Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What is an Executive MBA and how does it differ from a regular MBA?

An executive MBA is a special category of MBA education and it differs form a regular MBA in several ways. Although the content might be similar between the two, a traditional MBA programme is more focused on theory and foundations of business administration. Executive MBA programmes, on the other hand, excel in more hands-on application of knowledge and tend to have more focus on projects conducted by students for their own organisations. As such, an executive MBA is designed for more mature and advanced managers, entrepreneurs and other professionals than is the regular MBA. Typically, EMBA students are middle or functional managers, who need to hone their managerial and leadership skills, as well as broaden their management knowledge, so that they can assume higher positions and leadership roles. This leads to a difference in entry requirements and admissions criteria. An EMBA requires more managerial experience, and places more emphasis on career path and leadership potential than does a regular MBA. In admission to EMBAs less weight is given to academic achievements and test scores (e.g. the GMAT) and more to professional achievements and the ability to contribute to classwork. Finally, the delivery format is different. While classes in regular full-time and part-time MBAs are held regularly throughout the week, EMBA students meet either on weekends (typically every second week) or, more and more often, during intensive in-class sessions of one week or more duration, organised from time to time, e.g. every second month. The latter format is called modular and is often supported by e-learning


What are the benefits of completing an Executive MBA?

Such benefits are numerous, and therefore, we can point to several of those that are most important. Generally, an EMBA has the ability to boost participants’ careers or be a major factor in their business success. It can help accelerate an existing career or develop a new one. EMBA graduates are not only more confident and more capable managers or business owners, but they change the way they think and act as leaders. They can influence others more effectively. An important benefit of EMBA is that it allows participants build valuable networks (they meet other experienced, knowledgeable, influential participants during their studies) that last long beyond the EMBA studies. Moreover, participants share with each other and gain from each other valuable ideas and expertise.


Why IBD Business School?

IBD belongs to a new breed of business schools. It has evolved from a management training institution which, under the name Centre for Privatisation, pioneered comprehensive training of specialists for the market economy in 1990. Presently, IBD Business School is one of the oldest and most renowned business education institutions in Poland with more than 25 years of experience in management development and training. It has trained more than 215 000 managers and professionals and has worked with close to 280 corporations, many of which are large multinationals. The Executive MBA programme represents IBD’s newest and most advanced foray into executive development.


Who is the programme for?

This EMBA is designed for working professionals who want to strengthen their careers without interrupting it. Notably, middle- and top-level executives can benefit from this programme. Middle managers can use the programme as a spring board to achieving higher positions and assuming broader responsibilities, while top executives can update and broaden their management knowledge, hone their managerial skills, and develop their leadership capabilities. The programme is also addressed to entrepreneurs and management consultants.


How long does it take to complete the IBD Executive MBA?

The minimum duration of the programme, including Master’s Project development and defence, is 20 months. However, it can take longer, depending on the pace of study followed by individual students. Students who experience periods of exceptionally intensive work or increased family obligations can take a break and re-join the programme later. The only requirement is that they must complete all the twelve modules, Research Methods for Master’s Project and defend the project within 5 years from the start of their EMBA studies. We expect most students to complete the programme within two years.


What are the degree requirements?

In order to be granted an Executive MBA diploma, participants must successfully complete all the academic modules, receive positive evaluation on their Personal and Leadership Development tasks and defend their Master’s Project. In terms of academic credits, they must earn 120 UK credit points (or 60 ECTS) on academic modules plus 60 UK credit points (30 ECTS) on Master’s Project


Is a master’s thesis required?

A Master’s Project is a requirement. This can take the form of a consulting project, entrepreneurship project or a research dissertation. Each student project is supervised by a faculty member. In order to be able to start developing their Master’s Project, students must pass the Research Methods module, which aims to develop knowledge, synthesis and critical analytical skills in a range of business disciplines and to apply these in a practical setting. The project is an individual, supervised piece of work. The scope and topic area will be discussed and agreed with the project director and project supervisor prior to the start date.


When can one join the IBD EMBA?

The first group of IBD-EMBA students will start in May 2016. The next intake is scheduled for November 2016.


Who grants the diploma?

An EMBA diploma is granted by the IBD Business School. Collaboration with Ashridge Business School, whose curriculum and academic standards have been adopted in this programme, will be recognised on the diploma. Through co-designing this programme with Ashridge Business School, IBD’s diploma reflects the regulations and directions contained in the UK Code of Higher Education.


Is the programme conducted entirely in English?

Yes, all the modules and programme activities are conducted in English. Our EMBA staff are fluent in English, but they can also communicate in Polish and Russian.


Is there an international trip involved?

Yes, one of the academic modules will be conducted at Ashridge Business School (ABS) in England. ABS is a partner of IBD in offering this programme. IBD EMBA’s curriculum has been co-developed with Ashridge. Apart from an academic module, the international trip to Ashridge Business School will include meetings with British business people and MBA students from Ashridge.


How much is a tuition fee and what does it cover?

The current tuition fee is 58 000 PLN. It covers all tuition, coaching and mentoring; essential teaching materials; transportation, accommodation and catering during residential sessions in Serock; international module at the Ashridge Business School; and IBD diploma and transcripts. This fee does not include transportation, accommodation and board costs associated with attending the international module at Ashridge or the application fee of 300 PLN.


Can the tuition fee be paid in instalments?

Yes, the tuition fee can be paid in three instalments. The first instalment is due two weeks prior to programme start. The second instalment is payable after seven months from programme start and the third instalment – after 14 months.


Who are the lecturers and what is their teaching philosophy?

Module leaders are international experts in their respective fields. Most of them come from other than IBD Business School distinguished academic institutions, from corporations, and from consulting practice. They have been selected because of their ability to provide a dynamic learning experience and able to deliver the latest material in an engaging, practical, down-to-earth way.


How often are the residential classes held and where?

Normally, the residential classes are conducted once in two months. They will be held at the IBD Serock Campus on the shores of Zegrzyńskie Lake. Serock is located 40 km north-east of Warsaw. It is also conveniently located vis-à-vis Warsaw’s second airport at Modlin.


How flexible is the schedule?

Students starting the programme must attend an Orientation and the Module on Critical Analysis and Reflection. Critical Analysis and Reflection equips students with study skills which are essential for the subsequent academic modules and other activities in the programme. Other modules can be taken in any order, which makes the study mode flexible.


How many days away from the office are required to complete the programme?

Since residential meetings combine both weekdays and weekends, time away from office is minimised. It is estimated that students will need to devote less than 25 working days over the entire programme duration.


Do I need to have a Master’s degree to enrol into the programme?

No, students with an undergraduate (bachelor’s) degree (in Poland: “licencjat”) can be accepted to the programme.


How many years of work experience do I need to have in order to be accepted?

A minimum of three years of managerial work experience is required. Applicants who meet this minimum but have less than five years of relevant work experience are required to submit a GMAT score.


Is the GMAT test required? What score is acceptable?

GMAT is required only of applicants who have less than five years of managerial work experience. However, the Programme Director may in certain circumstances ask for submission of a GMAT score. No minimum score is set for GMAT; whether it is acceptable or not will depend on the applicant’s overall profile.


What kind of English-competency tests are accepted?

Any of the following tests are accepted: TOEFL IBT (score of 100+), IELTS (minimum score of seven) or Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic Test (minimum score of 60).


Under what circumstances can the English-competency test be waived?

Applicants whose mother language is English or have completed their higher education in English or provide evidence of working in English on a daily basis, will not be required to pass the language test.


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