The Oregon Executive MBA Experience

Executive MBA programs like Oregon Executive MBA are tailored to accomplished mid-to-senior managers, executives, entrepreneurs, and emerging business leaders who are positioning themselves to move up the corporate ladder by deepening their knowledge base, sharpening their skills, and tackling problems their organization will face in the coming years.

Oregon Executive MBA is as academically rigorous as any full-time MBA program, but is differentiated by its cohort structure, schedule and student services, robust network, and application and relevance to your current career.

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Collaborating with your cohort of talented peers and learning team is one aspect of the Oregon Executive MBA experience. Getting an insider perspective from leaders in business, government, and nonprofit organizations who visit the program is another aspect. Global Study trips, networking with other executive MBA students and alumni, and forging new bonds with unexpected contacts complete the package. The following are some of the key characteristics of the Oregon Executive MBA student experience.

Innovative Learning

At Oregon Executive MBA, we believe one word pervades our learning every day: Innovation. We promote innovation in students’ core business knowledge, in the way they approach problems, and in the way they persuade others to join them in solving difficult business questions.

By viewing business education through this lens, each class is transformed into an exercise in how to do things differently from the norm. Our faculty are a combination of academic leaders from the University of Oregon and skilled practitioners who have worked at Oregon's most prominent and influential companies.

First-year courses concentrate on the groundwork essentials of marketing, finance, and statistics, while second-year courses focus on application, business problem analysis, and innovation. The combination of foundational knowledge and innovative thinking will transform the way you look at business—both old and new.

Cohort Experience

Ask any Oregon Executive MBA alum what they value most from the program, and they’ll mention the facultythe coursework, and the executive coaching. But undoubtedly, the most important aspect of the executive MBA experience is “the cohort"—the 40 to 55 experienced professionals on a journey of knowledge acquisition and personal growth.

The bonds students create with their peers in the classroom, on the global study trip, during team sessions, on Friday afternoons, and at study groups is a key part of what they take away. After graduating, our executive MBA alumni continue to rely on classmates—as well as faculty—for help in applying concepts learned in new ways. The cohort experience creates a rich environment for learning.

At the start of the program, each student becomes a member of a learning team of four to six. Oregon Executive MBA staff carefully construct the groups to include diverse—but complementary—professionals from a variety of organizations, industries, and functional areas. The objective is for each group to leverage the various strengths and frameworks of its members—and for the whole to be greater than the sum of its parts. Students join a new study team at the start of their second year in the program, thus increasing the number of close bonds they form during the program.

We've found that team projects allow students to delve more deeply into the subject matter while also allowing them to take on more complex assignments. Many of our students also discover that, in addition to the academic benefits of team work, they gain an amazing group of peers that can help support one another with regard to school, work, and home.

Work-Life Balance

The Oregon Executive MBA has major benefits, but it is also a major commitment. Balancing work, family life, and an MBA program can be difficult to manage. However, executive MBA students at many different stages of life make the program work with their families, partners, and jobs.

Our program is designed for professionals with demanding schedules. The format minimizes time away from work and family by scheduling classes so that only eight hours per month overlap with the typical work week. If students are required to miss a class, all sessions are live-streamed for your convenience. Classes are offered twice a month on consecutive Fridays and Saturdays.  Friday classes begin at 1:00 p.m. with an 8:00 p.m. finish. Saturday classes during both years begin at 8:00 a.m. and finish at 5:00 p.m.

Most of our students have partners and children at home and we are happy to arrange for executive MBA applicants to talk with a student who has similar family responsibilities. They will share how they make it work. We also encourage interested individuals to bring partners with them to an information session to learn more.

To make life easier for our busy executive students, our staff takes care of the details behind the scenes. They are always responsive and accessible.

Return on Investment

Students at the Oregon Executive MBA don't wait until graduation to apply concepts and ideas from class to their jobs—they do so from the earliest days in and throughout the twenty-month program.

Our students report that what they learn on Fridays and Saturdays is put to use immediately when they return to work on Monday, translating into an immediate return on investment for them and their employers.

Beyond the Classroom

The Oregon Executive MBA experience also extends outside of class. The following are some of the hallmark activities that further contribute to the program's value:

  • Executive Immersion: The twenty-month program begins with a required multi-day Executive Immersion at the program's facility in Portland and at the University of Oregon in Eugene. This enables incoming students to gain a firm grounding in the basics of business school while building relationships with their cohort and team
  • Global Study Trip: The Oregon Executive MBA offers an extraordinary opportunity to visit businesses overseas and meet executives doing business on a global scale. Students spend approximately ten days abroad working closely with companies on real-life case studies, touring facilities, experiencing new cultures, and meeting with executives from all over the world. Previous destinations have included Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand, Fiji, Spain, the Netherlands, Ireland, and Iceland, among others.
  • Class Networking: Students have plenty of opportunities to network with the other cohort in residence at the Oregon Executive MBA through social events and social media.
  • Career Resources: Facilitate your professional advancement with customized career coaching, including resume evaluation and practice interviews, along with up to four executive coaching sessions.
  • Alumni Events: Throughout the year, the Oregon Executive MBA Alumni Association hosts events, including alumni socials, networking events, and on-site explorations of the region's business scene.

Lifelong Learning

Learning does not stop with a degree. Our alumni are always welcome to audit regular classes as many times as they like. Additionally, the program offers an annual slate of electives at a greatly reduced fee for alumni.