How to approach your employer for sponsorship
If you’re considering the Executive MBA Program, it’s not only crucial that you and your family are on board: your organization needs to understand the value and time commitment.
All applicants must obtain a sponsorship letter from their employer that approves of the program’s time commitment and confirms permission to attend class on designated dates. This does not include financial sponsorship, which is optional and varies depending on your organization. Depending on your program of choice — a monthly schedule in Miami or a twice monthly schedule in Evanston — and your location, you may need to miss several days of work a month.
If you are planning on approaching your supervisor for sponsorship, consider these tips.
Outline the ROI of the MBA — both for you and your employer.
Be explicit: Cite specific goals and ensure that they align with your company’s objectives. Explain what skills you will acquire through the program and how you’ll apply them to your job. Show how your education will enable you to make a greater contribution to the company.
Explain why the Kellogg Executive MBA Program is right for you and your company.
Think about the unique value proposition of a Kellogg MBA. Explain why it offers a distinct advantage over other MBA programs, professional development workshops or other types of training. Articulate Kellogg’s specific offerings and how they will benefit your company and support your professional growth.
Prove your value.
List your professional accomplishments and the meaningful contributions you’ve made to your company. Where applicable, use data to quantify your contributions. Demonstrate that you’re someone worth investing in.
Summarize the program’s requirements.
Make sure that your employer understands that the Executive MBA Program requires regular time away from the office for two consecutive years. Explain that the program also involves occasional international travel. If you’re also asking for financial sponsorship, you will want to share the program’s tuition costs.
Don’t just tell your employer about the program; show them what it’s about: Share descriptions of courses that you think will be particularly useful to you and relevant to the company. Use the Class Profile to illustrate the caliber of your classmates. Offer a list of companies that have sponsored a Kellogg MBA. Provide a sample schedule for classes.
Address any concerns upfront.
Anticipate the questions or concerns that your supervisor(s) may have about the program and your participation in it. For example, will they question how your absence from the office will impact your coworkers or work quality? Propose a plan for how you will effectively manage your job responsibilities, mitigate potential conflicts and minimize disruption for your colleagues while in the program.
Communicate your commitment to the company.
Remember that, by asking for sponsorship, you’re asking your company to make a commitment to you. Consider how you can reciprocate that commitment. For example, you may want to agree in writing to remain with the company for a certain amount of time post-graduation.