EMBA classes of 35,000 Euros for managers

Mihaela Dalar Stanca, Viena (Translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)
Ziarul BURSA #English Section /

EMBA classes of 35,000 Euros for managers

The students say that price was the last thing on their mind when they applied 

Some Romanian managers with a work expertise of about 11 years and an average age of 35 years are considering new opportunities for professional development, as this is the time when they meet foreign education. Four "brains" from internationally known companies operating in Romania, have completed, together with 19 other students, guided by the curiosity and the need for a new outlook on business, the classes of the Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) of WU Executive Academy, the business school headquartered in Vienna, an experience which they talked about themselves.

The four students who enrolled in this course are Sorin Timus (sales manager at Hochland Romania), Maria Săndulescu (Customer Value Proposition Director at Raiffeisen Bank România), Gabriela Marin (manager of human resources at Uniqa Asigurări) and Ionuţ Gaota (Windows Business Group Lead, Microsoft).

WU Executive Academy has been present in Romania with the EMBA program since 2006, and the classes are held in Bucharest. It is a program which is aimed at employees with at least five years of experience in a position of management, and for a price of 35,000 Euros for a period of 14 months, it offers classes focused on subjects such as general management, global strategies of business and financial management, taught by some of the best teachers in the world, using innovative teaching methods.

With their classes were fully funded by the companies they work for, with their own money or by the luck of having obtained a partial scholarship of 15,000 Euros from WU Executive Academy, the Romanian managers who graduated this month the EMBA classes say that price was the last thing they thought about when applying for the EMBA.

When does a manager decide to apply for the EMBA?

Each of the four managers I talked to decided to apply for this program the moment they thought that they needed something new on their professional approach and the moment they felt ready to add to their already busy office schedule, additional hours of academic study, which spread over a period of 1 months.

With a background of 15 years in management and six years at Raiffeisen Bank, Mrs. Săndulescu said: "Up until now, I've never thought about applying for an EMBA, because you need to come in with your own experience. I've had the patience and the possibility to gather almost 15 years of experience in management, to summon the courage to apply for such a program. If you don't have your own part of specialization by which you would contribute added value to the team, work will be extremely hard, as the office work does not stop when you start the course".

For Gabriela Marin, who now leads the human resources department of Uniqa România, the idea of applying for this program came ten years ago, but it was only two years ago, after she joined the team of Uniqa, that she decided to become part of the class of students which assembled in Bucharest. Gabriela Marin gave us further details: "The reputation of the university definitely counted when I chose to do this EMBA, as did the feedback received from the colleagues who completed the EMBA. Now, as a fresh graduate, I don't regret that I did this and I am very happy".

The application of the knowledge from the EMBA in the company she works for

When one makes the decision to burden your schedule for the next 14 months, you definitely start off with a series of expectations, you want to accumulate all the information and most of all, they want to do this to apply the new knowledge in the business they are in. Maria Săndulescu says: "At the EMBA, the applied part involves real situations, in all lines of business; you can acquire similarities, and then you start to make comparisons between the strategies of the extremely big, influential company which have an ability to foresee the next market movements, and your own business".

Sorin Timus, Hochland, adds: "I've taken much of the information I have acquired here and I am trying to use it in the area of business I am in charge of".

When it comes to the EMBA program she completed, the representative of Uniqa România praises the fact that she had the opportunity to observe other areas than the one she was so familiar with: "Another additional benefit for me was the fact that I have uncovered the secrets of other areas, such as finance, statistics, I have succeeded in getting things a little differently. Considering the manner we have all worked in, I liked the fact that we encouraged each other, that we shared experiences, we brought out the best in us".

Entrepreneurial outlook

The EMBA program is completed by the students by presenting an entrepreneurial project devised as a team. The EMBA students can conceive a business plan that involves the introduction of a Romanian brand, already established in Romania, on a foreign market, or they can theoretically or practically develop a new business.

EMBA graduate Ionuţ Gaota noted: "Aside from the academic part of this program, we have also had an exchange of ideas adequate for the domestic market. We have visited companies, we didn't just use business theories, we saw them implemented in practice. This is where we laid the foundation for an entrepreneurial line of thinking, which, let's say, is only beginning in Romania. Every one of us can now say that they are ready to take on the business environment, whether they do it within the company or, in a few years, with a new company, a startup".

The Romanian students I talked are thinking about not leaving the project they put together at the end of the EMBA remain a theory.

The degree of difficulty of the EMBA

The EMBA graduate and also employee of Microsoft România says that, in the beginning, he never thought about the real impact that this course would have on him on a personal and professional level: "I knew there would be 14 modules, but I did not correctly estimate the impact of this program, as the difficulty ratio was rather high. It has been a great challenge, considering the companies we work for".

Maria Săndulescu says that once one starts an EMBA program, time management needs to be done down to the latest detail: "Every one of us had to agree on a schedule which to stick to, because you can't afford not to get to the classes. This program requires you to get organized down to the tiniest detail".

The representative of Uniqa was encouraged from within the company all throughout the program: "I underestimated the difficulty of the EMBA and also the volume of work at the company at first, but what was very important was the support I received from the company. This helped me go on".

Breathing a sigh of relief after the course, some of the managers are thinking of new opportunities for growing their career, whereas others are wishing for a well-deserved break.

WU Executive Academy is a part of the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), one of the largest business schools in Economics, with programs all over the world. Between 2006 and the present day, 117 students applied at the classes held in Bucharest, of which 67% men. Every year, about 900 student graduates and approximately 1,200 managers and experts from over 75 countries study the WU Executive programs. The residences and the programs take place in more than 15 countries, on three continents.

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