Thank you for considering sponsoring one of your employees for the University of Illinois Executive MBA Program. As you may have read elsewhere, we're one of the longest standing Executive MBA Programs in North America and are quite proud of our degree and the impact we have on mid-career managers preparing to move into leadership roles.

One reason your employee may be in touch with you relates to a Sponsorship Letter we require of all applicants. Sponsorship does not always imply financial support, however many employers provide partial- or full-support, a tremendous investment we know you are making in your employee. Our program is one of the most affordable programs of its kind offered by any leading North American business school. Despite that real value, we know the financial commitment is still high.

Yet beyond financial support, we recognize that all sponsors such as yourself are also investing company time by allowing your employee to travel to our classroom in downtown Chicago on what would otherwise be two business days per month for the 19-month program. That time and emotional investment are material. As such, your Sponsorship Letter is key in that it conveys your understanding and support for your employee as we embark together on this Executive MBA experience. Release time rarely is an issue with employers however if you feel uncomfortable with the commitment, now is a time to resolve this with your employee.

Your support and understanding is important for the University of Illinois Executive MBA degree is a rigorous endeavor. We encourage our students as they leave work on Thursdays in advance of a class weekend to visualize that they are leaving town on a major trip. Contacting them for extreme events back at the office during a class weekend is inevitable, but generally is not a working model on a recurring basis. Once they leave the office on Thursday, their mental focus will need to be on their school work until they get through their classes on Saturday afternoon.

Our program is demanding at a high-level however it is also hands-on in many ways. Our structured curriculum takes major business principles and will often place them into an active-learning context, a tangible way for students to take what they learn over the weekend into the office on Monday. Our Executive Leadership Development Series exposes students to CEOs and other chief operational officers and the success factors that drive great leaders. Perhaps the most distinctive aspect of our curriculum is our capstone international consulting experience. This real-world consulting assignment for a real internationally-based problem runs throughout the second year of our Program culminating in an 8 to 10 day trip overseas. This applied experience (unique to our program as far as we know) is tremendously exciting and culminates in an overseas presentation to the client. If you have operations based in China and would like to participate in this unique program, please let us know as we would be happy to see if we can incorporate your project on a future trip. Clients in the past have included Boeing, Caterpillar, Chervon, John Deere, and the Shanghai Futures Exchange among many others.

It is important that you appreciate as a sponsor that your employee's outlook on business is about to change in a profound way. The way our students view business problems, their ability to cut across business functions and their ability to lead change are all about to change in a positive way. The employee you think of and have working for you today is about to transform. As such, now is a good time to consider the career path for your employee. Will your organization be ready to take back this changed employee and challenge them in new ways? Now is again a good time to have that type of conversation with your employee so that you calibrate expectations. Having that same conversation a year into the program is another great time as well.

Please visit our program if you can on a class weekend. You can meet our students and see our classrooms in action. Also consider renting our classrooms to host your corporate event. We would be happy to host company instruction for your organization or simply support your needs for an "off-site" retreat. We can accommodate all of your academic, catering and lodging needs.

Thanks again for extending your sponsorship of your employee and our prospective student.