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Calling all Haas Executive MBA Applicants:(2016 Intake) Class of 2018!

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Berkeley-Haas Exec-in-Residence Featured in Poets & Quants [#permalink]

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New post 14 Dec 2015, 18:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Berkeley-Haas Exec-in-Residence Featured in Poets & Quants
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A Poets & Quants story on how business schools tap into real-world expertise through executive fellowships featured Berkeley-Haas Executive-in-Residence David Riemer, former VP of marketing at Yahoo and a serial entrepreneur.  

Riemer, at Haas since 2008, told Poets & Quants that executive fellows at business schools are "like that friendly uncle who can give you some advice, who’s lived a little bit," adding that "People who have actually been professionals their whole lives can add a lot of value.”

Riemer holds office hours weekly, meeting with Berkeley MBA students for career coaching or to discuss innovation ideas. He told Poets & Quants that getting students to realize that their careers don’t have to follow a linear track is his toughest job. "There’s this sort of sense that their career needs to be a straight line," he said. "There isn’t a single right path."

“They have options, they want to understand the options, and business schools are playing catch-up for them to understand those options,” Riemer said in the article. "I become a bridge. I’ve definitely been putting a lot more of my focus on the emerging companies and the startups in terms of where I can provide guidance.”

Read the full Poets & Quants story on executives-in-residence at business schools, and learn about the executives who share their expertise with Berkeley MBA students, including: Debby Hopkins, Chief innovation officer, Citi, and CEO, Citi Ventures; Guy Kawasaki, chief evangelist, Canva; and Scott Kupor, managing partner and chief operating officer, Andreessen Horowitz.

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How do you know if you're ready for an MBA? (Free Ebook) [#permalink]

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New post 16 Dec 2015, 11:02
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: How do you know if you're ready for an MBA? (Free Ebook)
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How do you know if you're ready for an MBA? With tuition for a degree from a leading business school topping $110,000, choosing when to apply requires considerable thought.

The good news is the right combination of forethought and experience makes your candidacy even stronger for competitive MBA programs, like those at Berkeley-Haas.

We've put together a checklist that can help you determine if the time is right for you; you'll find it in our free ebook: Five Signs You're Ready for an MBA.

From being able to articulate what you bring to a business school classroom to thinking through whether or not the degree will truly take you where you want to go, you'll find the questions you need to ask yourself and the things you need to weigh before applying to business school. We've even provided some thought-starter questions that give you the beginnings of your MBA application. 

Are you ready to see if you're ready?

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What Graduating Berkeley EMBAs Want You to Know [#permalink]

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New post 17 Dec 2015, 23:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: What Graduating Berkeley EMBAs Want You to Know
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Above: Students from the Berkeley MBA for Executives Class of 2015 on International Immersion in Brazil

As they bring their executive MBA studies to a close, members of the graduating Berkeley EMBA class at Haas took a few moments to share what they'd most like you to know about the Berkeley MBA for Executives experience:

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“You will be challenged in ways you probably haven't been in years—socially, emotionally and intellectually. But the hard work will be worth it—you will exit a better, more well-rounded person than you entered.”—
Sharrifah Al Salem
 

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“The Berkeley MBA for Executives program has been a unique opportunity to look both inwards and outwards, to re-evaluate my focus, my direction and my goals with a class full of some of the best coaches and supporters one could ask for.”—Richard Wilson

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“This program is a true gift. Everything you thought was no longer possible to have at this stage of your life...to meet some of the closest riends you'll ever have, to have your mind blown by some of the brightest and most interesting professors, to experience some of the most intense and exciting trips...it can and will happen.”—Karin Lion

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“It will shape you as an effective leader who can make a significant impact in the world. It will empower you beyond your imagination and stretch you beyond your comfort zone. It will complete you.”—Sandeep Garg

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“The program is transformative. It forces you to question your own status quo while providing the framework of skills to lead, and a network of people to help you develop along the way.”—Cindy Chang

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“It will challenge you, build you, and elevate you to new heights of remarkable acumen.”—Don Ball

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“This is not your typical MBA program. Yes, it is filled with brilliant hardworking accomplished individuals. But more than anything else, the people in this program exude a spirit of collegiality, intellectual curiousity, and refreshing humility.”—Mike Wegbreit

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“Making the choice to attend will be a defining moment in your life. Between the top-notch education, the depth of personal challenges and achievements, and the incredible friendships, I'm wholly transformed by this experience.”—Julia Felts

 

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“I can vouch that if you are able to come to learn and excel at Berkeley-Haas, you can execute and lead at the highest levels, anywhere, globally.”—Lucky Sandhu

This graduating class not only had words for prospective students, but for each other. Here's what Sean Campbell wrote in a farewell email to his classmates:

“The 68 of you are the best most amazing people I've ever met...You made me remember who I am, and how good I can be every day.”

If you'd like to be challenged, make 68 new best friends for life, and learn what's truly possible, we invite you to stay in touch to learn more about the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program.

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Global Leadership Opportunities at Berkeley-Haas Grow Even Bigger [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2015, 17:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Global Leadership Opportunities at Berkeley-Haas Grow Even Bigger
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Berkeley MBA students have access to online courses and week-long courses at business schools worldwide thanks to Berkeley-Haas' membership in the Global Network for Advanced Management, a network of top business schools committed to educating global leaders.

Launched in 2012 by the Yale School of Management, this network of 28 business schools spread across five continents connects each member school with regions, cultures, and economies in different phases of development.

Students gain access to network programs that include:

Global Network Weeks: Mini courses taught at member schools, such as:

  • Europe at a Crossroads, IE Business School (Madrid)
  • Development of a Global Mindset: the Perspective of Emerging Markets, FGV-EAESP (Sao Paulo) 
  • Innovation X Globalization: Japan Style, Hitotsubashi ICS (Tokyo) 
  • Economics of Emerging Markets: Social Innovation and Business in Africa, University of Cape Town
Global Network Courses: Online courses offering the chance to tackle global challenges as part of a dispersed and diverse team. Recent offerings have included:

  • Inclusive Business Models, Indian Institute of Management
  • New Product Development, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology
  • Handling Disruption: Humanitarian emergencies management and development, London School of Economics

Read more about the addition of Berkeley-Haas to the Global Network for Advanced Management in this Financial Times article.

All three of our MBA programs, [b]Full-timeEvening & Weekend, and MBA for Executives, offer access to coursework, experiential learning, and clubs and conferences featuring global leadership learning opportunities. Check out some examples from our Full-time MBA Program.[/b] 

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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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Changing Careers—How One Berkeley EMBA Student Made the Move [#permalink]

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New post 28 Dec 2015, 11:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Changing Careers—How One Berkeley EMBA Student Made the Move
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While in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program, Don Ball has learned how to bring an investment mindset to marketing and gained a 68-person advisory board (aka his classmates). 

Ten years into his career, Don Ball knew it was time for a shift.

After years of work in client services—including jobs at a global ad agency and consulting for IBM Global Business Services—Don had a breadth of knowledge about business challenges in many fields. But now he wanted to apply that expertise within a single company in a dynamic industry—the payments field. 

He knew an MBA would make him more competitive in his career move, and applied to the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program. But when he landed his ideal job before he even graduated, he braced himself for a challenge.

“It’s certainly not easy to start a new job while going to school at the same time, but I discovered it’s definitely feasible and has some advantages,” says Don, EMBA 15, who now works as the director of global innovation marketing for Visa Inc.

