Experiential Learning

Beyond the Classroom

LMU is one of a select group of accredited Jesuit business schools in the U.S. that offers leadership development programs and helps business professionals become more successful through rigorous, values-driven academics and rich community connections. Jesuit schools emphasize:

  • Education of the whole person.
  • Learning through experience.
  • Leadership based on self-awareness.

These objectives are at the forefront of the LMU Executive MBA experience and are embodied in our experiential learning components.

Orientation Residential

Students participating in a group activity in Sunken Garden

Each August, the incoming EMBA class begins their 22-month journey together with an intensive, 4-day Orientation. Students meet each other for the first time and by the end of the experience, most feel like they've known each other for years. You will set learning goals, form study teams and engage in a variety of workshops and team-building exercises. You will also participate in a workshop with your significant other/support person addressing the importance of achieving balance between family, work and school.

Orientation focuses on team-building and leadership development. These experiential learning exercises are designed to build trust and confidence, enhance communication skills, boost creativity and find solutions to problems. They're also used as a way to help you step out of your comfort zone and break down personal barriers.

Leadership Through Sailing

A group of students on a boat learning to sail

During Orientation, students will participate in a day long sailing course in their newly formed study teams designed with the following objectives:

  • Observe and learn how you and others function in a team based environment.
  • Explore when and how you step up as a leader.
  • Practice decision making under pressure.

Students will revisit this activity at the end of year 1 to compare and contrast their current behaviors and observations with those from Orientation.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Domestic Travel

The California State Capital Building in Sacramento

In the summer between year 1 and 2, students study innovation and entrepreneurship and take an immersive, 3-day trip to Sacramento where you gain a better understanding of the legislative process and have the opportunity to meet with individuals who shape policies and decisions.

Students engage with elected officials, capitol staff, NGOs, lobbyists, state departments and legislatively mandated offices that are integral to facilitating state government operations. Capital partners provide you with an insider's perspective on how the legislative process works, the various players that support the effort, as well as the essential role that relationships and trade-offs (priorities) play in maintaining the fabric of a functioning state government.

Through this experience, you gain the ability to create opportunities for engagement, cutting through and efficiently navigating the bureaucracy, to achieve results that your colleagues cannot.

Global Leadership Research: International Travel

In the final semester, students take a 2-week international journey to compare and contrast one emerging and one well-developed business center in the same geographic region of the world. You'll meet with business executives and government leaders to gather findings for your final, capstone research project, developing a comprehensive business plan. Every EMBA class spends some of their time overseas focusing on building sustainable communities — enhancing the marginalized and disadvantaged of society.

Students provide input on the industry they want to focus their research projects on, and faculty and administration determine the global region based on the industry chosen. In recent years, EMBA students have visited Cuba, Costa Rica, China, Singapore, India, Peru, Germany, South Korea, Russia, Thailand, Greece, Spain and South Africa.

Several EMBA students getting into an old-fashioned car in Cuba

EMBA Students Study Hospitality Industry in Cuba

"We were able to research and see firsthand why American hospitality companies are attracted to Cuba's market potential; but we also gained a better understanding of the complicated political and economic landscape that must be navigated by a firm seeking to exploit this emerging market."

– Richard Stafford, EMBA Director, 2013-2018