Executive MBA

For Applicants: Gaining Employer Support

The Executive MBA Program experience at Chicago Booth is defined by the commitment you make to your classes, peers, intellectual pursuits, and career goals. It also represents a significant commitment of your time.

That’s why, upon admission to the Executive MBA Program, we require that you submit a letter of support from your employer regarding corporate sponsorship. The company support letter should state that your employer will allow you to attend all class sessions. It is not a commitment of financial support. Asking your employer for financial sponsorship is up to you—and we’re happy to help you do it.

We encourage you to begin the process of asking for corporate sponsorship from your employer early on, and to do so thoughtfully. Here’s how:

Build Your Case for Sponsorship

Before approaching your employer, ask yourself a number of questions: 

  • What are your reasons for choosing to enroll in the Executive MBA Program at Chicago Booth? Examine why Chicago Booth is a unique fit for you. Is it because you will have access to a particular area of study, or faculty member? How does the culture match that of your company?
  • The Executive MBA Program at Chicago Booth has been designed to meet the needs of global business leaders. How will the skills taught here benefit your company or industry specifically?
  • Think through your own career trajectory. How does studying for your MBA complement your background and the goals that you have for the future? On an even more targeted level, will you be able to address and improve upon on a needed skill set identified in a performance review? 
  • Gauge the level of support at your company. Is there a precedent of high-performing employees who enroll in part-time MBA programs? If there is an in-house company training program, you may have to think through a comparison of that program versus an MBA degree.
  • Determine what to ask for. Every incoming Executive MBA student is required to secure support for time away from work to attend class. In addition to this, will you also ask for support with funding? How much financial support will you ask for? Again, be specific. 
  • Who makes the decision on your case? This will help you to tailor your content for that person.
  • What are you prepared to offer in return for your company sponsoring your MBA? An effective tool for securing employer support is to propose something in return. Students have offered to take on enhanced responsibilities post-MBA, a lock-in period with their company, or tuition refund should you decide to leave. 

Guide to Writing your Business Case for Sponsorship

Download our business case for corporate sponsorship guide for detailed recommendations on how to format your business case and what content to include to gain employer support. In this guide, you will also find examples and stories from previous Executive MBA students who have successfully secured sponsorship from their companies.