Recent News

Action Learning: A Commitment to Impact

Johanna Hising DiFabio is the program director of the MIT Executive MBA program, in Cambridge, MA.

I’m often asked what makes MIT’s Executive MBA Program so unique. While many reasons come to mind, I think the biggest differentiator is our commitment to Action Learning (applying what you learn to the real world). Having spent the last 15 years in the adult learning space, I believe this is the most effective way for mid-career executives to learn and retain new knowledge. The program delivers Action Learning in multiple ways.

First, we provide an iterative learning...

The Power of Empowerment: How Culture Can Be a Strategic Advantage

Dr. John Wigneswaran is a member of the MIT EMBA class of 2015 and vice president of Clinical Affairs a DaVita Healthcare Partners. He also is a member of the board of directors at Nephroceuticals, which he founded, and Roo Healthcare Solutions.

I’ve bought shoes from Zappos, but I hadn’t realized how the cultural background of the company really dictates its entire business strategy on multiple levels. In particular, it emphasizes empowering lower-level employees to better serve customers. Further, the CEO sits among his employees, avoiding delineation.

Prof. Ray...

Using Politics and Culture to Lead Without Authority

Aparna Ramesh is vice president of the Financial Support Office at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and a member of the MIT EMBA class of 2015.

How do you make change happen if you don’t have enterprise-wide authority? If you’re not the CEO or at a similar level, how do you lead change?

This is a challenging problem for many executives. It’s even more challenging when you’re in an analytical environment where the focus is on data. In that world, things tend to be very black and white and we assume the data speaks for itself. We can be very disappointed...

4 Tips for Assessing Political and Regulatory Risk for Your Startup

Nathaniel Wienecke is senior vice president for federal government relations for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, which represents over 1,000 property casualty insurers nationwide. He also is a member of the MIT EMBA class of 2012.

When entrepreneurs launch a new company, they tend to focus on ramping up their new product or service, applying for that first contract, and securing a stable client base. If they’re successful, the business grows and reaches a critical mass. It’s only at that point (and, frankly, sometimes not even then) that...

Leaving a Corporate Job for Entrepreneurship

Thomas Stephens is cofounder and managing director of the consulting firm Trinity in Boston, MA. and a member of the MIT EMBA class of 2015.

If you want to launch a startup, there are a lot of resources out there with “how to” tips and advice. There are also plenty of mentors willing and able to help new entrepreneurs. However, the steps aren’t so clear for those who want to transition from a corporate environment to entrepreneurship.

Having recently completed an MIT EMBA session on driving innovation through entrepreneurship – and launching a company in...

Virtual Teams: 7 Tips For Building High Performance

Zafer Sahinoglu, PhD is a Management Consultant at Mitsubishi Electric USA in Cambridge, MA and a member of the MIT Executive MBA class of 2013.

In today’s world, working in virtual teams is often a fact of life. Employees from different divisions, different functions, and oftentimes different locations need to effectively work together to solve problems and innovate for their companies.

However, many of these teams break down into dysfunction, finding it difficult to navigate differences in work style, culture, and language. What can teams do to improve their chances of...

Using Operations Management to Improve Public Housing

Trinh Nguyen is director of the Mayor’s Office of Jobs and Community Services in Boston, MA. She is the former chief of staff at the Boston Housing Authority and a member of the MIT EMBA class of 2014.

With increasing demand for public services and dwindling federal funds, a big issue is how to efficiently run public programs. In other words: How do you get taxpayers the most bang for the buck when investing in social programs?

One area where we can make a big impact is operating efficiencies. We can streamline our processes to better deliver quality services to our...

Using an Agile Framework for Strategic Execution

Karen-Leigh Edwards is an Associate Director, External Manufacturing at Biogen Idec, Cambridge, MA and a member of the MIT Executive MBA class of 2015.

