Ambitious, forward-looking individuals are often chronically busy. Putting off personal development goals due to a jam-packed schedule may not be as rational as you think. If an EMBA is on your bucket list, today is a great day to rethink your timing.
“Do you know what the most common message we get from our alumni is? They say that the EMBA was one of their all-time best decisions–and their only regret is that they did not start sooner,” describes Dr. Mikko Laukkanen, Academic Director at Aalto University Executive Education. “I have yet to hear a single person say that they wished they postponed their EMBA.”
“People who are pressed for time now form the pool from which future leaders are discovered,” states Anu Sirkiä, Aalto EE’s Head of New Ventures and Partnerships. “But not everyone who is busy now will be a leader tomorrow. If your aspiration is to reach the top, you need to find the time to hone your leadership skills.”
Sirkiä and Laukkanen emphasize that while practical business experience is extremely valuable, leaders need more than that to succeed. They explain that real learning only occurs when information about change is put into the right theoretical framework. Theoretical insight works like a lens that enables leaders to perceive the future, often quite clearly.
Theoretical insight works like a lens that enables leaders to perceive the future, often quite clearly."
“All leaders share a common trait: intellectual curiosity,” Sirkiä reminds. “If you are not curious, you simply cannot drive a business forward. For a leader, every new morning means taking a stand and renewing business. Change is omnipresent. You must be able to understand what is happening when new business models, new technology and new companies emerge. A leader must be aware of these changes every day.”
The illusion of a busy year
Many of us lull ourselves into the illusion of a busy year. We like to think that being under pressure is not our normal state; things are simply extra hectic just now.
“Maybe there is a big project at work this year? Perhaps this is an important year for the family? People who say this to themselves often think that they will have more time on their hands next year. They move their own personal development plans aside and decide to think about the EMBA later on. The problem with this thinking is that next year easily turns into a decade. By then it might be too late to invest in yourself and reach your full professional potential,” Laukkanen explains.
Professionals who are busy today, will in all probability be busy in the future."
Laukkanen and Sirkiä point out that professionals who are busy today, will in all probability be busy in the future. They are the kind of people who work hard to pursue goals. Outrunning a fast pace life is especially difficult for driven individuals. It’s simply who they are.
“Let’s face it: you probably can’t change the pace. But with temporary sacrifices to your free time, and with careful time management, you can change what you spend your time on for the rest of your life. Getting the EMBA you have been thinking about will help you attain a much more meaningful career. You will still be busy, but you will be busy with more worthwhile challenges that you find invigorating and highly motivating,” Laukkanen encourages.
"Our alumni all found the time; succeeded in balancing work, family and obtaining an EMBA. Many came to us at points in their careers when they were incredibly busy, and still they managed to accomplish their dream. Our program naturally offers flexibility to executives, allowing them to combine their fast paced career and EMBA studies in an agile manner when necessary,” Sirkiä, Aalto MBA alumni herself, reassures.
Laukkanen reminds that the EMBA is no walk in the park–but assures that it is an investment of time and money that pays off.
“The average salary increase that comes along with completing an Aalto EMBA is 46%. Yet the degree is much more than just an investment to ensure better pay. It is an investment to allow you to use your valuable time for much more meaningful work much sooner in the future. Fewer years on your way to the top, more years at the top,” Laukkanen stresses. “If you are already thinking about getting an EMBA, every year you push it forward is a year spent doing work that is really not what you want to do.”
A shared stepping stone for future leaders
Laukkanen and Sirkiä remind that the EMBA not only takes time, it gives you time. "Our students find that the paybacks start almost immediately at work. New tools and insights they get during the EMBA makes them more resourceful at work and helps them spend time wisely. They soon find they are getting more out of the hours they have at work,” Sirkiä promises.
“Late nights at the office will get you ahead, but only to a point. The EMBA will help you climb the career ladder with one big leap. It’s a great stepping stone,” Laukkanen underscores.
The Aalto EMBA alumni take a journey together that alters their perceptions for life."
An EMBA transforms managers to leaders. The people who share this journey build a strong network and often become lifelong friends. A less established program will attract people with a different level of ambition than the most prestigious ones. Aalto Executive MBA is ranked in the global top 100 programs by the Financial Times. It holds the 'Triple Crown' of accreditations – AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS – a merit only 0.5% of the world's business schools has achieved.
The Aalto EMBA alumni take a journey together that alters their perceptions for life. Few experiences build team spirit quite this strong.
“Personal growth and transformation are themes our alumni repeatedly bring up when they speak of their experience of obtaining an EMBA at Aalto,” Sirkiä asserts. “Above all, the EMBA improves the way you think. It doesn’t teach you what to think, it teaches you how.”