact with your supervisor. If you walk into the conversation with these tips in mind, I think it’s safe to say you have this!
All my best,