Negotiating employer sponsorship

Negotiating employer sponsorship for your MBA can be one of the most challenging aspects of the application process.

The majority of the work should take place before you meet with your potential sponsor; solid planning and groundwork are the hallmarks of success.

Start by investigating your organisation's formal policies, informal attitudes and commitment to employee development;

  • Are there any precedents? (Previous MBA sponsorship or significant investment in development.)
  • Who are the key decision-makers in development discussions and what are their motivations?

Understanding the organisational ecosystem and building a case to sell the benefits and address the obstacles to sponsorship within that framework is crucial;

  • What are the organisation's strategic priorities and goals?
  • How do your team's priorities fit in?  
  • What are your (potential) sponsor's KPIs?
  • Who is your strongest supporter within the business and how can they influence decision makers?
  • Identify any potential detractors; what is important to them and how can you leverage this?
  • How should you time your approach to maximise your chances? (Think about the cycle of the business, reporting, budgeting, performance reviews.)

It is important to begin building a case that speaks directly to the organisations strategic intent as early as possible.

The 5 key things your case should establish are:

  1. Why invest in you?
  2. Why is now the right time to invest? 
  3. Why MBA?  
  4. What are tangible results can be expected?  How will return on investment be measured on an ongoing basis?
  5. Your commitment to the organisation (fear that the employee will leave before the ROI is realised the number one deterrent for potential sponsors.)

For more information on AGSM and our programs to support your application, please contact:

Recruitment and Admissions
+61 2 9931 9490

Contact Admissions

+61 2 9931 9490​​​​​