It happens: You build a successful organization and business is humming along. Suddenly you realize: You’re bored and you want more. Not more money necessarily, but more personal and professional fulfillment. More enjoyment, more opportunities, more challenges. Entrepreneurs with an ongoing thirst for learning often turn to executive education programs to expand their knowledge base to tackle new challenges and opportunities.
Core to EO’s mission is an unrelenting commitment to helping both first-stage and experienced entrepreneurs learn and grow to new levels of leadership, in business and beyond. Continuing education is important, especially when you’re trying to challenge the status quo. One way is executive education, offered through university programs and other professional organizations and institutes.
We asked EO members about their experiences pursuing executive education, specifically the Entrepreneurial Masters Program (EMP) at the MIT Endicott House, located in Dedham, Massachusetts. Here’s what they said.
Why, as a successful entrepreneur, did you seek additional education?
Michele Hecken, CEO of Alpha Translations Canada: “I sought additional education for the same reason professional athletes need a coach: To grow my potential and create the best company I can―to win when I compete. Surrounding yourself with successful peers from different industries and walks of life provides some of the best learning opportunities and provided a significant competitive advantage.”
Hao Lam, CEO of Best in Class Education: “There is a Chinese proverb that resonates with me: ‘One must keep learning as long as she lives.’ So, when I discovered the opportunity to enrich my life through additional education and connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs, I knew I had to take it.”
What did you gain from executive education?
Hecken: “EMP provided some of the best speakers, tailored to entrepreneurs’ most pressing challenges, who provided concrete, actionable insights and advice which we could implement in our companies immediately. Those learnings, tools and metrics have provided a foundation upon which my company continues to grow to this day.”
Lam: “Not only did I learn vital information from fantastic speakers, but I walked away with invaluable lessons and tools that I could apply both personally and professionally. Most importantly, I formed bonds with 66 other lifelong learners. We became deeply connected to each other both inside and outside of the classroom. We still share good and bad news with each other and provide much-needed support if one of us hits a wall–it’s priceless.”
Michele Hecken is an EO Edmonton member who joined the organization in 2006. She has written for Octane about the role of communication in global business. Her company, Alpha Translations, specializes in legal and financial translations.
Hao Lam is an EO Seattle member who joined the organization in 2014. He has written for Octane on the power of persistence during his escape from Vietnam. He is the CEO and founder of Best in Class Education, an education center designed to help students and teachers grow.