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Executive MBA Alumni Electives Referral Program: A Chance to Continue Education Beyond Graduation

The Executive MBA program prepares experienced professionals for the future, allowing them to continue their education and network with a diverse cohort. With the launch of the Executive MBA alumni electives referral program, alumni can refer their colleagues to the program and in return, take elective courses to ensure their skills stay sharp and their connections stay relevant.
Aman Behl, Executive MBA ’24, stands smiling next to Krishna Kumar, Executive MBA ‘22

Aman Behl, Executive MBA ’24, and Krishna Kumar, Executive MBA ‘22

Aman Behl was accepted into the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business Executive MBA program in January 2023. One month later, he committed to enroll for the next fall semester. He would also continue his work as head of wealth and private banking technology at First Citizens Bank while he attended classes on the weekends. After considering Scheller’s Executive MBA program for several years, there seemed to be no better time than the present to move forward. Life only got busier with each passing year. 

In March, Silicon Valley Bank collapsed and was acquired by First Citizens Bank. Behl’s team grew four times larger overnight as they worked to integrate people, technology systems, and processes. His travel expanded to Boston, California, and Arizona. Despite still acclimating to the flash flood of new responsibilities, he never once considered delaying or rescinding his enrollment at Scheller. He had already weighed the risks and rewards, and he knew from longtime friend Krishna Kumar,  MBA ‘22, that returning to school would be well worth it.  

Watching, Learning, and Putting Into Practice  

Kumar and Behl first met back in 2006 when they both worked at an IT service and consulting company. Behl was in a technical role as a developer; Kumar was a software programmer and analyst. They continued to meet outside of work at parties and family dinners where the topic was often Scheller’s MBA program. Kumar’s wife, Sita Ranaprathapan, MBA ‘20, was their resident authority until Kumar joined her, graduating in December 2022.  

Behl attended Kumar’s graduation party and, after eight years of careful consideration, his decision became clear. “Kumar was celebrating his graduation at home,” Behl said. “And he had a couple of his other friends who were also graduating there. We talked again about the Executive MBA program and that conversation pushed me to realize, ‘I have to do it. This is the time.’”

Aman Behl with members of his Executive MBA team
Aman Behl with members of his Executive MBA cohort

Although the acquisition of Silicon Valley Bank has made life more complicated, working through the Executive MBA has provided Behl with the network and real-time education to put his strengthened leadership and organizational skills to work.   

“It has been great to meet people with diverse backgrounds and learn from their experiences,” Behl said. “Getting to know and support others in my cohort has been one of the most valuable aspects of the Executive MBA program. I love learning how they operate and how they think through specific problems.” 

The Continuing Education of a Mentor 

Kumar first heard of Scheller’s Executive MBA alumni electives referral program in Spring 2023, mere months after graduating. Through the program, Executive MBA alumni have the opportunity to introduce a friend or colleague to the program office, and in return, alumni are invited to return to the classroom to take an elective course of their choice.  

Supplementing the Management of Technology and Global Business specializations, electives are offered during the summer and fall semesters of the Executive MBA program. These courses are ever evolving, but include Cybersecurity and Privacy for Executives, Fintech and Global Currencies, New Product Strategies, Analysis of Emerging Technologies, and Technology Strategy. 

After successfully referring Behl, Kumar registered for and participated in the Technology Strategy elective in a series of two weekend classes on Fridays and Saturdays. This course felt most relevant to the work he engaged in every day as director of master data management at Macy’s. The whole point of the Executive MBA program for Kumar has always been to continue his education, and this was an opportunity to extend his learning and keep his skills and knowledge up to date in a field that is constantly changing.   

Kumar expected the Executive MBA to expand his knowledge in areas like finance, accounting, and leadership. He didn’t expect the impact of his cohort’s camaraderie and expertise. “The cohort is made up of a diverse group of experienced professionals,” he said. “I told Aman that I learned half from my professors and the other half from my classmates.” 

This time, Kumar’s experience was just as valuable, but a bit less stressful as he focused on just one class. He enjoyed pouring over case studies and preparing for class sessions, fixing his focus on really learning the material so he could apply it at Macy’s as they discussed the very real challenge of investing in new technology. 

Kumar is always looking ahead. Would he refer additional colleagues and return again to Scheller for an Executive MBA elective? Yes, of course. “An MBA really prepares and safeguards you for the future.” 


Learn More: Executive MBA Alumni Electives Referral Program

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