Auburn’s Executive MBA program adds a unique twist to the classroom—here’s how.

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Professor Brian Connelly and Executive MBA students gather for classes on campus for residency week Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, at the Harbert College of Business in Auburn, Ala. Photo by Julie Bennett for Auburn EMBA

When looking to expand your knowledge of business with a graduate degree, it’s important to find the program that best fits your needs. We spoke with three faculty members at Auburn’s Executive MBA program to learn more about what makes their program unique.

But first—what is Auburn’s Executive MBA program?

Executive MBA students gather in classes on campus for residency week Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, at the Harbert College of Business in Auburn. Photo via Julie Bennett for Auburn EMBA

For working professionals looking to get a leg up in their field, an Executive MBA (EMBA) is an appealing program. With an EMBA, students can learn valuable business skills and best practices in a program designed to fit in with the schedule of a working professional. Auburn’s Executive MBA program blends short, on-campus residencies with distance courses for best of both worlds – classroom instruction that provides interaction with faculty and peers and online learning that offers the flexibility to balance career, family and rigorous education.

Auburn first launched their EMBA program in 1998, and have since graduated 22 cohort classes of executives. Graduates of Auburn’s EMBA program, like local interior designer Kristin Corley, are able to transform their career by expanding their understanding of business strategy and finance.

Here’s how Auburn EMBA does things a bit differently

Executive MBA students gather in classes on campus for residency week Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, at the Harbert College of Business in Auburn, Ala. Photo by Julie Bennett for Auburn EMBA

Since Auburn’s EMBA program is tailored to professionals with eight or more years of progressive experience, each classroom is filled with experts—even if they don’t know it. Rather than lecture, Auburn’s EMBA professors help facilitate discussions so the students can work their way towards the answer.

We spoke with three faculty members to learn more:

What’s it like to be a student at Auburn EMBA?

Kim Kuerten — “Since our Executive MBA program is cohort-based, students come in as a group, take classes together and end up graduating together. Our cohort design allows our peer-to-peer learning to really take shape.”

Executive MBA students gather in classes on campus for residency week Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, at the Harbert College of Business in Auburn, Ala. Photo by Julie Bennett for Auburn EMBA

What types of students are part of the Auburn EMBA Program?

Brian Connelly — “We have all types of students, from all sorts of experience levels. We have CEOs—in fact, we have one student this semester that is a senior VP at a major company. It creates a unique teaching environment.”

Kim Kuerten — “We attract students from all across the country. Our latest cohort has 56 students from 18 different states. Because of our online model, we have a rich blend of experience within the classroom.”

How does the Auburn EMBA program challenge their students?

Brian Connelly — “I like to use questions in my teachings. I like to put students in scenarios where they make practical, real-world decisions with limited information. Because that is exactly what managers are doing all the time: making the best decisions in environments without all the information.”

Joe Collazo — “We teach concepts in the context of how they relate to the challenges our students’ experience in the workplace. We not only ask our students how a particular problem plays out in the real world; we also facilitate the student’s discovery of the associated solutions, so they can immediately apply what they are learning.”

An aerial look inside Horton Hardgrave Hall in the Harbert College of Business Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, in Auburn, Ala. Photo by Julie Bennett for Auburn EMBA

How does the Auburn EMBA program utilize the expertise of their students?

Joe Collazo — “At Auburn EMBA, we aim to leverage the experience of the people we accept into the program. We populate our program with students that have real-world experience. We don’t just deliver theories followed by a test—we use our students’ expertise to connect the dots between theory and practice in order to provide a practical perspective that enhances the cohort’s functional capability.”

Kim Kuerten — “During class, the instructor lays the groundwork for instruction. Then, the students take that and apply it to their own experience—that’s how their learning is elevated. It’s not a one-way transmission of knowledge from instructor to student. Our program is extraordinarily interactive and encourages students to bring their experience to the table.”

Think Auburn EMBA might be right for you?

The Raymond J. Harbert College of Business on Auburn’s campus. Photo via Harbert College of Business on Facebook

“We look at Auburn EMBA as a full circle. We want to transform the lives our students, to empower them to the do extraordinary. Then, the world sees that they developed their skills at Auburn.”

Joe Collazo

Looking to expand your skill set without pressing pause on your career? Auburn EMBA can help. If you’d like to learn how this program can increase your business acumen and impact your career, schedule an appointment with their program admission advisor today.

If you’d like to be part of the class of Fall 2021, you can apply to the Auburn Executive MBA program online

Want to learn more about Auburn’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business? Check them out on FacebookInstagramTwitterYouTube and LinkedIn.

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