Is an executive program right for you?

10 Jun 2019

An MBA or Master in Business Administration is a degree that is now well known in the business world. Including courses on finance & accounting, marketing, supply chain or logistics, economics and business strategy, the degree is a great fit for anyone looking to improve their leadership skills. However, with degrees taking place over 1 or 2 years and requiring a considerable time investment, not all executives are in a place to make that commitment. In comes the condensed version of the MBA, the short executive program.

The program comprises the know-how of the MBA in a shorter time, with less group projects and home activity. This is also good for entry-level managers and can be a preparation for the full MBA degree. We’ve also written about the full MBA program here.

What is the condensed executive program?

There are 2 types of condensed MBA programs: online or in person. For both, the duration will vary largely, from business school to business school. Some may last a week of everyday courses, whilst other may meet monthly for several months. Online degrees don’t offer the same peer to peer interactions as in person programs do and this is viewed as one of the main advantages of an MBA program. This is trying to be overcome by the use of video calls, though some may feel that it still lacks the personal touch.

The short period of time the condensed executive program takes place in offers students the possibility to enroll in a program that is the best match for their needs and schedules. The program is also very different to a Master’s or a PhD degree, since it offers you insight into a large variety of topics (such as Marketing, Logistics, Business Administration and more – see below, in What do you study). This equips participants to become better managers and leaders.

executive program students

Who are the students of a condensed executive program?

A short executive program will still give students insight and know-how into the elements that take their company towards progress. Most times, managers have been selected from specialists in their field, so they need proper training in understanding the bigger picture of the company, becoming a good leader, assessing risks and creating opportunities.

The profile is diverse, with condensed executive program students ranging from middle management to CEOs and entrepreneurs, who want a better understanding of company structures, revenue streams and business concepts. Plus, this also gives them a taste of the MBA experience, so they can later decide if a full program is right for them.

What do you study?

This will vary based on the business school offering the program. They typically mix improving soft skills and hard skills, so the graduates will be better prepared for their day to day role, either in management or entrepreneurship.

Examples of classes include Finance, Marketing, Business Growth, Critical Thinking, Leadership,  Strategic Planning, Business Simulation and more. These will cover the basics of each area, compared to a full MBA degree that will go into more details.

Plus, since the program is meant to be a comprised MBA, the courses won’t offer additional projects or homework, so the learning will be done in class, both from the lecturer and from the other students.

Who are the teachers?

If you’ve read so far, you probably guessed the answer to this: it depends on each business school. However, most programs will bring in industry practitioners, leaders and investors who are in the best position to talk about the respective subject. Since the Fast Track Program is a degree for the business world, it is important for the teachers to have a business background too, not just an academic one.

Lecturers can also help with personal discussions, coaching and personalised advice for each student, depending on the program structure and timeframes. For example, the MSM Fast Track Management Program lecturers are the same as for the full Executive MBA ones, industry practitioners and investors, with a vast knowledge in business structures and specifics. 

We’ve written about our lecturers here

How much does a condensed executive program cost?

The program is considerably less expensive than a full MBA, with costs ranging from $2,000 up to $48,000 in top USA business schools, though you can follow a full time MBA program for this investment. This is not reflexive of the average costs, which is approximately $5,000. In Romania, for example, the MSM Fast Track Management Program is currently €3,250.

Some business schools offer scholarships for different categories of students (such as NGOs or discounts for several students from the same company). Also, some students have their fees covered by their companies. You can browse the fees and discounts for our Fast Track Management Program here.

Some students appreciate the learning experience of the condensed executive program so much that they want to transition for the full MBA program and business schools can also deduct the cost of the program from the cost of the full one.

The MSM Fast Track Management Program experience

Petru Grădinariu, alumni of the Fast Track Management Program at MSM Romania

In Fall 2018 I was working in the pharma industry as a business manager. I was ok with my professional career, but I was starting to feel like I didn’t belong, like I’m not making any more progress. I was probably in a “mid-career crisis”. I wanted to get more structure into all the know-how and concepts I have accumulated in the years working for a multinational, but also get an update on the latest approaches in management.

That’s when I signed up for the Fast Track Management Program, which meant 4 intensive months. I spent less time with family and friends every other weekend of the month, but it was worth it. The curriculum (which is based on the MBA program classes) was one that highlighted relevant concepts I could apply right away.

I ended the program with a boost of energy, many books I’ve read or planned to read, a different way of thinking and the confidence that I can succeed as an intrapreneur or entrepreneur.

Want to find out more about the condensed version of the MBA at MSM? See what you can expect and bear in mind the next intake starts the program on 13 September. Plus, check out our full Executive MBA program here.

Or simply get in touch and let’s meet:

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