Dilemma over IE business school EMBA


Keviv

Hello everyone,

I have been offered a seat with IE Global Executive MBA (blended format) for this year with a 15% scholarship. So, the tuition fee comes to EUR 68k after scholarship. The program is 16-20 months with 3 residential periods in Madrid.
About me, I am a Dutch citizen but currently living and working in the US as a permanent resident. Currently, I work as business process and technology systems manager in Pharma R&D. I have a Masters in computer science from India (2004). I have about 20 years work experience in IT consulting, software development and last 10 years in Pharma systems (compliance, r&d).
Not sure if it is a mid-life crisis or the whole uncertainty around the job market, but I feel I need to strengthen my profile to reach higher positions in management. I am currently what you might call an Associate Director but not much of people management responsibilities.
I like the subjects and format of IE. Since I will be funding this myself, the cost of doing an EMBA from a prestigious school at 68K is vastly tempting (compared to anything else in EU which are over 100k or in the US at over 200k).
Do you think this is a good move or should I just focus on my current job and upksill on the side?

Hello everyone,

I have been offered a seat with IE Global Executive MBA (blended format) for this year with a 15% scholarship. So, the tuition fee comes to EUR 68k after scholarship. The program is 16-20 months with 3 residential periods in Madrid.
About me, I am a Dutch citizen but currently living and working in the US as a permanent resident. Currently, I work as business process and technology systems manager in Pharma R&D. I have a Masters in computer science from India (2004). I have about 20 years work experience in IT consulting, software development and last 10 years in Pharma systems (compliance, r&d).
Not sure if it is a mid-life crisis or the whole uncertainty around the job market, but I feel I need to strengthen my profile to reach higher positions in management. I am currently what you might call an Associate Director but not much of people management responsibilities.
I like the subjects and format of IE. Since I will be funding this myself, the cost of doing an EMBA from a prestigious school at 68K is vastly tempting (compared to anything else in EU which are over 100k or in the US at over 200k).
Do you think this is a good move or should I just focus on my current job and upksill on the side?
quote
Duncan

I wonder why these are the only options you are considering. IE is undoubtedly seen as a prestigious school by many people in Latin America. But prestige isn't always very portable, and the IE EMBA is probably less prestigious in the US than, say:
- an online MBA from Krannert https://online.purdue.edu/programs/business/online-masters-in-business-administration?_ga=2.93057753.535767017.1712250391-854939603.1712250391
- or Questrom https://www.bu.edu/questrom/degree-programs/online-mba/ , or
- an alumnus-status exec ed course at Wharton https://executiveeducation.wharton.upenn.edu/for-individuals/all-programs/general-management-program/
- or Columbia https://online1.gsb.columbia.edu/executive-program-in-management .

PS If you feel in a mid-life crisis, combining career coaching, personal counseling, executive coaching, and volunteering into leadership roles in a non-profit could be a far more effective way forward.

[Edited by Duncan on Apr 04, 2024]

I wonder why these are the only options you are considering. IE is undoubtedly seen as a prestigious school by many people in Latin America. But prestige isn't always very portable, and the IE EMBA is probably less prestigious in the US than, say:
- an online MBA from Krannert https://online.purdue.edu/programs/business/online-masters-in-business-administration?_ga=2.93057753.535767017.1712250391-854939603.1712250391
- or Questrom https://www.bu.edu/questrom/degree-programs/online-mba/ , or
- an alumnus-status exec ed course at Wharton https://executiveeducation.wharton.upenn.edu/for-individuals/all-programs/general-management-program/
- or Columbia https://online1.gsb.columbia.edu/executive-program-in-management . <br>
PS If you feel in a mid-life crisis, combining career coaching, personal counseling, executive coaching, and volunteering into leadership roles in a non-profit could be a far more effective way forward.
quote
Keviv

Thank you, Duncan, for your candid reply. i looked at IE for the following reasons: an exec MBA, prestigious (in Europe at least), tuition fee in proportion to prestige, etc.

At my experience level, I also want to interact with executives and people with more experience as opposed to very junior folks in a regular MBA. The MBA programs listed above seem to target early career professionals.

