altMBA alumni photo
altMBA alumni photo
altMBA alumni photo
altMBA alumni photo

Frequently Asked Questions

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We’re happy to dive into any specific questions you have.



altMBA deadlines and important dates

January 2022 session - Applications open

Workshop start date: Monday, January 17th
Workshop end date: Thursday, February 17th

First priority deadline: Tuesday, September 14th
Admission decisions released: Tuesday, September 21st
Deposit due: Tuesday, September 28th
Remainder of tuition due: Tuesday, October 19th

Early decision deadline: Tuesday, October 5th
Admission decisions released: Tuesday, October 12th
Full tuition due: Tuesday, October 19th

Regular decision deadline: Tuesday, November 2nd
Admission decisions released: Tuesday, November 9th
Tuition due: Tuesday, November 16th

How does it work?

There are 4 levels of learning during the workshop.

1. Prompts

The workshop consists of 13 prompts. Each prompt will focus on a specific topic that is critical to leaders no matter their industry or career level. The prompts create a structure for habit building, mindset shift, and real change.

The prompts will allow students to work on their real-life goals and move them forward.

The topics include:

  • Goal-setting
  • Business modeling
  • Decision making
  • Practicing empathy & understanding worldviews
  • Building culture
  • Intentionality
  • Marketing methods
  • Gaining buy-in
  • Public Speaking
  • Leading through ambiguity
  • Strategy & critical thinking
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Having difficult conversations

The outcome of the 31 days is that students create new habits and develop a new mindset to better manage a team, build a business, make a career transition, to lead…

2. Learning Group Meetings

We divide students into cohorts and learning groups.

A cohort is a group of 15-25 students working together, organized by time zone.

A learning group is a smaller group made up of 3-5 students who work together more intimately on the week’s prompts, all from the same cohort. These groups change each week so students are able to connect with more of their classmates.

During learning group meetings, students will dive into a prompt, complete an action, and discuss how each prompt relates to their real-world goals.

The more students contribute and learn from these groups, the more they will get out of the altMBA.

For Eastern (New York), Central (Chicago), Pacific (Los Angeles), and GMT (London) time zones, learning group meetings will take place on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 6 PM - 9 PM, and Sundays from 9 AM - 5 PM local time.

For the AEST/AEDT (Sydney) time zone, students will work on a slightly different schedule to accommodate the time difference, meeting on Wednesdays & Fridays from 6 PM - 9 PM, and Sundays from 9 AM - 5 PM local time.

3. Writing

After each learning group meeting, students are required to submit their work in writing to Discourse (student portal). What they submit will differ based on the prompt itself.

Students will then read each other's work and give feedback to their classmates. Reading someone’s point of view, understanding their assertions and contributing insightful commentary are essential skills necessary to learning the core lessons built into the altMBA.

Gaining multiple perspectives on a situation helps students see the bigger picture, which enables them to leap forward more efficiently and effectively in their own learning. Writing five comments on five prompts means they’ve learned five new ways to approach the core teaching of the prompt.

The written component to the altMBA is important because it encourages students to slow down, articulate, be thoughtful, and reflect.

4. Coaching

Each cohort has two dedicated coaches. That’s about 1 coach to every 10 students.

The purpose of the coaches is not to facilitate learning group meetings or give students the answers.

An altMBA coach provokes students to reach for their goals and to keep promises. They guide students to focus on their strengths, rather than directly advising. They enable students to grow, and hold them accountable along the way.

An altMBA coach connects students with one another, instead of jumping in to fix or solve a problem for them.

An altMBA coach is an instigator, a moderator, a steady voice in the altMBA journey.

Students will have a chance to meet individually with their coaches each week.

All coaches have completed the altMBA and gone through a rigorous vetting and training process.

What is the curriculum?

There are 13 written prompts total. Each prompt will focus on a specific topic or skill that is critical to being a successful leader.

It’s important to know that each prompt is in written format. It will include context around a given subject and an Action for students to complete. Most of the Actions will allow students to specifically work on their real-life goals in the context of the prompt.

Prompts explored in-depth:

  • Goal-setting
  • Business modeling
  • Decision making
  • Empathy & worldviews
  • Building culture
  • Intentionality
  • Marketing methods
  • Gaining buy-in
  • Public Speaking
  • Leading through ambiguity
  • Strategy & critical thinking
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Having difficult conversations

The outcome of the 31 days is that students create new habits and develop a new mindset to better manage a team, build a business, make a career transition...

