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

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Director
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Part-time MBA or Executive MBA? Two Berkeley-Haas Programs at-a-glance  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2016, 12:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Part-time MBA or Executive MBA? Two Berkeley-Haas Programs at-a-glance
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If you've decided you want to continue working while you earn your MBA, then you are likely looking at evening MBA, weekend MBA, and executive MBA programs. Here at Berkeley, you'd be considering our Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program and our MBA for Executives Program

How are they alike?  All three confer a degree respected worldwide. And they share an emphasis on leadership, innovation, and on-the-ground learning, a world-renowned faculty, and our Berkeley-Haas culture and Defining Principles of Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself.

 How do they differ? Compare these two programs at at glance: 

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The Berkeley MBA Behind Pokémon Go  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jul 2016, 10:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: The Berkeley MBA Behind Pokémon Go
Haas alum John Hanke first put the earth in your pocket, then released pocket monsters on planet Earth. Hanke, MBA 96, is CEO of Niantic Labs, the innovator behind Pokémon Go.  

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 Haas Alum/Niantic CEO John Hanke pays a surprise visit to a Berkeley Executive Education class

The “augmented reality” game put millions on the hunt for animated Japanese characters—which pop up with the help of location services. The New York Timesdeclared it a moment “when a new technology—in this case, augmented reality or A.R., which fuses digital technology with the physical world—breaks through from a niche toy for early adopters to something much bigger.”

It is not the first time Hanke has taken breakthrough technology mainstream; he co-founded Keyhole, which developed the technology that became Google Earth, Maps, and Street View. After Google acquired Keyhole, Hanke led the “geo division” until 2010, when he launched Niantic Labs inside Google to focus on next-gen games. He spun Niantic out as a separate company in late 2015.



As a Berkeley MBA, Hanke redefines the way we do business by living the Berkeley-Haas Defining Principles. This includes questioning the status quo on a global scale and going beyond himself to serve as a Berkeley-Haas Executive Fellow. In this role, he shares wisdom with students from time to time: he recently  surprised students in an executive education course who were analyzing a new case study on Niantic's spin-off from Google.   

Hanke credits Berkeley-Haas for helping him cultivate not only the skills, but also the mindset to become a professional entrepreneur. For him, the success of Pokémon go is a realization of the vision he came to Haas to achieve.

“My essay to Haas was written about the opportunity in the space of interactive gaming and technology,” Hanke said in 2014 Haas video. “I wanted to build applications that would deepen people’s involvement in their town or community, to encourage people to actually meet up in the real world.”

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Preparing for the GMAT: The Night Before  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Aug 2016, 08:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Preparing for the GMAT: The Night Before
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It's the evening before you take the GMAT, and you've likely spent the last few months preparing for the exam. Whether you signed up for a GMAT course, studied with a friend, or guided yourself through exercises and workbooks, you may still feel nervous—and that's completely normal. In order to wake up on exam day feeling truly rested and ready, taking certain steps to prepare the night before is essential. Here are a few ways you can prepare–and that doesn't mean logging more study hours–for GMAT success the following day. 

1. Don't study.

Studies on memory show that last-minute cramming doesn't do us any good. Rather than trying to teach yourself a concept or memorize information the night before the exam, put away your test materials. Trust that the hours of preparation you've put in will pay off, and don't stress yourself out with last-minute cramming that won't even help you perform better.

2. Have all your to-go gear ready.
One of the best ways to ensure you wake up on test day feeling calm and prepared is to have all your essential items in one place, ready to go. Put your wallet, keys, phone, whatever you need next to the door or in a spot that you'll remember them. The last thing you need to do before you go take the GMAT is to frantically search for your car keys.

3. Eat dinner before 9 pm.
It may sound silly, but eating right before we go to bed often affects our sleep quality. There's been a good deal of research on the connection between food and sleep quality, and many studies show that eating something sugary right before bed, or even eating something you don't normally eat late at night, can lead to nightmares. So eat a healthy dinner, and don't eat right before you go to sleep.

4. Have a plan for the morning.
Routines not only help us commit to things like exercise or waking up at a decent hour, they also help us feel secure. Put your mind at ease the night before the GMAT by writing down what you'll do the next morning. Whether you'll go for a walk to your favorite coffee shop, head to the gym, or read the newspaper, having a plan for the day of the GMAT will probably help you sleep better.

