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Calling all Haas(Berkeley) EWMBA Applicants(2015 Intake) Class of 2018

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Calling all Haas(Berkeley) EWMBA Applicants(2015 Intake) Class of 2018 [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2014, 07:31
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Re: Calling all Haas(Berkeley) EWMBA Applicants(2015 Intake) Class of 2018 [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2014, 07:55
Expert's post
Welcome to all 2015 applicants applying to Haas Evening-Weekend MBA Program at UC Berkeley.

We recently got the opportunity to talk to Current Haas EWMBA student and Prominent GMATClub member - Packet82 - and get his insights on Haas MBA programs. Here are the excerpts from the discussion.

bb:- GPA, GMAT, Application Essays, Interview, Work Experience, and Extra Curricular. If you asked to arrange these parameters in the order of their importance at Haas– what would it be?

Packet82:- (1) Work Experience (2) Interview and Essays (3) GPA and GMAT
Extra Curricular is a bit of a wild card. It really depends on the specific applicant.



bb:- What advantage, if any, is there in applying in a specific round over another?

Packet82:- If you come from a common background, it's better to apply in round 1. However, Haas tends to admit most of the EWMBA class in round 2 and will waitlist the bulk of the R1 applicants until R2 is done. So, if you have a strong background and have a lot of competition, it's probably better to do earlier. Past that though, it doesn't really matter. Just try to get it in by R2. R3 & 4 tend to be much more competitive as most of the spots have been filled.



bb:- Are the on-campus and off-campus interviews treated equally or there is any preference to one over other?

Packet82:- Haas officially only does on campus unless there's an extenuating circumstance. I ended up doing mine via skype and got in anyways. If you can, make the trek down to Haas for the interview.



bb:- Do you recommend a school visit? Is it a must?

Packet82:- Not a must, but I'd highly recommend it. Haas is a very different place from other b-schools I've visited. Admissions really only wants to admit people that fit in to the mold of the type of leader Haas is trying to educate. So, visit the school and get a feel for it ahead of time. See if it's a good fit for you.



bb:- How important is the school visit for an applicant?? Does that really play any role in strengthening application?

Packet82:- It makes for some added color. No one is going to record that someone came in for a class visit or not, but it can definitely help you with ideas for your essays.



bb:- Can you comment on the Employment process of the school? What support do students get from Career Services dept, peers, and alumni? Which companies (and from which sectors) generally recruit in the school? How strong school’s alumni network is?

Packet82:- In the Bay Area, it's mostly tech companies and a lot of startups. All the other usual suspects that show up to other top 10 programs also show up to Haas.



bb:- Which student clubs or groups are in the school? What social and philanthropic opportunities and opportunities to get involved in leadership roles one can get in these groups?

Packet82:- The full list of clubs is available here: https://haas.campusgroups.com/club_signup



bb:- Is there anything related to Financial Aid worth a mention?

Packet82:- For part time students, there isn't much in the way of financial aid other than loans. There are a few token need based scholarships (I don't know anyone that has received this), and one small grant for people living outside of the bay area, but that's about it. Many people have some sort of sponsorship from their company though.



bb:- Can you think of a few good and bad reasons for applicants to reach out to current students? Eps. Before submitting an application?

Packet82:- If you want to find out some more information about what it's like to attend the school, great. Don't ask current students information that can easily be found on the website or things like what specific books they used for classes.



bb:- Who would be an ideal applicant to your program based on admissions, culture, and the program in general?
Packet82:- still working a bit on this question.

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Re: Calling all Haas(Berkeley) EWMBA Applicants(2015 Intake) Class of 2018 [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2014, 07:56
FROM The Berkeley EWMBA Blog: A Walmart-to-Google Career Change
Trading Furbies for Fruit Ninjas, Amy Thompson moved from a role as senior toy buyer with Walmart to manager at Google—during her first year in the Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program. She now manages retail partnerships for Google Play, an Android platform for apps and digital media.

