Ashridge Vs Bath or Henley for EMBA


reason

First, a bit about myself:
ACMA Qualified 97, 26 years UK working exp with14 years as Finance Manager, have managed up to 8 staff, employed with current US multinational company based in Surrey for 6years, been involved in series of financial and change management of entities and projects, In my 40s with family. Need a change, a challenge, a new employment and a future outlook by going into consulting, corporate strategies and business transformation in an international business with special emphasis on merger and acquisition.

My initial preference was Bath Uni because of their ranking in the Economists,renowned to be one of the best universities for management and business courses, tuition fees is reasonable at £23k as this will be self funded, modules and timescales of 70 days in 2 years is achievable with course commencing in October 2012.

Replies on several related topics on this forum has made me more confused. i am now leaning towards Ashridge £33k which is located near my home. Cranfield was also considered but course starts in Jan. 2013.

Constraints are: Fund - Max £33k, Time - start in 2012 and complete in 2014 and Duration - 2 years.

Please help me with your objective advise or critique of the selected B-Schools including your personal experience as I would like to submit my application by Monday 9th July. Thanks

First, a bit about myself:
ACMA Qualified 97, 26 years UK working exp with14 years as Finance Manager, have managed up to 8 staff, employed with current US multinational company based in Surrey for 6years, been involved in series of financial and change management of entities and projects, In my 40s with family. Need a change, a challenge, a new employment and a future outlook by going into consulting, corporate strategies and business transformation in an international business with special emphasis on merger and acquisition.

My initial preference was Bath Uni because of their ranking in the Economists,renowned to be one of the best universities for management and business courses, tuition fees is reasonable at £23k as this will be self funded, modules and timescales of 70 days in 2 years is achievable with course commencing in October 2012.

Replies on several related topics on this forum has made me more confused. i am now leaning towards Ashridge £33k which is located near my home. Cranfield was also considered but course starts in Jan. 2013.

Constraints are: Fund - Max £33k, Time - start in 2012 and complete in 2014 and Duration - 2 years.

Please help me with your objective advise or critique of the selected B-Schools including your personal experience as I would like to submit my application by Monday 9th July. Thanks
quote
Duncan

I don't think The Economist does a ranking of EMBA programmes, so pay more attention to the FT's EMBA ranking.

There's plenty of discussion on all those schools, and there's not much to add to that. Their general pecking order is Cranfield > Henley > Ashridge > A big gap and then Bath. Considering your interest in M&A, I think you should really focus on Cranfield if you can. Henley and Ashridge are rather similar insofar as they focus on developing general managers out of functional managers.

What sort of consulting firm would you like to work for?

I don't think The Economist does a ranking of EMBA programmes, so pay more attention to the FT's EMBA ranking.

There's plenty of discussion on all those schools, and there's not much to add to that. Their general pecking order is Cranfield > Henley > Ashridge > A big gap and then Bath. Considering your interest in M&A, I think you should really focus on Cranfield if you can. Henley and Ashridge are rather similar insofar as they focus on developing general managers out of functional managers.

What sort of consulting firm would you like to work for?
quote
reason

Duncan,
Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately, Cranfield starts in January 2013. I m uncertain if they would let me start some of the modules early. I may ask them.

I am keen to improve my knowledge and skills in reviewing and improving business processes and practices both financial and operational.
Long term goal is to set my own firm to manage change and improve productivity in companies.

Duncan,
Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately, Cranfield starts in January 2013. I m uncertain if they would let me start some of the modules early. I may ask them.

I am keen to improve my knowledge and skills in reviewing and improving business processes and practices both financial and operational.
Long term goal is to set my own firm to manage change and improve productivity in companies.
quote

Have you attended each school's open day? They allow you to get a real feel for each school so you are not just relying on their marketing materials for information.

Ashridge's MBA open day takes place this Saturday (07/07/12) and features live classes, Q&A's, etc.

Have you attended each school's open day? They allow you to get a real feel for each school so you are not just relying on their marketing materials for information.

Ashridge's MBA open day takes place this Saturday (07/07/12) and features live classes, Q&A's, etc.
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HansPeter

Hallo Daniel - Thank you for your participation here. Where can I find reliable and updated employment/placement data for Ashridge?

The info provided here seems rather inadequate http://www.ashridge.org.uk/Website/Content.nsf/wDEG/Ashridge+MBA+-+Placement+data?opendocument

Are 17% of Ashridge MBA grads really now working in 'social media'? 6% in 'medical practice'?

