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Exec MBA - Berkeley-Columbia Program

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Exec MBA - Berkeley-Columbia Program [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2007, 06:30
Hi,

Does anybody here has any idea on the reputation of the Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA program? I was wondering whether I should apply to the Exec MBA program or to the Weekend/Evening program at Berkeley.

Thanks
Shiv.
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Re: Exec MBA - Berkeley-Columbia Program [#permalink] New post 20 Sep 2007, 08:38
shivagarl wrote:
Hi,

Does anybody here has any idea on the reputation of the Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA program? I was wondering whether I should apply to the Exec MBA program or to the Weekend/Evening program at Berkeley.

Thanks
Shiv.


I heard the reputation is awesome. You get 2 EMBA degrees from Berkeley AND Columbia, two very prestigious, top 10 schools. And the combination of their stregths in Finance/Wall st/ivy connection (Columbia) and tech/vc/marketing (Haas) makes it a truly well rounded program and will be extremely valuable to your career. I don't think there's any other program out there that has such as well rounded combination.

I have heard that it is very intense and lots of work/traveling, but from what I heard it's well worth it.
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Sep 2007, 09:05
To comment on which program you should apply.

The profiles of two programs are very different, especially the average years of experience. Most executive programs expects students to bring some experience into class from their fields.

Both BCEMBA and EWMBA programs are getting more competitive in recent years due to increased applications and unchanged class size. EWMBA class size is about ~250 while BCEMBA is ~87. Acceptance ratios can be found on the school's website.

There is a UC rule that you cannot apply for both programs at the same time. However, in the past years when applying to EWMBA, there is an option you can choose "to be evaluated in EMBA program" as well. There are more flexiblities for the admission to form classes. IMO the best bet is to apply for the EWMBA.
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Re: Exec MBA - Berkeley-Columbia Program [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2008, 13:43
I applied to this program yesterday (their early deadline was last night).

I'm not sure if I'll get in but I hope so. A few random thoughts:

1) They didn't have an optional essay available so I didn't have a place to write about my low GPA in undergrad. I addressed it in my personal essay.

2) For my UCLA essay, my personal essay was a lot about my professional career, etc. but in this one, they explicitly said that it was to get to know me personally and not my professional life so it was a bit more typical of an immigrant story, etc...and I fit in my low GPA in the part about college. I don't know if this essay is good enough.

3) It's mostly at Berkeley but there are a few sessions in NY so it's more travel than other programs. There are also some weeks where classes are held on Thurs-Sat instead of Fri-Sat so it's more time as well.

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Re: Exec MBA - Berkeley-Columbia Program [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2008, 00:58
I went to an interview here. I think it went well. I interviewed with an adcom director and she was very nice. The questions were all fairly standard with a little bit of engaging conversation but nothing really that stood out.

The campus buildings are all fairly new in the Haas business school section. There were a lot of students all over the place though so it did seem like it was a bit over-crowded.

I think the program is a great one because you have access to the excellent faculty from both Berkeley and Columbia. You also have some industry access to high tech in Silicon Valley and major financial institutions in NY.

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Re: Exec MBA - Berkeley-Columbia Program [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2008, 09:22
RVD wrote:
I went to an interview here. I think it went well. I interviewed with an adcom director and she was very nice. The questions were all fairly standard with a little bit of engaging conversation but nothing really that stood out.

The campus buildings are all fairly new in the Haas business school section. There were a lot of students all over the place though so it did seem like it was a bit over-crowded.

I think the program is a great one because you have access to the excellent faculty from both Berkeley and Columbia. You also have some industry access to high tech in Silicon Valley and major financial institutions in NY.

RVD.


RVD - is there a required interview for BCEMBA or is it by invite only?

Also, how was the Wharton interview?

Have you heard anything yet from either of these schools?

I am also applying to both.
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Re: Exec MBA - Berkeley-Columbia Program [#permalink] New post 14 Feb 2008, 17:24
LAHMBA wrote:
RVD wrote:
I went to an interview here. I think it went well. I interviewed with an adcom director and she was very nice. The questions were all fairly standard with a little bit of engaging conversation but nothing really that stood out.

The campus buildings are all fairly new in the Haas business school section. There were a lot of students all over the place though so it did seem like it was a bit over-crowded.

I think the program is a great one because you have access to the excellent faculty from both Berkeley and Columbia. You also have some industry access to high tech in Silicon Valley and major financial institutions in NY.

RVD.


RVD - is there a required interview for BCEMBA or is it by invite only?