5. Know the test-day details.
You certainly shouldn't go to sleep the night before the exam without knowing the details of time and location for your test. Double check when and where you need to be, and if you're someone who gets anxiety about these items, write them down. Give your brain and body every advantage to relax and get a good night sleep the evening before the GMAT—don't go to bed with uncertainty around important day-of details.

For professional tips from Berkeley MBA programs, download our free Ebook, Avoiding the GMAT Blues  for tips on how to plan for success on exam day.

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How to Evaluate an Executive MBA Program  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2016, 13:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: How to Evaluate an Executive MBA Program
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Once you’ve decided to pursue your business degree through an executive MBA program, there’s a lot to consider, so how do you assess which program is the perfect fit?

You’ll likely find that all of the top programs have strong curriculum, faculty, and alumni networks—so how else can you evaluate an executive MBA program? Should you look at school values? The culture of the student community? Unique geographic benefits?

Here are five tips from the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program on how to evaluate an executive MBA program:

 1. See how the EMBA program’s values align with yours.
This is about finding a match with what matters most to you. Consider the underlying values that drive your decisions and that shape how you live your life, then:

  • Explore the program’s website and marketing materials to see if these values emerge
  • Read school mission statements
  • Talk to admissions officers and to students to find out how the school’s stated values come to life on campus. 

2. Dig into student culture and community.
The relationships you'll make in your executive MBA program are lifelong and are shaped by the mix of students. To assess this:

  • Take a look at the class profile to learn about the diversity of industries and backgrounds represented.
  • Consider how well the structure and location of the program will foster community.
  • Read student profiles for a sense of the different perspectives students bring to the classroom
  • Come to campus to meet students for yourself, and ask them what they hope to get out of their studies and why they chose their program.
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3. Consider schedule and structure.
Programs differ in their timelines and class schedules, so assess what kind of trajectory and experience you’re looking for, and ask yourself:

  • For how many months or years can you feasibly balance your personal life and your professional life with school?
  • How often is it workable for you to come to campus?
  • Do class sessions (frequency, length, residency) facilitate bonding with colleagues?
  • Is it important to you to have access to the activities and students of a business school campus, or would a program in a satellite location offer what you need? 

4. Look for what sets them apart.
Every program offers (and highlights) particular advantages, like a well-established network in a specific field, or geographic proximity to certain industries, or the mix of learning approaches.

  • Determine the special characteristics of each program, and decide which are most relevant for you.
The Berkeley MBA for Executives Program, for example, emphasizes on-the-ground learning, with five immersion weeks that take deep dives on specific topics in related locales, such as one on entrepreneurship and startup culture in Silicon Valley, one on the intersection of business and policy Washington, DC, and a global immersion through which students have explored business culture and topics in Singapore and Brazil.

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 5. Experience the program yourself.
Nothing will give you better insight into a program than visiting. Come to campus to:

  • Hear from and talk with current students
  • Meet with admissions staff in person
  • Sit in on a class
  • Get an authentic feel for the community and for the culture of the program.
 Want to experience the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program for yourself? Join us soon for an admissions event. 

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Leadership as Destiny for Executive MBA Student in Nonprofit  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Sep 2016, 09:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Leadership as Destiny for Executive MBA Student in Nonprofit
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The daughter of Guatemalan immigrants who grew up in San Francisco’s Mission District, Cristy Johnston-Limón has always figured out how to navigate life’s challenges—as a teenager turning away from gangs, as a young urban neighborhood activist, as a first-generation college student at UC Berkeley, and now as a student in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program.

She is also executive director of Oakland's Destiny Arts Center. And for this MBA, nonprofit is paramount; her objective in pursuing her MBA is to gain the business skills required to ensure the center's future in an environment increasingly focused on nonprofit ROI.

In her role, Cristy works to create new opportunities for kids in a city impacted by high drop-out rates and violence. Over the last five years, she has more than doubled the number of children served by boosting Destiny Arts’ operating budget from $800,000 to $3 million. More than 4,000 students—ranging from age three to 24—now choose from 800 classes annually in everything from hip hop to kung fu and karate.

But when Cristy was hired at Destiny Arts in 2011, the nonprofit was facing eviction from its shared space at a local charter school, and its board was reluctant to take on the crushing loan payments that might come with a new building.

Cristy began scouting for possible sites even before her first official day on the job, touring more than 50 and deciding upon the one she wanted for Destiny Arts.