Who is the altMBA for?

Common goals of students:

  • Level up current leadership and management skills
  • Transition career
  • Start a business
  • Clarity on next professional steps
  • Develop a product

Age: 16 to 80 years old. However, most students will fall between 30 - 50 years old.

The average age gives important insight into the goals of our students. With 10+ years of experience for most, they have developed skills, experience, and knowledge and are now looking for what’s next. How they can become a better version of themselves.

Career Level: Mid-level or above

Work experience: ~10 years experience

More info

We currently have 4,800+ alumni who have completed the workshop. They represent 90+ countries from around the world. Check out this map to see where our alumni call home.

The industries our students work in include healthcare, finance, technology, marketing, education, agriculture, aerospace, construction, pharmaceutical, food & beverage, hospitality, entertainment, energy, manufacturing...

Most students will have at least 10 years of work experience, however, we’ve had students as young as 16 all the way to 80 years old.

The commonality is this… all of our students are hungry to do more, gain skills that will help them be successful leaders, gain clarity on their journey, and discover what’s the next step forward.

Who it's not for...

The altMBA is not for people who are looking for a traditional MBA education.

We do not cover topics such as economics, accounting, supply chain, or data analytics.

It’s also not for people who care about certificates or grades. We are unaccredited, informal, and non-bureaucratic. We don't give tests or grades.

What is the time commitment?

Duration: 31 days

The workshop will always begin on a Monday and end on a Thursday.

Time commitment: 20 hours per week. This includes live Zoom learning group meetings.

Students are required to choose one of the five time zone options: Pacific (Los Angeles), Central (Chicago), Eastern (New York), GMT (London), or AEST/AEDT (Sydney Time).

Students are not able to change their time zone selection once the workshop begins.

Weekly Format

Click here for the Eastern (New York), Central (Chicago), Pacific (Los Angeles), GMT (London) time zone schedule.

Click here for AEST/AEDT (Sydney) time zone schedule.

More info:

It’s important to know the altMBA was designed for leaders working full-time with busy schedules. That said, it’s a commitment. Real change takes time, effort, and a willingness to show up. This time is for you.

Students should expect to spend about 20 hours a week on the workshop. There are live Zoom learning group meetings 3 times per week and the rest of the week is dedicated to feedback and reflection.

Students are required to choose one of the five time zone options: Pacific (Los Angeles), Central (Chicago), Eastern (New York), GMT (London), or AEST/AEDT (Sydney Time).

Students will not be able to change their time zone once the workshop begins.

For Eastern (New York), Central (Chicago), Pacific (Los Angeles), GMT (London), learning groups meet on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM, and Sundays from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM.

For the AEST/AEDT (Sydney Time) time zone, students will work on a slightly different schedule to accommodate the time difference, meeting on Wednesdays & Fridays from 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM, and Sundays from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Sydney Time).

Here is the pattern that repeats for each project:

  • Meet with learning group: 3X per week
  • Ship project: Due at midnight, (cohort’s time zone)
  • Give Feedback: Comment on the work of 5 classmates. Due at 8 PM. (cohort’s time zone)
  • Reflection: After seeing feedback from peers, students reflect and write a ‘reflection summary’, separate from the original project that considers all of the feedback, discussion, and how perspective and learning has changed, since first seeing the Project. Due at 6 PM. (cohort’s time zone)

What are coaches for?

Each cohort has two dedicated coaches. That’s about 1 coach to every 10 students.

The purpose of the coaches is not to facilitate learning group meetings or give students the answers.

An altMBA coach provokes students to reach for their goals and to keep promises. They guide students to focus on their strengths, rather than directly advising. They enable students to grow, and hold them accountable along the way.

An altMBA coach connects students with one another, instead of jumping in to fix or solve a problem for them.

An altMBA coach is an instigator, a moderator, a steady voice in the altMBA journey.

Students will have a chance to meet individually with their coaches each week.

Here’s a handy list to further clarify what an altMBA coach is and isn’t.

An altMBA coach will...

