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5 Key Qualifications for an Executive MBA Student

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As you are considering applying for the Executive MBA program at The University of Texas at Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management, consider five qualities necessary to excel in our program. Applicants possessing these qualities are more likely to succeed and use the newly acquired knowledge to advance in their careers.


Our program operates on evenings and weekends. Since our EMBA students continue working while studying, the program requires diligence. Students must be able to handle our rigorous academics, while maintaining their workplace performance. This schedule requires our students to work harder during the week and over the weekend to complete homework and course projects in addition to classes. Coming prepared for class enhances the learning experience and enriches class discussions, which are key components of an executive MBA education.

Management and Profit-and-Loss Responsibility.

While not required, management and profit-and-loss responsibility experience are preferred. Our program is geared toward executives. It is meant to help decision-makers make better decisions through a better understanding of accounting information systems as well as a better overall understanding of business strategy, finance and marketing. Therefore, our EMBA students will gain more insights if they have some working knowledge of managerial and profit-and-loss scenarios. More managerial experience helps tie the concepts learned in our program to real-world examples and helps relate examples to personal experiences.


Consistent with the more innovative and cooperative economy that our graduates face, our program requires and encourages teamwork. Many assignments and cases are group assignments. These assignments prepare students to work in teams to tackle issues and problems they may face throughout their careers. Such a cooperative learning environment fosters the learning from team and class participants, thereby generating benefits from the different experiences of our diverse student body and offering a better understanding of different industries and different business practices and solutions.

Dealing with Uncertainty.

One differentiating characteristic of an executive MBA program is that unlike some other academic disciplines, our students will face problems that do not have a clear answer and/or solution. Our curriculum employs many real-world examples that require decision-makers to make a decision in an uncertain environment with an uncertain outcome. Due to uncertainty, there is no “right” decision. Our program teaches current and future executives how to think about different business choices and make informed decisions in face of such uncertainty.

Motivation and Intellectual Curiosity.

Our program participants are more mature and experienced than the typical business student. As such, we expect students to take more responsibility for their own education. Students who are self-motivated and intellectually curious will learn more and benefit more from our curriculum compared to students who do the bare minimum to complete the program. Such students can then employ the same drive with their newly acquired knowledge to advance in their careers and/or build their own business, which is the ultimate goal of our program.

Gil Sadka

An associate professor of accounting, Gil Sadka joined UT Dallas in July 2014. He serves as coordinator of Jindal School PhD students earning an accounting concentration. His accounting research focuses primarily on equity valuation. He examines the role of earnings and earnings predictability in generating stock-price volatility and the implications for asset prices. He earned his MBA and PhD from University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 2005. 

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