Executive confidence you can only receive from an EMBA

Working for a global company is incredibly challenging in today’s diverse and fast-paced business environment. I know this. I experience it every day as director of sales at American Refining Group, Inc., where I oversee territory across the U.S. and provide essential technical assistance to customers in Canada.

Several years ago, I felt a pressing need to broaden my perspective and strengthen my executive skills in order to evolve faster than business trends. That’s why I chose an Executive MBA program.

Not quite a household name, EMBA programs are designed for seasoned professionals, not those with limited work experience. These programs delve deeper than a traditional MBA, focusing on issues executives face on a day-to-day basis and challenging them to expand their way of big-picture thinking.

And perhaps most importantly, the EMBA program’s scheduling format could fit within my busy schedule.

Learn from your peers

After joining the program, I found myself surrounded by a network of professionals, both in the greater Pittsburgh area and across the globe. I expected to be taught by world-class professionals, but perhaps the most impactful learning came through my interactions with peers.

My classmates worked in a wide range of industries and despite our varied roles — some of us ran a family business, some were climbing the corporate ladder like myself and some were doctors or engineers — we made the most of each others’ talents.

The tools you need

I firmly believe that an EMBA program teaches the practical skills to take on complex business challenges. Some of these include:

  • CEO confidence — My coursework and projects enhanced my understanding of strategic thinking, which, in turn, gave me the confidence to apply what I was learning in class to my everyday work. As I advanced through the program, I became more assured of my knowledge of the business world and what it takes to succeed.
  • Innovative leadership — The program challenged me to think outside of traditional leadership styles. I manage many different types of people, and through the EMBA program, I learned how to more successfully motivate team members.
  • Effective communication — Communication is essential for every aspect of business, both internally and on a customer level. The EMBA program provided me with different approaches to effective communication styles, and how to clearly articulate the end goals of a project to all types of audiences.
  • Analytical thinking — At the executive level, I am counted on to create the overall strategy rather than perform day-to-day execution. The EMBA program gave me a set of tools to make better decisions on how to best lead my team and identify meaningful solutions for my customers.


The Katz Executive MBA Worldwide program at the University of Pittsburgh enabled me to expand my professional network, while providing the global perspective crucial for navigating today’s borderless economy. I feel more confident in my ability to service my customers, as well as lead my team.


David DuBois is the Director of Sales at American Refining Group, Inc. He also has a University of Pittsburgh B.S. EMBA