Why Executive MBA?

By Nikkole Liesse, UNLV Executive MBA Director

UNLV’s Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) program is designed for senior and mid-level executives who want to experience challenging curriculum in an accelerated format. The 18-month program offers a combination of quality, affordability, and convenience to those—like members of VYP—who want to enhance their business skills and further their growth within the Southern Nevada business community.


The EMBA Council defines EMBA participants as "smart, experienced, well-positioned, and global." Collectively, EMBA students have 13.7 average years of work experience, hold more than 8.5 years of management experience, and come from a wide variety of business functions and industries. Additionally, 16.8 percent of EMBA graduates see an increase in pay from the start to finish of programs, including increased responsibility, promotions, and new opportunities.

Executive MBAs are accelerated, flexible programs for professionals with full-time roles. The format of a typical EMBA is 2 years or less; students continue careers during the program. Executive MBAs often include additional services for busy professionals, like course registration, meals on class days, books supplied, dedicated classrooms/meetings spaces, tutors (for certain courses), and executive coaching.

What’s Unique about UNLV’s EMBA?

UNLV’s cohorts—students who enter the program, attend classes together, and graduate as a group—gain the opportunity to connect and learn from variety of professionals in their program. Classes occur every other Friday and Saturday over 18 months and lend to the flexibility of the EMBA program. "I considered a variety of graduate programs," shares Aurora Herskowitz, business development manager for Companion Animal Practices. "This one stood out the most, because I needed to accommodate my work schedule. I wanted to have the immersive group experience; this is the exact format I needed."

The UNLV EMBA offers relevant, applicable curriculum across business enterprise—not just in one discipline such as accounting or marketing. Some cohort members might be experts in fields like engineering, science, and medicine; however, as business owners and entrepreneurs, they seek more business acumen while running a company. Scott Petsel, VP of exploration for Metallic Minerals Corporation agrees: "What I value is having more tools to utilize in the business world as I progress through my career."

Students are taught by hand-selected Lee Business School faculty, as well as real-world practitioners delivering intellectual knowledge while offering real-time applications. Each year, cohorts name the capstone international experience as a highlight of the program. During these seminars, participants gain global business perspectives and expand cultural horizons through interactive company visits and local tours. Past seminars include Southeast Asia; Brazil, Peru; Central Europe; and South Africa.

Cohorts often share that relationships formed during the EMBA will be longtime connections, if not deep friendships. Class sizes are intimate—25-30 students from a multitude of backgrounds and disciplines. "Not only am I getting a great education, but having 24 additional people in my cohort that have depths of knowledge in so many different areas has truly made me a more well-rounded person" says Dianna Klein, first officer at United Airlines. "That has no price tag; it’s absolutely priceless."

For more information, visit unlv.edu.