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Thompson’s move reflects a frequent occurrence at Berkeley-Haas: students who change careers while earning their degrees. In a survey of recent graduates of the Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program, 32 percent of respondents reported changing careers. Those who did grew their salaries by, on average, 44 percent, from a mean base of $93,640 to $119,821.
Thompson, MBA 15, had spent her career at Walmart. “I felt my work experience was strong, but wanted additional perspective on business,” she says of her decision to pursue her MBA.

“At Walmart I really enjoyed having responsibility for everything from financial plans and budgets to how products are presented in stores,” she says, “but the business is obviously very established, so work was focused on incremental growth.”

As Partner Manager, Thompson is a regional lead for Google Play gift cards, with a focus on launching business in new countries, which is what appealed to her. “I came in at the beginning stages, with a lot of structure to be built,” she says. In her first year she has overseen the Americas and launched the gift card business in Australia, New Zealand, and Mexico.

This opportunity opened with a recruiter reaching out to Thompson via LinkedIn; it closed with support from her Berkeley MBA network. “Written recommendations are an important part of the Google hiring process,” she says. “If you have people at Google who recommend you, that goes a long way; two of my cohort mates did that for me.”

“People in the Berkeley MBA Program are some of the best I’ve gotten to know over the course of my career,” says Thompson. “Through relationships at Haas, I’ve learned much about other industries that’s brought me to where I am today.”

Thompson recently marked one year at Google. “When I took a step back and realized all that has happened, from completing my first year at Berkeley-Haas to launching three countries and building out my team at Google, it was incredible. If that’s just the past year, I can’t imagine what the next couple of years will hold.”

 

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Re: Calling all Haas(Berkeley) EWMBA Applicants(2015 Intake) Class of 2018 [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2014, 07:56
FROM The Berkeley EWMBA Blog: 8 Not-So-Hidden Advantages of Part-Time MBA Programs
When it comes to getting an MBA, there are many questions to answer, starting with the most basic, why do it at all?

Knowing why should give you some insights into when, where, and what kind of program is right for you. Full-time? Part-time? Online? The kind where you send in a check and get an embossed “diploma” back in the mail? (Just kidding.)

Here are some things a part-time or executive program allows you to do that may help you decide if this is the best way for you to get an MBA:

1. Keep your foot on the gas careerwise.  Your career stays in gear, while you’re revving up the engine to make your next move. Plus, you’re sure to meet classmates who can help you accelerate your growth.

2. Get outside your comfort zone.

Use the curriculum to explore subjects you would never encounter on the job. Take a risk. Take on a leadership role. Experiment without getting fired! Take time to examine where you’ve been and where you’re going. You might find a new passion.

3. Recharge your batteries.

If you’ve been in your current position a while, taking some time to reflect and meet people outside your industry may be just the catalyst you need.

4. Learn it and use it.

People in part-time and executive MBA programs have this great laboratory to try out what they’ve learned in class. It’s called the workplace. When you can apply a lesson immediately—you’ve really made it your own.

5. Compete for something other than a promotion or a new job.

Business plan and startup competitions stretch your skills, test your endurance, and might even help you launch the next big thing.

6. Invest in yourself—and others will too.

Getting an MBA says something about you to your colleagues, your boss, even your boss’s boss. It says that you’re someone who is taking charge of your career, realizing your potential, shaping and sharpening your skills. And it says it before you’ve even finished the program.

7. Explode your network.  Where else will you find people from such diverse backgrounds, with such accomplished careers all in one place? And they’re all there to do the same thing: to learn from, engage with, and help each other. That goes for your classmates, the faculty, the alumni, and all of the other people working and studying on your campus.

8. Be a sponge.  Being in a part-time program, you realize pretty quickly just how much you can soak up without drowning: job, school, even a personal life. It’s not that time or space expand. It’s that you discover what you can accomplish with a supportive network of family, friends, and classmates.

