Tips for Getting MBA Sponsorship from Your Employer
Getting an MBA from a top B-school can cost upwards of $200,000 today.
That’s a steep price for most students, and the cost alone can deter many from even pursuing the degree. Luckily, with MBA sponsorships and financial aid, many students don’t end up actually paying sticker price.
Stacy Blackman, founder of Stacy Blackman Consulting, recently offered a few tips on how to get MBA sponsorship from your employer and what to consider when reaching out.
BEFORE YOUR REACH OUT
Prior to even approaching your employer about financing your MBA, Blackman recommends every prospective applicant to first do some research around their company’s education and development policies.
“Many progressive companies encourage their employees to pursue advanced degrees as it can lead to a more skilled and loyal workforce,” Blackman says. “Research your company’s existing education assistance programs and review their eligibility criteria and reimbursement limits.”
Next, you’ll want to do some self-reflection on how an MBA aligns not only with your goals, but the company’s as well.
“To be even more persuasive, identify specific projects or responsibilities where your advanced skills can make a tangible difference,” Blackman says. “Illustrate how the company can benefit from the investment in your education, such as by proposing a strategic project that you could lead upon completing your MBA.”
FOCUS ON ROI
Most companies will want to see a tangible return on investment for sponsoring your MBA education. Be sure to outline specific financial benefits that your MBA education will bring to the company.
“Talk about salary increases, promotions, or new responsibilities you anticipate after completing the program,” Blackman says. “You can also share industry data on the increased earning potential for MBA graduates.”
You’ll also want to consider the fine details in your sponsorship agreement.
“Clarify whether the support covers tuition, textbooks, and other related expenses,” Blackman says. “Also, discuss any conditions attached to the sponsorship. For example, will you have to commit to staying with the company for a certain period after graduation?”
At the end of the day, employer sponsorship is just one path to funding your MBA. Having backups is always a wise idea.
“While employer sponsorship is attractive, you’ll also want to explore other funding sources, such as scholarships, grants, and student loans,” Blackman says. “A backup plan can be reassuring if your employer can’t provide the support you need.”
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