I could do the exec ed courses but most of them are mostly run by ed tech companies with the university stamp. The one from Wharton you have suggested seems closer to achieving an MBA.
Lastly, I also want to showcase my commitment to achieving an MBA. At 68k if I can get an exec MBA, I thought that might be more valuable overall even if IE is not as much recognized in the US, I could still benefit from the experience?

Thank you, Duncan, for your candid reply. i looked at IE for the following reasons: an exec MBA, prestigious (in Europe at least), tuition fee in proportion to prestige, etc.

At my experience level, I also want to interact with executives and people with more experience as opposed to very junior folks in a regular MBA. The MBA programs listed above seem to target early career professionals.

I could do the exec ed courses but most of them are mostly run by ed tech companies with the university stamp. The one from Wharton you have suggested seems closer to achieving an MBA.
Lastly, I also want to showcase my commitment to achieving an MBA. At 68k if I can get an exec MBA, I thought that might be more valuable overall even if IE is not as much recognized in the US, I could still benefit from the experience?
quote
Duncan

Focus on your goals: which countries do you want to build your network in? Is it your soft skills or hard skills that are the priority?

There are not many schools with pan-European prestige. IE performs well in the rankings but, even in Spain, there are varying opinions about it. It's a challenger school, in many ways, and it's a for-profit - unlike other top business schools. Free-standing business schools (ESCP, IESE, HEC, INSEAD, LBS, SDA etc) are well known to traditional MBA employers but they are not mass market brands in the way that major research universities are (Erasmus, Mannheim, Oxbridge, St Gallen, Warwick etc). Maybe an Oxford executive diploma or Warwick MBA would be an option?

You're mistaken in saying that most exec ed courses are run by ed tech firms. But, what if some are? I just graduated from an alumni-status programme at INSEAD, but it partners with Emeritus for other alumni-status programmes. If you had met similar people in the cohort, had the same professors, graduated at the same campus in Paris.... would it really matter?

Focus on your goals: which countries do you want to build your network in? Is it your soft skills or hard skills that are the priority?

There are not many schools with pan-European prestige. IE performs well in the rankings but, even in Spain, there are varying opinions about it. It's a challenger school, in many ways, and it's a for-profit - unlike other top business schools. Free-standing business schools (ESCP, IESE, HEC, INSEAD, LBS, SDA etc) are well known to traditional MBA employers but they are not mass market brands in the way that major research universities are (Erasmus, Mannheim, Oxbridge, St Gallen, Warwick etc). Maybe an Oxford executive diploma or Warwick MBA would be an option?

You're mistaken in saying that most exec ed courses are run by ed tech firms. But, what if some are? I just graduated from an alumni-status programme at INSEAD, but it partners with Emeritus for other alumni-status programmes. If you had met similar people in the cohort, had the same professors, graduated at the same campus in Paris.... would it really matter?
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Keviv

If the edtech run courses are indeed good, then maybe it would not matter, I am just not sure what is "good". I am doing an AI program for leaders/managers which is supposed to be delivered by University of Texas (Austin) which is a great technical university but the course content, outside of a handful of videos, are just not suitable/relevant to managers/leaders. This is delivered by GreatLearning. Our cohort was greatly dissatisfied and we had to meet with the GreatLearnng staff to voice our concers. There is no acess to UT Austin staff whatsoever. This worries me before I invest significant money into edtech run courses.
I will also look at the other schools once again (from your list). For me soft skills is a priority, I want to develop leadership and strategic thinking skills. I also think I should look at the US but it is so expensive here for exec MBA (again in prestigious schools) and I dont want to throw money at any school..
The Oxford execuitve diploma sounds interesting, will check it out.

