3 Ways Leadership Experience Makes You a Perfect Candidate for an EMBA

Are you one of the many candidates applying to graduate school to fulfill your goal of becoming an executive? The Washington State University Carson College of Business offers a degree that can help you. The school's online Executive Master of Business Administration program aims to give you and all its students the base knowledge, analytical aptitude, and critical-thinking skills necessary to succeed as part of the C-Suite.

With that in mind, it is a good idea to have some leadership experience before applying for the online EMBA program. You may initially think the opposite—that acting as a manager or leader in the past might hinder your chances of acceptance. After all, such professional history could indicate that you already know many of the concepts that will be covered in the curriculum. However, the reverse is true: Having a background in management, senior management, or even executive roles increases your chance of admission by showing school officials you have the training necessary to succeed in the school's advanced courses. In addition to impressing those officials, here are 3 ways leadership experience makes you a great candidate for the Carson College of Business's online EMBA program:

1. It Fulfills Admissions Requirements

To help provide the best education possible for all students, the Carson College of Business requires that applicants have leadership experience. This prerequisite helps ensure you have the background knowledge necessary to acclimate to the school's high-level business curriculum. EMBA courses review subjects like personnel management, executive philosophy, international decision making, and similar advanced concepts. Having experience with these ideas, however brief, can make your time in class easier.

Additionally, some courses recommend that you use existing work situations to help master certain concepts. Having prior leadership experience gives you a greater sample of situations to choose from and helps you relate the concepts you study to real-world situations.

Because leadership experience is beneficial in all these ways, the Carson College of Business's enrollment requirements state that applicants should have at least 7 years of management, senior management, or executive business experience.

In addition to fulfilling that primary prerequisite, having leadership experience may help you fulfill other enrollment requirements as well. For example, it allows you to write a more impressive organizational summary, describing your company and your position in it. Additionally, being a leader means you are more integral to the company, standing as evidence that you understand the needs of a business. This proficiency can support your case as a qualified candidate for the program.

Another enrollment requirement benefited by existing leadership experience is the interview. Prior leadership roles can help you create a better argument for why you should be admitted into the program.

Leadership experience is one of the Carson College of Business’s enrollment requirements.

2. It Prepares You for the Curriculum

To be accepted into the Carson College of Business's EMBA program, you need to have an existing bachelor's degree in business. That said, some business school curriculums do not adequately prepare you for the topics that are covered in our school, making leadership experience an important factor for success in the program.

The WSU EMBA curriculum includes classes on:
• Operations management
• Business law
• Strategy
• Organizational design and behavior
• Managerial leadership and productivity

Each of these courses are designed to build upon your existing business foundation, not start you off with the basics. To understand many of the concepts covered in class, it is best to have come across such ideas or problems in real life as part of your career. In this way, you can combine what you have experienced and what you review in class to result in a better outcome after completing the degree, including:

• Improved analytics skills
• The ability to better diagnose, review, and solve managerial problems
• The ability to develop a personal business and management philosophy based on your prior experience and concepts covered in class

3. It Helps You Make the Most of the Carson College of Business's Leadership Conference

Finally, existing leadership experience can give you a solid foundation in networking and communication, which are both essential for making the most out of the school's 3-day Leadership Conference. This annual event, which is reserved exclusively for current EMBA students and alumni, is an extraordinary opportunity to learn new business techniques and establish contacts.

Leadership experience can also help you with more than networking at the conference. As with the EMBA curriculum, having prior leadership experience allows you to combine the concepts you can learn during the Leadership Conference with the ideas you have in your day-to-day work. You can listen to experts list their greatest leadership accomplishments and strategies—as well as the lessons learned from their failures—and compare this insight to your own experience, evaluating how you may have handled an event differently or what you would do should a particular situation arise in the future.

The Leadership Conference can strengthen your professional network.

Promoting Your Leadership Experience When Applying to the Carson College of Business

Conveying your leadership experience in the best way possible is an important part of your program application. There are multiple aspects of the admissions process where you can touch upon your leadership experience:

• Your resume, which should show your 7-plus years of working at a management level or above
• Your letters of recommendation
• Your statement of purpose
• Your organizational summary
• Your interview

That said, you should also make sure any records of your experience outside of your application align with these details—for example, your LinkedIn profile. Remember when applying that your social media posts can be used to evaluate claims on your admissions applications, according to a survey from Kaplan Test Prep, which found 35 percent of admissions officers review a prospective student's social media profiles.

Therefore, not only should you take care when creating your EMBA application, but you should also consider how your social media pages help or hinder your claims of leadership. To do so, examine how things like your LinkedIn profile can be edited to be more consistent with your application and showcase your leadership experience. Update your bio and work experience with the admissions committee in mind, and make sure the leadership information you list is consistent with what is on your resume.

Your leadership experience serves as the perfect foundation on which to develop your future business methods and philosophy. When combined with a degree from the Carson College of Business, you can put yourself in the best position to achieve a job in the C-Suite.

Recommended Readings:
5 Essentials to Enroll in WSU's Online MBA Program (Plus 4 for Future Executives)

2 Effective Leadership Styles for Global Business

4 Key Strengths of a Successful Executive MBA Student

3 Networking Tips for Busy EMBA Students