 

There you are—eight ways to thinking about an MBA that might just help you decide which kind of program will take you where you want to go.

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Re: Calling all Haas(Berkeley) EWMBA Applicants(2015 Intake) Class of 2018 [#permalink] New post 06 Sep 2014, 07:02
FROM The Berkeley EWMBA Blog: How to Choose a Berkeley MBA Program
Berkeley-Haas has three MBA programs: Full-time, Evening & Weekend, and MBA for Executives.

All three share the same emphasis on innovative leadership, a world-renowned faculty, and a culture embodied by students who Question the Status Quo and have Confidence Without Attitude.

All three confer a degree that opens doors around the world.

So, how do you choose? If you decide you’d like to continue working while you earn an MBA, you still have a little work to do, comparing our two part-time programs. Or, we could do it for you:

Compare & Contrast: Part-Time MBA Programs at Berkeley-Haas
 

Evening & Weekend MBA

 

MBA for Executives

250, with cohorts of around 60 for the first 3 semesters

Class Size

70

Median student age:  31

Student Age

Median student age: 36

A median of 7 years in the workforce

Seasoned Professionals(Just how well seasoned?)

Typically a median of 13 years professional experience

85% of students live and work in the Bay Area; 15% in SoCal and elsewhere along the West Coast.

Friends from Near and Far

29% of students live and work outside of the Bay Area, with some traveling as far as from the East Coast and China.

You choose: Evenings: M/W or T/TH, 6 to 9:30 pm or Weekends: SAT, 9 am to 6 pm.

I'd Fit this in When Exactly? 

Classes are generally in 3-day blocks (TH-SAT), every 3 weeks.

On campus at Berkeley-Haas weekday evenings; alternating between Haas and our Silicon Valley campus on Saturdays.

Name the Place

On campus at Berkeley-Haas, just a short hop from the hotel where you’ll stay with your classmates.

3 years of non-stop mind expansion

Duration

19 months of drinking knowledge from a fire hose

When was the last time you took over an entire pizza joint with several dozen friends? That’s the kind of after-class socializing that creates lifelong bonds.

Living Social

Happy hour by the Claremont Hotel pool; Mission District dinners after block; lively Facebook interaction in between. Get ready to redefine “friend.”

Expand your global horizons and your professional reach. Test your wings in the Seminar in International Business and the International Business Development courses.  Both put you on the ground for 1 to 2 weeks in all corners of the world.

Go Global

Get an MBA and go globe-trotting. The program includes Immersion Weeks in Silicon Valley and Washington, DC, and Shanghai.

Hear from global leaders during our Dean's Speakers Series: New York Times Senior Editor Adam Bryant, Former Citigroup Chair Sandy Weill, and former Procter & Gamble India CEO Gurcharan Das.

 

Get Access

Connect with founders, CEOs, and policymakers. During Silicon Valley Immersion week, students met with 35+ founders and leaders, including Facebook CIO Tim Campos and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen. In DC, they met with Fed Chair Janet Yellen and other policy makers.

Introduce your spouse, partner, and kids to your classmates at BBQs, tailgate parties, and picnics.

Bring the Family

Spousa-Palooza brings your family to campus to sit in your chair, tour Berkeley, and get to know your classmates.

Learn to analyze and leverage your existing connections, while fostering relationships that go far beyond being “linked.”

Get Networked

Your close-knit group of classmates blossoms into a network that reaches far beyond any one person’s, well, reach.

Dedicated career adviser

Complimentary shuttle service—with WiFi, of course—for students traveling from the South Bay and the Peninsula on weekday evenings

Courses videotaped for online viewing—just in case you need to miss a class

School Supplies

Hassle-free hotel reservations (we do it for you)

Dedicated career advising, with seminars and appointments at your hotel

 

THE VERDICT: Only you can decide which program is the best fit for you, but our Admissions Office would be happy to help guide you. 

We invite you to learn more about our Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBAand our Berkeley MBA for Executives Programs.