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EMBA student Cristy Johnston Limón with her staff at Destiny Arts Center

It was a tough sell, but working with board member David Riemer, Cristy met repeatedly with the the board, listened to what they had to say and calmly countered every argument against the building plan. “We kept laying brick after brick after brick,” until the skeptics got the reassurance they needed, says David, an Executive-in-Residence at Berkeley-Haas. “Cristy is a leader with an incredible combination of confidence, ambition, passion, and vision.”

 Despite her leadership strengths, she admits to having had a few nerves when she began study in the Berkeley EMBA program last year, worried, in particular, that she might not have the quantitative skills required to keep up.

She soon came to realize that the diversity of student backgrounds and skillsets enriches the Berkeley EMBA experience. “We all bring something different to the table, and I've come to know my classmates as truly extraordinary individuals," she says. "I have never experienced this level of authenticity with such an accomplished group of people.”

Read the full story on Cristy Johnson Limón atHaas Now, and meet some of the extraordinary people in the Berkeley executive MBA program by checking out our student profiles. 

 

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All For One: Berkeley-Haas Students Build MBA Diversity  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Sep 2016, 12:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: All For One: Berkeley-Haas Students Build MBA Diversity
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If you look around at the mix of students, speakers, faculty, and events on campus, you'll quickly see that every program is devoted to fostering MBA diversity at Berkeley-Haas.

Whether that means bringing students together from different professional and personal backgrounds, or inviting speakers who are experts in a variety of fields, Berkeley-Haas believes in the value of diverse minds and skills—and the endless possibilities they create when brought together. Here, diversity is more than a buzzword—"it is truly built into the school's DNA" says full-time MBA student Raphael Chines.

Students are an integral and active part of MBA diversity. From the student-run Gender Equity Initiative, to the Freshmen to Alumni outreach program, to the LGBT club, Q@Haas, there is a wealth of resources. One of the most notable campus events is the annual Diversity Symposium. Prospective students and current students are hosted on campus for a day of panels, discussions, and workshops that honor the school's remarkable student and alumni diversity.

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And the best way to learn about the Diversity Symposium, and diversity in general, is from Berkeley-Haas students themselves:

Raphael recalls attending the Diversity Symposium, and how it influenced his own perception of diversity at Haas and beyond.

"We heard what diversity means to members of the administration, faculty, and student body, and why it is critical to the success of any organization, and a student panel of LGBT students and allies revealed how Haas' welcoming environment creates a space for students to safely take risks and learn from one another. I walked away from the day with not only an appreciation for how Haas treats diversity, but also a deeper understanding of the importance of diversity generally."

Sera Lee, a student in the Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program, found the Diversity Symposium to deliver an empowering message: "The Diversity Symposium made me want to attend Haas, a school that truly embodies its defining principles. Dean Rich Lyon stressed that one of Haas' main goals is…to challenge students to become drivers of change. It's about moving away from thinking, 'they do that' to 'I can do that.'"

Candice Knoll of the part-time evening and weekend MBA program felt inspired by and connected to Symposium speakers. "I remember hearing a Latina woman discuss the small number of Latina women in upper management, and even in business school, and I was motivated and inspired by that. Sometime during her speech, my mindset shifted from 'I don't belong here' to 'I don't care how or when, but I am going here.'"

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While the Diversity Symposium is a pivotal event, fostering MBA diversity at Berkeley-Haas happens in many other ways, through its inclusive culture, eclectic class offerings, and its well-rounded student body. EWMBA student Bill Collins recalls attending the school's Women in Leadership Conference. "I was impressed by the richness of content, the variety of perspectives offered, the quality of speakers, and most of all the passion from the attendees," he says.

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Says Berkeley executive MBA student Cristy Johnston Limón, "Diversity shows up in the EMBA program largely through our cohort. Because we hail from such different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds and nationalities, we each bring such a broad and diverse perspective in the classroom."

"I never feel like an outsider," says evening and weekend MBA student Anthony Barrs. "Maybe it’s the 'Confidence Without Attitude' and 'Students Always' Defining Principles, but Haas feels open, humble, and approachable…People genuinely want to share and connect with others."

Adds Anthony, "This allows me to experience lots of diverse people and perspectives…and vice versa. And this is true up-and-down the ladder: from Dean Lyons, to the faculty, to the program office, to the students."

You can learn more about Berkeley MBA diversity, and even be part of the conversation by joining us at the Diversity Symposium on October 15.

