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Calling all Haas Executive MBA Applicants (2015 Intake)

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Calling all Haas Executive MBA Applicants (2015 Intake) [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2014, 07:34
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Re: Calling all Haas Executive MBA Applicants (2015 Intake) [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2014, 07:39
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Financing Your Executive MBA [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2014, 07:56
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Financing Your Executive MBA
Sticker shock is not uncommon when people start researching executive MBA programs. But on his first day of class, Greg Durkin, EMBA 14, saw concerns over cost evaporate when his classmates “were no longer abstract, but were interesting and diverse individuals I would gain a lot from being around. From there, other things I hadn’t considered got added into the equation, including negotiation skills, which have a clear financial return, and less tangible things like leadership effectiveness.”

Below, students talk about how they are financing their EMBA studies, and share advice on financing your executive MBA.

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Durkin is one of five recipients of the Executive MBA Fellowship, offered each year to ensure a broad range of diversity in each class, including the industries in which students work. As vice president of Theatrical Research at Warner Bros. Pictures, Durkin brings a bit of Hollywood to his class.

“Some students have the cash in hand to pay for the program, but they are rare,” Durkin says. “Most of us have to assess the investment and our ability to pay. I greatly appreciate the financial assistance of the Fellowship, and the school’s commitment to diversity.”

Applying for a Fellowship involves simply answering an essay question on the application.

The Financial Aid Office also makes available information about outside scholarships.

Loans
“My gut feeling is that you get what you pay for in life, only the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program actually delivers more than some higher-priced programs,” says Alec Randall, EMBA 14, senior manager at Charles Schwab. He cites the on-campus experience, top-notch faculty, innovative environment, and networking opportunities as examples.

Randall financed his degree largely with loans from federal and private lenders and drew on his personal savings and employee stock ownership plan at work. “The Financial Aid Office staff is helpful, trustworthy, and very well-informed. They helped me navigate the loan application process, especially the timelines that trip you up if you’re not careful.”

Veteran Benefits
An MBA is the perfect way for armed forces veterans to gain the business skills and insights needed to complement their well-honed leadership skills as they transition into senior positions in the corporate sphere. The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill offers generous financial support for education at any level.

“When I realized the 9/11 G.I. Bill would cover $17,500/year at a private university or 100% of the in-state tuition at a public university, it wasn’t much of a leap to decide that Berkeley-Haas—a school with an unmatched reputation—was the way to go,” says Tony Stobbe, EMBA 14, a former commissioned officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, and now managing director, Bonsai Design. His advice to other vets? “Leverage your G.I. benefits as much as you can. Go to the best school you can and get the maximum benefit from your service and your education. You’ve earned it.”

Employer Assistance
Many employers recognize the benefit they reap when employees develop their leadership skills and business acumen through advanced degrees.

Neal Fornaciari, EMBA 14, senior manager at Sandia National Labs, sold his employer on the idea of funding his EMBA studies. “My advice is to use the business skills you already have and the expertise available at Haas to make a valid cost-benefit argument to your employer and complete a strong application. You and your employer will benefit.”

Tina Shinnick, EMBA 14, director of Procurement & Travel and San Francisco administrator at the O’Melveny & Myers law firm, got that kind of immediate benefit from one “simple, brilliant tool” that she learned in Operations class and put to use at work. “That alone was worth the entire cost of tuition,” she says.

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8 Not-So-Hidden Advantages of Part-Time MBA Programs [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2014, 07:56
FROM The Berkeley EMBA 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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Calling all Haas Executive MBA Applicants (2015 Intake) [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2014, 09:22
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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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How to Choose a Berkeley MBA Program [#permalink] New post 06 Sep 2014, 07:02
FROM The Berkeley EMBA 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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EMBA Alum Opens Apple Mobile Wallet for JPMorgan Chase [#permalink] New post 30 Sep 2014, 12:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: EMBA Alum Opens Apple Mobile Wallet for JPMorgan Chase
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Asked what he finds most rewarding about his career, Avin Arumugam sums it up in one word: scale. He’s talking about the complexity of his work and the scale of his impact—and he’s not kidding.

As Executive Director at Chase Digital for JPMorgan Chase, Arumugam, MBA 12, is leading Chase’s implementation of Apple Pay, a feature of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The massive rollout to all Chase Credit and Debit customers and Chase Merchants has taken the work of hundreds of Chase employees across 11 divisions.

"I needed grounding in finance."