 

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Re: Calling all Haas(Berkeley) EWMBA Applicants(2015 Intake) Class of 2018 [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2014, 09:01
FROM The Berkeley EWMBA Blog: MBA Career Advancement: From Strategic Pricing to Sunpower Promotion
Image
Iris Korovesi didn't necessarily expect a return on investment so early in her MBA studies.

But in her microeconomics course she discovered the true potential of the price tag. She credits this knowledge with helping her quickly advance at Sunpower—to global sales operations—during her second semester in the Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program.

Korovesi, MBA 16, previously worked as a sales analyst for the solar panel manufacturer, running financial models to estimate the economic value of solar energy and to yield the highest benefit for the customer. 

Now, she’s in charge of using the power of pricing to give Sunpower its global edge. “I gather competitive and market intelligence to look at our pricing strategy for all products, markets, and regions,” Korovesi says.

“The fact that I was watching for this kind of opportunity and that I found this job so interesting is almost completely due to my MBA studies,” she adds.

Ready to Move on...or up

Korovesi had been in her analyst position for about two years and was ready to move on or move up. She knew she could become a sales executive, but wanted to do something more strategic and more global. “I wanted overall exposure to our business and to other markets,” she says.

“A few months earlier I might have skipped right past this posting because I hadn’t realized the catalytic role pricing is playing in business strategy and brand positioning. It was at Haas that I learned how powerful value-based pricing can be for a company’s bottom line.”    

She began learning this in her first semester at Berkeley-Haas. “Microeconomics with Greg LaBlanc was one of my favorite first-year classes,” she says. “We did a lot around the pricing strategy of products, and I really saw how important that could be. I was excited to see the exploration of pricing continue in the Marketing course as well, picking up additional tools such as the conjoint analysis, used with the Intel Inside case, that enables companies to quantify the main value drivers of a product.”

Using Classroom Learning at Work--Immediately

She says her studies, and the network that came with the program, made her an even stronger candidate for this new role at Sunpower. “The hiring manager was a Haas alum and he knew I’d be able to immediately deliver what I was learning in class at work--and that I could also use what I was learning to shape this new position.”

“Just last month for example, I developed a model that helps us quantify certain product attributes our customers appreciate, coming up with the price premium we can justify in the market.”

This semester, Korovesi is looking forward to taking the Strategic Pricing elective taught by Haas Marketing Professor Teck Ho. She expects that the course will teach her the tools, analytical frameworks, processes, and policies that she will need to have in place to effectively identify pricing strategies that maximize profit for SunPower around the globe.

Strategic Understanding and Industry Visibility

“Everyone I have talked to says it is the best class they have taken at Haas,” she says. “My boss was also very excited that I would be able to attend Teck Ho’s class and he counts on the knowledge I will be able to transfer to SunPower”.  

Prior to joining Sunpower, Korovesi worked for an investment firm. Excitement about clean tech and renewable energy prompted her to move on. “It’s a cutting-edge industry that is radically changing the way we live,” says Korovesi, who wanted the chance to work in a less established, emerging sector.

“Ultimately, I want to advance to a more executive role. This position gives me a more strategic understanding of our industry and gives me more visibility with senior people at Sunpower and within the solar market as a whole.”

 

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Re: Calling all Haas(Berkeley) EWMBA Applicants(2015 Intake) Class of 2018 [#permalink] New post 22 Sep 2014, 10:01
FROM The Berkeley EWMBA Blog: MBA Career Advancement: From Strategic Pricing to SunPower Promotion
Image
Iris Korovesi didn't necessarily expect a return on investment so early in her MBA studies.

But in her microeconomics course she discovered the true potential of the price tag. She credits this knowledge with helping her quickly advance at SunPower—to global sales operations—during her second semester in the Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program.

Korovesi, MBA 16, previously worked as a sales analyst for the solar panel manufacturer, running financial models to estimate the economic value of solar energy and to yield the highest benefit for the customer. 