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Ready for an MBA...or for the next big thing in Your Life? Part I  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Sep 2016, 07:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Ready for an MBA...or for the next big thing in Your Life? Part I
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If you read our previous blog on how Berkeley-Haas students knew they were ready for an MBA, you may have found others who share similar circumstances or considerations to your own. And perhaps you have more in common beyond the pursuit of an MBA. In addition to their MBA programs, Haas students balance eventful personal lives outside the classroom. In this two-part series, learn these same students knew they were ready to start another exciting chapter, be it an upcoming marriage, a baby on the way, a growing family, or a changing career.

George James, of our full-time MBA programon being ready to get married:

My wife, Zula, who is Mongolian, and I had a whirlwind courtship.  I met her in May during a church camping trip in Southern Utah. We are both members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We started dating in July 2010 and got married the following year on January 8th at the Salt Lake City Temple.

 I think the biggest thing for us was the feeling that we found someone we wanted to spend the rest of eternity with. We are also very complimentary. Opposites really do attract—I am a planner, my wife is not. I am not especially sensitive or courteous, but my wife has these characteristics in abundance. I think I'm funny and my wife does not. On a more serious note, we also shared very similar life goals. Getting married meant we were combining our friends an family to create a future together, and that gave me a profound sense of purpose and joy.

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Anca Popovici (EWMBA) on being ready to train and fundraise for triathlons:

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I remember being in Ecuador in 2010, snorkeling in this incredibly beautiful place and being completely terrified of the water. I didn’t know how to swim, and the life vest did little to calm my fears. I couldn’t understand how my fear could take away from that beautiful moment, so my new year’s resolution was to learn to swim. I do best when I have a goal, so I signed up for a triathlon. In 2011, I did my first triathlon, survived the swim and got hooked. In 2013, one of my dreams came true. A year of intense training and tremendous support from loved ones and even strangers across the globe helped me finish 10th in my age group in my first Ironman race: 2.4 miles swimming, 112 miles biking and 26.2  miles running.

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The idea for fundraising actually came from a simple class assignment. In our “Leadership Communication” we were asked to present something we are passionate about. I realized that my personal passion was to help people like my mom, who faces bipolar disorder and the stigma surrounding mental illness.

I started questioning why this has been such a big secret in our family for so long. After talking to my family, I realized that they were trying to protect us, the children, from being associated with the stigma. What my parents had to endure outweighs any endurance challenge, and they did it quietly behind closed doors. I wanted my mom, along with 60 million people facing bipolar disorder, and their loved ones, to be celebrated for their courage.

Is your Next Big Thing an MBA? Find out if you're ready with our free ebook: Five Signs You're Ready for an MBA.

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Berkeley Executive MBA engineers Career Advancement—and Change  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Oct 2016, 15:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Berkeley Executive MBA engineers Career Advancement—and Change
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“Change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous at the end,” according to writer Robin Sharma. No one would agree more than Mithun Shankar, a 2014 graduate of the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program.

A successful software engineer at Oracle Corporation in India and the U.S., Mithun was responsible for developing infrastructure, certifying cloud technologies, managing global teams of engineers, and working with big data analytics. But something was missing.

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“I’d been with Oracle for more than a decade,” he remembers. “I’d reached the point where I knew I’d be successful if I stayed, but there was no longer a real challenge for me.” MIthun's work was also very internally focused, and he was hungry for some interaction with the users of his technology. “As an engineer, you analyze a problem and then solve that problem. But does it help one person, or one million people? You have no idea.”

He started to wonder about roles that would develop another side of his personality, but didn’t have the skills to make a switch to marketing or finance. Born, raised, and educated in India, Shankar had just arrived in the U.S. in 2009 and knew he needed the credibility of a good management program in a good school to gain the confidence to make that leap. Raising the stakes of taking such a risk was the fact that he was married with two small children, and his wife had her own career to think of as well. When he learned about the Berkeley-Haas Executive MBA Program, he knew he’d found the right way forward.

A Wealth of Options
Soon after he’d started at Berkeley-Haas in 2013, Mithun met with Luke Kreinberg of the MBA Career Management Group, who drew a chart illustrating four career types: Advancer, Explorer, Switcher, and Entrepreneur. The result: Shankar came out of the meeting feeling even more confused than before, realizing he had many more options than he’d considered – but he knew he was on the right for career advancement outside of engineering.