Hallo Daniel - Thank you for your participation here. Where can I find reliable and updated employment/placement data for Ashridge?

The info provided here seems rather inadequate http://www.ashridge.org.uk/Website/Content.nsf/wDEG/Ashridge+MBA+-+Placement+data?opendocument

Are 17% of Ashridge MBA grads really now working in 'social media'? 6% in 'medical practice'?
quote

I have sent you the contact details of our MBA careers head in a private message. She can answer your questions and talk you through our careers service.

I have sent you the contact details of our MBA careers head in a private message. She can answer your questions and talk you through our careers service.
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Duncan

HansPeter, the chart is obviously broken. The font size is too large for the number of series, so every other label is missed out (a really annoying Excel feature). I am sure than Daniel can ask his colleagues to fix it.

HansPeter, the chart is obviously broken. The font size is too large for the number of series, so every other label is missed out (a really annoying Excel feature). I am sure than Daniel can ask his colleagues to fix it.
quote
Sparks

This is the best advice, IMO:

Have you attended each school's open day? They allow you to get a real feel for each school so you are not just relying on their marketing materials for information.


Reading the rankings and marketing material are a good start, but only a start. I strongly believe that you have to visit a school and meet its staff to get a decent feel for the place. You're going to be spending quite a bit of time there!

Duncan, I'm curious why you put Henley ahead of Ashridge. (I'd have guessed the two were equal.)

This is the best advice, IMO:

<blockquote>Have you attended each school's open day? They allow you to get a real feel for each school so you are not just relying on their marketing materials for information.
</blockquote>

Reading the rankings and marketing material are a good start, but only a start. I strongly believe that you have to visit a school and meet its staff to get a decent feel for the place. You're going to be spending quite a bit of time there!

Duncan, I'm curious why you put Henley ahead of Ashridge. (I'd have guessed the two were equal.)
quote
Duncan

They are very similar. Henley has a much more traditional EMBA, which I think helps people to become consultants in larger firms. Ashridge is, I think, better at rounding out the soft skills of functional managers.

They are very similar. Henley has a much more traditional EMBA, which I think helps people to become consultants in larger firms. Ashridge is, I think, better at rounding out the soft skills of functional managers.
quote
mistermark

I'm biased in a sense, because I'm at Cranfield, though I also considered Ashridge and Henley, as these three schools are the main ones for attracting the more mature EMBA candidates. Personally I think an MBA is a huge investment of time and money and I wouldn't select one over another on the basis of starting in September 2012 rather than January 2013. While I wouldn't want to criticise the other two options, nothing I've seen since joining Cranfield has led me to question my decision.

I'm biased in a sense, because I'm at Cranfield, though I also considered Ashridge and Henley, as these three schools are the main ones for attracting the more mature EMBA candidates. Personally I think an MBA is a huge investment of time and money and I wouldn't select one over another on the basis of starting in September 2012 rather than January 2013. While I wouldn't want to criticise the other two options, nothing I've seen since joining Cranfield has led me to question my decision.
quote
ralph

I am keen to improve my knowledge and skills in reviewing and improving business processes and practices both financial and operational.
Long term goal is to set my own firm to manage change and improve productivity in companies.

One thing is that Henley grads usually end up in consultancy capacities moreso than Ashridge grads. Even though this is not necessarily an indicator of strong focus in this area (EMBAs are less likely to change careers than MBAs,) this is still an interesting statistic for somebody in your shoes. FWIW Cranfield grads also end up in consultancy roles pretty often.

<blockquote>I am keen to improve my knowledge and skills in reviewing and improving business processes and practices both financial and operational.
Long term goal is to set my own firm to manage change and improve productivity in companies.</blockquote>
One thing is that Henley grads usually end up in consultancy capacities moreso than Ashridge grads. Even though this is not necessarily an indicator of strong focus in this area (EMBAs are less likely to change careers than MBAs,) this is still an interesting statistic for somebody in your shoes. FWIW Cranfield grads also end up in consultancy roles pretty often.
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Sparks

Ralph, I'd imagine this is because of the profile of the intake, as well as people changing their career decisions during their time at Ashridge. I've done exec ed at Ashridge and it's a wonderful place for helping you to work through what you really want. Many people think they want to do consultancy, but the reality of consulting can make for an unhappy life.