Now, she’s in charge of using the power of pricing to give SunPower its global edge. “I gather competitive and market intelligence to look at our pricing strategy for all products, markets, and regions,” Korovesi says.

“The fact that I was watching for this kind of opportunity and that I found this job so interesting is almost completely due to my MBA studies,” she adds.

Ready to Move on...or up

Korovesi had been in her analyst position for about two years and was ready to move on or move up. She knew she could become a sales executive, but wanted to do something more strategic and more global. “I wanted overall exposure to our business and to other markets,” she says.

“A few months earlier I might have skipped right past this posting because I hadn’t realized the catalytic role pricing is playing in business strategy and brand positioning. It was at Haas that I learned how powerful value-based pricing can be for a company’s bottom line.”    

She began learning this in her first semester at Berkeley-Haas. “Microeconomics with Greg LaBlanc was one of my favorite first-year classes,” she says. “We did a lot around the pricing strategy of products, and I really saw how important that could be. I was excited to see the exploration of pricing continue in the Marketing course as well, picking up additional tools such as the conjoint analysis, used with the Intel Inside case, that enables companies to quantify the main value drivers of a product.”

Using Classroom Learning at Work--Immediately

She says her studies, and the network that came with the program, made her an even stronger candidate for this new role at SunPower. “The hiring manager was a Haas alum and he knew I’d be able to immediately deliver what I was learning in class at work--and that I could also use what I was learning to shape this new position.”

“Just last month for example, I developed a model that helps us quantify certain product attributes our customers appreciate, coming up with the price premium we can justify in the market.”

This semester, Korovesi is looking forward to taking the Strategic Pricing elective taught by Haas Marketing Professor Teck Ho. She expects that the course will teach her the tools, analytical frameworks, processes, and policies that she will need to have in place to effectively identify pricing strategies that maximize profit for SunPower around the globe.

Strategic Understanding and Industry Visibility

“Everyone I have talked to says it is the best class they have taken at Haas,” she says. “My boss was also very excited that I would be able to attend Teck Ho’s class and he counts on the knowledge I will be able to transfer to SunPower”.  

Prior to joining SunPower, Korovesi worked for an investment firm. Excitement about clean tech and renewable energy prompted her to move on. “It’s a cutting-edge industry that is radically changing the way we live,” says Korovesi, who wanted the chance to work in a less established, emerging sector.

“Ultimately, I want to advance to a more executive role. This position gives me a more strategic understanding of our industry and gives me more visibility with senior people at SunPower and within the solar market as a whole.”

 

Image

 

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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This post has been originally posted on the Admissions Blog and re-posted here for convenience

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No Bull: MBA Students Get Leadership Lessons from Former NYSE Chief [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2014, 09:01
FROM The Berkeley EWMBA Blog: No Bull: MBA Students Get Leadership Lessons from Former NYSE Chief
Image
What could you learn in an hour spent with an NYSE chief? A packed room full of Berkeley MBA students found out when Duncan Niederauer, former CEO of the New York Stock Exchange came to campus for our Dean's Speaker Series. Niederauer drew on a career that has included 22 years with Goldman Sachs and 7 years at the helm of the NYSE to share lessons on business and leadership success, including these:

 

1. Have a personal board of directors, comprised of close family and friends (rather than co-workers). These people must care about you and be truth-tellers. 

2. Know your weaknesses as well as you know your strengths. People choose paths to the top that fail because they take positions that are not in line with their strengths.

3. Every boss is a role model. That doesn't necessarily mean they are a good one, but you will always learn. Even specific ideas of what not to do are valuable.

4. Have a plan, but don't over-engineer. If you are too rigid, you won't be open to opportunities that might come your way.

5. Encourage debate. The more senior you get, the more you need to let people know that they can say whatever they want to you.

6. Manage down.  The generals can take care of themselves. Take care of the soldiers first, and they will work hard for you. 