He proceeded through the core curriculum, gradually learning the language of business and finance. Particularly transformative courses included Turnarounds with Peter Goodson and Jennifer Chatman’s Executive Leadership class.

Advancing with a Move into Product Management...
By the time he completed the program in 2014, Mithun knew his next step. He stayed at Oracle, but, with the credibility of his new degree, was able to switch to product management – a more externally facing role that enabled him to work with customers to solve their technology problems.

...Then a Switch to Consulting in Private Equity
About a year later, he learned through the Haas Alumni Network of a consulting position for Alvarez & Marsal's private equity group. In January 2016 Shankar relocated his family to Texas to work for its San Antonio office, and he now advises C-level executives at mid-sized companies on how to run their businesses. “I’m dealing with human and economic problems,” Mithun says. “I can really see my own impact.”

What would Mithun say to others dreaming of making a big career switch? “Change is something everyone should embrace,” he says. “It can be challenging, but it’s never too late to do it. And it’s incredibly satisfying on the other side.”

Looking to embrace your own career change (or advancement)? Learn more about the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program.

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Ready For An MBA...Or For The Next Big Thing In Your Life? Part II  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2016, 09:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Ready For An MBA...Or For The Next Big Thing In Your Life? Part II
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We've previously chatted with Berkeley MBA students about how they knew they were ready for an MBA. But we were also interested to hear about how they knew they were ready for other major life changes. So, we explored that question with our students as well, first in Part I and now in Part II of our series on how you know you're ready for the next big thing. 

Sidney Reed, Full-Time MBA Program

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How did you know you were ready to become a parent?

"At first, I believed that I needed to finish school and be in a job for a year before trying to start a family. My husband was fairly strong in his belief that 'there is never a good time' and was encouraging me to consider alternate timelines. I came to realize, however, that school is a perfect time to start a family, particularly at a place like Haas. The program itself is very family-friendly, my fellow students are extremely supportive, and I knew better what I wanted out of my second year classes, which allowed me to focus on those things I really care about, both inside and outside the classroom."  

Robert Kazmarek, Evening & Weekend MBA Program
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How did you know you were ready to take a risk and change your career plans?

"Through coaching, traveling, project creation and execution, and personal conversations with family, friends and amazing Haas colleagues, I began piecing together what mattered most to me for my future and self-fulfillment. When I compared that with what I had in front of me at my former position, I realized there were gaps. The more I confronted my feelings about those gaps, the more I realized it was time to make a change. The change itself took a bit of a leap, yet it ultimately comes down to trusting yourself. No matter what happens, this change will be a success. One problem I won't have is regret. I'll pack up my things, tell the people I love that I'll see them in a few months, and I'll move forward open to outcome and ready to create something magical. "

I have always been passionate about turning ideas into reality...

 
Alejandro Maldonado, Executive MBA Program 
How did you take the leap into entrepreneurship?

"I have always been passionate about turning ideas into reality, regardless of the field, and I can remember seeking out opportunities to do this even before my undergrad. But for my first real company, focusing on design and visualization solutions for real estate, the process was just natural. I started being a freelance designer, working with a few clients just after getting my degree. I got together with two skilled people and we started growing, getting more and bigger clients, so the natural step was to start a company together. By this time we knew a lot about the industry, as well as our customer’s needs and how to solve them. Of course, this decision process is different for each person, but one thing I feel remains constant is the desire and need to start something you can call your own."

While we can't help with all your major life decisions, we can help you decide if now is the time for an MBA, with our free ebook Five Signs You're Ready for an MBA.

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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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Honoring Student Veterans at Berkeley-Haas  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Nov 2016, 16:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Honoring Student Veterans at Berkeley-Haas
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Pictured above: Berkeley MBA Student and former US Marine Corps Captain Dominic Bea

Berkeley-Haas appreciates veterans, and we take pride in our veteran MBA and undergraduate communities.

With hundreds of veterans having graduated from Berkeley MBA programs, we’ve been able to create a community that can offer support and encouragement to military MBA students during their studies and beyond. We thank those who serve and we celebrate our student veterans—and all they bring to Berkeley-Haas—with this slide show. 



 

It's our honor to help veterans take their leadership skills and experience into the business world, and we invite you to learn more about what veterans at Berkeley-Haas find in our Evening & Weekend, Full-time, and MBA for Executives programs.

Wondering which of these Berkeley MBA programs might be best for you? Compare, and find out.

