25 October 2019 Share

Executive MBA mba

What are the differences between an MBA and an Executive MBA?

difference MBA and Executive MBA


The Master’s programmes offered by the School of Management of the Politecnico di Milano differ in the seniority of the students (and thus also in teaching approach). But the objective is always the same: to create genuine business leaders


The Executive MBAs and the MBAs of the School of Management of the Politecnico di Milano are intensive Master’s courses with a specific focus on general management. The main objective of both programmes is to enable participants to develop the extensive managerial skills required to become a true business leader. The substantial difference between an Executive MBA and an MBA is instead the seniority of the course participants. An MBA is aimed at students and graduates who have between three and five years of experience, while an Executive MBA is aimed at those who have more than five years’ seniority, i.e. managers and professionals who want to improve their professional career in business.


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Antonella Moretto, Deputy Director of the MBA & EMBA area, explains that, in reality, the seniority found in Executive MBAs can even be much higher. “On an Executive course, the average seniority in the classroom is 13-14 years’ experience. This affects the teaching approach: given that we are talking about individuals with a great deal of experience, the objective is not only to transfer knowledge, but also to work a lot on brainstorming within the classroom, on opportunities for discussion, on heterogeneity. The expertise of the students themselves is a resource that we exploit.
Therefore, the level among participants is very high: you learn to read the current macrotrends in enterprises and in international scenarios, so that management figures can become more effective decision makers.


The teachers are managers with vast experience

Another difference concerns the figures engaged in the classroom. The traditional lessons of the MBA and Executive MBA are complemented by learning by expert and learning by doing activities. “The Executive MBA courses engage teachers who hold the top corporate positions, such as managing directors and director generals,” explains Moretto. “These are recognized leaders, with particularly advanced soft skills. This allows participants to build a valuable network, by learning from persons of recognized reputation.
The MBA course is similar but different. The principle is the same but the management figures involved are younger,” continues Moretto. “Their experience in the classroom can be an added incentive towards understanding how to reach the same objective. In addition, in the MBA courses, learning also involves role play: students can immerse themselves in simulated situations with complex problems that they have not yet had the opportunity of tackling in their everyday real work.


A sole objective: to create business leaders

Aside from these two aspects, the subjects covered and the objectives are the same. “Our MBAs and Executive MBAs cover all the specific issues on how businesses work. Students come to understand all the processes and the different functions. The objective is to understand how a company works, inside and outside, the main managerial decisions to be taken,” explains Moretto. “In both courses, the issues covered start from basic business economics, organizational issues, innovation management, process management, project management, strategy and finance. The objective is not to create a specialist in a certain area; on the contrary, we want to create a figure who has the ability to become a business leader and manager, who understands the whole of the company, who knows how to interpret the dynamics of all functions and can speak a transversal language. This manager will be able to communicate effectively with any stakeholder, any function, any actor inside or outside the company.




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