University’s Executive MBA Program Enables Students to Build Leadership Skills, Relationships, and Confidence
The University’s Executive MBA program, the first such program established in Connecticut more than 45 years ago, offers students a variety of meaningful opportunities to learn from and collaborate with each other, building meaningful relationships and developing as leaders.
October 14, 2021
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications
When Ronald Sherman ’21 EMBA first heard about the University of New Haven’s Executive MBA program from a colleague and mentor, he’d been looking for a new challenge. He quickly decided he was interested in learning more about the program.
Sherman didn’t make the decision lightly. Although he already had a demanding schedule – he was actively pursuing new career options and buying a home, for starters – he wanted more. He chose the University’s Executive MBA program because he wanted to “hold himself accountable at the highest standard” while also furthering his education in the University’s cohort format.
“The people in this program will help you succeed, and you will help them succeed,” said Sherman, who recently was named senior portfolio manager with Yale New Haven Health. “We built a network with one another that was so impactful, both personally and professionally. We became a family, and I truly believe they helped shape who I have become over the last 24 months.”
‘The EMBA was so worth it that I would do it again’
Candidates in the program say they are part of a close-knit and supportive family, forming lifelong relationships with each other and with their professors. Sherman says they were a diverse cohort that celebrated important milestones together both in and out of the classroom – such as marriages, promotions, and new babies. They also bonded over new ideas, theories, and debates.
The first such program launched in Connecticut more than 45 years ago, the University’s Executive MBA program helps students gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to take on leadership positions. It is focused on skill building, teamwork, and collaboration.
Amanda Meier ’21 EMBA, who was a member of Sherman’s cohort, is also grateful for the relationships she formed during her time in the program.
“In the early weeks the professors told us how close we would get to the others in our cohort, and I thought they were embellishing,” said Meier, vice president of client services for Reality Interactive LLC. “But they were absolutely right, and that made the experience so much more enjoyable.”
Meier, a working mom of two young kids, says the program was challenging, and she was initially nervous about balancing work, her schoolwork, and her family responsibilities. Even with the added challenges of the pandemic, she says she’s glad she made the decision to further her education at the University.
“I can honestly say the EMBA was so worth it that I would do it again,” she said. “The best practices I learned from guest speakers, professors, and my classmates are my most valuable takeaways from this program. I believe that type of guidance is invaluable and that it will help me achieve future goals. I will pull from what I have learned time and time again.”
‘The program provided a deeper understanding of who I am and where I want to go’
Students learn from professors who bring their own real-world leadership experience to the classroom, including Michael Davis ’86 MBA, executive director of the program. During his more than 30 years at Nestle, a Fortune 100 company, Prof. Davis rose to the rank of vice president and officer. He also built a 50-person tax department and was involved in more than 40 acquisitions.
“Our program attracts managers who are experts in healthcare, technology, business, and other fields,” said Prof. Davis. “These managers are looking for diversity of thought, insight, and intelligence from their classmates, as well as from our leading professors and guest speakers.
“This experience will strengthen students as leaders and that will impact the teams they lead and work with, as well as their organizations,” continued Prof. Davis. “Our real-world relationship teachings from industry leaders sharing their recent experiences enrich our small, intimate classes, and they inspire all of us to be our best in and outside of class.”
Sherman says that was the case for him. He believes he developed a wide array of skills as a student, including presentation skills, finance, strategic leadership, personal branding, and confidence. He particularly enjoyed learning from guest speakers, as well as exploring important topics such as strategy and emotional intelligence.
“I remember updating my resume every few months and being amazed at how much stronger it looked,” he said. “Every time I updated my LinkedIn profile, I felt more confident in my abilities and how I should strategically carry my brand. The program provided a deeper understanding of who I am and where I want to go, and I was able to further diversify my skills through our research and application papers.”