Often we are tasked with strategic goals that when it comes to implementation seem monumental and destined for failure.  The line between magnitude of scope and immediate need under a tight timeline frequently needs to be balanced during execution.  An incremental approach to the goal with focus on the immediate need sets up a framework that establishes the strategy (intent) while linking that strategy to organizational...

How to Maximize Preferred Outcomes with Linear Optimization

Kfir Azoulay is Vice President of Marketing at Lumenis in the Netherlands and a member of the MIT EMBA Class of 2015.

One of the highlights of the MIT Executive MBA program is without doubt course 15.730, Data, Models, and Decision (referred to as “DMD”).

A more apt name for this course, in my opinion, would be Management Science, given its solid roots in rigorous scientific tools, concepts, and techniques that change the way managers reach conclusions and make decisions. Some of the fundamental concepts used in DMD to aid business leaders in dealing with uncertainty...

Forming a Personal Board of Advisors

Sofija Jovic is CEO of ProPhase in New York City and a member of the MIT EMBA class of 2014.

Both running a company and being a manager is a unique experience that can be very isolating at times. As a company grows and develops, so do our responsibilities as leaders. Engaging in critical discussions and having a framework in which our opinions are meaningfully challenged to make them stronger becomes a rarity.

As a leader, you can’t really walk into a staff meeting and express serious doubt about a key decision without creating confusion and panic. When you walk into those...

New MIT Executive MBA Program Director Welcomes New Class

Johanna Hising DiFabio is the program director of the MIT Executive MBA program, in Cambridge MA.

I’m excited to introduce myself as the new Director of the MIT Executive MBA Program, and to welcome this year’s incoming class.  In August I took over as the program Director from Jonathan Lehrich, who helped launch the program four years ago. I am honored to lead the program and to build off of my experience as head of the MIT EMBA student life and learning team to further MIT’s leadership in management education. It’s thrilling to work with the best...

How Ketchup Can Teach Us About Innovation

Jennifer Hansen is vice president of ad sales at The Walt Disney Company in Cleveland, OH and a member of the MIT EMBA class of 2015.

I’m not an inventor. I don’t develop drugs, research scientific cures, or create new forms of technology. “Innovation” used to be something I thought occurred on the technical and scientific side of the professional world.

However, the word “innovation” seems to be everywhere these days. For a solid week in school, I learned all about something called "Innovation Advantage." At a conference the following week, the...

Making a Human Impact with System Dynamics: A Healthcare Case Study

Vincenza Nigro is executive director of medical affairs at Veloxis Pharmaceuticals A/S in Edison, NJ. Rob Nachtrieb is a senior lecturer of System Dynamics at MIT and lead scientist of Lutron Electronics in Allentown, PA. Both Nigro and Nachtrieb are members of the MIT EMBA class of 2012.

When you are evaluating a new drug, there are several key things you need to understand. For example, how is the drug metabolized in the human body? How quickly does it work? And how fast is it eliminated from the body? System dynamics can describe the behavior of almost any system, but it’s...

The Three C’s of a New Venture

Jonathan Hinton is the Founder and CEO of Apex Controls in McDonough, GA and a member of the MIT EMBA class of 2015.

When embarking on a new venture, an aspiring entrepreneur asks, “What does it take to have a successful business?”  Sure, there are plethora of books, seminars and other resources that offer detailed information on all aspects of the subject (of which their authors are hoping to successfully make a lot of money by selling their concepts to you).  But to get a new idea off the ground and allow you to generate your first profits, I offer a simple...

The Importance of Ecosystem Risk Management (ECORM)

Christina Kite is a member of the MIT EMBA class of 2014.

In business, you’re only as good as the decisions you make. However, a big part of most decisions involves uncertainty.

Risk management is the process of dealing with uncertainty, and is something we study at MIT to learn how to make better decisions. Effective risk management includes:

- identifying and recognizing sources of uncertainty;
- measuring and assessing the frequency of occurrence and severity of the impact of the risk; and
- evaluating alternative approaches to wear, transfer, mitigate or take...

