Whether or not your company has an official MBA tuition reimbursement program, the path to a company-sponsored MBA is paved with thorough research and preparation. First, you need to understand the viability of the proposition — is this something that the company offers as a standard benefit? Are there mile-markers to reach before this benefit can be claimed? If you’ve met your company’s requirements to receive MBA tuition reimbursement, then you’ll need to prepare for an official meeting with your manager. To help you start the conversation and to improve your odds of success, use these tips to secure a company-sponsored MBA.
Explain How a Company-Sponsored MBA Benefits the Company
Managers make decisions based on viability and long-term profitability — your request for a sponsored MBA should highlight how it supports both. Outline your recent successes, and use that as a segue to discuss your long-term goals. Demonstrate how an MBA would support your goals and increase effectiveness. Before sitting down with your manager, identify your program of interest and be able to speak to the following points:
- Connect the program’s topics to current challenges the company is facing. This highlights the immediate relevance of how your participation in the program is beneficial to the company.
- Speak with University recruiters to learn more about the specific projects you’ll complete in the program, and how they might provide insight to your company’s current challenges.
- If the program is experiential, demonstrate how you can apply the latest thinking and technology to your current position immediately — making you a more effective employee well before you graduate, and providing instant ROI.
Avoid Talking About the Personal Benefits of an MBA Sponsorship
Companies are well aware of the value a company-sponsored MBA offers their employees. While the personal ROI of getting an MBA is well documented — increased earning potential, greater job opportunities, more career flexibility — this conversation is strictly dedicated to how this investment benefits the company sponsoring your MBA. Keep your conversation focused on how an MBA degree will deliver the skillset and knowledge needed to effectively implement your ideas and solve challenges the company is facing. Show them how their provision for MBA tuition reimbursement supports your long-term goals to benefit their bottom line.
Include Flexible MBA Options
In the course of conversation, you should expect to answer how you’ll be able to maintain your current responsibilities and level of productivity while obtaining your degree. It’s a common concern for employers, especially regarding company-sponsored MBAs. In order to ease concerns, ensure your list includes options for a flexible, part-time MBA program as well as an online MBA option. Both options maximize your flexibility to better manage work and school responsibilities effectively.
Completing an MBA online saves money and hours of time — both of which can be dedicated to studying and maintaining a work/life/school balance. To further support that effort, coursework is completed where and when it’s convenient for you. While deadlines still need to be met, it allows for greater flexibility in how you meet them. Assignments can be completed on work breaks, during a commute, in the evening, literally anywhere with an internet connection. Online MBAs also deliver the distinct advantage of greater diversity in the cohort — students can easily participate from anywhere in the world — thereby expanding your worldview and global business perspective.
Provide the Finer Details for MBA Tuition Reimbursement
When you sit down to discuss the opportunity of a company-sponsored MBA with your manager, come prepared with all the information about the programs and schools you’re considering. Research and preparation can help demonstrate your commitment to education. Ideally, you will have narrowed your list of targeted MBA programs and can present the following information about them.
- MBA program length
- Accreditation (ACBSP, AMBA, AACSB, etc.)
- Start dates
- Entrance exam requirements
- Total cost (tuition, books, and materials)
- Curriculum and concentration tracks
- Program format: online, fulltime, part-time
Qualifying for an MBA sponsorship through your company is just the first step. By thoroughly preparing for the conversation with your manager, you demonstrate a clear dedication to the education opportunity MBA tuition reimbursement supports.
Our Lady of the Lake University’s online MBA is a flexible, part-time option that’s perfect for working professionals. The program starts three times a year, and no entrance exam is required to apply. Request more information about OLLU’s online MBA or call 855-275-1082 to speak with an admissions advisor.