  • Establish a culture of possibility, commitment, respect, and connection
  • Create a safe space for you and fellow students to learn
  • Provide written feedback on your projects via comments on your post
  • Be available for office hours once or twice a week
  • Point out when you can learn from what fellow students are doing well in projects, comments, or RS
  • Keep you on the hook with the promises you make in personal and professional development
  • Hold you accountable
  • Reflect questions back at you, so you can discover the answer yourself
  • Encourage you to seek your peers and help one another to work through challenges
  • Ask tough questions and provide honest feedback
  • Ask questions that cause you to reflect
  • Identify when there might be another approach to consider
  • Point out when you’re holding back from doing your best work
  • Help steer you toward setting clearer goals, taking action, thinking critically, and making better decisions

An altMBA coach will not...

  • Give direct advice on a specific skill, such as strategy, fundraising, branding, sales, presenting, or career development
  • Work with you to create a business strategy
  • Not be joining you in weekly learning group calls
  • Make introductions to people outside of altMBA for your network
  • Meet regularly with you 1×1 for counseling or therapy
  • Simply say you what you want to hear
  • Give you the ‘right’ answer
  • Provide reassurance or validation

It’s important to know that all coaches have completed the altMBA and gone through a rigorous vetting and training process.

Is there a deferral or withdrawal program?

Yes. We understand that life happens and plans can change. We’ve created solutions that help students navigate these changes and allow us to preserve the learning experience for their classmates.

Deferral Program

We allow for one deferral to the next session on our calendar. Students are only eligible if they've paid a non-refundable deposit.

  • If you decide to defer before the Early Decision deadline of the session you applied for, you will not be asked to pay the deferral fee.
  • If you decide to defer after the Early Decision deadline, you are required to pay a $250 deferral fee.

You can only defer up to 10 days prior to the start date of the workshop. No deferrals are possible afterwards.

Withdrawal Program

DEPOSIT: We require a $500 deposit to secure a spot in the altMBA program and to accept our admission offer. The deposit is non-refundable.

REMAINDER OF TUITION: The rest of tuition is fully refundable any time between the day we receive it and thirty-one days before the start of the session a student applied to attend. If a student defers to the next open session, the full tuition is non-refundable at that point.

If a student withdraws and later decides to reapply, they will be asked to pay a new non-refundable deposit as part of their full tuition.

Scholarship recipients

If a student receives a scholarship, they are not eligible to defer or withdraw from a workshop.

We only offer a very limited number of scholarships, so to be fair to all applicants it’s important a scholarship recipient is ready for the commitment of time, money and has passion to level up.

Important: If, in the opinion of our coaches, you’re not contributing to the culture and forward motion of your cohort, we’ll let you know. If you’re still not able to actively participate, we’ll ask you to withdraw from the workshop. In this situation, no refund is possible.

What is the cost of tuition?

The cost of tuition is $4450. This includes the workshop and course materials. There are no additional fees or taxes.

Is the altMBA accredited?

The altMBA is informal, unaccredited, and non-bureaucratic. We don't give tests or grades.

If you need an official course credit this may not be a fit for your journey.

Students who ship all 13 prompts and attend all learning group meetings (1 absence allowed) will receive a certificate of completion. We’ve found this is helpful with those who seek reimbursement from their organizations.

Tips for submitting an application

Each session we get more qualified applicants than we have room for, so applying early is a good idea.

The altMBA application is straightforward and takes about 15 minutes to ship, but it’s important to stand out. So, we put together five pro-tips on what we’re looking for.

1. You’re more than a resume

Yes, your career trajectory tells us a little about you, but we want to know who you are beyond your professional goals and achievements. Consider telling us more about where you’ve been, where you’re going, what you’re passionate about, how you spend your free time, moments of change…

To go the extra mile, adding your personal website, blog, a special application video will help us add context to your written application. It’s not required, but that might be the point.

We can’t get to know the real you, but we can try.

2. Are you ready to show up?

The altMBA works because there are more than a hundred other people looking out for you, contributing to you, rooting for you. And we make that happen by selecting people who are eager to do that for others.

This is a commitment of time, money, and energy, so putting the effort into your application is a signal that you’re ready to show up for yourself and your classmates.

3. Is it a fit?

The altMBA is an intense 4-week sprint that requires commitment (we know you’ve heard it before) — you can consider it a passionate side hustle. It’s not only important for you to demonstrate why you would be a good fit for the workshop but why the altMBA is a good fit for you.

