The Weatherhead Executive MBA attracts driven professionals who value lifelong learning—so much so that a group of EMBAs have initiated a lecture series, inviting prominent researchers and business leaders to speak at alumni events.
The EMBA is geared toward experienced managers and is oriented around leadership. Throughout the intensive residency-based courses, EMBA students often form close bonds. To keep the momentum going, members of the classes of 2000 and 2006 formed EMBARK, an alumni network that recreates the classroom experience by bringing in renowned speakers.
“All EMBA graduates have a shared experience that was so intense,” says James Domingo, EMBA ‘06, president and founding member of EMBARK and pictured above. “While they were students, they enjoyed getting together, and they missed it. They had a desire to keep the experience going.”
Domingo recalls that the class of 2006 founded a book club as a means to keep in touch, but attendance soon flagged. Bill Cole, EMBA ‘00, vice president of education of EMBARK, had the same experience. Inspired by a presentation by Steven Post, then a bioethics professor at CWRU, Domingo and Cole joined with Greg Hornyak, EMBA ‘06, secretary-treasurer of EMBARK; and Ali Ahmed, EMBA ‘06, to found a network with a simple charter: Connect – Learn – Grow. Their aim was to bring EMBA alumni together to hear speakers like Post. They named their group EMBARK, combining EMBA with two letters that stand for “radiant knowledge”--knowledge that flows from guest speakers and between members.
“We wanted to connect with new people we haven’t met, learn by challenging ourselves with healthy debate, and have opportunities for self-growth,” Domingo says. When he and other founding members reached out to EMBA classes past and present, they were encouraged by the enthusiastic response.
The first EMBARK guest speaker was John D. Davis, author of A Tale of a Business Failure. This past fall, Chris Laslzo, PhD, associate professor of organizational behavior, addressed the group. Meetings are informal and interactive, but both speakers and participants engage deeply with ideas. The gatherings capture the spirit of the EMBA program.
“Most people come prepared as if they’re going to class,” Domingo says.
EMBARK’s mission is “to connect, educate, and invigorate Weatherhead EMBAs through ongoing learning, knowledge sharing, and through harnessing the network’s collective wisdom.” Domingo estimates that there are about a thousand alumni.
“It’s a powerful network. We are here to help, provide opportunities to learn, or solve problems,” he says. To join the EMBARK Network, contact Domingo at firstname.lastname@example.org. EMBA graduates may also join the EMBARK Network on LinkedIn.