7. Be respected first. If you're liked, that's a bonus.

8. Hire correctly, and give people more rope and responsibility than even they think they can handle. If they come up short, part of the responsibility lies on your shoulders.

Want more wisdom and life lessons from top leaders? Check out previous talks by such speakers as Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez, Khan Academy Founder Salman Khan, and Haas Professor emeritus and then-Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen. 

 

 

 

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Re: Calling all Haas(Berkeley) EWMBA Applicants(2015 Intake) Class of 2018 [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2014, 13:46
Good info here. I'm currently in the EWMBA class of 2017. Happy to answer questions the admission process I went through last year.


Narenn wrote:
Welcome to all 2015 applicants applying to Haas Evening-Weekend MBA Program at UC Berkeley.

We recently got the opportunity to talk to Current Haas EWMBA student and Prominent GMATClub member - Packet82 - and get his insights on Haas MBA programs. Here are the excerpts from the discussion.

bb:- GPA, GMAT, Application Essays, Interview, Work Experience, and Extra Curricular. If you asked to arrange these parameters in the order of their importance at Haas– what would it be?

Packet82:- (1) Work Experience (2) Interview and Essays (3) GPA and GMAT
Extra Curricular is a bit of a wild card. It really depends on the specific applicant.



bb:- What advantage, if any, is there in applying in a specific round over another?

Packet82:- If you come from a common background, it's better to apply in round 1. However, Haas tends to admit most of the EWMBA class in round 2 and will waitlist the bulk of the R1 applicants until R2 is done. So, if you have a strong background and have a lot of competition, it's probably better to do earlier. Past that though, it doesn't really matter. Just try to get it in by R2. R3 & 4 tend to be much more competitive as most of the spots have been filled.



bb:- Are the on-campus and off-campus interviews treated equally or there is any preference to one over other?

Packet82:- Haas officially only does on campus unless there's an extenuating circumstance. I ended up doing mine via skype and got in anyways. If you can, make the trek down to Haas for the interview.



bb:- Do you recommend a school visit? Is it a must?

Packet82:- Not a must, but I'd highly recommend it. Haas is a very different place from other b-schools I've visited. Admissions really only wants to admit people that fit in to the mold of the type of leader Haas is trying to educate. So, visit the school and get a feel for it ahead of time. See if it's a good fit for you.



bb:- How important is the school visit for an applicant?? Does that really play any role in strengthening application?

Packet82:- It makes for some added color. No one is going to record that someone came in for a class visit or not, but it can definitely help you with ideas for your essays.



bb:- Can you comment on the Employment process of the school? What support do students get from Career Services dept, peers, and alumni? Which companies (and from which sectors) generally recruit in the school? How strong school’s alumni network is?

Packet82:- In the Bay Area, it's mostly tech companies and a lot of startups. All the other usual suspects that show up to other top 10 programs also show up to Haas.



bb:- Which student clubs or groups are in the school? What social and philanthropic opportunities and opportunities to get involved in leadership roles one can get in these groups?

Packet82:- The full list of clubs is available here: https://haas.campusgroups.com/club_signup



bb:- Is there anything related to Financial Aid worth a mention?

Packet82:- For part time students, there isn't much in the way of financial aid other than loans. There are a few token need based scholarships (I don't know anyone that has received this), and one small grant for people living outside of the bay area, but that's about it. Many people have some sort of sponsorship from their company though.



bb:- Can you think of a few good and bad reasons for applicants to reach out to current students? Eps. Before submitting an application?

Packet82:- If you want to find out some more information about what it's like to attend the school, great. Don't ask current students information that can easily be found on the website or things like what specific books they used for classes.



bb:- Who would be an ideal applicant to your program based on admissions, culture, and the program in general?
Packet82:- still working a bit on this question.
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Work-Life Balance is a Myth. But... [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2014, 11:01
FROM The Berkeley EWMBA Blog: Work-Life Balance is a Myth. But...
Despite what people tell you, there’s no such thing as a good work-life balance. And, since you’re considering applying to the Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA program (EWMBA), I should warn you that when you throw school into that, the difficulty of “balancing” goes even further out the window.

