When it comes to personal growth, there ain’t no mountain high enough. Life is an upward journey of more knowledge, insights and skills. The best of us know this, but the ones who stand out most are the ones who couple this climb with impact. Taking the higher consciousness and grander knowledge gained, they return to their base to spark change.
These are the kinds of graduates the emba X by ETH Zürich and University of St.Gallen produces. The mountains provide the ideal backdrop and metaphor for the emba X, according to Senior Programme Advisor Claudio Feser. “It is about going high, but it’s also about coming back and making a change,” he explains.
Feser is talking about the key advantage of the emba X: personal development. It is the vital path in developing tomorrow’s responsible leaders. A pioneer in this aspect, the emba X dedicates close to one-quarter of the credited curriculum to personal development and skill building interventions. The setting? Switzerland — where mountains cover two thirds of the country — making it the perfect study environment to train body, mind, and soul.
The 18-month, joint programme is Europe’s most relevant Executive MBA. It is rigorous and most importantly, future-focused –– thanks to a partnership that bridges the gap between technology and business.
ETH Zürich is a world-renowned institution of innovation and technology. The University of St.Gallen – a “Triple Crown” accredited leader in education –– is known to foster an entrepreneurial spirit that sparks positive economic and social change. The combination provides two ideal student experiences for the price of one, boasting twice the professors, support, perspectives, facilities, and networking opportunities.
Together, ETH Zürich and the University of St.Gallen cover the topical subjects of technology, international management, leadership, business innovation, and social responsibility in a hybrid format. Around 30% to 40% of the emba X is delivered online while the rest of it is taught on-site at both institutions.
While horizons are broadened with an interdisciplinary approach, toolkits are filled with the Personal Development Plan –– a holistic, customisable offering that drives student transformations, evolving professionals into experts. Expert input, consulting, coaching, mentoring, individual and group activities –– in both digital and physical formats –– facilitate this growth.
Skill Building Interventions are just as robust –– they are one or two-day workshops modelled in line with the four core components of behavioural skill development: Modelling, instruction, rehearsal, and feedback.
Feser, the mind behind the emba X’s unique focus on personal development and skill-building, is a practitioner himself. With three decades of experience at McKinsey & Company, he’s witnessed the evolution of business first-hand. The exposure helped him strategise the right formula to ensure aspiring business leaders are agile enough to keep up in the ever-evolving world of business.
“We grouped key competencies into three areas: higher cognitive skills, higher social and emotional skills, and integrative skills,” he shares. “This is what the Personal Development Plan and Skill Building Interventions focus on. We aim to help people gain a higher level of self-awareness and interpersonal awareness. In the end, they become more effective as leaders.”
Students apply newfound knowledge with 11 days of real work via tailored social, business innovation, and company projects. Throughout their journey, they are guided by industry leaders that double as faculty members –– all of whom are ever willing to provide feedback and advice.
“They learn specific tools, techniques, and methodologies not just during these 11 days, but throughout the programme. By continuously nudging them to use these tools, they graduate fully understanding the subject and are immediately able to add value to organisations,” says Feser.
Climbing mountains in Switzerland
There’s no better place to study new and improved business practices than in the heart of Europe and surrounded by the Alps. Apart from Swiss delicacies like sinful chocolates and fine cheeses, Switzerland is known for its economic influence, entrepreneurial atmosphere, and education system. The country also has centuries of experience in leveraging technology as a means to help local communities.
Amid the hustle and bustle, there’s plenty of room for inspiration. Here, lofty, snow-covered mountains slice the sky and those who reach the peak know they’re only halfway through their journey.
The emba X experience was developed from this perspective, offering its students a journey that is filled with hurdles, accomplishment, teamwork, self-discovery, and ultimately, celebration. “From a programme perspective, we want people to reach new heights,” says Feser.
By being able to study in both Zürich and St.Gallen –– learners get the best of both worlds in one country. Zürich is the nation’s largest city, famous for being fast-paced, ultra-vibrant, and the centre of economic life and education. Meanwhile, St.Gallen is nestled between Lake Constance and the Alps –– exuding the feel of a quaint, charming, traffic-free old town.
With an emba X, there’s no need to choose from one or the other — click here to begin your journey to business mastery on the ultimate alpine trek.
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