In his new role at Visa, Don immediately began applying the concepts he was learning at Berkeley-Haas. Not only did core courses in areas such as strategy and finance improve his general ability to converse and work with those teams on the job, insight from other EMBA experiences helped him in specific work situations.

As part of a project for the New Venture Finance course taught by Maura O’Neill, Don role-played a venture capitalist, while other students acted as startup entrepreneurs or members of a large corporation’s venture group.

“As the venture capitalist, I actually went through term sheet negotiations with the entrepreneurs and tried to compete against the corporation looking to invest in the company,” Don says. “This insight was really beneficial, as one of teams I work with at Visa is the corporate ventures team, which makes investments in Fintech startups.”

Another helpful class was Turnarounds taught by Peter Goodson. “This course helps you understand how your actions impact value-creation of the business and that, in turn, contributes to an investment mindset for marketing. That has had a major impact in my day-to-day role at work.”

Beyond coursework, Don says he benefited from the insights of his classmates who provided valuable information and feedback during his career transition.

“EMBA participants have a huge variety of skills and expertise, and because all 68 of us are together for 19 months, people really get to know you—they see where you are strong and where you can improve. My classmates provided an intimate advisory board to me through my job decision process. I think that is a major value driver of the program.”

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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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Application Tips and Insights from Berkeley MBA Admissions Directors [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jan 2016, 18:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Application Tips and Insights from Berkeley MBA Admissions Directors
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What do admissions directors from top MBA programs want applicants to know? I thought it would be interesting to explore this question across all three Berkeley MBA programs, so I brought my perspective on our Evening & Weekend MBA Program and sat down to talk with colleagues Morgan Bernstein, associate director of admissions for the Full-time MBA Program, and Susan Petty, senior associate director of admissions for the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program.

Here's what you shouldn't overlook, leave to the last minute or fear in your Berkeley MBA application:

What part of your program’s application do prospective students tend to overlook—or leave until the last minute?
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Morgan Bernstein says that full-time MBA applicants may underestimate the importance of a strong résumé. “A truly successful résumé is more than just a collection of responsibilities and achievements,” she says. “It tells a story.”

“The résumé is likely one of the first documents we review to help give us a snapshot of a candidate. I think sometimes candidates think of this as a ‘check-the-box’ activity, but it has the potential to set the course for the initial application review.”

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For our evening and weekend MBA program, I’d say International transcripts cause a lot of confusion
. Many applicants assume that they need to provide an official transcript copy in the application process, but an unofficial copy is actually sufficient.

The official copy is only required if the student is recommended for admission. Also, applicants often delay or overlook the TOEFL because they are so focused on the GMAT.

Susan Petty says that the EMBA applicants sometimes put off taking the GMAT, due to anxiety—see next question!

What are MBA applicants most afraid of in the application or application process, and why should they not fear it?
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Susan finds that some prospective executive MBA students fear the GMAT
, particularly because many of them have not taken or studied for exams in a long time. “Our applicants often dread the GMAT or GRE because it's been 10+ years since they've taken a standardized test, and because their demanding jobs and schedules make it a challenge to prepare for the exam,” she says.

“But what they sometimes don't realize,” she continues, “is that preparing for the test benefits them because they brush up on skills they may not have used in a long time, which can later help them handle the rigor of the program.”

I also find that applicants to the evening and weekend MBA program worry that their GPA or GMAT/GRE scores will be too low. It’s important to know that we evaluate all applicants holistically, not just based on test scores.

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One way all of our programs evaluate candidates holistically is through interviews. For the full-time MBA program, Morgan shares that those interviews can be a source of anxiety, noting that many candidates worry they won't be invited for an interview if they haven't heard back by a certain date.

“Interviews are required for admission to the full-time program, but we do not have set dates for invites,” says Morgan. “Interviews are extended on a rolling basis, often all the way up until decision notification week. If you don't hear from us right away, don't panic! We may not have gotten to your application yet.”

On the part-time side, some applicants worry about whether the field they work in can work against them. For example, sometimes people who work in engineering worry that their candidacy will be affected by our program's mission to reflect industry diversity and by our location in the tech-heavy Bay Area. Reviewing our class profile sheet gives them a feel for the mix of people that form each class.

Finally, what do you most want people to know about your application process?
Applicants to the evening/weekend MBA program should know that our program gives part-time MBA students the same access to resources as our full-time students, which isn’t always the case at other [part-time] MBA programs.

I also like people to know that there's an equal chance of admission in all 3 rounds for the EW program, so it doesn’t matter which round you apply in, and that each application is evaluated thoroughly, read two or three times at a minimum.

Susan and Morgan both say that the thoughtful evaluation process is a hallmark of the EMBA and Full-time MBA programs, as well. “We interview almost every prospective EMBA student, because cultural fit is valued here at Haas,” says Susan, who thinks this approach is evidenced by the EMBA program's eclectic representation of industries and jobs.

“We strive for diversity in industry, job function, and experience, so that's how we craft the class. Our goal is to make sure the class is representative of a variety of industries and job functions.”

For the full-time program, Morgan says, ”Every application is reviewed by a member of the admissions staff, regardless of the standardized test score, GPA or work experience. We know that our applicants invest a lot of time and energy into the process, and we want to get to know the stories behind each individual that makes up a full-time MBA class.

Additionally, the full-time program has a unique interviewing process. “The vast majority of interviews are conducted by current students on campus or by alumni in the city/region where an applicant lives. Admission committee members typically do not conduct interviews,” Morgan says.

If you’re considering applying to one of our MBA programs, know that what our admissions teams all have in common is a dedication to providing you with an exceptional application experience, from start to “submit” and beyond.

if you're interested in learning more, check back soon for a second installment on this conversation, to include more application tips and insights from Rahul, Susan, and Morgan.

 

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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 Time It's Personal: Berkeley Executive MBA Student Looks Back [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jan 2016, 11:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: This Time It's Personal: Berkeley Executive MBA Student Looks Back
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At the start of a new year, it’s natural to contemplate what new growth opportunities lie ahead in the coming year. For some, that might include getting an MBA. As someone who asks himself annually, “Did I learn enough over the last 12 months to make me a wiser human than I was 12 months ago?” Berkeley EMBA student Richard Wilson found himself in just this situation at the start of 2014.

His answer to that same question this year is a resounding “yes”, as he completes his studies in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program. Richard, director of corporate partnerships at Innoviva, shared thoughts on his Berkeley-Haas experience in two posts on LinkedIn.

In his first, A Decision Point, Leadership Defined and Some Lessons Learned, he recalls the 2014 decision to “step off the sidelines and take myself back to school for an MBA.” He writes about discovering that the GMAT is “a thing,” his careful consideration of how this decision would impact those people in his life who matter most, and about why he chose to attend Berkeley-Haas.

The residential format of this executive MBA program let him continue working while “effectively becoming a full-time student for a few days every three weeks,” and he found meaning in the Haas School culture and its four Defining Principles: Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself.

“I can truthfully say that these four principles have made a lasting impact in terms of how I think about what I do on a daily basis,” says Richard.

In his second post, This Time it's Personal, Richard wanted to “lift the lid” on the central role that his fellow students played in shaping his experience. “What happens when you put almost 70 strangers together in a pressure cooker, turn up the heat and seal the doors for 19 months?” he asks. “Well some pretty interesting stuff, as it turns out.”