Developing an Innovation Driven Entrepreneurial Advantage (IDEA)

Jonathan Lehrich is the former program director of the MIT Executive MBA program and a member of the MIT Sloan MBA class of 2005.

The first-year MIT EMBAs recently completed the IDEA module, our deep dive into “Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurial Advantage.” Each one of those words is important. This is not a course about entrepreneurship or technology alone. Rather, it’s about entrepreneurship with a specific focus on how innovation can give a competitive edge to both startups and existing firms. It’s intended for students excited by innovation – an...

Leading Innovation in the Public Sector: An Interview with The World Bank’s Elizabeth Petheo

Elizabeth Petheo works for The World Bank in Washington, DC. Throughout her career she has led international development projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean. She is also a member of the MIT EMBA class of 2014.

Executive Insights: What would you say are the benefits of the MIT Executive MBA (EMBA) to someone coming from the public sector/international development into this program?

Petheo: There are two ways to look at that question: the benefits you get from the breadth of the program and the benefits you get...

Five Startup Strategies to Encourage Innovation

Diane Rucker is former Strategic Technology Manager at Seagate in Bloomington, MN and a member of the MIT EMBA class of 2014.

One evening, as I was walking by the MIT Media Lab, I noticed a man ahead of me carrying four or five laptop cases slung over his shoulders. I called out, “Even for MIT, that’s a lot of computers!” Turning to grin at me, he introduced himself as Kyle, an occasional Sherpa (and program director) for the Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship at MIT.

Kyle is an entrepreneur. He started his first business after graduating from college, two...

3 Lenses for Management Success

Dedric Carter is a former senior advisor for strategic initiatives in the Office of the Director National Science Foundation in Arlington, Va. and a member of the MIT EMBA class of 2014. He is currently associate dean of engineering and professor of practice at Washington University in St. Louis.

In moving quickly, we can easily become entrenched in our own perspective, oblivious to other forces that may affect our business success. One technique for calibrating what we see involves viewing an initiative through three types of lenses: political, strategic design and cultural.


The Consistency Trap: How to Avoid Predictable Mistakes

Jason Stack is a Program Officer at the U.S. Office of Naval Research in Arlington, Va. and a member of the MIT Sloan EMBA class of 2014.

While working at my previous company our senior management made a bet-the-company move to fundamentally redesign our product lines. Unbeknownst at the time, the new design had a subtle yet fatal flaw. Once discovered and alerted to leadership, the reactions were all too familiar: “We have to make it work,” and “We’re committed to the way forward,” and “This is too important to fail.” Unfortunately, this...

How to Make a Reorganization an Opportunity for Renewal and Growth

Fernando Dangond, M.D. is head of medical affairs for neurodegenerative diseases for the U.S. at EMD Serono in Rockland, MA. and a member of the MIT EMBA class of 2012.

Companies invariably go through cycles with ups and downs - and often the inexorable “re-org” period. How you come out of crises depends largely on your personality, your training, and your attitude on life, both personal and professional. This post is a sequel to my early post on "The Power of Strategic Communication: How to manage change and corporate reorganization".

Do you accept continuous risks?...

Five Questions With: Dave Markert (EMBA 13’)

Dave Markert is director of business development for Progeny Systems Corp. He was the founder and former CEO of Tactical Systems Engineering. Markert has been a defense and aviation professional for 29 years. He is a retired commander in the U.S. Navy and served as a Naval Flight Officer, in the F-14 Tomcat for the bulk of his career, which included three years as a TOPGUN instructor. He represents Progeny in the Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance. Markert is active in Boy Scout Troop 1 in Portsmouth.

Markert has a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering...

MDs Seek MBAs as Health Care Gets More Complex

Nervous dental patients who make their first visit to Dr. Sree Koka may feel calmer because they have watched his video on YouTube. It answers many of their questions: Is the doctor male or female? Does he speak English? Is he nice?

In the video, Koka introduces himself, cracks a few jokes, and suggests what patients should think about for their first appointment. He created the spot while attending MIT’s Executive MBA Program where he learned the benefits of focusing on personal relationships, not just technical expertise.