An engineer by training, Arumugam was managing mobile payment products for PayPal when he applied to the Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA Program (Berkeley-Haas now offers its own EMBA program). “I always had lots of ideas, and I knew they were sound, but I didn’t have the frameworks and terminology to articulate them persuasively,” Arumugam says. “I realized I needed grounding in finance and to build my presentation skills.”

He calls his business school experience both the hardest thing he’s ever done and the most fun. “I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy,” he quips, “and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”

That’s because he’s used that experience every day in his work. His first step in the Apple Pay Image
implementation was to simplify and build his team. “In business school, I learned that things get really complicated with too many cooks, so I asked each division CEO to provide me with just one leader, one point of contact for each Chase division. I knew that together, this great team could solve any problems that would come up.”  

"I still use Peter Goodson's templates."

He then used analysis skills gained from his operations course with Sara Beckman to map everything this team would need to do related to credit cards, debit cards, marketing, legal, merchant acquisition, and more and developed processes and systems to streamline it all. 

 Arumugam has also used the business model canvas from Steve Blank’s Lean Launchpad course, and he credits Lecturer Peter Goodson’s Mergers & Acquisitions course with his success in clearly and persuasively laying out his plans for the Apple Pay initiative. “I still use a lot of Peter’s templates,” he says. “They crisply illustrate what you plan to do and how it will work.”

He also drew upon lessons in game theory From Professor Andy Rose’s Economics class to run two days of video-conferenced “war games” with several dozen participants from across Chase. “We spun out every ‘If they do this, then we do that,’ scenario we could come up with to be sure we understood how the industry could move,” he says. “Early in the project, I knew I wasn’t smart enough to solve all the problems myself, and the team told me that this is indeed what really got us over the hump.”

"My EMBA experience primed me to lead this effort."

Arumugam says his business school colleagues also played a role in preparing him for this opportunity. “I knew I could get this thing done,” he says of the massive undertaking. “I already knew the questions people would ask, because I got pushed in just that way by my most of classmates. I remember thinking at the time: if I can handle these top minds, I can handle anything.”

He also enjoyed how hard his Haas professors pushed students. “It wasn’t easy, but I loved it, and they were always there to bounce ideas off of,” he says. “I often wished that I could have talked to them about Apple Pay, but I since couldn’t, I just had to use what they taught me.”

Arumugam did reach out as soon as Chase’s partnership with Apple Pay was announced. He sent emails to Beckman, Blank, Goodson, and Rose, thanking each for preparing him to lead this project and noting, “I truly believe my EMBA experience primed me to lead this effort.”

What could the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program prime you to do?

 

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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 EMBA Blog: No Bull: MBA Students Get Leadership Lessons from Former NYSE Chief
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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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Student Voice: An EMBA Immersion in Leadership Communication [#permalink] New post 21 Oct 2014, 11:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Student Voice: An EMBA Immersion in Leadership Communication
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Spencer Brasfield, MBA 15, is the founder of Mindshare Law, a boutique law firm in Gray, Tennessee. He entered the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program in May 2014.

Here, he shares his thoughts on the EMBA program's Leadership Communication immersion (one of five immersive experiences), held in Napa:

What did you expect of the week and how did it match (or not) your expectations? 

Truthfully, I was pretty skeptical and expected a fair amount of "getting in touch with my feelings" jargon that would amount to almost nothing useful in business terms, much less any appreciable personal development. In short, I was completely wrong.

Now, there was a great deal of "getting in touch" but it was all directed toward facilitating genuine leadership and communication—even in public speaking scenarios. It wasn't until I saw this alternative to "biz" speak and stats-based leadership, that I appreciated the strength of being human and approachable.

This very powerfully juxtaposed the "norm" with the potential we all possess to be exceptional, powerful, and memorable. Nothing—and I do mean nothing—can capture the fullness of the experience in Napa and the profound mark it left on all of us.

What was your biggest takeaway?

Be present, and be courageous enough to be vulnerable—even at the risk of rebuke or failure.

What surprised you?

That by addressing the touchy/feely stuff, my hard communication and presentation skills improved dramatically. Unexpectedly, the inter and intra-personal issues really emerged in my "hard" presentation skills, things such as hidden nervousness, guardedness, etc.

What it was like to share this experience with your classmates?

Expressing raw emotion in front one another through the course of our assignments and presentations exposed us to the deeper and more "real" side of one another, giving us  great appreciation, respect, and friendship than could have ever been produced through any amount of purely social activities.

I am certain that this course  alone drew us closer than we would have been otherwise. Of course, developing lasting friendships (aka network) is the entire purpose and most lasting takeaway from B-school. So, it's possible that this one course achieved the entire purpose single-handedly.

