Executive Education

2018 Top EMBA Programs for Consultants

top emba programs for consultants

Business consulting is a booming industry. Regardless of their focus – operations, strategy, legal, policy, HR, IT, tax, or finance – consultants are a “staple of corporate life” and hugely contribute to the success of most large organizations.

Top EMBA Programs for Consultants

If you’re a consultant seeking to advance your knowledge in the field or a professional considering a career change and prefers an EMBA program that consultants have actually found valuable and life-changing, we’ve listed below the EMBA offerings from our 2018 Best EMBA Program rankings that have, so far, attracted the most number of prominent practitioners from the consultancy sector:

IESE Global Executive MBA

Taking the top spot with 14% of its students from the consulting industry is the IESE Global Executive MBA.

IESE’s EMBA is “global to the core.” Business leaders, faculty members, and thought leaders from 30+ countries converge for this rigorous, immersive, 16-month program. It’s customizable, meaning you can choose between two tracks, Europe or Americas, where core modules are delivered in New York, Barcelona, Silicon Valley, and Shanghai.

To further personalize the learning experience, students can choose from a range of electives offered in eight major global hubs, including India, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Ghana, Sao Paulo, New York, and Munich.

It’s not just Ivy Exec that thinks highly of this program. The Financial Times also consistently ranks IESE among the best in the world for its diverse faculty, top-notch curriculum, and international reach.

Columbia Business School Executive MBA Program

In second place with 12% of its students from the consulting sector is Columbia Business School’s EMBA program. It’s also #2 overall in the U.S. Northeast region and holds the #2 spots in the following regional categories: prestige, career advancement, curriculum, and global experience.

With this program, executives need not quit their jobs because classes are held in block-week formats or on weekends, and students can choose from a portfolio of electives that allow them to either specialize or explore new fields. Immersive learning opportunities in Silicon Valley, Latin America, Toronto, Cape Town, and Shanghai offer consultants a deeper look into the business solutions that work for various environments and geographies.

According to a recent Columbia EMBA alum, although the program is incredibly demanding, the highly supportive environment far exceeded her expectations. Said Lauren Dugdale Liebermann, EVP of Digital Marketing at Edelman:

“I think my biggest concern was that it was going to be this really competitive cut-throat environment where everyone was kind of duking it out for top honors. And what I found is a really supportive group of people who I would call a community.”

Weekend and Modular MBA Programs for Executives at Emory Goizueta

Also second on the list with 12% of its students from the consulting industry are Emory Goizueta’s Weekend and Modular MBA Programs for Executives. These EMBA programs let students learn at their own pace by giving them the option to enroll in either the weekend or modular program.

According to Emory alumni Kadri Ozen, VP and Head of Global Affairs for Merck, the modular MBA program fit nicely into his hectic travel schedule (he was his company’s representative in 90+ countries), and the blended learning format allowed him to contribute and collaborate with his classmates despite the time difference.

Both weekend and modular programs include immersive off-campus learning experiences – domestically and internationally.

London Business School Executive MBA

Next on the list with 11% of its students hailing from the consulting sector is the London Business School (LBS) Executive MBA. Ranked by Ivy Exec at #5 globally and #2 in the European region, this EMBA program can be taken in either London or Dubai. Global immersions are likewise available, and students can learn from real-world business scenarios in countries like Argentina, China, South Africa, and Russia.

LBS doesn’t only help students further their business knowledge and realize their leadership skills, it also provides a cohort-based learning environment where they can network with fellow professionals with diverse insights and experiences to share.

According to LBS alumni Dietrich Stadlmann, Vice President – GTS Sales EMEA, Bank of America Merrill Lynch:

“Diversity is very clear. It’s something you notice as soon as you walk into class. In our class alone, people are flying in from Sao Paulo every two weeks. We’ve got people from Bahrain. We’ve got people from Kuwait. I, fortunately, live in London, but I think I’m actually the minority.”

EMBA Global Americas and Europe

At #5 with 8% of the student population from the consultancy industry is the joint EMBA program from the London Business School and Columbia Business School. Globally, it’s #1 overall on Ivy Exec’s 2018 joint program rankings.

The program allows students to hone their skills in two of the world’s major business and finance hubs – New York and London – as well as access both school’s alumni and faculty network. While studying, students engage with experienced executives, professionals, and managers from around the world. During immersion, they learn from hands-on experiences in Argentina, China, Chile, Germany, Dubai, South Africa, Greece, and Russia. Upon completion, they get two MBA degrees from two globally recognized institutions.

According to alumni Nell Derick Debevoise:

“The program is about discovering your own professional identity and getting involved in experiences you just won’t find anywhere else.”

TRIUM Global Executive MBA

At #6 with 7% of its students from the consulting sector is the TRIUM Global Executive MBA, a joint MBA program from NYU Stern, HEC Paris, and the London School of Economics (LSE).

The program teaches students the vital business skills they need in order to find opportunities in an increasingly volatile world. It’s a 18-month program and is composed of six rigorous on-site modules across three continents. Course modules are delivered in London, California, New York, Shanghai, and Paris.

TRIUM attracts students from 28 different countries. Upon completion, graduates become alumni of TRIUM, as well as each of the partner schools.

Said TRIUM alumni Leesa Soulodre:

“The professors had the capacity to challenge the way you think and armed you with the tools to imagine ‘possible.’ Also invaluable were the opportunities in each region to meet key opinion leaders who provided an opportunity to immerse you in different trading cultures and/or industry experiences.”

UNC Executive MBA Program

Last but definitely not least with 5% of students from the consulting field is the University of North Carolina’s Executive MBA program. UNC delivers its EMBA program in both weekend and evening formats, giving ambitious and driven business leaders the scheduling flexibility they need to pursue higher education while keeping their jobs.

Included in UNC’s EMBA program is a course and series of workshops called “SoftLaunch,” which helps students gain the necessary skills, knowledge, and connections to launch social or business ventures.

According to alumni Christine Lasway, a digital health entrepreneur and technical advisor:

“For the past 12 years, I’ve been working in global health in different countries, supporting different governments in healthcare. And I just did not feel fulfilled. I’m opening up my own doors now. The staff at UNC Kenan-Flagler… they’re our best advocates and they really support our time here. They are always very responsive to our needs.”


Ivy Exec’s goal in releasing its annual EMBA program rankings is to support its members and the broader, global professional community in making better-informed decisions when selecting the best-fit Executive MBA program for themselves. Pursuing an EMBA is a significant investment of time, not to mention money, so these rankings may help a professional consider potential ROI ahead of time.

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