Pursuing an Executive MBA degree online is a great option for busy professionals — but how do you network if you’re not attending classes on campus? The options may be more plentiful than you realize.
These available opportunities are important for your career, especially while you’re working toward your EMBA. Shaking hands and exchanging business cards can be a significant and lasting connection for many executive leaders.
“According to LinkedIn, 80 percent of professionals consider networking important to career success, and more than 60 percent of professionals find that their professional network gives them more opportunities,” according to “Why Get an MBA? Build Your Professional Network” on PrincetonReview.com. “Professional contacts can alert you to opportunities you might not otherwise be aware of.”
Your EMBA program can give you many chances to establish these connections. In addition to connecting with fellow EMBA students within your virtual classroom, you can take advantage of other networking opportunities, both online and in person.
For example, while earning your executive MBA online at the Washington State University Carson College of Business, you can attend the University’s annual Executive MBA Leadership Conference and/or participate in its international field study.
Opportunities like those can give you lasting professional connections while also advancing your education. Whichever route you choose, networking could be a crucial component of your future business success.
Leading Networking Opportunities
While pursuing your EMBA online, you can engage in a variety of networking opportunities, such as:
• Joining/using LinkedIn. Connect with your classmates outside of the virtual classroom on LinkedIn. Also, look for opportunities to participate in discussions or join official, university-monitored groups.
• Reaching out to career services, faculty, and alumni. These are friendly options with well-established contacts that can help to connect you to the people you want to network with.
• Joining a professional organization and attending a conference. Become part of a professional group, such as the National Association of Women MBAs (NAWMBA), MBA Association, National Black MBA Association, National Society of Hispanic MBAs, or Reaching Out MBA, and attend one of the organization’s conferences.
• Using your voice. Don’t be afraid to forgo email to pick up the phone and call your classmates to discuss group projects.
• Meeting face to face. If you live near any of your classmates, consider meeting in person for lunch or coffee.
• Attending university events. If you live near WSU, go to school-sponsored social events where you can meet new people.
Executive MBA Leadership Conference
As an EMBA online student at Washington State University, you can engage and network with fellow students, alumni, and faculty at the annual Executive MBA Leadership Conference hosted by the WSU Carson College of Business.
This free, 3-day event, typically held at one of Seattle’s well-known downtown venues, lets EMBA students and alumni socialize and connect with colleagues and faculty. After a welcome reception on the first evening, the next 2 days feature valuable learning alongside networking opportunities, as accomplished business experts discuss topics ranging from successful leadership practices and executive readiness to corporate lessons learned.
International Field Study
Another way to network through WSU's EMBA program is to participate in its optional International Field Study program offered by the Carson College of Business.
This 10-day residency lets participants travel abroad to gain firsthand perspectives on a dynamic market, as well as potentially meet face to face with peers and network with professionals outside the U.S.
Previous field studies have taken EMBA students to China for an inside look at businesses such as Boeing, Porsche, and Nike. Participants also had a chance to soak up some Chinese culture on a variety of sightseeing tours, providing important opportunities to network with both peers and international business leaders.
Again, this networking goes hand-in-hand with valuable education. “Traveling to a foreign country is a life-changing experience for anyone,” says Cary Slominski from the class of 2015 and division customer support manager for John Deere. “The field study allows students to interact with another culture and learn the challenges in doing business around the world. It’s this global perspective that you cannot learn in a textbook.”
Washington State University’s Online EMBA Program
An online EMBA program does not prevent networking. Take advantage of every opportunity—at home and abroad—to grow and expand your professional network into the future at WSU’s Carson College of Business.
WSU offers an online EMBA degree that provides students with the knowledge, skills, and training to rise to the top of any industry as strong, influential business leaders.
In addition to that strong training, 75 percent of the EMBA online student body has more than 10 years of management experience, which provides ample opportunities for students to expand their networks and build broad perspectives on business leadership.
The education and networking available at WSU makes the program well respected. WSU ranks No. 22 among U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Online MBA Programs” for 2024. Coursework includes marketing management, managerial leadership and productivity, and international business management. Contact us for more information.
LinkedIn stats on networking