By Christina Murphy, Program Manager, Rutgers Business School Executive Education
With more than seven years of B2B marketing experience in the digital landscape, I joined the Rutgers Business School Executive Education (RBSEE) team just about a year ago with an excitement to meet and serve those who are taking the reins of their own careers to stay relevant in an ever-changing business environment.
Shortly after I began working with the Rutgers Exec Ed team, it dawned on me that these programs would have been immensely beneficial to me in previous positions as a marketer. Sure, I had earned my MBA degree, but things change so quickly in today’s landscape – particularly with regard to marketing. To put this into perspective, when I was pursuing my MBA, social media wasn’t mainstream enough to be discussed as part of a marketing strategy – and this was less than ten years ago! So why on earth had it never occurred to me to advance my education further?
I posit that most of us don’t actively choose to ignore these opportunities, but rather that executive education falls victim to being passively overlooked. Why?
- The never-ending to-do list: We all know the laundry list of items that keep us focused day in and day out as we desperately try to check things off the list in pursuit of the next item. (This is not to be confused with the “back-burner” to-do list that you might have just in case you ever miraculously made it through your high-priority to-do list.) The truth of the matter is that there will always be a to-do list. Before you can finish one item, three more will be added to that list. Don’t let this hold you back. By exposing yourself to new ideas, tools, strategies, and tactics, you may (and likely will!) uncover ways that you can work smarter and faster. Additionally, there are a variety of program formats available to minimize the time that you need to be away from the office, ranging from accelerated programs that can be completed within days to online-only programs where you can work at your own pace.
- Industry conferences and trade shows: Don’t get me wrong, these have their place and do offer value. However, there is a distinct difference between the larger-scale industry events that are attended by hundreds (and often thousands) of people versus a more individualized educational setting focused solely on hands-on learning facilitated by experts and thought leaders in a particular field. Comparing executive education to industry events is certainly not comparing apples to apples.
I’m sure that there are a series of other reasons that we could list here as well. As you can likely tell by now, it’s become my personal crusade to break the passivity and make people aware of the offerings for education and advancement of today’s professionals.
There is no finite end to learning. Think of when people used to ask you that age-old question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Many of us in the professional world are still in the “growing up” phase because quite often the first (or second, or third) career path that we set off on is not the one that we end up following throughout our career, and that’s okay. It’s also why executive education is so important. Find what you love to do, and learn as much as you can along the way.
I hope that this post has at the very least sparked an interest in seeking out new educational opportunities, no matter where these may exist – though I certainly hope that our paths will cross at an upcoming Rutgers Business School Executive Education program.