“I’ve come to realize that unless that...

Sticking to the Basics

When Brett Dean insists he’s not a time management expert, you might be tempted to think he must be hiding something. As if the president and chief operating officer of Watertown Savings Bank didn’t already have enough on his plate with his full-time job, his family life and volunteer work, now he’s taken on another challenge: earning an executive MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Then again, maybe Dean is just one of those people who needs to have a full slate of activities. The Haverhill native sat down with Banker & Tradesman to chat about...

MIT Sloan

When MIT Sloan decided in 2010 to launch an Executive MBA program, it was a game changer for the northeast market. The school’s prestige and brand is among the best in the world so the demand for the new program was immediate: 306 people applied for the first 62 seats in the inaugural class that would launch in October of 2010.

The result: a 25% acceptance rate that rivaled the best full-time MBA programs and was significantly better than the selectivity at number one ranked Wharton whose acceptance rate of 44% had made it the most selective EMBA program in the world before...

The Best Boston Metro Executive MBA Programs

When it comes to the MBA degree and Boston, Harvard Business School hogs a lot of the attention. But Harvard isn’t the only game in town. In fact, when it comes to the executive MBA degree, Harvard isn’t even in the game, never having offerred an EMBA program.

Instead, Boston area managers and executives have nearly a dozen solid degree-granting programs from which to choose. Among them are programs that blend online learning with classroom instruction, feature week-long residencies and international study excursions, boast classes taught by multiple professors from...

Lessons From a MIT Sloan EMBA Start-Up: BrightBytes

Previously I interviewed Jonathan Lehrich, program director of the MIT Executive MBA program on how they foster entrepreneurship amongst their students.  Today we have Rob Mancabelli and Hisham Anwar with us to talk about BrightBytes, the start-up they founded as part of their EMBA studies at MIT.

BrightBytes is an educational data analytics company. It delivers decision-support tools that (1) enable educational leaders to build 21st century learning environments, and (2) enable educational technology companies to measure the effectiveness of their products and services. .



The MIT School of Entrepreneurship

The following is the first of a two part interview. The first part sees me talking with Jonathan Lehrich, the MIT EMBA Program Director, about the start-ups that have emerged from their class and how they support students in starting up a new venture.  Jonathan is one of the creators and Program Director of the MIT Executive MBA.  Mr. Lehrich championed many other initiatives at MIT Sloan prior to creating the MIT Executive MBA, including the Global Entrepreneurship Lab (G-Lab) and China Lab and India Lab programs.  He is a 2005 graduate of MIT Sloan, and holds degrees...

The MBA That Will Never Die

“The regular, full-time MBA is the two-year program that everybody’s cousin once went to,” describes Jonathan Lehrich. “It’s a program for people who are usually switching careers. … It’s a socially acceptable, two-year way to step away from the work force and come back with significantly more skills and breadth.”

Yet, where does one go when they feel comfortable in their current position and aren’t looking to make a career change, but do desire to be better equipped for their day-to-day?

Lehrich’s answer is an Executive...

New Salary and Employer Sponsorship Data for EMBA Hopefuls

Although the Executive MBA Council has an interest in reporting positive trends in executive education, it's a "top-notch" organization, says Jonathan Lehrich, director of the executive MBA program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management. "All the prestige programs are members," he says. "Recognizing that they have an incentive to put a positive spin on our industry, nonetheless you should treat their data as very reliable."

The rise in EMBA alumni's percentage increase in income from the beginning of the program to the end—from 16.3...

School profile: MIT Sloan Executive MBA

When Rosalind Sullivan, chief financial officer at Cenegenics Medical Institute, the “age management company”, in Las Vegas, decided to do an executive MBA, she had some idea of her ideal programme.

She wanted a programme where students were “collaborative not competitive”, a “manageable schedule” that worked for her and her family and a curriculum that “merged the theoretical and the practical” and would help her “be a better executive”.

