Executive Education

Alumni Spotlights From 6 Executive MBA Programs


A powerful and successful alumni network can help make your post-EMBA career. According to an Alumni Perspectives Survey Report for the General Management Admission Council (GMAC), alumni are the top resource for job recruitment post-graduation. In fact, 32% of alumni have recruited management graduates from their alma mater. 

Alumni networks also offer essential career preparation insight and experience outside the classroom. Many alumni associations regularly host job fairs, offer mentoring opportunities, set up recruitment events, and provide access to other opportunities necessary for career advancement. So, it’s essential to choose an EMBA program with a robust and active alumni network.

To help you out, we’ve highlighted six EMBA programs that have alumni networks worth exploring.

Northern Illinois University Executive MBA

The two-year Executive MBA program at Northern Illinois University is known for small class sizes (15-25 students), but a powerful alumni network that numbers more than 60,000 business graduates. Many of these individuals hold C-suite positions in companies around the world. According to a recent Poets&Quants ranking, the NIU Business alumni rank among the best for accessibility and engagement, as well as opportunities beyond the classroom. 

Prior to earning his EMBA, Sal Contreras was a Controller at Wells Lamont LLC and Marmon Retail Electrical Products. After graduation, he moved to the position of President and General Manager of Marmon. 

About his experience, Contreras says, “Today, I find myself in the pinnacle of my career. Leading an organization that has the potential to go from good to great. This was not the case 18 months ago—I simply didn’t have the right tools to make the leap from Financial Controller to President.”

SP Jain School of Global Management EMBA 

The SP Jain School of Global Management EMBA program has an alumni network that spans the globe, from North America to South Africa, Australia, the Middle East, and throughout Europe and Asia. More than 7,000 alumni represent a range of industries, including engineering and manufacturing (22%), oil and gas (11%), and logistics (7%), and go on to work for such prestigious companies as Hilti Emirates, Oracle, Schneider Electric, Al Hilal Bank, and SNC-Lavalin International.

Of important note is the Executive Career Acceleration Pathway (ECAP) initiative, which includes career coaching, training, corporate interface sessions, skill development workshops, networking events, and more—all designed to support graduates in their career growth and development.

Saurish Nandi began his business career working in supply chain management for various organizations in Mumbai and Singapore before earning his EMBA from SP Jain. After that time, he moved up to become a Vice President of Procurement at Rickmers Group in Singapore before eventually founding his own company BlocBox, which makes it easier for maritime and aviation workers to retrieve blackbox data.

Ivy Exec members rated EMBA programs by prestige—find out which programs earned the highest scores. 

Kennesaw State University Executive MBA 

More than 31,980 alumni graduated from the Kennesaw State University’s Coles College of Business. Those alumni work at large global corporations concentrated in the Southeast United States but spread throughout the world. They work as leaders in nonprofit organizations and government institutions and launch their own franchises and companies. In fact, 94% of students report an increase in employee value, 88% of students say they have more career prospects after graduation, and 50% of students typically receive a promotion after their graduation.

Joe Handy is the ideal example of an EMBA graduate from Kennesaw. Pre-EMBA he was the Senior Vice President of the Georgia Aquarium, which he had achieved after eleven years of tenure. Then, during his EMBA, he was promoted to Executive Vice President and COO, and upon graduation, he earned the title President and COO.

Of his time at Kennesaw’s EMBA program, Handy says, “The EMBA at Kennesaw taught me to work on, rather than in, the business. Working this way, you’re able to step away from the day-to-day and take a mile-high view in terms of what needs to be done and when. If you’re willing and open to learning more about yourself and others, Kennesaw’s EMBA is the right program for you.”

Weill Cornell Medicine and SC Johnson College of Business EMBA/MS

EMBAThe Weill Cornell EMBA and Master’s in Healthcare Leadership program boasts a powerful alumni network of more than 18,000. These individuals work throughout the health care community leading medical centers, community hospitals, and large specialty practices. 

Alumni have access to a range of career tools, including three advising sessions within a 12-month period, a curated list of career coaches, and more. Alumni also have access to opportunities to participate in career training and personalized career research consultations, while also gaining access to various job search data bases and executive search firms worldwide.

Maricela Castillo Schnur is a great example of a Weill Cornell graduate. As an anesthesiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, she was responsible for running the OR—managing supplies and people, overseeing the budget, and educating colleagues on balancing clinical and financial considerations. Her dual degree MD/MBA from Cornell Weill trained her to handle her role more efficiently, providing a better overall experience for patients. 

St. Mary’s College of California EMBA

The St. Mary’s EMBA program is part of a business graduate network of more than 4,000 strong. The network has an especially strong presence within the greater Bay area, with an MBA graduate at nearly every company. Alumni can participate in a variety of mixers, panel discussions, class audits, career workshops, and volunteer opportunities. To stay connected to the EMBA alumni community, graduates will have access to social media groups, alumni directors, and referral and mentorship opportunities.

Notable alumni include Oscar winners, NBA champions, and business leaders across the globe. One example of a successful EMBA alum is Robert Yow. He earned his degree while working full-time as the Vice President of Product Strategy at Amherst Holdings. Then, soon after graduating, he joined SolomonEdwards as a consultant and Business Implementation Manager, a career shift that still allowed him to use his skills in project management but in a new way that served his needs better.

Pace University Executive MBA

The Pace University EMBA program may have small class sizes of just 12 students, but it has a diverse alumni network of more than 76,000 professionals. Graduates span a range of industries, including media/entertainment (20%), consumer products (20%), and healthcare/pharmaceuticals (15%). Alumni also work for companies large and small, including AIG insurance, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Coca-Cola, Citibank, Morgan Stanley, MetLife, GE Capital, Verizon, Lockheed Martin, Hewlett-Packard, and more.

For Amanda Lee, her Pace University EMBA changed the course of her career. Before graduation, she switched careers to work at Econify within Revenue Strategy and Business Development. Then, upon graduation, she became the Sales Planner at Seeking Alpha before being quickly promoted to Business Manager. Now, she runs the Regional Sales Office for GfK. 

Lee says, “I am confident that the EMBA program changed the trajectory of my career and made me feel more secure in my own ability. The credential I got from the program allowed me to feel legitimate when I went for roles that I wasn’t necessarily qualified for in a linear way.”

Find out which EMBA programs were rated highest for career advancement opportunities.


About the Author

Kelly Vo is a full-time freelance writer specializing in digital marketing, personal development, and content creation. A social media and brand development expert, you can find Kelly at http://kevowriting.com/ where she helps businesses and executives develop their authentic voice.