Asking Your Employer For Support


With an Executive MBA, you’ll be able to work and study at the same time. Great! No need to give up your role, salary or responsibilities. Sounds good, but obviously this means you’ll also need the cooperation of your employer. Employer support needs to include time off to attend class, and some students are able to secure financial sponsorship, too.

So, how should you go about securing employer support for the Executive MBA? One good way of approaching this is to create a business case, forming a persuasive argument for company support. You should use your case to demonstrate the ROI from a company perspective, focusing on their needs rather than your own.

Before you compile your business case, do some background research. You’ll need to consider:

• Why specifically have you chosen Chicago Booth? Why is this school and program a better choice for you than any others on the market?

• How does the program fit with your career development plan at the company? How will it help get you to where the company needs you to be in 3-5 years?

• Why is the Executive MBA better than an internal learning and development opportunity, if appropriate?

• Will this program meet a specific need at the company? Can a business case or challenge be addressed by the content of this course? Some of our students are able to do this quite successfully.

• What is the required time commitment? How will you manage the time away from the office? This should include your responsibilities and also a plan for how you will allocate the time away (vacation days, personal days, etc.).

• How much will it cost? Remember to include travel and accommodation costs as well as tuition. How will you plan to cover the costs with or without company support?

• What are you prepared to commit to the company in return for support? Examples of this include lock in periods, bonus or salary sacrifices, and tuition fee refunds if you leave the company.

• What exactly are you asking the company to contribute? Be specific about the amount of funding and time off.

Addressing these questions will help you figure out the appropriate level of support to request. They will also help you create a robust and convincing business case.

Good luck! We’re here to help, so please let us know if you need a hand.