But what you can do – what I did – is figure out work-school-life integration. That’s what made my first year in the EWMBA program fun and successful.

On paper, it probably looked like I’d never have figured this out. For starters, I'm a “non-traditional student.” You might wonder what it takes to call yourself "non-traditional" in a group as diverse as Haas. That's easy: At 44, I'm a solid 12 years older than the average of the rest of my second-year class. Also, I was in the minority – 20% if memory serves – of my classmates that entered the program already having children. I had (and, for the record, still have) two. Here they are below:

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I did not know how I could continue performing at work, attend to our growing array of family obligations and kid activities, and perform as well as I wanted during the first year of the program. I went into it assuming that something would have to fall off.

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But, as classes started, something surprising happened. I didn’t have to manage three separate buckets of responsibilities. Instead, I realized I was confronting a Venn diagram with three circles. And as soon as I started treating work, school, and the rest of my life as such, I realized that I didn’t have to balance them in order to manage them.

The first surprise was how easy it was to integrate school into family life. My wife went to Cal for undergrad, and earned an MBA in a full-time program many years ago. So she was both understanding and supportive. Understanding, because she’d been through the coursework of a top-tier program and understood the time commitment. Supportive, because she knew that the long-term benefits far outweighed the costs.

Julie was doubly supportive, too, because she knew that my affiliation with Cal would guarantee that I’d root for the Golden Bears, rather than for the other PAC-12 teams with which I had earlier academic affiliations. She insists that I signed something to that effect during the application process, even. (I can’t find a copy of that document, but I’ve become a Cal fan nonetheless.)

It wasn’t just my wife that became part of the school experience. Thanks to some fortunate geography, I hosted a lot of study groups at my house. As soon as my kids, ages six and four at the time, met a few of my classmates while we were working on Microecon problem sets around my kitchen table, they started asking about my “math friends” all the time. When I’d head off to school on Saturday mornings, they understood what I was doing – or at least who I was doing it with. That made the occasional missed t-ball game a little bit easier for all of us.

In fact, the harder I worked and the more haggard I felt around each set of finals, the more the kids wanted to help. They asked me what I was doing each week, and I loved sharing it with them. They made new blue and gold Rainbow Loom bracelets for me to wear during. Benjamin and Rebekah were as much a part of my first-year experience as any classmate was.

Speaking of classmates, they too were more understanding than I’d expected. We all worked hard, but they also accommodated my schedule, starting many of our study groups after my kids’ 8 pm bedtime. 

When the kids occasionally popped up to say hi, it was a welcome interruption -- and it reminded me why I'm working so hard in the program.

Just as the line between school and family blurred, so too did the work-school separation begin to dissipate. Classroom discussions often became ideas to bring into the office. Having “Leading People” (called "Organizational Behavior" in other programs) at the front end of the program, for instance, allowed many of us to see our companies from different perspectives. We started doing things differently to show the value of the program to our work teams.

Many companies help Evening & Weekend MBA students pay for their program. Many of my classmates started paying that back, in-kind, before the first tuition check cleared. That made it easier for us to sell our managers on needing to leave a little early some days, or to take short-notice time off to finish a group project. Managers saw benefits right away.

So, as you’re contemplating the challenges you’ll face in the program, don’t overlook those benefits.

Expect to be busier than you’ve ever been, and accomplish more and have more fun in the process.

Get ready to forge close friendships that, rather than taking away from your bonds with you family and friends, enhance them.

Embrace the program for what it will bring into your (admittedly, already quite full) life for the next three years, as well as for its long-term benefits.

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This post has been originally posted on the Admissions Blog and re-posted here for convenience

Work-Life Balance is a Myth. But...   [#permalink] 14 Oct 2014, 11:01
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