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For Experienced Professional And Working Parent, What's the Value of a  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Nov 2016, 16:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: For Experienced Professional And Working Parent, What's the Value of an MBA?
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Living in San Diego, Sally Allain works at Janssen Research & Development, a Johnson & Johnson company, as the Director of External Alliances. With two school-aged children at home, she and her husband both work full-time, supporting their family.

Trained as a scientist, Sally has worked in business settings for many years. Her experience includes 15 years of professional work in her field, along with a master’s degree in her industry. However, as her career evolved, she began to miss having an academic background in business.

“I saw the value behind having an MBA... Having the depth in aspects of the business – such as finance, contracts, budgets – and looking at leadership qualities. I’ve needed to build my own toolbox in those areas to be able to move up.”

Ready to take her work to the next level, Sally enrolled in the Executive MBA program at Berkeley Haas. Now once a month, she flies from San Diego to Berkeley to attend classes and collaborate with classmates. “The program’s been amazing. I really saw the return on investment, immediately from the first term that I was here,” Sally says.

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In classes, Sally finds that new information and learning are highly relevant to her current work. Each month, she is able to apply what she is learning and take it back to her work at the office.

She also appreciates the network and relationships that develop in the classrooms of the Executive MBA. "I’m now in a group of 68 individuals that work across the U.S. and globally," Sally says. "To have them as a support system – to reach out, to ask questions, or to get their perspective is really unique."

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Sally’s family at home and her support at work helped to push her along this new path.
As Sally’s spouse and co-parent, Richard Allain encouraged his wife to go forward with the MBA program. “This is something she’s really wanted to do for some time,” Richard says. “I’m excited to see the light in her eyes and to see her telling stories about what she’s learning and the people she’s meeting.”

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In addition, support from her employer, Johnson & Johnson, has helped to make the EMBA program possible for her. “My company see this as a talent development opportunity,” Sally says. “They’ve given me time to be able to balance having a family, my job, and school at the same time. Overall, it’s been incredibly supportive.”

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Tips for your MBA essays  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Nov 2016, 13:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Tips for your MBA essays
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They are one of the most important ways in which we get to know you and a popular subject for MBA application tips.
Rahul Sampat, our director of admissions for the part-time MBA program, shares advice for your MBA essays. (2:24)

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Dinner with the Women MBAs of Berkeley-Haas  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Nov 2016, 10:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Dinner with the Women MBAs of Berkeley-Haas
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 Get 90 women in a room together after work and it’s going to be lively. But get 90 women MBA students and alumnae together and the energy level is sky-high. Such was the atmosphere at the annual Women@Haas Networking Dinner held on November 17 at One Market Restaurant in San Francisco.

Students, alumnae, prospective students, faculty, and staff came from as far away as New York and Washington, D.C., to network, reminisce, bond, and exchange thoughts on careers, families, and their connection to Berkeley’s part-time MBA programs for working professionals: the Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program and the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program.

After cocktails and appetizers but before the formal program, guests stood and introduced themselves, table by table, exuding confidence, ambition, and enthusiasm. They represented every industry from government to finance to tech to social media.

Next, keynote speaker Eileen Treanor talked about her ambition to become a chief financial officer and how her 2014 EWMBA paved the way for her to become CFO of Lever, a San Francisco-based SAAS company providing talent acquisition software, and with a staff reflecting 50/50 gender balance.

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Over steelhead trout and beef short ribs, the networking resumed. Prospective students grilled current students about the admissions process. Current students asked alumnae about the ROI of their degrees. And graduates talked among themselves about career switching and advancement.

One such interaction concerned making the leap from a large electronics company to a small publishing start-up. “How do you make that transition?” asked one alumna. “Start by following venture capitalists, then interview them on their clients and projects,” came the answer. “And definitely use your Haas professors’ connections. You don’t want to work for a startup where you don’t know either the founder or the CEO.”

“It’s important to put us all in a room together to have this shared experience, to talk about what we’ve accomplished and what we’re still trying to do.

Every conversation ended with a variation of the phrase “Feel free to email me” or “here’s my card.” One could almost see career trajectories being redirected over the candle-lit tablecloths.

We spoke with three Berkeley-Haas alumnae who have each attended this dinner at least twice to find out why they find the event valuable and what’s special about Haas women.

