Professor Lucia Miree for Capital: ‘Graduate education in management is critical to success in today’s rapidly changing business environment’

March 27, 2020
Professor Lucia Miree for Capital: ‘Graduate education in management is critical to success in today’s rapidly changing business environment’

Prestigious Bulgarian business publication Capital interviewed AUBG Professor and Interim Associate Provost Lucia Miree on the EMBA Program at the university. Read the interview and learn more about the program’s focus and outcomes.

Who is an EMBA education designed for? 

In general, graduate business programs are designed for individuals who wish to gain more expertise in the field of management.  These are programs open to new graduates, as well as those with considerable work experience. On the other hand, Executive MBA programs, or EMBAs, are designed specifically for mid- to upper-level managers who wish to pursue a broader education in management and leadership.

EMBA programs, like the one at the American University in Bulgaria, are designed for current managers or entrepreneurs who have a desire to increase their knowledge and skills across all of the functional areas of business (e.g., accounting, finance, marketing, operations, etc.), and who want to be prepared for further advancement within their careers.  The key is that EMBA programs bring a level of experience and competence to the table that might not be found in general business programs.  While participants might be focused during the program on career movement within their own companies or industries, recent research shows that EMBA programs are opening even more doors as we see program graduates also moving seamlessly across industries.  Therefore, one could say that successfully completing an EMBA Program allows for maximum job and career flexibility and growth.

From your perspective as an HR professional, what are the benefits of an EMBA degree? How do the employers perceive candidates with an EMBA diploma? 

Most EMBA programs range from 16-24 months, and can be taken through online work, through weekend and evening classes, or through a combination of these delivery mechanisms. Students in EMBA programs generally attend university full-time (four courses per term), while continuing in their current jobs.   Because these programs are designed for executives, the content must include the latest theories and practice, and must represent the latest innovations in the field.  This level of students demands it.   A final “selling point” of EMBA degrees is that they are generally taught by faculty from a number of different universities who bring international and varied experience to the learning environment.  For these reasons, EMBA degrees are highly regarded by human resource professionals and senior managers.  Further, it is thought that EMBA students, through their studies, have developed a strong network of professional connections that will assist them and their organizations in the future.

In what ways does an EMBA degree boost career and personal development? 

One of the outcomes of EMBA programs is that participants  experience many opportunities through both academic and supplemental activities to engage in personal and career development.   Within programs, you can find courses and exercises that focus on such areas as leadership, career pathing, networking, work-life balance, and emotional intelligence; and, in these, multiple opportunities for self-assessment and self-analysis are provided. In fact, at AUBG, a group of EMBA students has just completed a study of our EMBA alumni and found that two of the top outcomes they list from the program are career and personal development. We were very excited about this outcome as it feels like we are right on target with this aspect of our EMBA.

I strongly believe that graduate education in management is critical to success in today’s rapidly changing business environment.  It is those managers who are prepared, agile, thoughtful, and aware who can succeed in such environments. Luckily, these are all outcomes from EMBA programs.

At the American University in Bulgaria, we have seen our EMBA alumni gain accelerated career trajectories after graduation, and they have reported high levels of career satisfaction.  Further, we are proud at AUBG to have a number of these alumni currently on our Executive Team.  We value them and know the employers who have promoted or hired our EMBA alumni are also satisfied with these individuals.