Why should anyone who wants to be a leader engage in such a process?

Leadership involves leading people, and people require a sense of trust to give them comfort in following. Building and maintaining that trust over time requires presence, genuineness, and vulnerability (aka honesty), and an above average mastery of the art of communication. This course demands all three and is completely devoid of the shortcuts that would deliver less than long term results.

In the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program, 25 percent of learning is experiential. We invite you to learn more about immersive learning in the program.



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From Undergrad to Exec MBA: A Berkeley Education Across Generations [#permalink] New post 17 Nov 2014, 12:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: From Undergrad to Exec MBA: A Berkeley Education Across Generations
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Unlimited curiosity. Unbridled enthusiasm. And an understanding that, no matter how much you think you know, there is always so much more to learn. That’s the sentiment behind “Students Always,” one of the Berkeley-Haas Defining Principles. And at Haas, there are countless members of our community who embody this value.

Take Jayanthi (Jay) Srinivasan and Sandeep Garg, students in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program, Class of 2015. Jay is a Cupertino-based director of product management in the software industry, Sandeep a cardiologist in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Both decided that a Berkeley MBA was what they needed to take their careers in a new direction. And both have daughters at Berkeley who are sophomores, Class of 2017: Jay’s daughter, Puja Subramaniam, and Sandeep’s daughter, Jasmine Garg.

We sat down with the four Cal students to hear what it’s been like for two generations to experience Berkeley at the same time.

How has your parent or daughter inspired you?

Jasmine: I’ve chosen to follow in my dad's footsteps, majoring in pre-med. I’ve watched him do surgeries since I was very young, and it’s really influenced me.

Sandeep: One of the key things I’ve learned from Jasmine is the importance of creating a life balance between hard work and a social life. I’ve been too work-focused.

Puja: As a single mom, she definitely encouraged my being independent and resourceful and knowing that I could do anything, no matter what.

Jay: I’m always amazed at Puja’s work ethic, her organization skills, and her commitment. If anything, I have to push her to have more fun.

Why did you choose Berkeley?

Puja: The minute I came to campus, I felt it click. I just love the student lifestyle here, the amazing diversity, and the way the campus is so integrated into the city.

Jay: Growing up in India, you hear "Berkeley, Berkeley, Berkeley." The community and spirit are really special, plus there's all this fabulous research and fascinating academics.

Jasmine: Being from out of state, I wondered, do I take the leap? Do I not? But Berkeley is so unique –with limitless research and cultural opportunities, and then on top of that, you're right in the Bay Area.

Sandeep: For me, the thing that resonates the most about Haas and Berkeley is the “Students Always” mentality. The whole culture here is to focus not on the problem, but on the solution.

What do you plan to do with your Berkeley degree or your MBA?

Jasmine: I am pre-med right now as a field cell biology major, and want to go into cardiology like my dad.

Sandeep: I’m passionate about my work in medicine, but my impact has been very one-on-one.  With my MBA, I may move toward something more inventive or entrepreneurial or in the corporate world.

Puja: I came in as a pre-med, but changed to public health and statistics – Berkeley broadened my focus and made me want to work in a larger community.

Jay: I’m very interested in social entrepreneurship – social impact and the whole green movement. I feel like my degree is going to lead me somewhere very exciting.

What has it been like to be at school with your parent or daughter?

Puja:It’s been a really good learning experience to see that education doesn't stop at undergrad or even grad school. There is no age limit on education and learning. It is inspiring to see how much my mom does.

Jay: I just didn't realize how much time pressure there is on students now. Being able to empathize with the demands and pressure on Puja is a huge shift for me.

Jasmine: There is a common ground between us now. There is a lot more to talk about. I can’t believe that my dad has already accomplished so much in his life and he still wants to do more.

Sandeep:  It’s so great to see Jasmine, even for just a few minutes between classes. She had a midterm yesterday. We had a big exam two days ago. I could feel her pain. She called me and said, "I think I did very well." And I said, "Well, I think I bombed!"

Jay: Every time I come to Berkeley, I feel like I take five years off of my life. I am getting younger every time I come to class.

Kirsten Mickelwaite

Want that Cal experience (with or without your kids)? Learn more about the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program.

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Constructing a New Berkeley MBA Student Experience [#permalink] New post 09 Dec 2014, 12:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Constructing a New Berkeley MBA Student Experience
 
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Coming in 2016 to Berkeley-Haas: 80,000 square feet devoted entirely to student learning and interaction.

