What is the Net Present Value (NPV) of an EMBA?

posted in: 2013 Class posts | 0

Written by Jens Stark (EMBA 2013)

Anyone who is considering doing an Executive MBA will be looking carefully at this as a potential investment opportunity in their own future. Getting an EMBA degree requires not only hard work and a significant time commitment (e.g. potential loss of earnings), but it is also a significant financial undertaking.

You might quite rightly be asking yourself questions about the expected pay-back period, break-even and ROI?

It’s natural to want to predict future cashflow projections, money in and money out, in hope of deriving an estimated value from this educational venture, but let me say this:

By focussing too much on the numbers aspect you could be missing the bigger picture and opportunities which I’d describe as serendipitous encounters.

This is not to say that income, costs or the Financial Times EMBA rankings don’t matter – of course this is important and relevant to consider and you should only enrol in this sort of programme if it’s the right thing to do for your personal circumstances.

An important but sometimes overlooked perspective of the value of an EMBA degree comes from the networking and experiences you gain outside of the classroom through enrichment activities and the opportunity to get involved in the wider university and Cambridge eco-system. During your time at Cambridge, you’ll meet amazingly talented people at the school and beyond that you would simply not have come across otherwise.

In addition, these networks tend to grow larger and stronger every year, which adds a further dimension that the price tag and value of an MBA degree from a top-tier business school needs to be considered in a much broader and dynamic context and also over a longer time period. The way I personally think about this is as a lifelong affiliation with the school and the wider network, which will continue to provide benefits long after your 5-year NPV formula has stopped working.

There were many highlights and key learnings made during my time at Cambridge Judge Business School, but the ones that have had the most profound impact on me related to the international aspects of the programme, such as:

Travelling to China and learning about the opportunities in this vast market during the International Business Study Trip (IBST) and visiting companies and business leaders in Beijing, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

The EMBA 2013 cohort’s International Business Study Trip was to China

Also, working on a Team Consulting Project (TCP) with a diverse set of talented colleagues from different parts of the world and delivering the final phase of the project on-site to the client in Baku, Azerbaijan.

And what about my greatest achievement from the EMBA?

I’m betting on that it still lies ahead of me. Here’s to the future and serendipitous encounters 🥂

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