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MSM Executive MBA Proves Popular For Career Switchers In Europe

Maastricht School of Management’s Executive MBA program is constantly re-inventing itself to match students’ career needs


By  Samantha Wernham

Tue Oct 2 2018

“The Maastricht School of Management Executive MBA (EMBA) is identical in subjects covered and in quality as our Full-Time MBA”, says David Cass, director of Education and Executive Development at MSM. 

But there’s one big difference. It’s a part-time program for experienced professionals, consisting of eight modules spread over two and a half years, and this can be extended if necessary.

Designed to balance study with the demands of a career, EMBA classes are held each year in January, April, July and October, conducted through interactive lectures at MSM in Maastricht, the Netherlands.

“The schedule is fixed well in advance, which allows students to forward plan their work timetable to attend”, notes David. “If a student misses a course for whatever reason, they can either wait until it comes back around in the cycle or join our Full-Time MBA course for the week they will be studying that topic”, he adds. 

The program, David says, fits around the student, not the other way around.

“The MBA is a degree with a purpose rather than a means unto itself”, clarifies the director. “Hence, we spend so much time at MSM refreshing course material to reflect new market needs, business practices, case studies, activities and company visits”.

As a program which engages heavily with real-life businesses and industry, David highlights the Consultancy Project in particular, a part of the EMBA which “offers students the opportunity to deal with a significant issue with a real practical business purpose, producing relevant learning points which will stay with our students into the future”.

Indeed, MSM prides the EMBA on being “less about exams, more about the individual”, choosing instead to focus on applied, practical assignments over its two-and-a-half-year duration.

“Plus, the final Executive MBA project is great for the development and progression of the students’ personal competencies, consisting of either a business consulting project, an academic research project or a business plan dedicated to their own organization,” David continues.

The EMBA at Maastricht School of Management also encompasses Specialization Courses; boot camps held over a two-week period in summer focusing on a particular business area or industry related area. This summer, the business-related courses were Entrepreneurship, International Business and Sustainable Development, Accounting and Finance, and The Digital Economy.

Tom Van Vliet, a recent MSM EMBA grad with ten years experience working in sports management, said graduating with a distinction was a big boost for his self-esteem. Tom continued to work on professional projects throughout the duration of the part-time course, eventually deciding to change sector and role after completing the EMBA.

“Throughout the program I became more aware of my capabilities as well as my pitfalls. I now know that I have to keep challenging myself; flaws are normal and difficulties are to be expected”, he says. 

“Personally, I think my transformed career path is proof of the multifunctional nature of the EMBA. I came in convinced of a career in sports, a sector I had known for years and was comfortable in. Now, I have graduated with a wealth of opportunities in a variety of industries and I’m currently working as a strategic advisor in social housing.”

“You never know what the future holds,” Tom concludes, “but I really believe in moving out of your comfort zone.

“Everyone needs a challenge, and the EMBA from MSM is certainly that, both in terms of business and mindset.”