We've begun construction on a new North Academic Buildingthat will feature state-of-the-art technology and flexible classrooms, as well as plenty of group study rooms and an event space with sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay.

Funded with private donations, the building is scheduled to be completed in fall 2016 and has been designed to achieve at least certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold status.

According to Dean Rich Lyons, the new building will enable Berkeley-Haas to keep pace with rapid changes in the delivery of management education and create "the best, most up-to-date learning experience for students." This includes a focus on work spaces that facilitate collaboration and applied innovation, in keeping with the Berkeley MBA Program's mission of developing innovative leaders.

The new building is also designed to encourage community, within Haas and with the surrounding UC Berkeley and San Francisco Bay Area communities. Says Dean Lyons, "This building and our newly renovated courtyard will play a central role in boosting new connections and new ideas."

From facts and figures to artist renderings, we invite you to learn more about our evolving campus.

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Who’s Sitting Next to You? Caliber of EMBA Classmates Carries Weight [#permalink] New post 17 Dec 2014, 12:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Who’s Sitting Next to You? Caliber of EMBA Classmates Carries Weight
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When it comes to describing the people you’ll be studying with in the Berkeley MBA for Executives program, the numbers are the least important factor. What really matters is the chemistry. It’s about finding the exact blend of students that will energize the classroom, foster bonds of friendship, and stretch everyone beyond their limits. 

As student Rob Schult, an enterprise sales unit manager with IBM puts it, “Each classmate brings something different to the table. As VP of Admissions, I’ve seen how the Admissions Office strives to put together a Berkeley-Haas class in which every individual will complement and magnify the others.” 

You don’t want to be in a classroom filled with people who do the same thing you do. Where’s the learning—or the growth—in that? The best EMBA programs connect you with classmates who allow you to “see different industries through their eyes and experiences,” says management consultant Carmen Palafox. 

Greg Durkin, SVP at Warner Bros. Pictures, lists even more occupations among his classmates: physicists, lawyers, biotech researchers, engineers, and a dozen other professions.

Defining Principles Rule
The Defining Principles that guide us at Haas apply equally to the Berkeley MBA for Executives. Speaking to Confidence Without Attitude, for example, Robert Ford, president of Abbott Diabetes Care, says he is “truly excited to engage with my colleagues. The group is extraordinary; interacting with them has been enriching and rewarding.” Jennifer Loo, VP at LegalZoom, says she shares an intellectual and emotional bond with her classmates, who are “able and eager to offer a second perspective when I need advice.”

Close Ties and Lasting Connections
According to Nicole Farrar, senior corporate counsel with Paragon Legal, “The connections and real friendships I’ve made among my classmates are by far the biggest takeaway from the program. These are such smart, accomplished people. I’m proud to be in their company.”

 But perhaps Mike Alter, of Huneeus Vintners says it best, “This is more than a student body; it’s a family.”

 About those numbers, here are a just few for the class that started in 2014:

  • Median years of work experience: 13
  • Women: 31%
  • Multilingual: 64%
  • From outside the Bay Area: 29%
Want to know more about the accomplished, hard-working, all-around great people who are drawn to our Berkeley MBA for Executives, read a few student profiles:

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Why MD + MBA = An Improved Healthcare System (Part I) [#permalink] New post 12 Jan 2015, 12:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Why MD + MBA = An Improved Healthcare System (Part I)
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There was a time when, if considering a professional degree, you had three choices: medical school, law school, or business school. These days, lines are quickly blurring as professionals in every field are seeing the value of an MBA. Nowhere is this more striking than in the medical profession, where the demands of a rapidly changing healthcare system require doctors to be ever more business savvy.

Costanzo “Zino” Di Perna, MD, is the Medical Director for the Dignity Health Cancer Institute of Greater Sacramento, and a physician with Mercy Medical Group Inc. In his work as a thoracic surgeon, he handles about 500 cases a year and oversees a large practice. He’s particularly interested in developing and implementing new healthcare technologies, as well as digital healthcare initiatives.            

Zino is also enrolled in the Berkeley MBA for Executives program. In this two-part series, we sit down with him to find out first, why he feels a business degree is critical to his own professional success and, in our next installment, why it may be important for more MDs to add MBA diplomas to their office walls.

Part I: New Skills, New Opportunities

Q: In your work as a physician what are the greatest demands on your time and creativity?

A: As a thoracic surgeon, I perform lobectomies, complete lung removals, lung cancer surgeries, and esophagectomies, as well as reconstructing everything in the chest. I’m also developing a virtual tumor board that employs a global cancer network, allowing cancer patients to get hundreds of second opinions.

