How To Ask Your Employer to Pay For Your MBA
Posted July 19, 2018, by Emily Garbutt
Deciding to do an MBA in Australia is a big one. You know MBA courses take time, energy and brain power. Not to mention the fees, which can take a hefty bite out of any savings you may have. Or if you don't have savings a loan will rack up a lot of interest, and parting with those extra dollars is never easy. However, there is another cunning plan which you can concoct. Why not ask your work to pay? MBA graduates are highly desired, and your work stands to benefit if they focus on training staff they already have over recruiting new staff. This means they could go for it. After this bombshell idea, you are probably now wondering how exactly you’ll go about convincing your work to pay for your MBA?
Wonder no more because are some action plan ideas that’ll help you to get started and take one-step closer to that MBA qualification.
#1. Think before you act
Preparation is the key here. You can't just sashay up to your boss, and say:
"Hey, I'm doing an MBA, wanna pay?"
You are going to need to demonstrate your potential in terms of being MBA material while convincing your company their investment will bring them value.
Passionate statements about your ambition or qualities will not make the grade. Of course, these things matter, but companies understand cold hard statistics. Before you approach anyone, prepare. Try to think about your proposal from their point of view, not yours. Put your CEO hat on and ask yourself, as CEO what will I want to know in order to say yes?
#2. Spin a figures focused presentation
Prepare a presentation that will give your employer information about the MBA courses you are considering, and how you learning this content will benefit them and the company.
Include references about the MBA subjects and content covered, as well as how desirable MBA graduates are right now.
Remind them of your achievements thus far, and try to quantify those achievements. Link your actions and accomplishments at work with figures. Have you improved productivity? How many hours have you saved them? What do those hours equal in dollars? Have you helped them to save costs? How much? Or have you increased their profits?
Try to pinpoint some aspect of your work which has equated in some way to the company making or saving money. Go all out geek on this question, make some graphs, and impress them!
Here the aim is to spin what you are already doing, and what you can potentially do with MBA qualifications, and factually demonstrate, spending money on you now will reward them in the future.
#3. Charm Offensive
Along with your presentation, you need to turn on the charm offensive. Consider the office politics and who to approach first.
Taking an MBA course will mean you need to reduce your hours or make them more flexible e.g. you might leave every Wednesday at 2pmm, however, you’ll make this up by starting early every day. Factor this into your presentation and use some charm on this one!
Make sure you reassure your company when you pitch to them. They will want to know you're committed to them. In fact, asking them to help to get your MBA in Australia is a part of your dedication to the company. After all, you want to do this MBA so you can help the company do better and progress your career with them.
Consider agreeing with them a period you will commit to working for them after completing your MBA qualification.
Lastly, remember this is a negotiation. You may not come away with the whole prize. Perhaps they will only agree to partially pay. Nevertheless, give it your best shot, and remain open to ideas from them. After all, if their offer means you can take the MBA course, then it is an offer worth considering.