Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | December 12th, 2018

How to Make Your EMBA Program Stand Out

Many words come to mind when describing an Executive MBA program:

  • Transformational
  • Experiential
  • Leadership
  • Elite
  • Incomparable
  • Potential
  • Advancement

Do these words describe your Executive MBA program? It’s likely they do, and they can also be used to describe most EMBA programs. Herein lies the problem. Most EMBA programs look and sound the same. How is a prospective student expected to distinguish between your program and that of your competitors?

What is your unique selling proposition?

Let’s start with your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). A USP is the reason why you are better than the competition. It can include things like price, values, and curriculum. Think of your EMBA program as a product. What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?

What is your USP?

  • Exceptional ROI. Is your EMBA program the least expensive in your city? region? state? the nation?
  • Fabulous faculty. Are your faculty members noted for their research or publications? Have they received awards? Do they have industry experience? Students want to learn from those who’ve “been in the trenches,” so to speak.
  • Innovative curriculum. Most EMBA programs cover business fundamentals. But what types of electives are available? Do you offer specializations in or tracks according to areas of interest?
  • Impressive cohort. Is the caliber of your cohorts head and shoulders above the rest? EMBA students learn from each other as well as from their professors. This could be a big selling point.
  • Brand equity. Is your program ranked? Does it have exclusive accreditation? Is it part of a business school that is ranked or widely acclaimed? Is it part of a prestigious college or university? It’s OK to piggyback on the brand of your parent organization.
  • Program format. Many schools tailor their program schedules to meet the needs of working professionals. Is there anything about your program that is especially flexible? Do you offer a hybrid of learning environments or formats?
  • Leadership development. Do you go above and beyond basic executive coaching? Do you go the extra mile when it comes to careers and placements? Do you take leadership development to the next level? What about executive education?
  • Global reach. Does your EMBA program have an international component? If so, how does it differ from all the rest?
  • Alumni network. This extends the value of your program beyond graduation. Where are your alumni now? We’re talking both geographically and in terms of positions at their respective companies. You might just find a trend to capitalize on, such as a track record of success in a particular industry.
  • Another way you can distinguish yourself is through your Think about foregoing the traditional students-in-classroom imagery and use an image totally unrelated to academia. This will make your ads eye-catching, which is the first goal of any ad. Your messaging, however, will still resonate with your audience.

If you’ve read the above bullet points and still are scratching your head over how your EMBA program stands out, this could be a wake-up call. Perhaps you need to revisit one or more elements and adjust them to make your program more enticing to prospective students.