Sponsored by UW Foster Executive Development Program
In a rapidly changing business environment where information can quickly become obsolete, staying on top of executive education can be a mountainous task. Advances in technology, shifting workforce demographics, and corporate restructuring have all contributed to a profound shift in the way America educates its workforce. Enter the Executive Development Program (EDP) at the University of Washington Foster School of Business.
In response to professionals’ need for continual education and training, UW Foster School of Business offers a program to help individuals and businesses simply and effectively succeed in today’s knowledge economy.
UW Foster’s nine-month work-compatible certificate program is designed for busy professionals who want access to advanced business knowledge without the time or financial commitment required in a traditional MBA program. While EDP addresses the core topics of an MBA program, it appeals to professionals who may already have advanced degrees, or who simply want access to MBA-level course topics without the burden of grades or tests.
For more and more companies, the focus is on the so-called “soft skills” of management such as group dynamics, leadership, negotiation, communication, and change management. EDP provides opportunities for development in these areas as well as competitive strategy, operational efficiency and finance. EDP participants also gain access to the expertise of leaders in a myriad of industries through lectures and company presentations.
Taught by award-winning Foster MBA faculty, EDP requires students to attend classes one evening per week, September through May. In addition, two off-site retreats allow participants to develop their strategy and leadership acumen, while making meaningful connections with colleagues across various companies and industries.
From in-class lectures with thought-provoking discussions to interactive simulations and in-depth case studies, UW Foster’s EDP students are exposed to a wealth of knowledge and research that examine real-world problems and innovative solutions. As part of the certificate requirements, students use the knowledge gained in the program to complete a capstone project.
“Participating in EDP has given me access to a variety of experts on a variety of topics to help me round out the business skills I was missing,” says Cali Coles Rice, executive vice president of consulting at The Mosaic Group. “As part of a growing company, I have been able to immediately apply everything I’ve learned in EDP.”
And while students benefit greatly from the robust content, companies also see the impact the program has on their most important assets: their employees. In fact, the Executive Development Program has become a staple educational offering for Northwest companies. Since the program’s inception, more than 450 local companies have sponsored nearly 2,000 participants to attend the program. Companies such as Holland America, PEMCO Insurance, and Microsoft have discovered that the program is an effective way to provide leaders with advanced business education without demanding substantial time away from the office and home.
Thanks to the “knowledge economy” mantra that has made its mark in boardrooms across America, more and more companies realize that investing in people is the way to stay ahead. The investment in executive education is made up in the long run, with more advanced, knowledgeable employees who can add to the company’s long-term success. Done well, executive education programs like the UW Foster EDP build a highly-skilled workforce that intimately understands a company’s business processes or systems and have an ongoing expertise in their own field. For organizations that have a strong wish to have a committed, educated workforce, EDP can make that happen.
“The executive development program is a fantastic business development program that helped me gain diverse, practical business knowledge and skills,” says Dan Sheridan, vice president, general manager North America, Brooks Sports Inc. “It has helped me work more effectively throughout my organization and with my customers.”
To learn more about the University of Washington School of Business’ Executive Development Program, visit foster.uw.edu/exec-dev.