Also, how was the Wharton interview?

Have you heard anything yet from either of these schools?

I am also applying to both.


For BCEMBA it was by invitation only. They contacted me. I applied in their early round so they are supposed to tell me by 2/29. I hope I don't jinx myself but I think I'm in at BCEMBA. A week or so after my interview, they hooked me up with one of their current students to give me some more info, answer any questions, etc. I figure that they probably wouldn't do that, allow us to become best friends or something, and then ding me at the end. I haven't received official word yet. But either way, I thought about it a lot more and I'm already in at UCLA and since I live in LA, I think I'd rather go to UCLA over BCEMBA for convenience.

Wharton is another story. If I get in there, I think I'll definitely make the biweekly trips up for that. My interview there is this weekend. I'll be there from 8-9 for the interview, sit in classes from 9-12, eat lunch, and leave at 1pm.

Wharton tells you to contact them for an interview. I called them last month but they said that they were so busy that they had no openings for interviews until the end of March. I called them again yesterday and they said that they had a cancellation so they have an opening this weekend. I fly up tomorrow night, spend the night, and go to the interview on Saturday morning.

Good luck and I'll let you know if I hear anything.

RVD.
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Re: Exec MBA - Berkeley-Columbia Program [#permalink] New post 17 Feb 2008, 18:40
i had my wharton interview this past saturday. my interview was at 8am. they told me that i would interview from 8-9, sit in a class from 9-12, have lunch with students from 12-1 and then i'm done.

i flew in on thursday night. i didn't want to be late so i left really early, didn't hit any traffic, and arrived at 7am. there's a starbucks next door so i sat in there and drank and orange juice for about 45 minutes and walked into the building at 7:50am. the security guard in the building and the floor was nice and recommended that i have a coffee and some food with the students.

i was a little nervous so i just grabbed an orange juice and sat down in the waiting area. another guy also came in for an interview so i talked to him for awhile. a few minutes later, my adcom person came in and we went upstairs to her office to interview.

we started by going through my resume. she had done some prep work and told me about a few things in my resume that she read about, etc. so we had some small talk at first.

her first question was "why mba"?

i used the opportunity to give her an overview of my resume and skills and logically connect why i need an mba and why i need it now.

we went over various aspects about my current job, etc.

she also asked:

1) hobbies and what i like to do in my spare time
2) what my future goals are. i answered this by telling her my short term and long term goals.
3) if i have any questions for her - i didn't really. i am the type of person who does a ton of research and reading so i knew a lot about the program. i had a few basic questions but overall, not much.

the interview ended at 8:45 and she recommended that i get breakfast and talk to some students. i grabbed another orange juice (3rd one now) and talked to some students. the students were nice and the conversation was good. they were having a midterm in one of the classes so some students were doing some last minute cramming, etc.

i sat in on the finance class taught by Professor John Percival. wow, this class was great. the material was very complex but he explained it so well that i (a guy who has never taken an economics or finance class in my life) was able to follow everything. he also challenged the students in various ways throughout the class. it was extremely engaging and very mind provoking. i actually had a lot of very intelligent questions on my mind and noted a few flaws in his logic but i am sure he was putting out those flaws on purpose to get students to talk and stimulate discussion. the students were very smart but most of them didn't pick up on this (there was only one student who actually was able to challenge some of the professor's flaws in logic). when i sat in on a class at ucla, i saw some similar behavior but the quality of students there was a bit lower (comments from students were pretty much really obvious, etc.).

adcom told us (prospective students) not to ask questions or participate in the class so i kept quiet.

after class, i had lunch with the students. they were basically saying that you need to decide for yourself what you want to get out of the program. if your goal is just to graduate, then they actually implied that you can get by as a slacker and not devote too much time into the program. i was a bit surprised to hear that. maybe it was the group i talked to but they all had the attitude of "putting in as much work as it takes to get a B"-type students as opposed to really trying to learn the material regardless (to some extent) of grade. i didn't want to say this but that's the type of student i plan to be...i'm there to learn material and really really learn the material. the degree, grades, etc. are all secondary for me. this is about a pursuit for knowledge for me.

there were about 10 people interviewing on saturday. it seems like the competition is going to be really tough this year. they admit around 92 students or so and they've been fully booked for interviews since january (going into late march). my guess is that the acceptance rate this year is going to be around 10% or less.

i think i'm a pretty strong candidate but at a place like wharton, i don't think anyone is a shoe-in. i give myself a 50/50 chance at best but i'll take it.

