Eager to meet the needs of future students in the best possible way and to continuously improve its alumni services, the WU Executive Academy conducts regular polls of former MBA and Master of Laws students. The aim of the current survey was to find out more about their opinions on the quality and practical relevance of their programs, the extent to which their degrees have boosted their careers, and their motivations for studying at the WU Executive Academy of all places. In addition, the graduates were asked how happy they were with the alumni services offered by the WU Executive Club and what could be done to enhance the level of service quality even further.
"Completing one of our programs marks not an end but the beginning of a lifelong relationship between our alumni and the WU Executive Academy. It is, therefore, our number one priority to provide program participants with both training of the highest quality and the best possible support when it comes to post-graduation career development. This explains why regular alumni surveys are an integral part of the WU Executive Academy's internal quality management," says Prof. Bodo B. Schlegelmilch, Dean of the WU Executive Academy.
Below please find the detailed results of the survey:
Graduates of all of the WU Executive Academy's MBA and Master of Laws programs participated in the current survey. The overwhelming majority (80%) had completed either the Professional MBA (46%) or the Executive MBA (34%). Most of the graduates were from one of the following five countries: Austria (47%), Romania (17%), Germany (5%), Russia (5%) or Slovakia (4%).
The majority of the respondents came from the fields of banking/finance/insurance (21%), IT/telecommunications (13%) or industry/manufacturing (8%) and held jobs mainly in marketing/sales/PR (18%), general management (17%) or finance (14%).
Career development and compensation
16% of the alumni reported working in a top-management position, e.g. president, managing director, CEO, member of the supervisory board or director, before graduating from the WU Executive Academy—compared to 23% afterwards. In total, almost 60% are top or middle managers. While the proportion of respondents with more than 10 subordinates has climbed from nearly 30% (before graduation) to more than 40% (after graduation), the percentage of those responsible for 25 or more employees has risen from 17% to 21%.
The increase in compensation is also impressive: On average, the alumni earned 30% to 40% more within three years of obtaining their degrees, and even over 50% more thereafter. Across all survey participants, this corresponds to a median increase of roughly 10% annually.
Career-wise, 22% took up new positions in their organizations within two years of graduating; 32% changed employer; and 10% went into business for themselves.
Motivations for choosing a program and program satisfaction
97% of the graduates said they had chosen one of the WU Executive Academy's programs because they wanted to improve their management knowledge and practical skills in this area; 84% were first and foremost interested in acquiring better leadership skills; and for 80% networking opportunities were the deciding factor.
The respondents were particularly satisfied with the quality of the faculty (93%), the quality of the programs (84%) and the peer group (80%). The results for internationality (79%), teaching methods (79%) and networking opportunities (69%) are also pleasing.
Alumni services of the WU Executive Club
As far as the existing alumni services of the WU Executive Club are concerned, almost two thirds expressed a keen interest in career services (career consulting/coaching partners and executive search partner services, 63% each) and in receiving relevant information from the WU Executive Club (event invitations in the newsletter 66%, alumni newsletter 60%). More than 50% said they were interested in alumni events (career events 53%, networking events 51%).
As for additional services, further international alumni events in CEE hub countries (53%) were demanded most frequently by the graduates. Inviting more international guest speakers to give presentations also featured prominently on their wish list.
WU Executive Academy responds promptly to wishes of its alumni
The WU Executive Academy takes the survey results very seriously, as evidenced by the alumni activities planned for fall 2014 and the first half of 2015. Apart from continuously building career partnerships with leading executive search firms such as Boyden Global Executive Search and Stanton Chase International, organizing numerous career events in Austria and abroad—as well as online—and expanding its collaboration with career coaches, the WU Executive Academy will also significantly increase its focus on international networking events. While there are four events in Bucharest each year and regular get-togethers in Slovakia, the first big alumni meeting in Russia will take place in Moscow this October.
In 2015, get-togethers are also to be held in Poland and Bulgaria. Moreover, our international graduates will be able to watch the Vienna-based alumni events in the comfort of their own homes thanks to live streaming. And with Dan O’Brien, Chief Economist of the Institute of International and European Affairs, an Irish think tank, and Hikmet Ersek, CEO of Western Union, two renowned international guest speakers will deliver presentations at events in 2015.