“Haas becomes a safe environment in which to pressure-test career risks and opportunities,” he says, “and to consider the challenges those same risks and opportunities could bring to your life and bounce possibilities off others at a similar life-stage.”

“To those of you who might be reading this and weighing whether to make the leap into an EMBA program,” Richard closes, “I hope that these two posts have given some more personalized insight beyond how to ace a GMAT, pick electives, or see which school offers the most exotic destinations for international study.” 

We invite you to learn more about culture and community in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program.

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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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Accessible Entrepreneurship: Berkeley EMBA Silicon Valley Immersion [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jan 2016, 19:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Accessible Entrepreneurship: Berkeley EMBA Silicon Valley Immersion
When students in the Berkeley MBA for Executives class of 2016 explored entrepreneurship in depth through the program's Silicon Valley Immersion Week, Poets & Quants joined them, writing two stories about the experience for the business school news website.

Haas EMBAs Follow Silicon Valley Expansion shared an overview of the immersion, in which 69 executive MBA students visited 28 firms in Silicon Valley and San Francisco to explore startup life and gain skills applicable to other areas of business. Along the way, they worked through case studies while on campus at Google, Zynga, and Airbnb, and had access to founders and CEOs at the startups they visited.

“A lot of what I do is get people to try to understand what the potential of entrepreneurship’s all about, what’s special about this part of the world, what’s happening right now, the relevance of what’s happening here to large companies in different places,” Professor Toby Stuart told Poets & Quants (P & Q).

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Berkeley EMBA students met with MyFitnessPal co-founder and Berkeley MBA alum Albert Lee.
Photo: Ethan Baron, Poets & Quants

Silicon Valley Immersion Week is reflective of the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program emphasis on experiential learning, delivered through five immersions. “These allow students to put classroom learning into a real-business context,” said Jamie Breen, the program's director of strategic planning and operations, who noted that EMBA students, in particular, can more rapidly translate theory into action.

In Haas in Silicon Valley: Student Profiles, P & Q featured interviews with current students and a graduate of the Berkeley EMBA who became an entrepreneur, due in part, to his immersion week experience.

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Sally Allain came out of the week asking herself how she could put what she was learning to work to “drive innovation internally” at Johnson & Johnson, where she is director of external alliances, immunology, for the Janssen Pharmaceutical companies. 

She also realized, “I could walk away from this week, as well as the executive program, and have the tools to start down that (startup) path if I want. The energy is high, exciting. It’s cutting edge.”

Pediatric surgeon Wolfgang Stehr told P & Q  that he came to the program with no knowledge about startups. “This week, that totally changed...It has moved from, ‘I have no idea how to do this,’ to, ‘I could be doing this and it’s basically only one step away.’” 

Mark Gorenflo, operations director of Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, told P & Q he’s intrigued by the idea of applying his leadership and operational experience to a company in later stages of VC funding that has a product, customers, and revenue, and wants to scale up. “That’s an area where I think I could add value,” he said. 

P & Q also spoke with Luke Johnson, a 2014 graduate of the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program who last February launched Neat Capital, a peer-to-peer mortgage startup, in Boulder, Colorado. He said his Silicon Valley Immersion Week was crucial to his ability to launch the company.

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“The week really did demystify entrepreneurship for me, the most glorious parts that are publicized, and also the most crushing moments that most entrepreneurs really experience all the time,” Luke said. 

“Listening to their struggles has helped me to learn, of course, what not to do, what mistakes people have made, and how successful entrepreneurs have scaled and de-risked opportunity. But most importantly, it also made it much more accessible.”

“All of this boils down to more confidence, ” he concluded, “which is so crucial for an entrepreneur.”

Want more on this immersion in entrepreneurship? Watch the video from the very first Silicon Valley Immersion Week.

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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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What to Consider When Putting Together Your MBA Application [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jan 2016, 18:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: What to Consider When Putting Together Your MBA Application
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If you read our first MBA application tips post, featuring my conversation with fellow admissions directors from each Berkeley-Haas MBA program, you probably noticed some common threads, as well as distinguishing differences. Because there were a few more questions to address, we got back together to continue our conversation.

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I'm Morgan Bernstein and, once again, I brought perspective as the associate director of admissions for the Full-time Berkeley MBA Program, while Rahul Sampat shared insights on behalf of the Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program, and Susan Petty did the same for the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program.

What is some universal advice for how you should approach any business school application process?

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Rahul recommends that students look at the requirements and class profile sheet before beginning the application; “It will likely answer many questions right off the bat,” he says.

He and Susan both say that people considering an MBA should consult with the people who will support the process—such as supervisors, family members, and friends. “An MBA is a big thing to take on,” says Rahul. “There is only so much time in the day, and something will end up having to take a back seat from time to time. It’s important to be up front with those you love and those who rely upon you.”

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Susan also recommends that you be selective in choosing the people who will write your recommendations. “Make sure your recommender is someone who has served as a supervisor, knows you well, and can write a thoughtful and detailed recommendation,” she says.

Beyond selecting recommenders and putting together a comprehensive, thoughtful application, Susan also suggests that an application should be a personal representation of the student: “It’s a great time to reflect on your life, the path you’ve been on, and where you want to go,” she concludes.

In the full-time MBA program, we want people who want us, and this authentic interest comes through in the tone and content of the essays and recommendations, as well as through the level of effort demonstrated throughout the application.

My best advice? Try not to focus on what you think the admissions committee wants to hear. There is no “right” answer to the essays or the application.

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What is the one thing people should do before they hit “submit" on an MBA application?
Come to an event on campus or attend a class,” Rahul urges. “This lets you experience the program culture first-hand and make sure that the program and the school is a fit for you.” He also suggests reaching out with questions, “We are happy to talk applicants through any issues.”

We all encourage prospective students to take part in admissions events, a great way to get a feel for Berkeley-Haas culture. I always tell people, though, that the best way to experience the full-time Berkeley MBA is to come to campus if at all possible.  

Another recurring theme for us is the importance of not rushing a submission. “Do not submit your application in a hurry,” says Susan. “Look it over carefully, proofread it, and make sure it is your best work.” 

Above all, the resounding and unifying answer to this final question is to make sure the program and school are the right fit for you. I relate it to making other important selections in life, like key relationships, and suggest that you seek a program as if you are seeking a best friend, a partner, or a family.

After all, the MBA experience—the friends, the memories, the network, the brand—will be a part of your identity for the rest of your life.

 

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Berkeley MBA Students Touch (and Introduce) the Future at CES [#permalink]

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New post 01 Feb 2016, 12:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Berkeley MBA Students Touch (and Introduce) the Future at CES
 

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What happens in Vegas...reveals the future. At least in early January when the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is in town. Berkeley MBA students, naturally drawn to this celebration of questioning the status quo,  made their way to see and, in some cases introduce, what’s new.

 

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Natalia Psakhye
, a second-year student in the
Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program, was at the show to work. “The product I have been building for over a year was officially announced and got nominated for several awards including Best of CES People's Choice Award,” says Natalia, Staff Product Manager for Sling Media.

 

The Dish Network product, HopperGO, lets consumers watch recorded TV shows and movies anywhere, simultaneously on multiple mobile devices, and without an internet connection. “The product was very well received and made a great splash at the show. I have been going to CES since 2008 but this year was the most exciting for me,” says Natalia. “The release date is this spring and, while the adventure is not over yet, it’s a nice start.