Q:  What’s an example of a new skill you’ve gained through the Berkeley EMBA program, and how have you used it in your own work?

A: In her course, Leading and Managing Organizations Associate Professor Dana Carney taught us the art of negotiation and of strategically leading the conversation. I’m already using this when talking with vendors, other doctors, and administrators. It’s helping me to negotiate contracts, insurance coverage, and patient care.

Q: Can you give me an example of a problem or opportunity you now see differently?

A: I’m more respectful of our limited healthcare capital, how precious it is. Rather than blaming the administration for not giving us what we need, I now understand how difficult it is to obtain both capital and resources. They don’t teach that in medical school.

Q: You recently completed the EMBA program’s Silicon Valley Immersion Week, focused on entrepreneurship. What was the most helpful thing you learned?

A:  The healthcare industry could learn from small Silicon Valley start-ups about how to work with limited resources. I also saw many companies that are focused on selling products to health-care systems. Companies that want to be successful in this industry need to develop cost-effective initiatives that will preserve resources. There are no more deep pockets here. We need to do more with less.

Q: How have you managed to balance a demanding medical practice with getting your MBA? What would you say to other doctors who might be interested in doing the same thing?

 A: I’d tell them to be very organized and determined. You have to be extremely motivated to get this degree while continuing to practice medicine. A lot of the Haas group work can be done through phone calls or Google Hangouts. It isn’t easy, but the payoff will be substantial.

Since I enrolled at Haas, many physicians have come up to me and said that they’re interested in doing it, too. Within my own group of colleagues, I’ve already encouraged two physicians and one nurse practitioner, who will be in the class of 2016.

  —Kirsten Mickelwait

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Why MD + MBA=Improved Healthcare System (Part II) [#permalink] New post 12 Jan 2015, 12:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Why MD + MBA=Improved Healthcare System (Part II)
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As the demands of a rapidly changing healthcare system require doctors to be ever more business savvy, Costanzo “Zino” Di Perna, MD, and EMBA 15 (performing surgery above), sat down with us to discuss first, why he feels an MBA is important to his own professional success, and here, why it may be important for more MDs to add MBA diplomas to their office walls. 

Zino is the Medical Director for the Dignity Health Cancer Institute of Greater Sacramento, and a physician with Mercy Medical Group Inc. In his work as a thoracic surgeon, he handles about 500 cases a year and oversees a large practice. He is also a student in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program.

Part II: Why it’s no longer enough to be an excellent physician

Q:  What do medical professionals need to know now that they didn’t used to?

A: In the current healthcare climate, it’s no longer enough to be an excellent physician. In order for our practices and hospitals to survive, we need to better understand the financials and the business models. The doctors – the ones who are actually in the trenches – need to be given more control over financial decisions. We’re also too siloed – each physician is focused on generating revenue in his or her own vacuum, but the overall result is that expenses become sky high. A lot of funds are wasted.      

Q:  We know that an increasingly complex healthcare system requires doctors to be more focused on the business side of their practices. How is that currently working?

A:  As physicians, we’re handling more and more cases, and we’re also expected to help with the administration and assume more directorship roles. However, physicians haven’t been trained in management, while many non-clinically trained administrators don’t fully understand the medical and clinical issues required to make optimized business decisions.

Q:  How will having doctors and nurses with integrated medical and business skills improve things?

A: Only doctors know what actually works in the operating or exam room. Their informed decisions could ultimately save money for Medicare and the larger healthcare system. Doctors need hybrid training so that we can understand both sides. Management training should be a requirement in medical school, if you think about it.

Q:  Why should medical professionals consider getting MBAs?

A:  Because it empowers them to take control and give their patients better care. Our current healthcare system is a profit-driven industry that has lost sight of the patient’s welfare – both medically and financially. 

With an MBA, the physician can not only build his or her practice, but can also grow within a new evolving healthcare business, which is changing daily.

—Kirsten Micklewait

 

Want to learn more about what it would be like to add an MBA to medical expertise? 

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Working an EMBA into Your Work-Life Balance [#permalink] New post 12 Jan 2015, 15:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Working an EMBA into Your Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance can be challenging. And yes, keeping your job, home life, and studies in sync when you’re enrolled in an executive MBA program is even more so. But: Students tell us that strengthening their time management skills and honing a razor-sharp ability to prioritize are among the abilities they gain in the process.

And, this juggling act is one you don’t have to manage alone. Here are some ways the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program helps you make EMBA studies work for you.