Communicating why the altMBA is critical to your journey will help us determine if we can help you make the change you’re looking to make.

4. Don’t wait

What do exceptional leaders have in common? They don’t wait. They ship and they ship often. The same applies to submitting your application.

Competition gets tougher as we near the final deadline for each session. There are only a limited number of seats per workshop and once we’re full, we’re full.

5. Spelling and grammar…

While the internet is a grammarian’s nightmare, in some places, a few extra minutes of attention to detail matter. The altMBA has a lot of written work so spelling and grammar make a difference. Articulation is critical and part of that is communicating in a clear, thoughtful way.

Take a minute to read over your application one more time before you hit submit. The extra polish you add doesn’t go unnoticed!

Mostly: Apply. Simply apply. That’s the most important tip we can share.

What are the Akimbo community practices?

We are curious, open and respectful
This is a space to learn, share and grow together while showing respect for one another’s basic personhood. We practice inner inquiry. We ask questions. We are open to observations of our behavior, and we are open to sharing feedback with others regarding their actions. We help each other learn and grow by “calling in” (to conversation) instead of “calling out” (with blame). We stretch our willingness to be uncomfortable.

We honor confidentiality
“What is shared here stays here, what is learned here is shared widely.” If something is communicated in a specific space, we don’t share it beyond that group without permission from the person who shared it. If something is communicated that changes the way that we think and process, we share the benefits of that new awareness. Ex: We share themes and takeaways with the wider Zoom group after a breakout session and we give others control over what they want to share of their personal experiences.

We are generous
Being mindful of the wellbeing of the group means taking care of ourselves and each other. We celebrate our progress and find a sense of play in our work. We forgive ourselves when we make mistakes and embrace that, while we all want to strive to improve ourselves, we are also enough as we are. We ask for what we need and offer what we can.

We speak from our own experience
We make sure we’re not generalizing to entire groups of people or presuming anything about someone else’s experience. We speak with “I” statements and questions (I believe, I wonder, I struggle with, I was hurt by, etc) and we reflect on the social identities we carry that impact our experiences.

We are better together
No one knows everything and together we know a lot. Each person is coming to any given conversation with different levels of lived experience and embodied expertise. We believe that each person has something to contribute. We practice being humble and looking for what we have to learn from each person in the room. We share what we know, as well as our questions, so that others may learn from us.

We make space for each other
We contribute to the creation of spaces where everyone can be seen, and so we strive to both share generously and listen deeply. If we tend not to speak a lot, we consider sharing our voice with the group. If we tend to speak a lot, we practice making space for others. We work to create a welcoming environment for those who are less vocal if and when they choose to share. In both experiences, growth is happening. (We don’t go “back” by learning to be a better listener. On the contrary, choosing to learn how to listen moves both us and the group up).

We can’t be articulate all the time
As much as we may wish we could! We can feel hesitant to participate in a workshop or meeting for fear of “messing up” or stumbling over our words. We want everyone to feel comfortable participating, even if we don’t feel we have the perfect words to express our thoughts.

We can disagree without shaming or blaming
Disagreements are natural, and can foster growth. When we attack, shame, or blame ourselves and others, we are less likely to take in what others are sharing and less likely to problem-solve across our differences. We make space for multiple realities and practice “both/and” thinking. We are willing to accept a lack of closure and agreement. We can disagree and stay connected.

We are mindful of jargon, acronyms, and industry language
We use inclusive language that is accessible for people with varying inside knowledge.

We acknowledge the difference between intent and impact
We embrace the inevitable messiness of stepping into courageous work. Often, when we do or say something that causes harm or supports the values of oppressive systems, it is not our intention to do so. But when we use our good intentions to deny (or avoid being accountable for) the harm, more harm is caused. We each do the work to acknowledge that our intent and the impact of our actions are two different things, and we take responsibility for any negative impact we have. (This can be as simple as apologizing.)

Inspiration for these Community Practices comes from AORTA and Visions.


Apply for the altMBA

The program dates:
January 17th – February 17th, 2022

Note: The Early Decision deadline for the January 2022 session is Tuesday, October 5th.

The application takes about 15 minutes to complete.

Application