Maybe getting your MBA has been your long-time dream or you've recently realized you need one to advance in your career. Now, the hard part: how to fund your MBA.
Some large corporations already have MBA funding and reimbursement programs in place for their employees, but if your employer doesn’t financially support an MBA program, don’t give up all hope! You can convince them to fund your programme through a thoughtful, well-written proposal. The purpose of this proposal is to prove that as an employee, you are worth investing in!
DO: Introduce your motivation behind wanting to get an MBA. How long have you been thinking about getting an MBA? Why is this particular point in time the best moment to for you to start the programme? What particular skills do you hope to gain from an MBA programme? Mention industry-specific examples of how your field is changing and why it requires an MBA. Highlight any relevant past experiences that prove your commitment to your company and your industry.
DON’T: Be vague about your intentions. This is a proposal to possibly save you some serious money: be assertive with your goals.
What Is In It for Your Employer?
DO: Be prepared with specific data about what opportunities an MBA has in your industry. What percentage of employees in your industry advance in their career after earning their MBA? Are there specific clients you will be able to better access because of skills and contacts gained from an MBA? Tell your company your exact plans after earning the MBA and how you will apply your new skills to their company.
DON’T: Talk about programme costs just yet. Build up your argument first.
Analyze Course Options
DO: Provide a table to organize the information, including columns such as University Name, Programme Ranking, Length of Programme and Tuition Cost. Also consider adding columns that detail what core courses you would take and how these courses apply to your industry.
DON’T: List more than 7 to 10 programmes in the table. This will get overwhelming and give the impression that you did not do enough research, but just pasted information into a table.
Make the Proposal
DO: Be direct. You have already shown in this document that you have done your research, so now it’s decision time. Make sure to breakdown the programme structure (another table might be useful here!). Which courses will you be taking? What does each course cover? Are any of the courses project-based? Will you be working with any clients in your industry? Will you be traveling at all or participating in an exchange program? These are all details your employer needs to know.
DON’T: Skip over scheduling details. You’re employer wants to be aware of how you plan to achieve a balance between work and school. Include a table of your weekly class schedule if possible. Details are the key here.
DO: Restate your commitment to your company, your industry and your intention to get your MBA. Why do you deserve this support and funding? Highlight any qualities you have that show your ability to succeed in your programme. Make sure to give your employer the next steps, such as application and registration deadlines and any contact information they need.
DON’T: Make any concessions at the end of your argument. You have given all the reasons and research, now call your employer to action!