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The block rocks: How our format makes it work
We offer advantages that smooth the way. One of the most important, according to our students, is block scheduling. You’re on campus for three days every three weeks, in addition to four immersion weeks. Knowing your class schedule well in advance makes it easier to organize your calendar.

Being on campus, students tell us, frees them to focus solely on their studies. They unplug from other concerns. They plug into dynamic classroom discussions and even more invigorating after-class sessions back at the hotel or in one of the area’s acclaimed restaurants. These often late-night meet-ups are where long-lasting friendships are formed, life philosophies are debated, and startup ideas explored—just one way in which your scholarly life becomes a social life.

And with the Program Office handling all hotel reservations and shuttling you to campus, all you have to do is get to Berkeley (or wherever your Immersion Week is happening). Plus, our convenient location gives you your choice of three airports if you’re coming from outside the Bay Area.

Family matters
For many of our students, going through the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program is a family affair—especially since they are here, in part, to make a better life for their families.

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We work to support that as much as possible. For Luke Johnson, vice president of Business Development & Growth Initiatives at Christus Health in Dallas, Texas, the block programming was a lifesaver. “We had a two-and-a-half year old and my wife had just given birth to our second child. That made us all very thankful for a program structure that gave me two weekends at home,” he says.

We also incorporate families into the program as much as possible. The annual Spousa-Palooza (the brainchild of two members of the class of 2014) gives students the opportunity to bring their spouses and partners to campus for a weekend.

There’s also an end-of-term celebration that welcomes your kids. Events like these give everyone the opportunity to see where mom or dad disappears to every few weeks.

“When my kids, ages 9 and 11, came to campus they got to sit in my seat in the classroom. That’s when Image
they really understood what I was doing and tuned into my excitement. Plus, they’re now a couple of real Bears fans,” recalls Laura Adint, senior director of West Coast Practice Operations with Kelly Outsourcing and Consulting Group.

Take your learning to work
Most of our students find that the line between work and school soon starts to dissolve when they begin taking classroom learning to work. Here’s what Mike Alter, chief of staff at Napa’s Huneeus Vintners says about that, “So much of my coursework informs what I do every day. I’m able to leverage the lessons about mergers and acquisitions and investing I learned from in Corporate Finance. The Entrepreneurship class has helped me think through how to employ entrepreneurial approaches even in a mature business environment.”

When what you’ve learned starts to affect how you work, the work/life balance shifts once more, and you start to realize an early return on your investment in your studies and yourself.

Find additional insights on ROI, work/life balance, and more in our students profiles. 

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Considering an EMBA? A Personal Consultation Can Help [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2015, 15:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Considering an EMBA? A Personal Consultation Can Help
If you're considering an EMBA, you know it's a big decision. Especially when you are somewhat deep in your career. Perhaps you are concerned about what work/life balance might look like with school added to the mix. Or are feeling a bit queasy about taking the GMAT after being out of school for awhile. A personal consultation with Admissions can give you some fresh perspective. 

A school’s website can provide a lot of information and insight, but sometimes it just helps to talk with someone: To gain clarity on the decision given your unique set of circumstances. And to glean additional insights that can help you determine whether an EMBA program is right for you and whether or not now is the time.

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David Firth-Eagland, a student in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program, was considering a number of Bay Area EMBA programs when he connected with our admissions office last spring. At the time, he thought he would apply the following year, but soon changed his mind.

"I realized I could complete the application process in less time than I thought." 

“I had been thinking about going to business school for four or five years,” says David, “I was emotionally ready to start a program, but told myself I needed 3-4 months to prepare for the GMAT or GRE. Talking with Susan Petty in Admissions helped me see that I could get my application done in less time than I thought--not that it wouldn’t be hard, but that I really could do it.”

David also used his consultation to learn more about the program. “Susan answered all my questions, and it was through her that I confirmed that Berkeley-Haas was the kind of environment I was looking for.”

"Until you actually talk to someone, you don't have a real sense for the school."

He now says he’s happy to be in the midst of his studies a year sooner than he’d originally planned. “I came here to round out my technical strengths with finance and marketing, but I hadn’t anticipated how much immediate value I’d also get out of the network and the leadership learning,” says David.

“Applying can seem scary,” he says. “You’ve got a career path of 13 years, and suddenly you’re going to make this leap? I had looked at all the schools’ websites, visited the forums, studied the rankings, but until you actually talk to someone, you don’t have a real sense for the school." 

"I'd recommend a consultation for anyone who is uncertain if they’re up for the challenge of the program or the application process. It really helps to connect with someone.”

