The COB’s Executive Masters of Business Administration program is making a big impact on the students from China who enroll in this yearlong program on the MSU campus.The EMBA, a unique cohort-based contract program where students progress through academic curriculum as a group, began in 2007. Students in this program are all Chinese citizens and working professionals with five to 30 years of experience in their field. Each student is sponsored by his or her home university, current employer or the Chinese government. Participation requires one year of full-time study on MSU’s Springfield campus. Students take 12 credit hours in the fall and spring semesters and nine credit hours in the summer semester. Courses are taken one at a time over a four-week period. Students generally spend four hours a day in class three days a week. There are usually four cohort groups with a total of approximately 135 EMBA students on campus at any given time. Completion of the program is celebrated with a graduation reception and participation in a graduation ceremony in John Q. Hammons Arena.
Because of the accelerated and intense nature of the program, many students come to Springfield on their own, sacrificing time with family and friends to pursue an education. About 25 percent choose to bring their family with them. The EMBA office, in Glass Hall, works closely with the MSU International Student Services and MSU China Programs to make sure each student has a smooth transition to campus. The EMBA faculty and staff really go the extra mile, transporting students and families to and from the airport, helping to secure housing, cell phones, furniture, giving tours of Springfield and much more.
“The first day I arrived in Springfield, Dr. (David) Meinert helped carry our bags at the airport, drove us to campus and even helped move mattresses at our apartment. It was not until a week later that we learned he was the EMBA program Director and Business College Associate Dean. This left a lasting positive impression that someone with such a position in the program would help us with such basic things,” states former student Shirley Yiping Zhang.
This is not unusual for Meinert and the EMBA staff, Anna Brashers, Executive Assistant and Xiao’ou Gong, China Programs Specialist. They, along with EMBA faculty, help with Chinese cultural activities including the New Moon and Chinese New Year celebrations and provide opportunities to participate in local and U.S. cultural opportunities such as Cider Days, Thanksgiving, a visit to Silver Dollar City trips to baseball games, etc … “A big part of the degree is learning what it is like to live abroad, especially in the U.S., since many Chinese companies want employees to have a good working knowledge of the English language and American culture,” mentions Meinert.
After graduation, EMBA students return to their home country of China. Many have the opportunity for advancement within their current organization upon their return. There are now 541 graduates of the EMBA living and working in China. The EMBA program continues to contribute to our global society and global economy with each new cohort group.