my biggest flaws:
1) really low undergrad gpa
2) somewhat typical demographic - asian, technology guy

my best assets:
1) real world experience actually starting a company, growing it to 50+ people, raising venture capital, etc.
2) good undergraduate university (but i'm guessing almost everyone went to a decent undergrad)

in terms of diversity and race, the class seems very heavy in asians and Indians. there were a few white Americans but they seemed more the "party" type (probably because i only saw 3 of them and they were all talking about how they are buzzed from drinking in the morning) than nerdy type). there were some women but i only saw 1 white American, a few chinese, and a few Indian.

anyway, we'll see how it goes. i'll let everyone know once i hear back. it's a bit of a longshot for me but since i'm already in at ucla anderson, i'm not stressed about it. but if i do get in, i'm paying the $150k and going...:)

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Re: Exec MBA - Berkeley-Columbia Program [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2008, 21:54
Hi RVD -

Congrats on UCLA and good luck with BC and Wharton. It sounds like BC is looking positive. Glad to hear that your interview at Wharton went well.

I am waiting on UCLA, and interview at BC next week and Wharton in 2 weeks. Based on your feedback, it seems as though the interviews were pretty standard. I am looking forward to sitting in on the classes. I know that there are HUGE differences between BC and Wharton, and I am hopeful that I can find the one that fits me the best. Like you said, it would be very hard to turn down Wharton.

I have searched everywhere for GMAT averages for BC, but can't find anything. The only info I have found is from talking to past students. I've heard that BC's gmat stats are much lower than Wharton, but I cannot confirm this.

Can you tell me what you liked (or disliked) about the BC and Wharton program? I wish that BC was ranked on the EMBA list. ALthough I know the two schools (berk/col) are great, it would be nice if it was ranked so it was easier to compare the schools.
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Re: Exec MBA - Berkeley-Columbia Program [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2008, 23:02
LAHMBA wrote:
Hi RVD -

Congrats on UCLA and good luck with BC and Wharton. It sounds like BC is looking positive. Glad to hear that your interview at Wharton went well.

I am waiting on UCLA, and interview at BC next week and Wharton in 2 weeks. Based on your feedback, it seems as though the interviews were pretty standard. I am looking forward to sitting in on the classes. I know that there are HUGE differences between BC and Wharton, and I am hopeful that I can find the one that fits me the best. Like you said, it would be very hard to turn down Wharton.

I have searched everywhere for GMAT averages for BC, but can't find anything. The only info I have found is from talking to past students. I've heard that BC's gmat stats are much lower than Wharton, but I cannot confirm this.

Can you tell me what you liked (or disliked) about the BC and Wharton program? I wish that BC was ranked on the EMBA list. ALthough I know the two schools (berk/col) are great, it would be nice if it was ranked so it was easier to compare the schools.


thanks. the interviews were pretty standard. you go through your resume, why mba, why this school, career goals, any question, etc. there were no odd questions like "name a person you admire most and why" or "tell me why we should accept you over all of our other students", etc.

i did not sit in on a class at B/C. i sat in on a class at ucla and wharton. both professors were great. at ucla, he is well known as one of the best professors there (prof bernardo) and at wharton he's also popular with the students (prof. john percival). both classes were great. i did notice a difference in the caliber of students though. the ucla students were ok but overall, nobody really impressed me. the questions they asked, etc. were all pretty standard and obvious. the students at wharton were definitely a level up.

i don't think the rankings really mean that much. if anything, i personally think the full time rankings are more important than emba rankings (even though i'm applying to the emba programs). at the end, you want to be associated with a school that has the best overall reputation and that reputation comes from their full time program, not the part time or emba programs.

the competition does look pretty stiff for wharton though. there were a lot of students interviewing, their interview list is backlogged heavily, and it seems like they basically get to pick amongst the top candidates. their rate of matriculation (people who they accept that end up signing up) is really high. the two bad points about wharton are:
1) no campus. they are just in the 5th floor of a building in SF. you don't really get the feel that you're in college...it's almost like you're in some type of certification type training program.
2) there's no job placement center (at least i don't think). you have access to the one in philadelphia but i doubt they have much info and contacts in the bay area. they do have job fair type stuff though every now and then.

anyway, good luck to us both. if you're Indian or Chinese (Asian), i think you have an even tougher road. it seems like 1/3 of the class is Indian, 1/3 is Chinese, and 1/3 is all others (europeans, white americans, hispanic, african american, etc.).