If the edtech run courses are indeed good, then maybe it would not matter, I am just not sure what is "good". I am doing an AI program for leaders/managers which is supposed to be delivered by University of Texas (Austin) which is a great technical university but the course content, outside of a handful of videos, are just not suitable/relevant to managers/leaders. This is delivered by GreatLearning. Our cohort was greatly dissatisfied and we had to meet with the GreatLearnng staff to voice our concers. There is no acess to UT Austin staff whatsoever. This worries me before I invest significant money into edtech run courses.
I will also look at the other schools once again (from your list). For me soft skills is a priority, I want to develop leadership and strategic thinking skills. I also think I should look at the US but it is so expensive here for exec MBA (again in prestigious schools) and I dont want to throw money at any school..
The Oxford execuitve diploma sounds interesting, will check it out.
quote
Duncan

I'm sorry you had that experience with the UTA Great Learning course. The website for that program has no claim that UTA people teach or mentor (other than Kumar Muthuraman). It costs $2,800, one-tenth [or less] of my mentioned courses.

If you're looking for soft skills, I'm really not sure an EMBA is the right option if your budget is limited. I'm not sure where you are, but in Europe, I'd consider senior executive programs with alumni status. I considered IMD's BPSE https://www.imd.org/management/bpse/executive-leadership-program/admission/ and the ESMT ETP https://esmt.berlin/execed/open-programs/advanced-management/executive-transition-program , for example.

I'm sorry you had that experience with the UTA Great Learning course. The website for that program has no claim that UTA people teach or mentor (other than Kumar Muthuraman). It costs $2,800, one-tenth [or less] of my mentioned courses.

If you're looking for soft skills, I'm really not sure an EMBA is the right option if your budget is limited. I'm not sure where you are, but in Europe, I'd consider senior executive programs with alumni status. I considered IMD's BPSE https://www.imd.org/management/bpse/executive-leadership-program/admission/ and the ESMT ETP https://esmt.berlin/execed/open-programs/advanced-management/executive-transition-program , for example.
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Duncan

One other option... the Manchester MBA is a good alternative to IE with a strng US alumni network. AMBS had a Miami campus, until the panedemic, and a double degree with Indiana's Kelley school. https://www.alliancembs.manchester.ac.uk/study/mba/global-executive/

Manchester also had a global fellowship program with the Center for Creative Leadership, which would be a great resource for soft skills development. https://www.ccl.org/leadership-programs/ They have huge economies of scale which allows competitive pricing: Just $8k for their flagship program https://www.ccl.org/leadership-programs/leadership-development-program/

One other option... the Manchester MBA is a good alternative to IE with a strng US alumni network. AMBS had a Miami campus, until the panedemic, and a double degree with Indiana's Kelley school. https://www.alliancembs.manchester.ac.uk/study/mba/global-executive/

Manchester also had a global fellowship program with the Center for Creative Leadership, which would be a great resource for soft skills development. https://www.ccl.org/leadership-programs/ They have huge economies of scale which allows competitive pricing: Just $8k for their flagship program https://www.ccl.org/leadership-programs/leadership-development-program/
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Keviv

Thanks again, Duncan. My sincere thanks to you for this engaging conversation and help.
I am based in the US (NYC area) and I want to find something that will help me transition to higher management. I am willing to consider the required money based on the value of the course.
The UT Austin course was just an example of a bad experience with edtech provider run course. It's not so much about the access to the faculty, but more that the content was not what was promised, it was more suitable to a technical handson as opposed to a leader//manager. I was hoping to get a overall view of how projects are run and.managed.

Thanks again, Duncan. My sincere thanks to you for this engaging conversation and help.
I am based in the US (NYC area) and I want to find something that will help me transition to higher management. I am willing to consider the required money based on the value of the course.
The UT Austin course was just an example of a bad experience with edtech provider run course. It's not so much about the access to the faculty, but more that the content was not what was promised, it was more suitable to a technical handson as opposed to a leader//manager. I was hoping to get a overall view of how projects are run and.managed.
quote
Duncan

If I could take advantage of in-state tuition around NYC, I would be looking at Rutgers and CUNY. Sadly the NYC programmes from Binghampton got closed.

I'd also consider the NYU c-suite program,e with IESE on 57th street: https://www.iese.edu/executive-education/csuite-pathway-program/

If I could take advantage of in-state tuition around NYC, I would be looking at Rutgers and CUNY. Sadly the NYC programmes from Binghampton got closed.