Want some fresh perspective or guidance on your EMBA decision? Let's talk.

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Evaluating Program Fit? An EMBA Consultation Can Help [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2015, 12:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Evaluating Program Fit? An EMBA Consultation Can Help
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While a website can provide a lot of information and insight about EMBA programs, sometimes you just want to know about your fit with a particular program—given your specific circumstances. That’s when a personal consultation with an admissions officer can help.

Previously, David Firth Eagland discussed what he got out of an EMBA personal consultation.​ Now, Jayanthi Srinivasan, who wondered if it might be too late in her career to consider an EMBA, shares her perspective.

Jayanthi (who goes by Jay) had attended a number of info sessions and other events, but thought an EMBA consultation would be particularly helpful. “I wanted to understand how the general information I was getting would really apply to me and to where I am in my career and personal life,” she says.

She set up an appointment with the Berkeley MBA for Executive Program Admissions Office to find out how well she might fit in. “I worried that I might be a bit late to the game and that, given my years of experience, I might not get enough out of it,” says Jay, director of product management at Avaya.

“I really wanted to understand fit and whether this program could take me where I need to go,” says Jay, who is exploring social entrepreneurship. “I also wanted to understand the mindset in admissions, how they view someone like me wanting to do this.”

She says Haas culture came through in the conversation. “I came away with a strong understanding that at Berkeley-Haas, it’s not only about what the professors teach, but what classmates learn from each other with their diverse wealth of experience.”

“Susan Petty (associate director of admissions) truly listened and helped me recognize all that I would bring to that mix, including a Students Always orientation in line with the Haas Defining Principles,” says Jay. “It made it clear that this is where I want to be.”

“There are certain assumptions I made about EMBA programs,” Jay says. “Being very candid with Susan allowed me to see myself through the eyes of an admissions officer and test those assumptions.”

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Poets & Quants Interview with First Berkeley EMBA Valedictorian [#permalink] New post 13 Feb 2015, 14:00
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Poets & Quants Interview with First Berkeley EMBA Valedictorian
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Laura Adint, EMBA 14, describes her cohort of classmates in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program as a tribe in a Poets & Quants article about the program's first graduating class.

Laura, the class valedictorian, says that in two short years, the class became her family. She came to the program with her eye on a C-Suite position and did her due diligence in selecting a program, creating a spreadsheet to compare location, program focus, post-graduate employment. In the end, she applied only to Berkeley-Haas.

She said she often learned just as much from her classmates and their experiences as she did the professors. “We all get better together,” Laura said. “You help people out and you learn from others.”

Laura also described the Berkeley EMBA program immersion weeks, telling Poets & Quants that the Silicon Valley Immersion Week focused on entrepreneurship had definite impact. “There was a really big shifting point that week,” Adint said. “There were a lot of people who left feeling like they could start a startup in the valley. It made it very real and attainable.”

“This was the best gift I have ever given myself,” said Laura. “It was a sacrifice for myself and my family but one I would absolutely do again."

After spending some of the fall doing her own consulting, Adint recently started her new job as a senior director of sales operations at SugarCRM. You can read the full story about our first class valedictorian and about the Berkeley EMBA experience in this Poets & Quants article.

 

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EMBA Immersions: Unrivaled Access, Unanticipated Growth [#permalink] New post 13 Feb 2015, 16:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: EMBA Immersions: Unrivaled Access, Unanticipated Growth
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Could you use fresh insights on entrepreneurship and innovation? Leadership? Our Berkeley MBA for Executives students value the program for its practical application in their current positions and future career moves. And you can’t get much more practical than our unparalleledImmersion Weeks.

Once each term in the Berkeley EMBA, you spend time steeped in a very different kind of classroom: the real world. These immersive and experiential learning opportunities are a full 25% of the program and, together, they’ve given our students surprising new insight into entrepreneurship, leadership, innovation, public policy, and international business.

TheLeadership Communication Immersion Week is equal parts self-reflection, pushing your boundaries, and bonding with classmates early in your studies. Professor Mark Rittenberg helps students tap their potential to motivate and inspire others, empower their work groups, build a support system, and learn from both failure and success.

“Eye-opening,” ‘fabulous,” “phenomenal” are some of the milder descriptions of ourSilicon Valley Immersion Week. Here’s what Nicole Farrar, EMBA 14, senior corporate Counsel, Paragon Legal, said: “Professor Toby Stuart used the case method to illustrate key lessons in entrepreneurship and how ideas make it—or as importantly, don’t make it—into successful startups. Being able to then talk with actual founders and CEOs, to hear their personal stories, made it all so much more real and attainable.”