She settled on MIT Sloan School of Management. The broad-based programme boasts a...

A Day in the Life: Sloan Executive M.B.A.

A social media entrepreneur, a Navy pilot with the nickname “Flea” and a cardiologist walk into a bar. No joke here: they’re all classmates grabbing a drink at the end of a rough day.

Duc Chau (the web guru), Dave Markert (the aviator) and Suma Thomas (the doctor) are three students in the executive M.B.A. program at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Students come to the Cambridge, Mass., campus for Fridays and Saturdays every three weeks for the 20-month graduate program, with a few week-long sessions throughout as well.

While only two of them made it to...

MBA programs for experienced financial professionals

MIT’s new executive MBA program, a 20-month part-time journey that caters to mid-career executives and meets on weekends, is designed to help students apply at work on Monday what they learned on Friday. Students have an average of 17 years of work experience and range in age from 30 to 54.

In this program, which graduated its first class earlier this month, students handle tasks best suited for mid-career executives. One class requires them to identify a process or initiative within their organizations and to launch change. In the capstone course, a global organization course,...

MIT Sloan Graduates Its First Class of Executive MBAs

Members of the first class of MIT’s budding Executive MBA program didn’t have to wait until graduation on Friday (June Eighth) to reap the benefits of their studies. By last September, midway through the new 20-month program, over half of the 62 students had already landed a promotion, accepted more responsibility in their jobs or used what they were learning to start a new company.

For MIT’s Sloan School of Management, this inaugural EMBA class has been an impressive bunch from the start. Some 54% of the students already came to school with an advanced degree....

Business Schools Come of Age


Eyes on the future: older people are returning to business school to ensure they remain employable

Medical advances that have led to better health in older age, combined with a turbulent stock market that has put a serious dent in personal pensions, mean individuals are living and working longer.

This demographic trend has had an unexpected beneficiary: business schools. Not only are today’s older workers looking for additional training and credentials to ensure they will be considered for assignments and promotions, but employers also want their seasoned workers to...

Minding Their Own Business - Healthcare executives turn to MIT EMBA




Hoping to keep pace with a rapidly changing dynamic, health industry veterans are turning to MIT to burnish their business bona fides. Officials at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say they’ve seen a sharp uptick in the number of health care industry veterans seeking advanced management degrees. Administrators of MIT’s EMBA program, now in its second year, say the reason for the spike was nearly unanimous: Applicants said the nation’s health care delivery system is broken and they hope to take matters into their own hands, in part...

Ranking the MIT EMBA - Founder of BusinessWeek’s MBA Rankings Comments On It



MIT Sloan ... only entered its first class in a new $141,000 Executive MBA program in October of 2010. By most quality measures, the 20-month program would easily be among the world’s best. Some 40% of MIT’s Class of 2013 already have advanced degrees, and 83% boast titles that are director-level and above, with one in four already in the C-suite. The 70 executives in the class average 17 years of experience each, and 39% of them are of international origin. But when it comes to the ranking game, MIT is nowhere because the program is so new.


Fresh Experiences in the Field


MIT’s Sloan School of Management is launching a capstone course for its Executive MBA programme that involves on-site, experiential learning at an overseas company, a class that school officials say is an attempt to redefine the standard “business school junket”.

The course is being introduced at a time when schools that offer EMBAs – masters programmes for working executives – find themselves in an “arms race” for students as companies cut funding for employees to enrol in such programmes.

“Any EMBA worth its salt has an...

Jonathan Lehrich Outside the Box


MIT Sloan School of Management has launched its second year, and director Jonathan Lehrich clearly is proud of the program’s momentum and the fact that this year’s class has a higher average level of work experience among students than most executive MBA programs — 17 to 20 years.

The program has 71 students in the class of 2013, up from 62 students in the inaugural class of 2012, and Sloan accepted just a quarter of the applicants this year.

More of them have senior-level positions in their companies, more than half travel from outside New England to...

