Apollo 2013 graduated last Friday (July 5th). Congrats to everyone and many thanks to all of you who supported us!

5 Responses to Graduated!

  1. Danny says:

    Congrats to you all Apollo 2013. Welcome to the club!

  2. M. says:

    Hi Jep, congrats!
    I’ve found your blog very helpful as I’m considering applying to Vlerick for my MBA. I do have a couple of questions if you don’t mind: I think you mention somewhere that you’re doing a ‘part-time’ MBA. As far as I can see from Vlerick’s website, there is no part-time MBA, only executive MBA. Is that what you’re referring to? If so, how would you think that the EMBA differs from the regular MBA? I don’t have any management experience and even though Vlerick has told me that I am eligible to apply for an EMBA, I worry that I’ll be surrounded by seasoned executives and that the curriculum will be more suited for someone who already knows the basics of finance and management. I’ve also read that EMBA is more about tailoring your business plan and helping you devise different strategies when it comes to your business. Again, as I’m not in any kind of managerial position, not sure how this will be helpful to me at all.
    Hope you find time to respond to this and I would kindly ask other blog visitors who happen to read this to help me with their insight.

    • Dear M.,

      Thanks for your interest! Vlerick revamped its brand and cursus for this academic year (2013-2014 for MBAs). And what I called “Part-Time MBA” is in fact “Executive MBA”. I’ll talk about the previous version of the academic program (as I did not experienced the new one – but given professors are mostly the same, the content and experience should be approximately the same, maybe more colourful now ;-)).

      In my opinion, a first difference between FT (full time) MBA and EMBA comes from you: if you intend to work at the same time (for more than a year), you can only do an EMBA ; if you can afford to take a sabbatical year, you can consider the FTMBA. I chose the EMBA because I couldn’t afford a sabbatical year when I started but mainly because I wanted to stay in touch with my company, its evolution and have the opportunity to discuss with people in relation with topics seen in class (like a lawyer for patents, the CMO for marketing, etc.).

      A second difference is about age, “seniority” and experience. YMMV but in my opinion FTMBA are often younger, with less working experience, at more junior positions. So you are right: some EMBA students have (had) management experience – but not all of them. In my class maybe 2/3 had direct reports but only few of them were really senior (on a total of ~ 30 students).

      So I wouldn’t worry too much about others’past experience. To the contrary the more experience people have and are willing to share, the better it is. And Vlerick look for this kind of heterogeneity in the class. The basics of finance and management will be taught, no pre-requisite needed (I didn’t have any at the beginning – except a basic course of accounting during my graduate studies). Idem for business planning, strategy, etc.: you’ll have colleagues with experience, others without any but anyway you’ll go through the basics and will have cases to solve (in groups and/or alone) to practise.

      I hope these answers help a bit. Don’t hesitate to ask other questions (or contact me privately if you need more info).

  3. M. says:

    Hi, I just saw this. Many, many thanks for the info–very helpful!

    Yeah, I can’t really afford a sabbatical either but I also don’t have a job in Brussels at the moment. So, the question here is should I do a shorter (~1 year) gig and make do without working full time or go for the 18 month EMBA and hope to find a job while studying (I’m in the various stages of a couple EU competitions). Also, I’d prefer to study in Brussels more so than in Leuven. Nothing against Leuven, but I already know some French and think it would be easier for me to adapt. Also, the Brussels program starts in October, and that suits me much better.

    So, the curriculum is not tailored towards individual students i.e. everyone is being taught the same thing? I’m just trying to make the switch into finance (although I have finance experience but just as your run-of-the mill office worker) so I don’t have a business plan per se. I’m interested in finance analysis and stock/option trading and would like to pursue it further but I still need to cover some basics.

    Do you think it’s more difficult to get into the EMBA or MBA program? And this might seem silly but is your title at the end EMBA or MBA? Also, I think you mention somewhere that you don’t need to prepare too much for the admission exam. Is that true? Are samples problems on the website similar to what you actually get on the exam? Not sure if you have experience with the GRE/GMAT but would it be easier than that?

    I might just take you up on that offer of contacting you privately, if you don’t mind.
    I’m so, so confused (but you could probably tell from my messages). Congrats to you again and thanks so much for taking time to answer this and reading through my stream of consciousness ramblings. :)

    • Hi again!

      Given what you wrote above I would either go for the EMBA in 18 months in the brand new Brussels campus or try the Master in Financial Management (“MFM”: A full-time MBA and a near-future job offer at the EU seem not compatible to me (do mention you are applying at the EU in your interview). The MFM might suit your interest in finance.

      The title is “MBA” for both (although I didn’t check the “etiquette”). The difference is in the CV.

      From what I remember the tests require some knowledge of maths, logic and general understanding of what’s happening in the business world. To give you the level, in maths there isn’t any differential equations, derivates, etc. As for the current business world I prepared by trying to understand a little bit what is written in the, the, etc. ; Wikipedia was my friend when I didn’t understand a term. I have no experience in GRE/GMAT but Vlerick English exam has open questions while GMAT has closed question (I prefer the former).

      Hope this helps! Don’t hesitate if you have anything else!

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