The Rutgers Executive MBA Class of 2020 in front of the Forbidden City during the program's 10-day China Experience summer residency program in Beijing and Shanghai.

Executive MBA class president enhances leadership through patience

Joseph W. Krause, who served as president of the Class of 2020, wins Rutgers Executive MBA Leadership Award.

Each cohort beginning the Rutgers Executive MBA (REMBA) elects a class president. This takes place after the intense week-in-residence and after the cohort has been working together in classes and on projects for several weeks, and also learning about each other.

Four students ran for president of the Class of 2020. Joseph W. Krause was elected.

“I was initially nervous about taking the role of president,” said Krause, “because the REMBA program, by default, puts you in a room full of leaders. I thought it might be incredibly difficult to consistently impress because the bar would be set very high. I was quickly surprised to learn that even a group of leaders have real needs that must be resolved, and if you consistently deliver value you can improve everyone's overall experience.”

The class president is responsible for raising funds, and managing the events and commitments of the cohort. During Krause’s time, he was able to expand and improve the mentoring program by matching students with professionals in similar industries or areas in which the student wished to grow.

Krause and his leadership team also live-streamed and archived every class. If classmates had to miss a class, they could view it later. The students also used the archived videos for review and studying for exams.

Krause said that he wanted to do all he could to help his classmates enjoy the program and get the most out of it. Students pursue the REMBA while continuing their careers: many working 60+ hours a week, running companies, enduring long commutes, and raising families.  REMBA is an additional full-time job, and the students are always having to manage a great deal of stress.

“When I accepted the role of President,” said Krause, “our program director, Professor Farrokh Langdana, pulled me aside and said that the job would be challenging. He said that the most challenging aspect of the role would center on the idea that everyone I'm serving is going to be at a very high-stress level for two years. When people are stressed they tend to express their overall frustrations in a variety of ways both directly and indirectly.  Most importantly, don't take any of that personally.

“I then vowed to figure out the areas of stress my classmates were experiencing, and do my best to remove that barrier. This approach forced me to have more patience than when I walked into the program, so it was a great way to grow professionally.

“Now that I made it through the program, I find that I'm infinitely more patient," he said. "That patience allows me to better understand my teammates, clients, and friends.”

For his demonstrated leadership, commitment, and contributions to his classmates’ REMBA experience, Krause was awarded the 2020 Rutgers Executive MBA Leadership Award.

-Sean Ireland

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