Aiming High


At first glance, Damian Blazy is not your typical participant on an Executive MBA programme – an MBA for working managers. He works at the Pentagon as an energy security analyst, but not long ago he was on active duty as a fighter pilot.

Yet every third Friday and Saturday he attends classes at the Sloan school at MIT in Boston. The first reason he gives for studying a management degree will resonate with any engineer or accountant on his course. “I need to translate between ­technical issues and writing policy.”

His second reason is learning to save...

MIT and the US Navy Team Up on Alternative Energy

MIT Sloan Executive Director Jonathan Lehrich and Lieutenant Damian Blazy of the U.S. Navy discuss their efforts to wean the Navy off petroleum with Emily Rooney of Greater Boston.


Betting on an EMBA


To make class, Valeri Cordón gets up at 5:30 a.m. on a Thursday to catch a flight from Costa Rica to Boston. At 8:30 a.m. Friday, he‟s in his seat at Building E62 of the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, where he will pretty much stay put for two intensive days of business education. Sunday morning — 72 hours after leaving home — he flies back to his wife and three children, usually through Miami, Atlanta or Dallas.

“I go where the routes are cheaper,” he says. And he is doing this once a month, for 20 months.


Paying for an EMBA


Getting an executive M.B.A. can be onerous, both logistically and financially. While there are some scholarships, many students rely on loans.

Graduate students, unlike undergraduates, can borrow the entire cost of education via federal loans: up to $20,500, at 6.8 percent interest, with a Stafford; the rest with a Plus loan, at 7.9 percent (foreign students are not eligible for federal aid).

But even that money may not be available. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is not offering government aid right now because the length of its E.M.B.A. program may fall...

Blue Water, Green Fleet- The Navy Gets Eco-Friendly




In 1907, then President Theodore Roosevelt dispatched a U.S. Navy fleet of 16 battleships for a 16-month trip around the world. Though the hulls of the ships were painted white, the Navy's peacetime color scheme — which led observers to nickname the vessels the Great White Fleet — the voyage wasn't a holiday cruise. In the wake of the Spanish-American and Russo-Japanese wars, Roosevelt wanted the world to know that the U.S. was emerging as a major military power, one capable of projecting naval strength to every stretch of the oceans....

Pimm Fox Interviews Jonathan Lehrich on MIT Sloan EMBA

Executive Director Jonathan Lehrich discusses the Sloan Executive MBA program upon the completion of its first year with Pimm Fox of Bloomberg News.


MIT Exec MBA Program Banks on Experience


MIT Sloan School of Management is completing the first year of its executive MBA program and recruiting for the second, joining the game later than its peers in Boston and entering the market when corporate sponsorship for executive education is declining.

Sloan also offers Sloan Fellows, another midcareer program, but the executive MBA is the Sloan track that accommodates executives’ work schedules while they study. Students attend classes on Fridays and Saturdays every three weeks, and Sloan’s first cohort has an average of 17 years of professional experience,...

Trains, Planes and EMBAs


Tim Pearson, an executive MBA student at MIT Sloan School of Management, once spent 12 hours getting home from his class.

Mr Pearson, who lives in Ottawa, Canada, commutes 300 miles to Massachusetts for the programme, which meets every third weekend over 20 months. One January evening, a combination of bad weather and delays meant his usual eight-hour journey took an additional four hours.
But he was undeterred. “Because I made a focused decision [to attend MIT Sloan], anything that happens from a travel perspective is immaterial,” says Mr Pearson, a senior...

MIT’s Sloan School Adds the Program, but Companies Scale Back Sponsorships



Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management is launching its first "Executive M.B.A." this fall, but it faces a tough market as companies cut back funding for employees to go through such programs.

Executive M.B.A. programs—masters-degree programs where the classes are usually held on weekends so that ambitious job-holders can attend—have become common at many business schools. But corporate support has been declining.

Only 32% of Executive M.B.A. students were fully sponsored by their companies in 2009, down 5% from 2005,...