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Feb 7, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Joanna Hughes

Teaching modes for business education are constantly changing and evolving. One of the most notable changes over the past decade? A shift out of the classroom and toward online studies. This comes as welcome news for many business executives who are discovering that online learning is the perfect way to continue their professional development without hindering their current career trajectory.

Here’s a closer look at the many benefits of online studies for executives, along with one international program that constitutes a particularly appealing option.

From ABC to ABL

While Alec Baldwin’s character in Glengarry Glen Ross may be known for the catchphrase, “Always be closing,” today’s forward-thinking business executives have a different imperative: Always be learning.

Which begs the question: Why is lifelong learning so important? For starters, the more you learn, the more you are exposed to new ideas and different ways of thinking. This expanded exposure and enriched perspective can help promote informed and balanced decision-making toward a more efficient and profitable business.

Additionally, the business world is one of constant flux. It follows that business leaders must be agile in their ability to adapt to and leverage to your advantage the latest developments, trends, and tools. Journalist and management specialist Robert Trapp recently called on modern leaders “to keep learning and to stay humble.” An integral part of doing so? Committing to continuing professional development. Contends Trapp, “[This] obviously indicates that leadership is not necessarily something that is ‘just there’ but can be developed. The key, of course, is to convince those at the top that they have not really arrived but are just somewhere along the way.” In other words, leaders are most successful when they view themselves as engaged in a continuous process.

But continuing your education is just about what doing so can do for your business. It’s also about what it can do for you. Business leaders require a wide range of hard and soft skills. While some of these competencies can be learned and honed on the job, others require extra instruction and practice in order to master.

Lastly, networking is an undervalued aspect of continuing education. Asserts SMBCEO, “Usually, the more you learn, the more you come into contact with other business people who are in the same niche or industry as you. Instead of viewing these people as your competition, you should view them as potential business allies you can network with, who could become extremely important partners in the future.”

But When?

Given the many things continuing your business education can do for you, it’s hard to argue against enrolling in an advanced business program. For many aspiring business leaders, however, the thought of stepping off of their career track for two years is an unappealing one. So what’s an upwardly mobile business professional to do? Enter ESCP Europe Business School’s Executive Master in International Business (EMIB).

In an increasingly globalized and competitive world, where the present and future of business lies in foreign markets, the EMIB programme offers a solution to the growing demand for professional expertise in international business and foreign trade. Aimed to train professionals capable of leading companies with a presence in international markets, the primary objective of this 18-course programme is to provide participants with the cross-functional knowledge and managerial skills required to become more effective managers and equips them with an understanding of the driving forces of the business model of an international company.

Not only do participants graduate with a sought-after degree from one of the world’s best business schools, but they also benefit from access to high-quality multimedia materials and real-life case studies -- all via a flexible, 100 percent online methodology.

But why take our word for it when you can take the word of satisfied EMIB graduates instead? Says one alumna from Bangalore, “I am very happy of having chosen this EMIB program, as it provides all that I was looking for: an MBA course with an international orientation, flexibility to learn and offered in a prestigious business school. I especially enjoy the freedom of studying when I want, what I want, have access to all the material at any moment and being able to choose each semester the subjects in which I would like to enroll...The platform is simply great! Extraordinarily easy to use and well structured. I highly recommend this EMIB program, particularly to those people who are unable to attend to a face to face program and are looking for an easy going way of learning.”

Adds another alumnus from Paris, “There are so many aspects of the program which I use now in my daily work that I doubt I could have succeeded in my job without it. The combination of theoretical background, practical application and the knowledge shared by classmates from other sectors provide me a business perspective that I had not garnered in my scientific expertise. I would recommend the EMIB course to any professional who has an interest towards International Management Business studies but does not have the time to do a full-time EMIB.

The takeaway? Just because you can’t take time off to enroll in a full-time MBA program doesn’t mean you can’t become part of the international business elite. The EMIB at ESCP Europe Business may be exactly what you need to take your global business career to the next level. 

Joanna worked in higher education administration for many years at a leading research institution before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She lives in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire with her family.

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