Ralph, I'd imagine this is because of the profile of the intake, as well as people changing their career decisions during their time at Ashridge. I've done exec ed at Ashridge and it's a wonderful place for helping you to work through what you really want. Many people think they want to do consultancy, but the reality of consulting can make for an unhappy life.
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Duncan

Having also studied there, I can endorse what Sparks says about Ashridge. I would also add that at a school with relatively weak careers services and alumni networking, like Ashridge, self-employed consulting can the only outcome available to those who don't find employment.

Having also studied there, I can endorse what Sparks says about Ashridge. I would also add that at a school with relatively weak careers services and alumni networking, like Ashridge, self-employed consulting can the only outcome available to those who don't find employment.
quote
reason

I have read and taken everyone?s opinions and advice. This will definitely help me in making my final decision.
Both Ashley and Henley business schools have their Open day on Sat 7th July. I will like to attend both, maybe one in the morning and another pm. I will be more comfortable with my future after my meetings. A key point is for me to continue to improve my skills and be able to add value in my current role at my present company or elsewhere.

I have read and taken everyone?s opinions and advice. This will definitely help me in making my final decision.
Both Ashley and Henley business schools have their Open day on Sat 7th July. I will like to attend both, maybe one in the morning and another pm. I will be more comfortable with my future after my meetings. A key point is for me to continue to improve my skills and be able to add value in my current role at my present company or elsewhere.
quote
Duncan

That's not a terrible idea. Use the A4010, not the M25 ;-)

I have to agree with mistermark: if Cranfield is better, then it's worth waiting for the January start.

The Ashridge campus is quite overwhelming, and a lot of people have a strong emotional experience to it. Speak with students. Honestly, if you have a day to spare, it might be better used not attending the open days but instead speaking with alumni and current students on the phone.

That's not a terrible idea. Use the A4010, not the M25 ;-)

I have to agree with mistermark: if Cranfield is better, then it's worth waiting for the January start.

The Ashridge campus is quite overwhelming, and a lot of people have a strong emotional experience to it. Speak with students. Honestly, if you have a day to spare, it might be better used not attending the open days but instead speaking with alumni and current students on the phone.
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reason

Duncan ? Would you think of some shortfalls with Ashridge EMBA which exist at Cranfield. There must be something lacking with Ashridge. Discussing my concerns on this forum is part of my research in seeking the most ideal school and time to start the programme. The ultimate goal after two year is advancement in role which I will not find in my current job as a finance manager. Some of the items on my checklist are: Location ? proximity to London and home, real life experience of lecturers, networking, International experience or exposure, Payback period, flexibility in future roles (Employed or self employed), prestige etc

Duncan ? Would you think of some shortfalls with Ashridge EMBA which exist at Cranfield. There must be something lacking with Ashridge. Discussing my concerns on this forum is part of my research in seeking the most ideal school and time to start the programme. The ultimate goal after two year is advancement in role which I will not find in my current job as a finance manager. Some of the items on my checklist are: Location ? proximity to London and home, real life experience of lecturers, networking, International experience or exposure, Payback period, flexibility in future roles (Employed or self employed), prestige etc
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Duncan

Well, the Cranfield MBA is a conventional MBA with an extensive curriculum and a very wide range of electives. It's well known, with a large alumni network and well-rooted relationships with employers. The programme covers traditional MBA tools very well, so the graduates are able in quantitative decision-making, formal management methods and have deep finance and accounting skills.

I think that's not really true at Ashridge, which provides something more focused on soft skills and and integrated thinking. Ashridge's big customers, for example, have been large German firms where the managers don't need functional skills, but do need leadership, coaching and soft-skills development.

In your position, I would not hesitate to go to Cranfield. If you were a functional specialist with a large personal network who wanted to develop soft skills and start their own business, then perhaps Ashridge or Henley would be better. But Ashridge doesn't have the network or M&A specialisation which I think you might need.

Well, the Cranfield MBA is a conventional MBA with an extensive curriculum and a very wide range of electives. It's well known, with a large alumni network and well-rooted relationships with employers. The programme covers traditional MBA tools very well, so the graduates are able in quantitative decision-making, formal management methods and have deep finance and accounting skills.

I think that's not really true at Ashridge, which provides something more focused on soft skills and and integrated thinking. Ashridge's big customers, for example, have been large German firms where the managers don't need functional skills, but do need leadership, coaching and soft-skills development.

In your position, I would not hesitate to go to Cranfield. If you were a functional specialist with a large personal network who wanted to develop soft skills and start their own business, then perhaps Ashridge or Henley would be better. But Ashridge doesn't have the network or M&A specialisation which I think you might need.
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