Tips for choosing the right Executive MBA programme

Tips for choosing the right Executive MBA programme


Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM), is one of Europe’s leading business schools and offers a portfolio of top-ranked programmes, as well as one of the world’s largest and most prolific management faculties.

"How do I know which EMBA to choose?"

This is probably the question that we hear most often at RSM, and rightly so!

Choosing the right EMBA programme amongst all the offerings available can be a daunting task. However, through proper investigation and preparation you can make an informed choice.

How to choose the right EMBA for you

Here is a list of the four main factors you need to consider when choosing an EMBA, according to Maryke Luijendijk-Steenkamp, director of MBA Marketing & Admissions at RSM.

1. Investigate time management

Time management is a major consideration when deciding to embark on an EMBA, as people ask themselves, "How will I combine family, work and life with studying?"

My advice to candidates is to obtain the schedule of the programme that they are investigating as soon as possible to get a sense of the time commitment required.

Furthermore, it is extremely useful to speak to current EMBA students and alumni to hear from them how they manage to structure their time. This often provides a lot of clarity.

It also reinforces the fact that candidates are not alone - most of the EMBA students lead very busy personal and professional lives, just like the candidates investigating the programme.

At RSM we are always happy to provide contact details of students and alumni, and our RSM EMBAs are always happy to share more about the school and the EMBA experience.

2. Find the programme that fits your profile

Candidates are often concerned about their profile and the fit thereof with the programme they are investigating.

Prospective candidates are enecouraged to get into contact with Admissions staff to discuss their profile and eligibility to apply.

RSM has dedicated Admissions staff members who will gladly sit down with candidates to assess their CV and to discuss their MBA aspirations and application.

Furthermore, RSM encourages candidates to come for a campus visit. They will typically have a personal pre-application discussion with one of the Admissions managers after which they will be linked to a current student with a similar profile and join them and other EMBAs for dinner.

Afterwards they can sit in on an EMBA class to get a feel for the in-class dynamic and environment.

This is extremely helpful for candidates to assess whether the non-quantifiable aspects of their decision such as environment, ways of teaching, school orientation etc. fit their preferences.

Basically it answers the fundamental question, "Would I feel comfortable coming to school here?"

3. Seek and secure funding

Asking for and securing funding is another major consideration for prospective EMBA candidates.

At RSM we advise candidates to engage in their application process and fund-seeking process simultaneously to ensure that they receive an offer early in the cycle.

Often it adds to the negotiation power of an employee when discussing funding if he/she can already prove an admission to a programme.

We provide candidates with a business case that they can use when approaching their employers for funding, citing testimonials from previous sponsored candidates and sponsoring employers.

Most schools also have financial aid offices dedicated to helping candidates investigate their personal funding options. We also advise on a basic level on the beneficial tax rebate options available, if applicable.

Tips for choosing the right Executive MBA programme Rotterdam School of Management

4. Weigh up the personal and career impact

Make sure that you assess the personal and career impact an EMBA will have for you. At RSM we believe that the EMBA should be a transformational experience.

That is why we do everything we can to ensure that the programme challenges the assumptions of our students and causes them to reflect on what they do and rethink some of their ways of working.

Our Personal Leadership Development Programme helps students to build their strengths and mitigate their weaknesses.

Innovative and creative teaching methods such as in-class exercises, simulations, group work, discussions, case studies, peer reviews and mentoring help them to develop deeper self-knowledge and identify practical ways to apply their knowledge.

Executive MBA candidates have to apply themselves in real situations, they receive feedback on their performance, they re-examine their actions, and work on areas for improvement. This is about reflection, discovery, and application.

All of this leads to well-rounded individuals who start carrying themselves differently in the workplace. They go through a lot of (positive!) change, and it shows.

We hear from our participants that, before long, they start getting more new projects coming their way, they start to be involved in more strategic initiatives, they start to lead or manage more people and, ultimately for some, this brings about career progression and change.

Visit the RSM Open Day on November 12!

If you wish to make an informed choice about your EMBA, visit the RSM Open Day.

Date: November 12, 2016
Time: 10am - 2pm
Location: Rotterdam School of Management
Erasmus University

RSM’s staff, students and alumni will gladly share their knowledge of MBA life on campus with you.
Sign up for the Open Day!

Get in touch with RSM

› RSM official website
› Tel: +31 (0)1 040 82 222
› Email: [email protected]
› Address: Burgemeester Oudlaan 50 - Bayle building, 3062 PA Rotterdam

Maryke Luijendijk-Steenkamp


Maryke Luijendijk-Steenkamp

Maryke Luijendijk-Steenkamp is Director of MBA Marketing & Admissions at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University in the Netherlands. She leads a team of dedicated MBA admissions and marketing managers...

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