UL MBA Insider

The Value of Sponsoring an Employee’s MBA

Employer sponsorship of executive education is on the rise globally. Footing the bill for an employee’s MBA represents a sizeable investment but it's one that brings a number of concrete and immediate returns:

1. Gain immediate solutions to current issues

From day one, MBA students can apply classroom and project learnings to help solve real work problems or realise new opportunities. The apply-it-now approach of the UL MBA encourages students to put their new skills and knowledge to work right away, generating immediate benefits for their organisation.

“From a company perspective, the employee gets great ‘outside insights’ given that they get to study best practice in other organisations as well as through their peer network,” says Una McDermott, Human Resources manager at DELL Inc. “They can bring these insights back to the company and implement them through their role.”

2. Strengthen your company’s leadership capability

Students learn the latest techniques in all areas of management, with a strong emphasis on strategic thinking and global leadership. McDermott credits this focus for employees’ increased capacity for leadership, saying “The benefit is gained from the employee shifting mindset from operational delivery to a more strategic focused approach.”

The UL MBA prepares students to handle challenging management issues within the context of a demanding global economy. Students’ ability to complete the programme while working is an important factor in their success, as it allows them to cement their newfound knowledge in practical application. A 2012 report from DJS Research found that 78% of MBA alumni who completed their masters while working said their performance in their current role had improved while taking the course.

3. Deepen your organisation’s management skills

Throughout their MBA programme, your employees will develop a variety of management skills to complement the knowledge gained through course content. Such skills include the capability to make sound judgements with incomplete data and a deepened ability to communicate effectively with groups and individuals at all levels.

With the MBA graduates employed at DELL, McDermott sees well-rounded and wide-ranging skills that improve all areas of management. “The programme is holistic in including a broad range of business imperatives,” she explains.

4. Expand your international perspective

Through an internationally focused programme like the UL MBA, your employees will expand their understanding of global markets and gain valuable insights into doing business internationally. Our programme includes a week-long international workshop, during which students visit a global business hub in another country and meet with senior management at large corporations—gaining valuable advice and exposure for your organisation.

Past international weeks have taken cohorts throughout Europe and into leading Silicon Valley companies like Google and Cisco.

5. Develop new and stronger business connections

Not only do students gain new perspectives and insights by working closely with peers from a diverse range of industries, they also form relationships that outlast the programme. By forging long-lasting bonds with equally ambitious and often like-minded professionals, MBA graduates bring connections and resources back to their organisations, in addition to the knowledge they acquire.

“The diversity and the calibre of my peer group in the UL MBA really added to my classroom and learning experience,” says Siobhan Ryan, a 2014 graduate and the Sales Director for EtQ. “I found that I learnt a huge amount by simply listening to the perspectives of others.”

6. Increase employee retention

Developing high-potential employees pays off in retention, innovation and succession planning. Studies have shown that graduates of MBA programmes remain loyal to their current employers for the long-term, both securing and extending your return on this investment. A large number of MBA graduates from the University of Limerick have progressed their careers with their sponsoring employer, giving those organisations the full benefit of the programme, from best-practice techniques and cutting-edge theory to valuable industry connections.

Considering Your Investment

As with any commercial investment, sponsoring an employee undertaking a corporate MBA programme requires a significant commitment, both financially and in terms of time. Many programmes are designed specifically to facilitate and support students’ continued employment, such as the UL MBA, which requires onsite student attendance only 30 days each year of the two-year programme. These days are broken into blocks throughout the year, allowing for minimal disruption of students’ professional responsibilities.

The financial requirement is often a bigger concern to companies looking to secure their investment. Fees for the UL MBA programme are €13,600 per annum, paid either in full at the start of the academic year or in two instalments at the start of the autumn and spring semesters. Many organisations have employee retention programmes in place that either pay for or reimburse the costs of continuing education or employees. It’s important to make sure your employees are aware of these programmes so both of you can maximise your potential.

Investing in Your Future

Helping employees advance their skills and achieve an MBA constitutes a win for both employer and employee. To learn more about how the UL MBA can benefit your organisation, please contact programme director, Michele O’Dwyer, who will be glad to discuss how UL can help you develop your future leaders:

Programme Director
Dr Michele O’ Dwyer
T +353 61 213161
E michele.odwyer@ul.ie

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