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The Kellogg School of Management may be based in Evanston, at Northwestern University’s main campus just north of Chicago, but its vision and student intake are truly global.
That is especially true for the EMBA programmes. About a third of the student intake for EMBAs taught in the US comes from abroad. One current student even flies in to Evanston from Dubai every other week.
Kellogg also has a campus in Coral Gables near Miami, Florida, that, like the main site, has two cohorts every year (and is particularly popular with students from Latin America).
Moreover, the school offers joint programmes with four international institutions: the Recanati Graduate School of Management at Tel Aviv University in Israel; WHU-Otto Beisheim Graduate School of Management in Vallendar, Germany; the School of Business and Management at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; and the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto, Canada.
Wherever students choose to study, Kellogg strives to ensure the EMBA experience is the same.
“A Kellogg MBA is a Kellogg MBA, regardless of which programme you enter,” says Betsy Ziegler, the new associate dean of MBA programmes and dean of students.
Ziegler says that like the MBA, the EMBA provides a framework based on three pillars: “grounded wisdom”, by which she means fact-based, experiential learning; a collaborative spirit that emphasises the power of teamwork; and encouraging students to be bold in driving change in their companies.
This framework is imparted through a core curriculum in foundations of business management. In their second year, students can choose elective courses.
While Kellogg is keen to emphasise the similarities, there are obvious differences between the MBA and EMBA. The students are at a different stage in their careers and lives. The typical EMBA student here has about 10 years’ work experience and is between 35 and 38. MBA students tend to be 27-28 years old with 3-5 years of experience.
The timetable is also very different. EMBA students have classes once or twice a month, in which they work in teams, applying business strategies to the challenges they face in their own companies. This condensed schedule is distinct from the full-time programme, Ziegler says, meaning that “the velocity and stickiness of the learning curve” is quite different from the traditional MBA.
Networking plays a critical role in the EMBA experience, culminating in “live-in weeks” at Evanston that bring together students from the two US campuses with EMBAs from Kellogg’s partner schools. Social events feature alongside classes and study groups.
Student-created networks are also important places in which EMBAs form lasting professional and personal relationships. Ziegler says Kellogg recognises that networking is a big reason why people choose to study for an EMBA. As she puts it: “Networking at EMBA is in overdrive.”