By Lacie Blankenship
Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management recently hosted the annual Executive MBA Council (EMBAC) Southeast Regional Conference. From June 4 through June 6, nearly 50 EMBA professionals from peer institutions and corporate partners gathered in Nashville.
“It was a privilege to host the EMBAC Southeast Regional Conference. We loved having so many of our peers and a few EMBA corporate sponsors in one room,” says Juli Bennett, Executive Director, Vanderbilt EMBA Programs. “It is so valuable to have conversations about the future of our programs and similar challenges we face. It was especially powerful to have these conversations in person in the new executive spaces within Management Hall.”
The conference started on Sunday afternoon with an excursion to downtown Nashville and a group tour of Ryman Auditorium, followed by a welcome reception at Management Hall.
“It was important to us that we started the conference with room for everyone to catch up with peers, network, and relax,” says Bennett. “We wanted to start the conference off with a taste of Nashville, and a taste of Vanderbilt Business.”
Monday’s agenda included a professional development workshop on management skills and performance in uncertain times, discussions on EMBA issues, the admissions pipeline, and making thoughtful changes to EMBA programs. The day concluded with free time and a dinner hosted by Vanderbilt.
Tuesday’s agenda included a session on demographic trends and their impact on programs. The last session of the conference, led by Bennett, focused on the application and takeaways of the conference.
“Perhaps the most valuable portion of the conference was time for programs to reflect on the lessons learned and have time to identify short-term and long-term improvements that would benefit their program and, most importantly, their Executive MBA students,” she says.
Attendees represented peer institutions including Auburn University, Duke University, Emory University, Florida Atlantic University, Georgia State University, Northwestern University, Kennesaw State University, University of North Carolina, University of Central Florida, University of South Florida, and William & Mary. EMBA corporate partners in attendance included Amazon, TalentSage, MF Digital Marketing, International Study Programs, Kuoni Tumlare, Southbridge Access, WorldStrides, and Austral Education Group.
“Hosting the EMBAC Southeast Regional Conference was a great experience for our team,” says Bennett. “Captivating speaker sessions and engaging and interactive small discussions made the conference a success. As the host, witnessing the energy and enthusiasm among our attendees was inspiring.”