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Purdue EMBA earns high marks for industry diversity

Thursday, February 11, 2021

industry diversity ranking

There are many factors to weigh when you dedicate your time, energy, and finances deciding which Executive MBA program is the best fit for you.

Prime among those factors is who will be in the room with you. In an Executive MBA program especially, students will learn a tremendous amount from one another, as each brings to the classroom years -- often decades -- of professional work experience.

“We believe learning is maximized when you learn from people with different backgrounds, including industry diversity,” said Dr. Aldas Kriauciunas, Executive Director of the Purdue EMBA Programs.

Now, the Purdue EMBA Program is being recognized for its stellar industry diversity.

A new International Business Times ranking of 70 U.S.-based EMBA programs names the EMBA program #1 for industry diversity, which measures the diversity of industries represented in a class. This top spot – shared with Boston University -- illustrates the effort dedicated to bringing together people with diverse backgrounds, and the benefits of that effort.

“By combining ideas and experiences from across industries, more novel approaches and solutions can be developed than when most people are from just one or a few industries,” Kriauciunas said. “Also, when people are from different industries, they realize there are few to no competitors in the classroom, leading them to be more open with their own challenges and solutions for others.”

Purdue EMBA Class of 2018 alumnus Toby McAuliffe says his cohort had a broad industry representation, which was important to him when choosing a program.

“I wanted to hear from folks outside of technology. I wanted to be able to learn about different types of businesses, and I wanted to learn from people who were in different levels of an organization and in different sizes of organizations,” McAuliffe said.

Alumnus Brad Wensel, Purdue IMM Global Executive MBA program Class of 2019, concurs.

“The people I learned the most from are people who are in totally opposite industries of mine, ones that I know nothing about,” Wensel said.

Asked to point out examples of industry diversity in cohorts, Kriauciunas said he could highlight any Purdue EMBA cohort, as each is unique in a different way.

“The EMBA class of 2020 had 16 different industries represented. Having students from Fortune 500 companies is expected, so some unique industries were veterinary medicine, publishing, higher education, military, and electric vehicles.”

Having industry diversity across the full EMBA cohort is just a start, Kriauciunas said. Purdue’s EMBA program managers build upon that full-cohort diversity.

“We form the study groups for the students to ensure diverse, yet balanced, groups. And then we change the study groups each module so that our students work with as many different people as possible during their time in the program,” he said. “This approach truly leverages the diversity of the accomplished professionals who come to our program.”

The International Business Times ranking was conducted through “analysis of existing industry factors, college program brochures obtained from college reports, in addition to magazines, journals and online articles.” The online news publication intends to make its EMBA rankings an annual feature, and says the list will “reflect the values we believe will be integral for business leaders to succeed in a new globalized economy.”

Read the complete Best EMBA Schools in 2021 ranking and criteria definitions.