Wondering how to approach your manager about the decision to pursue an Executive MBA? Many executives confide to feeling stressed about the conversation. Let’s unpack the process. You may find that it’s a lot easier than you anticipate.

A few top-line points: The Executive MBA is not just a credential. It’s a program that will develop you as a leader. What you learn in class will be immediately applicable to your work. For organizations, this is a serious competitive advantage.

For the past 30 years, more than 800 organizations have sponsored Executive MBA students at Columbia Business School. Many of these companies have sponsored multiple high-potential professionals. This is a testament to the benefits of investing in — and retaining — valued employees. Key point: Your MBA degree is an investment in the company’s future.

What’s expected with sponsorship:

  • As an Executive MBA student, you must be fully employed from the time of application through completion of the program.
  • If you are an independent professional or consultant, or the head of your own firm, you are eligible and will be required to write your own sponsorship letter.

Time Sponsorships:

  • Friday/Saturday: As a student in the Friday/Saturday program, you are required to submit written authorization from your employer stating permission to attend class on workdays and to complete the program. Sponsorship letters must be submitted as part of your application.
  • Saturday option:  As a Saturday-only student, you are not required to attain employer sponsorship of any kind, though it is welcome.

Financial sponsorship: Many EMBA students obtain corporate financial sponsorship, which ranges from partial to full support. However, financial sponsorship is not required.

Questions? Please contact the Admissions Committee at [email protected] or 212-854-1961.

Tips for Securing Sponsorship from Your Employer:

  • Do your homework. Ask your HR department about your company’s policy on continuing education. Find out whether other employees in your firm have previously received company sponsorship. If so, you might be able to talk to the recipients or HR about how to proceed. Start the process early!
  • Frame your request. It’s important to make the benefits clear. Let your employer know that the Columbia EMBA Program is not just a cost, but an investment that adds value to the company.
  • Create a proposal. Your employer will appreciate the effort you make to detail the time and money needed. It may be helpful to include a comparison of the Columbia EMBA Program with other schools’ programs. If you are willing to make a commitment to your current firm, let your manager know this upfront; the company will be more apt to make an investment in you if you commit to them in return.
  • Use this website as an asset. Download our sample business case. Encourage your manager and other decision makers to visit the Information for Sponsors page.

Provide contact information. If your company has any questions, support is available: E-mail [email protected] or call 212-854-1961.