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Luke J Graham

Degree:

EMBA

Location:

United Kingdom

Industry:

Real Estate & Entrepreneurship

Year:

Jan 2020 – Sept 2022

By Luke J Graham

How our Executive MBA is already delivering value after a month

Last week, my fellow cohort members and I experienced our second module of the Oxford Executive MBA. Relationships and group dynamics had been developing over the preceding five weeks since our first module. This has fostered greater levels of collaboration and information sharing.

Since the group has such a diverse background (33 nationalities from 23 industry sectors) with an average of 15 years of experience, there’s plenty of value to derive from your peers. Some have even joked they’ve learned as much from classmates as they have from lectures.

EMBA J20 students at dinner

One of the biggest challenges facing Executive MBA students so far is finding balance. That is, their absence during the programme and how it’s managed in both the workplace and household. For that reason, you could say the stakes are higher for deriving value from the programme. As far as the workplace is concerned, value can be discussed from two broad perspectives: immediate benefits and long-term benefits. Fascinatingly, cases of immediate benefits have already begun to materialise this early in the programme. This is delivering an immediate return-on-investment to both participants and their respective workplaces.

For me, there have been multiple a-ha! moments but the most notable came during an analytics case study on electricity consumption. A particular technique for recording data in this case had never been openly used in my industry. I have since sat down to apply the concept, which has enabled me to refine the process of analysing real estate investments in Australia and abroad. Earlier today, I was also able to add value to a long-standing model with what I’d been taught on regression. I also gained more clarity on my medium-term goals during a brief peer-to-peer coaching session.

Immediate benefits extend well beyond my own context, with a particular classmate now able to develop a model that analyses factors contributing to pay inequity in their workplace. Another is working on developing and implementing team charters ahead of commencing marketing projects. This will enable teams to set goals and expectations as well as providing a mechanism for dealing with conflict if and when it arises rather than simply relying on established relationships. Classmates from similar or complimentary industries are combining their strengths across borders to solve challenges for the mutual benefit of both organisations. “Let’s talk more about this after class” is rapidly becoming our mantra. Our online communication platforms are also abuzz with the exchange of ideas, keeping us engaged between modules and continuing to add immediate value.

EMBA J20 students on the train back to London

If you’re thinking of pursuing an Executive MBA but have been put off by the possibility of it causing imbalance, you should contemplate the above benefits. It can be disheartening if your employer or business partner perceives such a programme as simplistically as double the amount of annual leave over the year, but chances are they just haven’t come to understand how that brief time away leads to both immediate and long-term benefits.

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