 

David Liang 
of the Full-time Berkeley MBA Program and VP of sponsorship for the
Haas Technology Club, organized a student trek to the show and says, “One of the best things about attending CES was being able to speak with exhibitors about their products and technology.

 

“Just by talking to the company representatives, you can get a high-level sense of the technology’s capabilities, challenges, and potential use cases,” he says. “Also, CES was a great place to see and play with different people's interpretations and implementations of these trends.”

 

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Berkeley MBA students with Qualcomm Director of Marketing Ignacio Contreras (2nd from right)

 

Trekker Johnny Zhu, of the evening and weekend MBA program, says, “The single thing that was most impressive was the scale of how many people are working use cases for new technology. Seeing all the Chinese suppliers and component makers made everything seem possible, with the ability to do amazing things at a low cost—purchasing parts or setting up a manufacturing line seem just a call away.” 

 

Full-time MBA student CJ Dubash was most intrigued by drones and virtual reality. “I think there are some really interesting, outside-the-box (question the status quo) applications for these technologies. It was refreshing to see that there was a diverse array of use cases beyond simply media and entertainment.” 

 

Students on the trek also took the opportunity to network, connecting with Haas Alum Ignacio Contreras, director of marketing at Qualcomm for an all-access tour of its booths. “This included demonstrations of their latest chips being used in augmented reality, virtual reality, smart cars, and even smart clothing technology,” says David. 

 

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An insider tour of the drone industry came courtesy of second-year
full-time MBA student Kevin Sartori, enterprise product manager with 3D Robotics, “I can say that I left CES with a basic understanding of where the drone industry sits today and what possibilities might be on the horizon,” says David.

Students also felt that their Berkeley MBA experiences helped them view CES through a new lens. “Pre-MBA, I would have seen this conference as an opportunity to view the latest consumer technologies and judge them by their ‘cool’ factor,” says David. “Attending CES with other MBA students made me think more about the commercial viability and business models of the different products being shown.”

 

“Experiencing the show with classmates and traveling with people who were knowledgeable about drones or eCommerce made the trip a great learning experience,” says Johnny Zhu. “While it's still early for me in the MBA program, it’s awesome learning about different job functions and perspectives as they apply to all the technologies we were able to witness at CES—something that I definitely didn’t have pre-MBA.” 

 

You might also like our blog series: Do I Need an MBA to be a Product Manager?

 

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Making Business School Work for MBA Partners and Families Too [#permalink]

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New post 11 Feb 2016, 12:02
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Making Business School Work for MBA Partners and Families Too
Students from the three MBA programs at Berkeley-Haas often remark on the strong sense of community—not only among students, but also among MBA partners, spouses, and families.  

Many students start—or end—their program with a partner or a family, and that's why Berkeley-Haas makes every effort to create a stimulating and inviting environment not only for students, but also for their support systems, offering open panels for partners to ask questions, campus events that welcome family members, and weekend trips that invite spouses and partners to join the fun.  

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, six Berkeley MBA students and their partners discuss what the business school experience has been like for them.  Meet our first three couples:

Couple #1: Evening and Weekend MBA Student Matthew Wong and Jaclyn Wong

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Matthew and Jaclyn met in the dorms freshman year of college. One golden retriever, one daughter, and some years later, the couple found themselves at Berkeley-Haas when Matthew decided to pursue the EWMBA program, while maintaining his position at Cisco. Jaclyn works full-time at a financial planning firm in San Francisco, so their busy schedules keep them going between home, two cities, and school.

What do you enjoy about being a couple at Berkeley-Haas?

Matthew: I think the first thing is that everyone in the program understands it’s not just you going through the program. Even those who are single know there’s someone else supporting you and so they engage that spouse or partner as part of the family. Everyone makes an effort to meet and know your significant other.

Jaclyn: I’ve met a lot of other students in the program and they’re all friendly and open. I also enjoy the welcome panels for admitted students that help couples get a glimpse into what it will be like when your significant other is in class or doing homework, and how life changes. The panel sets a realistic expectation, but also shows that this is the kind of program and culture where couples are supported and included.

Why did you decide Berkeley-Haas was the right fit—for both of you?


Matthew: A coworker encouraged me to apply and put me in touch with students who were single, just married, and married and about to have kids. Meeting people is what made me apply to Haas—it convinced me that this was the right fit, and I knew it was also going to be the caliber of the program I was looking for.  

Jaclyn: I feel Haas was a good fit not just for Matt, but also for our family. It’s a plus that it’s in the Bay Area, so we did not have to relocate, and Matt’s classmates are great people.  

What's hard about juggling a relationship and an MBA program?  


Matthew: Making the time for your partner. I make time for Jaclyn between my little girls, serving as EWMBA Student Association President, volunteering for a non-profit, and a full-time job. It’s several part-time jobs on top of two full-time jobs, but If I can do it, you can too! The first six months is the hardest because you are adjusting to class, homework, networking events, and social activities, which are an essential part of meeting people and bonding with your classmates. 


Jaclyn: In our situation we had been married a couple years and I gave birth to our daughter a month before he started school. So we had a newborn and he started, and there were a lot of changes all at once. And, you just have less time together. 

What advice would you give to a couple with one partner considering an MBA program?

Matthew: Make time for each other during the days when there is that time. Make the effort for your partner. It’s a two-way street, and it’s not just about the student.


Jaclyn: Communication builds a strong relationship, and using tools like a shared Google calendar makes that much easier. What might have been discussed in person [before business school] is now a chain of emails, but it keeps the two of you on the same page.

Couple #2: Full-time MBA student Kate Cote and David Cote
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Kate Cote of the Full-time Berkeley MBA Program, married her husband David Cote eight years after they met on a blind date. Coming from a career in healthcare consulting, Kate pursued the dual MPH/MBA while David worked full time at a startup called Ogmetics. Amid full-time jobs and dual degrees, David and Kate got married between Kate’s first and second year in the program, throwing wedding planning into the mix. 


What do you enjoy about being a couple at Berkeley-Haas?


Kate: Everyone genuinely cared about getting to know not only their classmates but also their partners. Spouses are very much part of the community.


David: It wasn’t just Kate that benefited from the program; the knowledge and network that she built was enjoyable for me, as well. I learned a lot from [her] classmates’ unique experiences.


Why did you decide Berkeley-Haas was the right fit for both of you?


Kate: We both came to Days at Haas and found this was a place where I could be myself. I fell in love with the people and the culture because it wasn’t a cu-tthroat environment, and we both participated in activities and panels that gave us a sense of the school. We made friends that weekend that are still great friends of ours today.

David: There was a common culture in the Haas community that was really inviting and appealing. Haas really tries to include partners, and there was always outreach and invites to join events.

What's hard about juggling a relationship and an MBA program?  

Kate: Doing it all. There’s always something going on.


David: The impact on a couple’s relationship is that you’re sort of living in two different worlds, and it can be hard when your schedules aren’t in sync.

What advice would you give to a couple with one partner considering an MBA program?

Kate: Both of you should attend the new admit welcome events if you can. It really helped us get a sense of the current and prospective students.

David: We relocated FROM CITY to be closer to Berkeley for Kate’s first year. People told us that not having a commute would make it easier to see each other and go to events together. They were right—being close to campus was definitely helpful that first year.

