Breaking through the recession

For most young professionals the weekend signals a welcome break from the stress and grind of work life. Most of us spend time with our families, catch up on personal errands and head off to the malls, and markets to stock up on essentials and a few luxuries. With a recession and rising prices, even weekends are getting stressful for many, left with shrinking budgets and limited choices.

For some executives and entrepreneurs, however week ends have become the most productive and future focused days of the week. These are the days when they spend their week ends preparing themselves for career challenges and business opportunities by investing their time in a Executive MBA program.

Many executives have found that with ever increasing responsibilities at work, the once scared concept of a 9 to 5 workday no longer exists. What is more, is the fact of increased competition in the job market, three years is too much time to invest in much needed Masters qualification.

In this article we are giving an example of a leading institute as to how they planned their Master’s program. Realizing that working professionals needed a faster but enriching Executive Masters program, ITM Executive Education Center started offering its students in 2003 the choice of a weekend class schedule for its Executive Masters programs. Students could choose to attend classes on Saturdays and Sundays, rather than during the week. This format proved so popular, that within a year all new batches were following the week end format.

Today ITM Executive Education Center is considered the institute of choice for part time executive education in Mumbai. The numbers speak for themselves, with over 2,000 students currently enrolled in Executive Masters programs at its 11 centers, spread across Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.

Their focus is to give working professionals a competitive advantage over their peers who do not have a Masters qualification and they want to do it in the fastest, most convenient and academically enriching way possible.

The center has focused all its efforts in offering Executive Masters programs that are designed for working professionals. Everything from specially developed curricula and industry experienced faculties to conveniently located centers and a variety of amenities for students has been created with the needs of its students in mind.

Earlier they had just one campus in Mumbai and students would have to travel for hours to reach them. But they realized that it would be better to come closer to students’ offices or homes. So they started looking at center locations that would be convenient to students. They have centers in Sion, Matunga, Churchgate, Marine Lines, Malad, vile Pr6ale, Chembur, Vashi and Kharghar. We are still expanding! ITM has upcoming centers in Oshiwara, Dombivili and two other locations in suburban Mumbai.

But it is not just convenience of timing and location that makes ITM Executive Center so popular amongst working professionals. The center offers two programs — a 24 month Masters program in Business Administration, which is for young professionals and a 16 month programming, which is for experienced professionals. This distinction allows the faculties to design and deliver the right level of learning to their students. Young executives who have less than three years of work experience need a good grounding in business fundamentals and concepts. Older executives bring a wealth of experience into the classroom and require more advanced, exploratory learning. Their faculties are also able to adapt course content and subject coverage based on the age and experience of the batch.

It is no surprise that students find the programs very rewarding. One of the student’s biggest worry was that he would have to go through all the old theories and mug up the definitions as if he was a fresher, said a student of the 16 month program. But he was relieved to see that his batch was full of experienced people like him who don’t need to be taught the basics. He wants to build upon what he already knows.

Technology is a major component of studies at ITM Executive Education Center. Students get state of the art laptops and a customized book kit as a part of the program. What’s more, all class room are fitted with LCD projectors and A/V equipment. Faculties are able to deliver lectures enhanced with multimedia and receive student assignments via e-mail. All this technology really comes to the fore when students have to work on group assignments and projects. With a busy work week ahead of them, most students meet virtually over chat rooms and email, to work on their group projects.

So what’s the real benefit in signing up for an Executive Masters program? Career progression is our min objective, but our students experience many more benefits. The professional and social net working possibility is a big bonus many students find their next jobs, business deals, and even start new ventures while enrolled with the institute. The big benefit is getting promotions and new jobs. Most of their students are able to move up to management positions in their organizations within a year of completing the program.

For professionals who want to study and work abroad, ITM Executive Education Center has a long standing collaboration with Southern New Hampshire University in USA. Students can opt to transfer to the US, getting credit for the courses they have taken at ITM, and continue their studies in the USA, graduating with an MBA from this highly respected and fully accredited US University. In the last 10 years, hundreds of students have taken up this option and made their careers in the US.

Weekends have become the most productive days of the week for so many working professionals who realize that they need to get qualified get an edge over others.