I have been involved in the ESA EMBA program for several years as professor in charge of the Cost
Accounting and Management control core course. During this challenging 3-day seminar, participants
are asked to work in teams on case studies. One of them is particularly demanding since it requires to
define the budgets for every department in a company. Each team represents one of the firm’s
departments (sales, production, etc.). They have to process a large amount of information, negotiate
the resources needed with Headquarters and work with the other teams to make sure that the firm
will achieve its global objectives.
Each year, we have observed the same: at the beginning, the participants are stressed because they
quickly realize the complexity of the exercise. However, as they are highly motivated, they persevere
and they soon manage to complete the tasks required. This long work session (which usually
continues late into the evening) reflects the uniqueness of our EMBA program perfectly: the
impressive involvement of our students, their capacity to adapt, their tenacity and will to rise to the
For us professors, it is extremely gratifying to work with such participants as they give the best of
themselves and demonstrate active participation in the learning process.