Couple #3: MBA for Executives student Kriya Chantalat and Nina Washington
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Berkeley EMBA student Kriya Chantalat and wife Nina Washington’s story started on the dance floor—and the rest is history. Nina, the director of a preschool, encouraged Kriya, the CFO at a real estate development firm, to pursue her goal of getting an MBA. The two found that Berkeley-Haas was the program with right caliber and culture.

What do/did you enjoy about being a couple at Berkeley-Haas?


Kriya: In addition to campus events, there are always informal get-togethers to spend time with one another, and also with other students. For example, during Fleet Week, one of the classmates had a party on his rooftop to watch the Blue Angels perform. We also gather for casual brunches, and spouses and partners are always welcome.

Nina: The partner panel was very nice to help new students and spouses understand the program. The Facebook group and the class outings to which partners are invited keep us connected and in the loop. I especially enjoyed the Napa Valley immersion week, because the partners of the students all had dinner, a spa day, and brunch together. I really enjoyed meeting other partners. 

Why did you decide Berkeley-Haas was the right fit for both of you?


Kriya: I loved what Berkeley-Haas stands for. While evaluating schools, Haas’ four Defining Principles resonated with me. The students that I met during the admissions process also embodied these principles.  Now that I’m in the program, I can attest to these character traits shining through in the class.

Nina: . It was Kriya's first choice, and it’s close to home so we were able to stay in the Bay Area.

What's hard about juggling a relationship and an MBA program?  

Kriya: The biggest challenge was at the beginning, just getting into the groove of things and making sure there was work-life balance.


[b]What advice would you give to a couple with one partner considering an MBA program?[/b]


[b]Nina: Be very supportive of your partner. Encourage them and be a listening ear. [/b]

Kriya: It can get stressful at times, so just being a support system for each other is important because each of you will need it at different times.


Wonder how an MBA program might impact your life (and partner or family)? You can compare things like schedules on our Compare Berkeley MBA Programs page.

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Making Business School Work for MBA Partners and Families Too, Part II [#permalink]

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New post 12 Feb 2016, 10:02
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Making Business School Work for MBA Partners and Families Too, Part II
At Berkeley-Haas, our MBA community is made up not only of students, alumni, and faculty, but of partners, spouses and families as well.

For Valentine's Day, we sat down with six MBA partners and their Berkeley-Haas students to find out what it's really like to balance family and personal relationships with an MBA program. 

Meet our next three couples in Part II of this series:

Couple #1: Berkeley Executive MBA student Sally Allain and Richard Allain
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Sally and Richard Allain met in San Diego (and, as one might expect in sunny Southern California—in a beach bar). Sally joined the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program, and she and Richard work together to pursue two full-time careers—Richard is an Officer of U.S. Marines and an F/A-18 Aviator; Sally is the Director of External Alliances, Immunology, Janssen Research & Development—as well as raise two children.

What do you enjoy about being a couple at Berkeley-Haas?

Sally: My fellow classmates really do embody the Haas Defining Principles; they are some of the most genuine, friendly, giving individuals, and this resonates strongly when we’ve had opportunities to include our spouses. There have been numerous occasions when our partners have been invited to attend evening or weekend events, whether at Berkeley or during our immersion weeks. These events have been a great opportunity for our partners to meet and connect, and made our class cohort experience even more personal. 

Richard: I have been welcomed to several social events sponsored by Haas. They have proven great experiences providing the opportunity to talk informally with the eclectic group that is Sally’s cohort. Each has been memorable in a different way.

Why did you decide Berkeley-Haas was the right fit—for both of you?

Richard: Sally had been considering an EMBA Program for years, but we had to find the right time to balance both of our professional lives, as well as our two children.  

Sally: Haas’ EMBA schedule of in-residence at campus every three weeks was a big draw for me, enabling the balance of school, family, and my added work travel commitments. In-residence also allows me to be fully committed to class while also connecting and networking with my classmates.

What’s hard about juggling a relationship and an MBA program?  

Sally: Balancing it all—a career, my relationship with Richard, two young children, and the EMBA Program. It’s a great exercise in juggling priorities for me, but I also have to remind myself that the EMBA Program is a short time period for me to be slightly selfish for my career growth.

Richard: With high expectations comes exceptional commitment. We are both pursuing graduate degrees currently and have two very active children. Maintaining a sustainable balance among these priorities and finding time for one another has proven challenging at times, but we continue to work through it while recognizing how this is a unique time.

What advice would you give to a couple with one partner considering an MBA program?

 Sally: It’s a continual give and take on both of our personal and professional time. You both have to be committed to this time for the person in the program to succeed, which also translates to my husband spending a lot more of his time on household and children responsibilities than I can. It’s a period where I have had to put time I would have spent with friends ‘on-hold.’ You just can’t do it all.

Richard: Begin with an honest discussion of the commitment required to fully realize the opportunity offered by Haas. There will be trades. Making sure you give your supporting spouse their own time ‘off’ is also really important.

Couple #2: Full-time MBA student Peter Shearer and Lauren Civeillo
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Lauren Civiello, a speech therapist, and Peter Shearer, who will finish the Full-time Berkeley MBA Programthis spring, met in D.C. Peter was stationed in the Navy and was looking for a change in career path, which led him to Haas. Upon acceptance to the program, the two road-tripped across the country to begin their next chapter: As a Berkeley-Haas couple.

What do you enjoy about being a couple at Berkeley-Haas? 

Peter: The small class size allowed me to get to know a lot of different people and not just the ones in my cohort. There’s an open environment toward partners, and a large percentage of people who came to Haas with a partner, so classmates respect and welcome that. Partners can travel with the group and come to lots of events.

Lauren: The first couple of weeks were very involved and everyone is a part of everything. There was always someone to hang out with or something to do; there’s never a dull moment. The social aspect of Haas was very enticing and that was part of the program’s culture from the start.

Why did you decide Berkeley-Haas was the right fit—for both of you?

Peter: When I came out to visit Haas, I knew we’d be happy here and that it would be a good fit for both. When I came to Days at Haas, the person I interviewed with had a partner at Haas, as well, and we had a candid conversation about it. I loved the people I met and it was just a gut feeling.

Lauren: The environment we’d be in was important to us, and we love this part of the country. In terms of Haas itself, we were coming from a Navy community, where they really foster relationships, and I got the sense that Haas would be similar in welcoming spouses and kids. I had conversations with other partners before we even got out here!

What’s hard about juggling a relationship and an MBA program?  

Peter: Business school is a huge life change, and for a partner it might be doubly difficult. We made a move across a country to a new apartment, went to just one income, had different schedules, where as before we were both 9-5. It’s a big change in lifestyle.

Lauren: There were so many academic and social events at first. It’s a lot all at once, and for working partners, you find yourself on a different schedule than [the student]. But it gets so much easier after first semester.

What advice would you give to a couple with one partner considering an MBA program? 

Peter: Going into the program, discuss what both of your expectations are. I’d encourage people to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible and to include your partner. Experience as much as you can.

Lauren: Although it can be a lot, take advantage of treks, weekends, and events. I’ve made lifelong friendships through Peter being in this program. Also, make time alone with your partner, even if it’s as simple as morning coffee together.

Couple #3 Berkeley MBA for Executives student Alphonsus (Alf) Cheng and Emma Cheng
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Recent Berkeley MBA for Executives grad Alphonsus (“Alf”) and wife Emma originally met as teenagers, but they didn’t date until meeting again as adults. Nineteen years and three kids later, Alf is the Director of Pharmacological Sciences Operations at BioMarin Pharmaceutical, and Emma is a Principal Human Resources Business Partner at Informatica. While Alf pursued his Berkeley EMBA, the couple balanced two full-time careers, along with a full house.

