Blanca Lesmes, MBA ’11, Quoted in the Austin Business Journal: New Trend in Students Paying Out-of-Pocket for MBAs to Gain Competitive Edge
From the Austin Business Journal
Blanca Lesmes has a unique appreciation for a decline in employer-based tuition assistance for executive education. As a small business owner, Blanca Lesmes offers tuition reimbursement for executive education to her employees because she believes in the value that it brings to the workplace.
But Lesmes, a student in the University of Texas Executive MBA program, isn’t extending that benefit to herself in the current economy.
“For me personally, that wasn’t a benefit I could take,” said Lesmes, owner of B.B. Imaging. As with other executives, the economy prompted her to go back to school in hopes of retooling and gaining more business know-how.
“In the last year, I knew I needed to know more. I knew I didn’t have the tools to navigate the current economic situation,” Lesmes said. “So I decided to go ahead and enroll.”
Lesmes is paying her tuition out of her own pocket — an expense she’s comfortable making because she believes that there will be a return on that investment. She is financing her education, which runs $75,000 for UT’s two-year executive MBA program, with student loans. And she isn’t alone... In the down economy, students are depending less on corporate sponsorship, instead choosing to, or having to, self-finance their educations, local university leaders said... In the past, employers would subsidize employees who they wanted to fast-track to senior management, Wallace said.
Today, it is the students who are seeking a competitive advantage, and, as a result, many are taking it upon themselves to pay for their executive education. Read the full story.