Columbia Business School Announces New EMBA Saturday Program

Continuing a string of Columbia Business School-related news, last week the school announced its new EMBA Saturday, a new variety of Columbia’s popular executive education program. The school’s existing program, now called the EMBA Friday-Saturday program, remains.

What’s the difference? As the names imply, one key difference is in when the classes meet. The Friday-Saturday program runs for 20 months, while EMBA Saturday runs over 24 months. In making this move, Columbia has acknowledged that there are some very good, high-potential managers who have not considered a Columbia EMBA because even missing some Fridays at work is not feasible for everyone.

One other key difference is that, while the traditional Friday-Saturday program requires employer sponsorship of time, the Saturday-only program does not. This makes sense, since students in the Friday-Saturday program miss one full day or work every other week. Employer sponsorship is still “welcome,” however. While the admissions game for EMBA programs is quite different from that of full-time MBA programs, we strongly recommend that you get your company to sponsor you (even if it’s just in spirit, not money) if you can. When a company does that, it sends a strong signal that you’re the kind of high-potential manager that Columbia looks for.

We recommend the interview that The Wall Street Journal did with Ethan Hanabury, Columbia’s senior associate dean for degree programs. In the interview Hanabury lays out the rationale by the school’s introduction of the new program and provides some hints as to what types of applicants Columbia looks for. Most importantly, note his comments about how the program was not designed with career switchers in mind.

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