What do you enjoy about being a couple at Berkeley-Haas?  

Alf: That the Haas community extended far beyond the classroom to significant others, spouses, children, and parents. We knew we’d made the right choice when we found ourselves in this new extended community of diverse individuals (diverse in any way you can describe us) who were at the same time incredibly like-minded in how welcoming they were of our existing communities.

Emma: The “Spouse Panel” during the orientation had helped set the stage for what to expect from the spouse’s perspective. It helped me understand that I, too, had a role in this program, not as the student—but more importantly, as the student’s support system. I was mentally prepared to support Alf in any way I could so he could dedicate the necessary time and energy to the program.

Why did you decide Berkeley-Haas was the right fit—for both of you?

Alf: I knew that if I were to spend the time and money to get an MBA, it had to be from a renowned program and it had to be local, so that helped narrow my choices. When it came down to the details, several things were key to our decision to choose Haas: the block schedule, the program's duration and most importantly, the defining principles.

Emma and I have talked a lot about the impact of corporate and organizational cultures on success. We’ve also shared with each other our admiration of certain leaders in our professional past and present and talked about the things that made them such great leaders in our eyes. As parents, we also make every effort to instill core values in our children that are also important to us. When I first laid eyes on the Haas Defining Principles, I was almost beside myself….they very precisely describe the characteristics we most admire in our leaders and those we hope to impress upon our three crazy children.

What’s hard about juggling a relationship and an MBA program?  

Alf: Keeping things balanced was great in principle, but did not always happen in execution. Difficult choices were made on a daily basis on where to spend what precious little time I had; school, career, relationships or Alf time. As you’d expect, my own time was the first to go, but the balance between the remaining three was a very dynamic exercise and really forced me to consider the bigger picture.  You have to prioritize your relationships, figure out how to best nurture them and then do it efficiently.  You have to put things in to perspective about when it’s important to spend that extra hour prepping that case versus spending some much needed alone time with your spouse or children.

Emma had to cover for me in so many situations—with the kids, with friends and family, with chores….you name it. I was often worried about her ability to keep sane. Turned out she was similarly worried about me holding it together, given the number of my waking hours I spent doing schoolwork in addition to staying engaged at work.  There was no way I could’ve even done half of the program had I not had her full buy-in and support.

Emma: Looking back at the 19 months of the program, the challenge that comes to mind is missing Alf’s presence and involvement with our little family on a daily basis. That left a huge gap in our family, but it was comforting to know that it would be a temporary gap and we’d have Alf back in no time. But I believe the kids and I quickly managed to get used to the idea that he would not be around as much for family parties, events, basketball practices, etc. We set the expectations with the kids early on so they were prepared and had answers to their questions. Alf printed out the 2014 - 2015 EMBA schedule and tacked it on the wall in our den so the kids could see exactly when he would be in block.

What advice would you give to another couple with one partner who is considering an MBA program?

Alf: This will sound very cliché, but communication is key. Communicate your commitments and expectations so there are no surprises. In addition to the coursework, I was also appointed as one of two student Vice Presidents of Admissions. Emma and I discussed this decision at length and what it would mean for both her and I and we both bought into the idea.  Another good example of communication was with our crazy personal and professional schedules.  Emma and I started calendaring each other, combining our work Outlook with our personal calendars so nothing was left to memory. It’s worked so well that we continued to do this after the program.

Emma: Get to know the other spouses in the program. That was a benefit in that I really felt a sense of involvement in the program. I enjoyed meeting the students in Alf’s class and getting to know them and their families. It was nice to have Haas events open to families/children to attend as it allowed more opportunities to more deeply connect with his classmates and their families.

You might also like Part I of this series, and, if you'd like to get a feel for how an MBA program might work with your family life, compare the schedules, duration, and more of our three Berkeley MBA programs.

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How to use the GMAT to Your Advantage in Business School [#permalink]

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New post 18 Feb 2016, 18:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: How to use the GMAT to Your Advantage in Business School
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Whether you are considering a part-time MBA program or a full-time MBA program, returning to school after two years or ten, one thing nearly all prospective MBA students share is a dread of the GMAT or GRE.

But contrary to popular belief, a standardized entrance exam for business school isn’t just an annoying hurdle to clear and forget about—it can actually help prepare you for your MBA studies in several useful ways.

Scott Olszewski, a student in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program, found test preparation helped him develop the time management skills and discipline to study after working for many years. “I had not taken a test for ten years, so I took a GMAT preparation course,” says Scott.

“At first it was a little shocking, but the process really helped me get back into the cadence of learning and studying again, not just watching TV in my free time,” says Scott. “When I started my MBA program, I was already back in the right mindset.”

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Similarly, Erin Robinson of the Full-time Berkeley MBA Program believes studying for the exam helped her learn to balance competing priorities. “Like a lot of people, I took the GMAT while I was working full time.

“Learning how to balance that becomes very relevant when you are back in graduate school and dealing with many different priorities: studying and academics, the career-search process, school leadership positions, as well as the other social and personal aspects of your life,” says Erin.

Knowing how to quickly process a large amount of material is another key skill gained through the entrance exams that students apply to their MBA studies.

“Business school involves reading a lot of case studies,” says Scott, noting that in some courses, such as Competitive and Corporate Strategy, up to 80 percent of the material involves case-based learning. “Understanding how to filter information and pull out what is important in a short period of time is very valuable.”

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For Mayank Kaushik, a student in theEvening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program
, the critical thinking required for MBA entrance exams was also directly transferable to case studies. “In the reading comprehension section of the test, you have to think critically about what’s presented: What could be wrong with this? Is this argument sound?

 “A lot of the case studies in business school require evaluating a business decision in a similar way—you are always analyzing a case and thinking about it critically,” says Mayank.

“Evaluating case studies is a skill that extends beyond business school,” points out Erin, who has worked in the consulting field, and notes that companies increasingly ask job applicants to analyze case studies during job interviews.

Even the grammar review required for the tests can help students later on. Mayank appreciated the exam’s verbal section that addresses sentence structure, especially because English is not his native language. “Studying for the test gave me a lot of good information about good sentence structure, how to leave out extraneous details, and how to make my writing more concise,” he says.

Taking entrance exams may never be a popular component of applying to business school, but it can and does help students once their MBA studies begin. “No one will say they love standardized tests,” says Scott, “but the GMAT does help prepare you for your MBA studies, and it will also help you decide if you are ready to return to school.”

Want more information on preparing for business school entrance exams? Download our free ebook, Avoiding the GMAT/GRE Blues.

 

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Considering an Executive MBA? An EMBA Admissions Consultation Can Help [#permalink]

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New post 10 Mar 2016, 18:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Considering an Executive MBA? An EMBA Admissions Consultation Can Help
Am I too young for an executive MBA program? Too old? Do I still have time to apply? If you’re wondering about these or other questions related to the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program, a personal consultation with an admissions officer will provide answers.

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“These are not sales people. They genuinely have your best interest at heart,” says Mercedes Broening, CIO and managing director, JMP Securities, who was reassured to learn more about “the caliber of the students and the content of discourse,” she could expect—and has found—in the Berkeley EMBA program.