I'd also consider the NYU c-suite program,e with IESE on 57th street: https://www.iese.edu/executive-education/csuite-pathway-program/
quote
Keviv

If I were to just think about getting exposed to the mba subjects, get an mba degree, m develop some leadership and strategic thinking skills along the way, would you have any recommendations on a online/distance learning mba that I can consider without too much money? Maybe something under 30-40k?

If I were to just think about getting exposed to the mba subjects, get an mba degree, m develop some leadership and strategic thinking skills along the way, would you have any recommendations on a online/distance learning mba that I can consider without too much money? Maybe something under 30-40k?
quote
Duncan

I have mentioned Boston University, which is an excellent fit with life sciences and your desire for a more strategic level of education. I think that at $25k plus a soft skills exec ed programme like CCL LDP would give you a great profile for $33k.

I have mentioned Boston University, which is an excellent fit with life sciences and your desire for a more strategic level of education. I think that at $25k plus a soft skills exec ed programme like CCL LDP would give you a great profile for $33k.
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Keviv

Thanks very much, Duncan.

Thanks very much, Duncan.
quote
aslamo

If the edtech run courses are indeed good, then maybe it would not matter, I am just not sure what is "good". I am doing an AI program for leaders/managers which is supposed to be delivered by University of Texas (Austin) which is a great technical university but the course content, outside of a handful of videos, are just not suitable/relevant to managers/leaders. This is delivered by GreatLearning. Our cohort was greatly dissatisfied and we had to meet with the GreatLearnng staff to voice our concers. There is no acess to UT Austin staff whatsoever. This worries me before I invest significant money into edtech run courses.
I will also look at the other schools once again (from your list). For me soft skills is a priority, I want to develop leadership and strategic thinking skills. I also think I should look at the US but it is so expensive here for exec MBA (again in prestigious schools) and I dont want to throw money at any school..
The Oxford execuitve diploma sounds interesting, will check it out.


I know someone who did that course with University of Texas and enjoyed it and he was a director in a large family business. I think with these types of exec courses and programmes it is really helpful to speak with students who have completed the course.

I have done courses with Boston and Oxford Said and was able to speak to multiple students and they were complementary about the courses. Conversely, I did an AI exec startup course with Imperial and whilst the assignments and capstone project were good, the material was delivered in a really dry manner. As it was a brand new course, there were no alumni students. Had I known about the course delivery style, I might have waited a year till they ironed out any problems.

It takes a bit of hunting on LinkedIn but there's a good chance you can find one or two alumni who will speak to you about an exec course you are interested in.

[quote]If the edtech run courses are indeed good, then maybe it would not matter, I am just not sure what is "good". I am doing an AI program for leaders/managers which is supposed to be delivered by University of Texas (Austin) which is a great technical university but the course content, outside of a handful of videos, are just not suitable/relevant to managers/leaders. This is delivered by GreatLearning. Our cohort was greatly dissatisfied and we had to meet with the GreatLearnng staff to voice our concers. There is no acess to UT Austin staff whatsoever. This worries me before I invest significant money into edtech run courses.
I will also look at the other schools once again (from your list). For me soft skills is a priority, I want to develop leadership and strategic thinking skills. I also think I should look at the US but it is so expensive here for exec MBA (again in prestigious schools) and I dont want to throw money at any school..
The Oxford execuitve diploma sounds interesting, will check it out. [/quote]

I know someone who did that course with University of Texas and enjoyed it and he was a director in a large family business. I think with these types of exec courses and programmes it is really helpful to speak with students who have completed the course.

I have done courses with Boston and Oxford Said and was able to speak to multiple students and they were complementary about the courses. Conversely, I did an AI exec startup course with Imperial and whilst the assignments and capstone project were good, the material was delivered in a really dry manner. As it was a brand new course, there were no alumni students. Had I known about the course delivery style, I might have waited a year till they ironed out any problems.

It takes a bit of hunting on LinkedIn but there's a good chance you can find one or two alumni who will speak to you about an exec course you are interested in.
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