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Companies visited during Berkeley EMBA Silicon Valley Immersion Week

Honing the entrepreneurial—and intrapreneurial—mindset is also the aim of the Applied Innovation Immersion, a week focused on getting hands-on with the entire innovation life cycle. As Paul Simpson, EMBA 14, founder and CEO of SageTel International said, “By emphasizing the importance of the story behind the product, Professor Sara Beckman helped me understand that true innovation is understanding the customer and using their needs to define your solution.”

Our International Immersion Week goes deep into a specific country and its business environment. In 2014, Professor Teck Ho, director of the Asia Business Center at Haas, led a trip to Shanghai, where students analyzed the market entry of US companies into China through lectures, site visits, and discussions with local business and government leaders. This year, students are headed to Brazil to explore that country’s entrepreneurship, multinational corporations, and sports marketing.  

The final Immersion Week is designed to introduce students to the role of policymaking in business. The 2014 trek to Washington, D.C., was organized by former presidential advisor, Professor Laura Tyson. “We met corporate executives, Cabinet undersecretaries, the directors of policy centers, and of course, a certain chair of the Federal Reserve Bank (Haas Professor Emeritus Janet Yellen, pictured above with students)," said student Luke Johnson, vice president, Business Development & Growth Initiatives, Christus Health.

He added, "Meeting with advocacy groups, policy makers, and regulatory leadership provided an amazing window into the intersection of business and government."

 Are you ready to be immersed? Get a taste of the experience with our Silicon Valley Immersion video.

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An EMBA Evening on Healthcare Entrepreneurship [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2015, 09:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: An EMBA Evening on Healthcare Entrepreneurship
How do you strike out on your own from a steady job, start a company in the notoriously hostile arena of healthcare and thrive? For anyone who’s pondered this question, we found three individuals who’d done just that and were willing to share their success stories during the EMBA Healthcare Entrepreneurs Panel earlier this year at the Claremont Hotel.

There are many leadership opportunities beyond the classroom of the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program. One of my responsibilities as class president is to organize the speaker series for the class of 2015. Each Friday sees a noteworthy speaker visit Haas to share their business and life lessons, and to spark debate and reflection over lunch with students.

The deep network of my classmates means that we have a steady stream of diverse and enriching topics for us among our invited speakers. For instance, in the last few months we’ve covered subjects ranging from energy efficiency to the impact of technology on mankind; we’ve  been challenged by a thought leader in social marketing and the former chief of staff of the Indian army.  

Late last year fellow student Alf Cheng approached me with the name of an entrepreneurial biotech executive who'd be a great match for the speaker series, but couldn’t make the lunch slots during our usual Thursday to Saturday class format. As members of the student officers group, Alf and I are focused on making the best of the student experience, building out connections and representing the Berkeley-Haas EMBA brand.

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Physicians from the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program classes of 15 and 16: Jason Weisner (16), Zino DiPerna (15), Sandeep Garg (15), and Johannes Peters (16). 

A chance to do something in all three areas appeared as we contemplated an evening panel event, allowing students more time to socialize, switch things over from a formal presentation format and be unconstrained by our regular one-hour slot. In short order, we recruited two more Haas healthcare entrepreneurs from our network and the event came together.

One of the reasons I chose to study at Haas was the abundance of connections to students and faculty both within and beyond the business school. In addition to our classmates, we brought in students from our program's class of 2014 and also newly-admitted members of the class of 2016, as well as students from both the Berkeley-Haas Evening & Weekend and Full-time  Programs. We also reached out to students at the School of Public Health through the Haas Healthcare Association and also students from other business-schools in the area. 

Over the course of the evening, our panel shared some of the unique challenges associated with entrepreneurship in the pharma/biotech arena—including the challenges of pitching to venture capitalists accustomed to tech-style quick exits, the critical importance of building a good board aligned with your interests, how to play to your strengths, and how to contemplate running a clinical trial outside of the US for a fraction of the usual cost and overhead of a traditional program. Coming so soon after our Silicon Valley Immersion Week, this close up view of healthcare entrepreneurship added an extra dimension for the EMBA class of 2015.

Once the panel wrapped up, conversations carried on into the night over wine and dinner, business cards were exchanged, plans made to meet at other events, and students took more lessons back to their day jobs. All in all, a great networking and learning event that came about through challenging the status quo of the our speaker program format.

  

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

An EMBA Evening on Healthcare Entrepreneurship   [#permalink] 19 Feb 2015, 09:01

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