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A one-on-one consultation helped Dominic Garetto, vice president at Sunseap Group, “thoroughly understand the offering.” He says the consultation “brought the program to life and clarified both the rewards and the challenges.” This was especially important since he would be moving his family from Singapore before starting the program.

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llaume Lardeux, senior vice president at Genesys
, who started the application process with only a short runway before the final round deadline, appreciated having the process laid out in detail. “Susan Petty gave me valuable insights on how to prioritize steps and my time during the application process,” Guillaume says. 

Both Dominic and Guillaume also found that the consultation validated their understanding of the international aspects of the program and the global business experience of their likely classmates.

ImageAdam Kerin, a product marketing manager at Qualcomm, focused his consultation on how to present himself during the application process. “They helped me understand that instead of being a strike against me, my youth can be a sought-after characteristic in creating a diverse class. That really boosted my confidence,” he says.

From class visits to open houses to networking events, there are many ways to explore the Berkeley MBA for Executives. “Be sure to take advantage of all the touchpoints,” Guillaume advises, “especially one of the most pleasant and productive—a personal consultation with the Admissions Office.”

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Susan Petty, Berkeley MBA for Executives Admissions

If you'd like to talk, request a personal consultation today. 

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Executive MBA Students Explore Policy Making in DC [#permalink]

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New post 11 Mar 2016, 19:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Executive MBA Students Explore Policy Making in DC
In December, students in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program traveled to Washington, DC for their final field immersion before graduation.

While there, the executive MBA students met with Federal Reserve Chairman and Haas Professor Emeritus Janet Yellen. Berkeley-Haas Professor Laura Tyson, a former economic advisor to Presidents Clinton and Obama, leads the immersion, which allows students to go behind the scenes in Washington and dig deeper into the development of the policies that affect their professions and their companies’ business decisions. 

EMBA student David Dietrich found the experience very valuable. “To go to the boardroom of the Fed and meet Chair Yellen—and to know that she had reviewed our bios ahead of meeting us, that she clearly had an understanding of our backgrounds, and had tailored her presentation—created such a lasting impression,” he says.

The students also visited the National Press Club for a panel discussion by Prof. Tyson, NBC journalist Andrea Mitchell, and Pulitzer Prize-winning Wall Street Journal correspondent David Wessel, and capped the week with a formal dinner at the Italian Embassy.Image

  Professor Laura Tyson with journalists Andrea Mitchell and David Wessel.

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EMBA Startup Roundup [#permalink]

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New post 15 Apr 2016, 14:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: EMBA Startup Roundup
Inspired by Silicon Valley Immersion Week and by all they learn in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program, a number of our students find an executive MBA and entrepreneurship go together, choosing to launch ventures while still in the program or soon after. From a concierge veterinary service to a hangover remedy and artesian water, here are a few EMBA startups.

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Vet Set Co-founder Taylor Truitt, with Chief Morale Officer (and French Bulldog) Noah

 The Vet Set

Taylor Truitt, EMBA 14, and co-founder Eva Radke have launched a concierge veterinary service in New York, traveling to homes and workplaces seven days a week to tend to pets of the feline and canine persuasion.

The duo chose NYC because, says Taylor, “New Yorkers are crazy about their pets, already accustomed to home delivery of many different services, and don't have cars, so getting dogs and cats to the vet really can propose a significant stress.”

>>Read More

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David Firth-Eagland, EMBA 15, and Sharrifah Al-Salem, EMBA 15, with the help of medical professionals, turned Firth-Eagland’s home remedy into a capsule taken at one’s first and third drinks to prevent hangovers the next morning.

>>Read More (Scroll down to third story)

California Artesian

Stewart Wells, EMBA 15, founded California Artesian, which sells artesian water in Northern California and Asia. “Our artesian water, sourced from 7,000 feet elevation in the Sierra Nevadas, has a much softer and smoother taste than any type of purified or spring water because it has incredibly low mineral content,” says Stewart.

>>Read More (Scroll down to second story)

These entrepreneurs found startup inspiration and skills in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program. Could an EMBA help you launch? 

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Tackling the GMAT? Treat Yourself! [#permalink]

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New post 28 Apr 2016, 17:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Tackling the GMAT? Treat Yourself!
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If you've ever trained a dog, taught a child, or persuaded yourself to exercise after a long day, you've probably used some sort of reward-based practice.

Studies show that we–along with animals–are highly motivated by positive reinforcement; if we're incentivized by a positive stimulus, we're more likely to put in the time and energy to get what we want.

Reward-based strategy is also applied in more subliminal forms than, say, obedience training—it permeates technology use, crowdfunding, consumer behavior, and even test taking. In fact, pastresearch indicates that students perform better on exams when there's a reward involved.

Whether you're registered to take the GMAT, or you've been putting it off for months, if you're considering MBA programs, it may be time to activate your own reward-based system to:

a) Give yourself something to look forward to after the exam, and

b) Perhaps do even better on the exam by making your studying experience a more positive one.

Plus, if you need a little more GMAT motivation and guidance, download our free Ebook for expert tips on exam planning and more.

Here are just a few suggestions from Berkeley-Haas on how to treat yourself after you take the GMAT.

  •  Take a day trip. Chances are that you're going to be pretty exhausted after completing the GMAT. While travel is a great way to relieve stress and redirect your mental focus, you may not want to celebrate with a big trip that requires logistics and planning. Instead, take a day trip to a park, a lake, even a historical monument. Distancing yourself, both mentally and physically, from your studying environment is one of the best ways to acknowledge the end of test preparation.
  • Get moving to get your mind right. Sign up for one of your favorite workout classes, or plan on a hike or bike ride with friends. You'll have been sitting in an exam room for hours, so go get your blood flowing to reenergize. Maybe you even take a class that you rarely get to attend, because of time or price—now is the time to do it!

[*] Find your favorite (fill in the blank). Take yourself out for an afternoon with your favorite things. Go delight in your favorite ice cream, IPA, or vintage wine. Visit your favorite coffee shop, find the newest issue of your favorite magazine, buy a  big bouquet of your favorite flowers. Whatever it is that's at the top of your list, make your post-test treat all about enjoying your favorites.[/list]
4.  [b]Tune in to Take a break. Tune out the rest of the world and zero in on your favorite album. Take a walk and savor every song. Or if you've got TV series that you could watch for hours–and would normally feel guilty about such a marathon–sit back, get comfy, and watch as many episodes as you want—you've earned it! [/b]

For more tips on taming the GMAT and GRE, get our free ebook, Avoiding the GMAT/GRE Blues. 

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Your Berkeley Executive MBA Classmates [#permalink]

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New post 30 May 2016, 15:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Your Berkeley Executive MBA Classmates
 

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In the Executive MBA program at Berkeley-Haas, your classmates possess talent, a drive to excel, and deep—and diverse—experience. They also embrace the Berkeley-Haas Defining Principles: Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself.

Here’s what students in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program have to say about their classmates:

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“One of the best surprises was how quickly my classmates felt like old friends. We could immediately engage on a deep level on questions of substance,” says Harold Allen, site supervisor in global operations for Air Products and Chemicals, Inc..

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Michael Boos, a first officer for Southwest Airlines
, observes, “There is such diversity among professional backgrounds. It’s like having a class full of subject-matter experts, all eager to share stories and their passion for what they do.”