RVD.
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Re: Exec MBA - Berkeley-Columbia Program [#permalink] New post 20 Feb 2008, 22:39
Quote:
2) there's no job placement center (at least i don't think). you have access to the one in philadelphia but i doubt they have much info and contacts in the bay area. they do have job fair type stuff though every now and then.


I have raised this question during the interview and I can confirm this statement.
The answer I got was that the job placement office is located in PA and there is limited support in SF.

That said, from my research and talking to other applicants, this program mainly targets seasoned executives mainly for "career enhancing" as opposed to "career switching" purpose. For example, Wharton publishes the percentage of students receiving >50% financial support from employer (http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/mbaexecutive/community/class_profile/class_profile.cfm). The sponsorship percentage for class of 2009 is 66% and 30% in PA and SF respectively. Wharton presented this data during information sessions and they are proud of it (they possibly see this as a differentiator from other programs). Given their target students are mainly corporate sponsored, there is little need to provide job placement (not to mention other ethical concerns).

IMO, an applicant is less favorable if the career goal falls into "switcher" category and receives no sponsorship from employer (as the statistic is published like GMAT score).

It is not easy to evaluate/choose a B-school in an objective manner. The ultimate question is what do you want to get out from the school and the program on graduation day. There are many factors from nature/strengths of the program, name/ranking of the school, quality of the faculty and students, program length, class schedules, career advices and job placement...etc. Wharton is really strong on finance and analytics, and the school has strong connections with investment and finance sectors. IMO Whaton favors career enhancers and people with post-MBA goals align with the strengths of the school.
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Re: Exec MBA - Berkeley-Columbia Program [#permalink] New post 21 Feb 2008, 17:57
nbooky wrote:
Quote:
2) there's no job placement center (at least i don't think). you have access to the one in philadelphia but i doubt they have much info and contacts in the bay area. they do have job fair type stuff though every now and then.


I have raised this question during the interview and I can confirm this statement.
The answer I got was that the job placement office is located in PA and there is limited support in SF.

That said, from my research and talking to other applicants, this program mainly targets seasoned executives mainly for "career enhancing" as opposed to "career switching" purpose. For example, Wharton publishes the percentage of students receiving >50% financial support from employer (http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/mbaexecutive/community/class_profile/class_profile.cfm). The sponsorship percentage for class of 2009 is 66% and 30% in PA and SF respectively. Wharton presented this data during information sessions and they are proud of it (they possibly see this as a differentiator from other programs). Given their target students are mainly corporate sponsored, there is little need to provide job placement (not to mention other ethical concerns).

IMO, an applicant is less favorable if the career goal falls into "switcher" category and receives no sponsorship from employer (as the statistic is published like GMAT score).

It is not easy to evaluate/choose a B-school in an objective manner. The ultimate question is what do you want to get out from the school and the program on graduation day. There are many factors from nature/strengths of the program, name/ranking of the school, quality of the faculty and students, program length, class schedules, career advices and job placement...etc. Wharton is really strong on finance and analytics, and the school has strong connections with investment and finance sectors. IMO Whaton favors career enhancers and people with post-MBA goals align with the strengths of the school.


i actually have no desire to switch careers. i think most emba students are in a situation like mine...they have moved up in their careers and they are happy where their career has progressed.

however, i think one of the goals for an MBA is to help you take the next step. if you're a guy who works in high tech, you don't necessarily want to go into investment banking...but you do want to move up higher in your organization or move on to a larger company or you want to have the opportunity to start up a new company, etc. most of the students that i spoke to at wharton said that they have made career changes (either within their organization or switched jobs) during the time they were in school.

but with all that said...yeah, job placement isn't really a huge motive like it is for full time...but i think it'd be nice to have.

RVD.
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Re: Exec MBA - Berkeley-Columbia Program [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2008, 10:25
hey everyone...wanted to see if anyone has heard from the EMBA program who submitted their ap for the february deadline?

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Re: Exec MBA - Berkeley-Columbia Program [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2008, 12:13
I am still anxiously awaiting. Does anyone know historically if the decisions are sent out before the actual due date?
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Re: Exec MBA - Berkeley-Columbia Program [#permalink] New post 28 Mar 2008, 07:37
anyone hear yet that submitted their app in feb?

i know the deadline is approaching...april 7th i believe

-s
Re: Exec MBA - Berkeley-Columbia Program   [#permalink] 28 Mar 2008, 07:37
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