EMBA profile: ABN Amro AM portfolio manager

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I initiated the process of studying an executive masters in business administration (EMBA) myself. Once I started the application process, I discussed it with management.

I was a bit apprehensive, but it wasn't hard to persuade them of the benefits. An EMBA increases your employability and it is not in the employers' benefit to risk losing you afterwards due to a lack of support. As a result, the bank agreed to split the costs 50:50.

It undoubtedly helped that I'd been with the firm for five years already and had spent three years doing the same job. As a result, my boss agreed it should be relatively easy to combine my role with studying. Things went slightly awry when I was offered a management position just after I was accepted at INSEAD, so managing my time is more of a challenge than I'd anticipated!

Luckily I have a lot of support. An EMBA is a big time commitment: having the total buy-in of your boss (and partner!) is important. On average, you will need to spend around 100 hours per month on matters involving the course. I typically study one day at the weekend, and have at least one late night a week, plus an average of one week on campus per month. It's a bit like having two jobs, and that takes its toll.

Nevertheless, it's definitely worth it. Students on EMBA courses tend to be older than on full time MBAs, so you can learn more from them. The part-time format also allows you to apply the things you learnt to your job immediately. It's intense, but you get as much energy out as you put in. It's an energizing experience.


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