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“It seems that for every case study we discuss, someone in the class has direct, personal experience or a similar story to relate,” says Kelly Brashear, director, HR Business Partner for McKesson, who calls being able to blend theory and practice in this way “invaluable.”  

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Robert Ford, executive vice president of Medical Devices at Abbott
, says most of his classmates were from industries that, “until now, I didn’t have an in-depth knowledge of,” and says he learned from everyone and expanded his network “in every direction.” 

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“My classmates are all at the same level in our careers, but that we all bring something different to the table,” says Destiny Arts Center Executive Director Cristy Johnson Limón. “In our Statistics and Financial Accounting classes, others had stronger quantitative skills, but I contributed facilitation skills that helped us complete our assignments.” 

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Adam Kerin, mobile product marketing manager with Qualcomm in San Diego
, says a class visit “was all it took to convince me that Berkeley was the right place for me; I felt so welcomed.” And once the class got started, he says, “The energetic back-and-forth discussion blew me away.” 

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“My classmates energize me,” says Karin Lion, associate program officer, Global Agricultural Development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “There’s this feeling that we all are investing in each other as much as in our selves.” 

 

In addition to amazing students, you'll find rigorous academics, immersive learning, and a truly on-campus experience in the Berkeley EMBA. 

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How to Know When You're Ready for an MBA [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jun 2016, 11:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: How to Know When You're Ready for an MBA
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If you’ve been considering whether now is the right time for an MBA, you’ve probably thought about timing, family, career path, your partner—the list goes on.

Because there’s never just one thing happening in life, and the question, “Am I ready for an MBA?” can produce varied, if not conflicting, answers. Many Berkeley MBA students have asked this question and considered the same factors.

Read how students from each of the three Berkeley-Haas programs (Full-time MBA, Evening & Weekend MBA, MBA for Executives) knew they were ready.
For
executive MBA student Alejandro Maldonado, founder and CEO of Flow Studios, realized pursuing an MBA was essential to 
advancing his company. As an entrepreneur and CEO, he knew that an MBA would be good not only for himself, but also for his business.

“I have been running my company for eight years. I didn’t have a formal business education, and I knew that scaling would be challenging with our B2B service. I knew an MBA would help me be better prepared to make the best possible decisions for my company and further develop my entrepreneurial career,” he recalls.

Plus, Alejandro knew the EMBA program’s class schedule would allow him the freedom to keep running his company while getting his degree. As it turns out, business school grew not only his skills, but also his network.

“I quickly found that all the classmates and alumni are really tightly connected, and are some of the most amazing people you will get to know. It’s pretty easy to find your next co-founder inside your cohort!”

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Similarly, full-time student George James knew it was time to get an MBA when he felt he’d plateaued in his role at an oil and gas company and wanted to explore other industries.

“The company was doing well and I had been successful in accomplishing several initiatives, like creating an inventory control system, developing and implementing an export strategy, and revamping overall operations. But I had peaked and wasn’t feeling fulfilled by the industry. I knew I wanted to work on bigger projects [in tech] that touched the lives of millions,” he says.

George also has a wife and three children, so his family situation contributed to his decision to pursue an MBA. “When I started the program we had an 18-month-old and a new born who were young enough to not miss me if I was busy studying a lot,” he says.

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Sydnie Reed of the full-time MBA program
 also knew the time for an MBA had come when she needed more from her career—and a new place to call home. “I felt I needed the skills and knowledge that an MBA could provide, particularly with regards to understanding all aspects of a business, from HR to accounting to financial reporting and how that affects your ability to execute on strategic priorities identified within different parts of the organization.”

Plus, she continues, “I was also living abroad before coming to Haas, and going back to school was an excellent way to ‘re-enter’ the US.”

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Robert Kazmarek of the Evening & Weekend MBA Program, who relocated from an abroad position in Japan, decided it was time for an MBA after getting inspired by the UC Berkeley executive education classes he took. 

Timing and a lack of fulfillment in his job also moved him to make the leap. “I realized my growth, which I am so passionate about and dedicated to, was on the wrong end of the S-curve. I had always aspired to join the Berkeley-Haas community, and, as is the case in many aspects of my life if I find something that attracts or interests me, I don’t often challenge that feeling—instead, I run towards it.” 

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Still, not everyone knows when they’re ready for an MBA, like evening and weekend MBA student Anca Popovici, senior manager of global demand generation for RES Software. “For me, being ready for the next big challenge is usually mental; it's the difference between being prepared and being ready,” says Anca.

“I was waiting for the 'right' time and was lucky to have someone in my life who helped me see the opportunity ahead,” she says. “In this case, it was my manager. He recognized that the timing was in fact right for the next big challenge.

“His trust helped me understand that waiting was not good enough for me anymore, and I had to play my cards or else I would regret not trying. And he was right. The Berkeley MBA allowed me to grow professionally without pressing ‘pause’ on life.”

Is it the right time for you? If you are considering all the factors in your life and want more guidance, download our free e-book,
Five Signs You're Ready for an MBA
.

 

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7 Reasons to Choose an EMBA Program for your MBA [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2016, 11:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: 7 Reasons to Choose an EMBA Program for your MBA
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If you’ve decided to pursue an MBA, you’re probably considering all the factors that go into choosing the right program: location, timeline, academic culture…the list goes on.

We here at the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program know that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to selecting a business school, because every student has his or her own reasons for getting an MBA—and there are many paths to choose from.

If you’re looking for a program with a unique schedule and student body, an Executive MBA may be the perfect fit. Here are seven reasons to consider an EMBA program.

 1. Work and learn at the same time

EMBA programs let you to work while you’re in school, allowing you simultaneous growth in both your career and your degree. Another benefit of this dynamic is having opportunities to take what you learn in the classroom and directly apply it to your professional life. 

2. Complete your MBA on an accelerated timeline

Many experienced professionals choose executive programs because the timeline acknowledges students’ vast work experience by moving at an accelerated rate. You’ll be able to earn your degree faster than you would in a full-time or part-time MBA program.

3. Live, learn, and work with flexibility

These programs are designed for working professionals to have a choice in how, when, and where they study. With classes meeting less frequently, you don’t have to uproot your life and relocate to your program’s location—many EMBA students commute from their home location to the program.

4. Explore any and every interest

Ever had your eye on a project at work but didn’t get involved because you didn't feel you knew enough? In an executive MBA program, you’ll get hands-on experience with all types of work, from startups to consulting. This wide range of work exposure keeps you adaptable and well-rounded.

5. Show your newfound strengths

There’s never been a better time show what you’re learning to your colleagues—they’ll be thrilled with the newfound knowledge that you contribute, and you’ll build the credibility to take on new projects and responsibilities.

6. Build the best bridges around

In an EMBA program, you’ll learn as much (if not more) from your classmates as you will from your studies. The relationships you build with others in your program will teach you, guide you, and build a lifelong network of students, faculty, and alumni who have broad experience and expertise.

7. Take the next step in investing in yourself
Deciding to pursue an MBA demonstrates your commitment to advancing your career and strengthening your skills. Your boss and others around you will see that you are dedicated to continued growth and learning, and stepping back into the classroom will be like hitting “refresh” on your passions and pursuits.

Think an executive MBA might be the right fit for you? Not all programs are the same—we encourage you to discover what distinguishes the MBA for Executives Program at Berkeley-Haas. 

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7 Reasons to Choose an EMBA Program for your MBA   [#permalink] 24 Jun 2016, 11:01

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