Benefits of a team-based executive MBA program

By Faris Khader, Executive MBA Metro NY ’19

By: Katelyn Godoy
Photo of Faris Khader and his teammates

Teamwork versus individual performance

The benefits of teamwork are too evident to be challenged in almost any institution—in your family, the workplace, or within community efforts—and so business school is no exception.

Teamwork uses the strengths of all team members, which can result in a better outcome. The added benefit of team brainstorming is a key advantage over individual work. It allows collaboration with multiple, equally talented people; thereby, increasing the number of possible ideas to solve a problem. An individual may see a problem from only one or a limited number of perspectives if he or she is the only person working on it. Increased quality of deliverables and increased and effective communication are just some of the advantages of teamwork.

Benefits of a team-based approach for the executive MBA

An executive MBA is typically a program where a bunch of highly talented, brilliant professionals from around the world come together to learn and contribute toward several business-related academic subjects. The students can be from varying industries and geographies. A team-based approach has enormous potential in such a program. It allows students to collaborate with several successful managers and learn their viewpoints. Students also have very diverse cultural backgrounds. Throughout the program, there is an opportunity to understand these differences and learn about different working styles.

Every executive MBA student has made a commitment to reach a greater goal, in turn, making adjustments to their family time and job schedule to take on additional coursework. As one strives to find support from all around, your team member at school, who is going through the exact same pressures, could easily hear your concerns. This is how communities are built within executive MBA programs that offer a team-based approach.

Executive MBA Metro NY: Structured for team-based benefits

Photo of Faris Khader and his teammates, representatives of the diverse team-based executive MBA approach

Johnson’s Executive MBA Metro NY program is extremely team oriented, which helps students get the most out of their education—personally, professionally, and academically. During the first semester, students are randomly assigned to a team of six or seven people, forming a diverse cohort. Your team then changes every semester. This provides an opportunity to closely work with majority of students from the class. Cornell has dedicated coaches for every team, who are accessible to mentor us through any team-related issues or concerns. The Metro NY program encourages students to apply the concepts of project leads, project seconds, team scribes, team chairs, and more. This is a very broad-based approach for an executive MBA program and ensures the participation of each team member on all projects.

At the same time, while teamwork is important, the program measures on individual performance in the form of final exams, quizzes, etc. This provides a mix of team and individual performance reports while grading a student.

Networking at its best

One of the most important goals of an executive MBA student is to grow their network. Johnson’s executive MBA admissions team does an amazing job to make sure its students are from multiple industries. If I look at my classmates, I see people from retail, manufacturing, online travel, and construction, to name a few. Networking is the greatest opportunity that we get while working in teams. You can have any level of conversation about any industry that you are interested in just by finding the right people, because you are already in the Cornell network.

The attitude that I see in my class overall can be described as this: “We may have all come in on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” This cannot have been achieved if it weren’t for the team-based approach.

Learn more about the Executive MBA Metro NY program