My career as a serial entrepreneur and corporate executive has been a rocky road with many successes and failures. My only regret was not attending Columbia’s EMBA program sooner.

One benefit of waiting—the birth of EMBA-Americas. As a legal technology expert I often find myself jet setting and constrained for personal time. This was my perfect excuse for deferred attendance. Now that I’m at the halfway mark in my MBA I can actually see, firsthand, what the “cost” of not attending an MBA program earlier is.

New York City is the place to be. The city is a living lab and the businesses represented here are diverse and global. At the moment of acceptance into the program (insert huge smiles and celebration here) through the moment I’m writing this post, I can honestly say this experience has been priceless. The Admissions and Office of Student Affairs staff take all the anxiety out of the mix from logistics to books to student aid and finance.

The EMBA-Americas program allows you to meet with high level executives in different parts of the world. So far we have visited Silicon Valley (Northern CA) and Toronto Canada’s Rotman School of Business. We have met with global leaders such as Bill Campbell (boards of Apple and Intuit as well as a trustee of Columbia University) and Bruce Flatt (CEO of Brookfield Asset Management) to name just a few.

As a Southern California resident, CA locals may think I’m nuts for choosing a school so far away. Yet, there are several classmates who travel even further and “win” for their commutes. I have classmates from Russia, Australia, Brazil, Venezuela, and other places around the globe. The commute, while not a quick cab ride, was an easy bump to overlook. I can attest that most of us use the time in transit effectively. It is a great chance to read and reflect without interruption.

It’s evident from the moment you begin the program that your extended family has grown. You quickly develop friendships that will be lifelong. Columbia Business School is certainly about its network, its alumni, and continuing the tradition of excellence.