Purposeful Leadership

The Maryland Smith Executive MBA is first and foremost a 360° business leadership development program – one where purpose is paramount. 

You’ll join your cohort on a 17-month journey of self-discovery, where you’ll dig deep to examine your purpose and values and learn how to achieve them. We’ll push you to the edge of your comfort zone in both quantitative and qualitative frameworks to develop your competencies in a setting where you can be your authentic self. Together, we’ll connect the dots to see how it all relates to your purpose and, ultimately, the kind of leader you want to be.

This journey to purposeful leadership consists of four interconnected parts: coursework, assessments, coaching and mastery sessions. To support these, as a student you will:

  • Pair with an executive leadership coach for the duration of the program, who will help identify your specific value propositions as well as opportunities for growth.
  • Accept the challenge to refine your leadership style through a custom leadership development plan that you and your coach create together.
  • Have lifetime access to a dedicated career coach who will help you apply what you learn – about yourself and leading others – to the next phase of your career, and show you how to get there.

Whatever your career aspirations are, this transformative program will deliver everything you need to become the complete leader you aspire to be.

Career Coach vs. Executive Leadership Coach

While your executive leadership and career coaches have different roles, both will equip you with actionable steps and measurable benchmarks to help you continually evolve and grow.

Career Coach

  • Career coach supports executives with their career management, advancement and transitional goals and strategies.
  • A co-active partnership that continues after completion of the program
  • Synchronous and asynchronous career development sessions that address topics such as career exploration, career narrative, networking, executive search and LinkedIn.
  • Career conversations may include understanding your career strengths, communicating your value proposition, interview preparation, and salary negotiation.
  • Serves as a sounding board, accountability partner, and cheerleader.
  • Helps executives communicate their career story in a compelling way through their résumé, executive biography and LinkedIn profile.

Executive Leadership Coach

  • Executive coach works with the EMBA student to guide an individual leadership development plan with SMART goals (specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic; time-bound) and serves as a sounding board.
  • Six sessions over 17 months.
  • One-on-one sessions.
  • Uses assessment tools to measure values, strengths/talents, personality, conflict management and potential derailers.
  • Enhances executive’s success in the program as it relates to teamwork and presentations.
  • Helps executives do self-inventory by asking questions, helping them interpret feedback, and offering advice aimed at developing and refining their leadership skills.

Return on Investment

Graduates of the Smith Executive MBA program typically can expect a 47-52% increase in salary within three years of graduation. The benefits of our academically rigorous curriculum are obvious and immediate: greater business, strategic and financial acumen, greater awareness of your personal value proposition and derailers, enhanced communication and critical thinking, and the ability to drive transformative change through diverse lenses. All of these elements work together to transform your leadership style, improve your marketability, and infuse your career with a sense of purpose.

Wendy Sanhai

Wendy Sanhai, MBA ’09

Wendy Sanhai, MBA ’09, an executive at Deloitte, has dedicated her entire 25+ year professional career to science, global health and public health. Her impressive résumé includes roles in academia, private industry, and the Federal Government.

“For me, what was always very meaningful—almost a requirement—to be able to connect what I do professionally, to patients and their needs. That guiding principle of promoting public health paved my path and led me from one opportunity to the next, always in search of how I could do more to be of service to others.”

Ryan McCarthy, MBA ’13

Ryan McCarthy, MBA ’13, was a former Lockheed Martin executive who became Secretary of the Army – the top civilian position in the largest branch of the U.S. military. 

“An MBA helped me think differently,” he says. “It really pushes your intellectual curiosity. It helps you master skills that you can use in your personal life and any range of pursuits. It’s the type of degree that will give you a return on investment for the rest of your life.”


Make Career Connections

If you desire to drive change, expand your sphere of influence and have a positive impact on the world, the Maryland Smith Executive MBA is for you. With more than 37,000 local Smith alumni (and 67,000+ worldwide), there are thousands of connections to be made with industry leaders and policymakers right here in the Washington, D.C. metro. 

Our Graduates Work Here

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