“I’m always so impressed by the prospective students, and love to share with them what’s unique about Haas culture,” says Cristina Stanley, a 2014 graduate of the EWMBA program and head of brand marketing for Yelp (pictured above). “In the past, several have reached out to continue the conversation, and I often host them at Yelp’s cafe to answer more questions.”

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Nicole Farrar, who graduated from the Berkeley EMBA program in 2014 and is vice president of talent acquisition and legal affairs for Neat Capital, met a prospective student who had been waitlisted for the program once before and was now applying again. “Two years ago, she was pregnant,” says Farrar. “I had a baby during the program so was able to speak to how being waitlisted may have been for the best!”

Some might wonder why it’s necessary to host a networking event just for women, but guests pointed out that women are still vastly underrepresented in C-suite positions. “Clearly, we still need to have these events until we achieve professional parity,” says Farrar. “It’s important to put us all in a room together to have this shared experience, to talk about what we’ve accomplished and what we’re still trying to do. Props to Haas for addressing that.”

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“Women face a different set of challenges in the workplace and in life,” notes Anita Ratnathicam, EMBA 2016 and director of operations at the hospitality group Good Food Guys. “If you’re going to do a part-time MBA program in addition to your work and family, that’s three jobs. For a new class of women making this big decision, it’s essential to hear the female perspective, and for us to welcome them into this amazing community.”

In all three Berkeley MBA programs, you'll find an inclusive community of students. To learn more, compare our programs.

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Infographic: Class Profile for the Executive MBA Class of 2017  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Dec 2016, 17:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Infographic: Class Profile for the Executive MBA Class of 2017
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Executive MBA students at Berkeley-Haas distinguish themselves through their drive, ingenuity, keen intelligence, and the desire to build on already substantial expertise with even more knowledge and skills.

And while students in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program bring a remarkable diversity of experience and perspective, they have one very important thing in common: Berkeley-Haas Defining Principles resonate profoundly with each of them.

From the median EMBA age to the array of industries in which they work, here is a closer look at the executive MBA class of 2017:

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Want to go beyond the numbers? Check out our student profiles to learn more about who chooses the Berkeley EMBA and why.

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Applying EMBA Leadership Lessons to Pediatric Healthcare  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2016, 15:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Applying EMBA Leadership Lessons to Pediatric Healthcare
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When tempers flare in an operating room, lives are at stake. At UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, one pediatric surgeon has been working to ensure a better work experience—and better patient outcomes—by sharing leadership skills gained in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program.

EMBA student Wolfgang Stehr is division chief of pediatric surgery at this hospital treating some 10,000 patients a year. “I wanted to improve the communication among our nurses and doctors, to break down silos, and create a better experience for the patients and staff,” he says. 

Wolfgang found the tools to transform both himself and his team in his executive MBA studies, particularly in the Leadership Communication course, taught by Lecturer Mark Rittenberg, and one of five experiential learning opportunities in the program. By the end of the immersive week, says Wolfgang, "I was so inspired by the work, how it made me think about my colleagues, and even how I felt about the world."

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He convinced hospital leadership to offer a three-day workshop for 25 doctors, nurses, and staff, who explored the impact of both verbal and nonverbal communication in the OR.  Chris Newton, trauma director at UCSF Benioff Oakland, who works in the OR with Wolfgang says, “A small percent of the core staff here did this, but those core people are changing the culture of our little world overnight."

Wolfgang and Mark Rittenberg have spoken to doctors at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston and plan to continue spreading the word. “We can revolutionize health care through trust and connection with each other,” says Wolfgang. “This can be as powerful as any new procedures, treatments, or antibiotics.”

Read the full story on how Wolfgang used his executive MBA skills to transformative effect. 

 

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Do I need an MBA to Be a Product Manager: Kavya Mallesh at SlingMedia  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Dec 2016, 16:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Do I need an MBA to Be a Product Manager: Kavya Mallesh at SlingMedia
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Meet Kavya Mallesh, senior staff product manager at SlingMedia. Kavya, and 2017 graduate of the Berkeley Evening & Weekend MBA Program, who talked with us
about her career for Part V of this series.

What did you do prior to pursuing your MBA?
I was a graphics software engineer at Intel leading development of Intel video processing graphics drivers on Apple products.

Why did you want to work in product management?
Technology has been my passion since I was a young girl. Having worked in a purely technical capacity as a software engineer for a long time, I realized I was not making as big an impact as I would like to.

By talking to product managers in my network, I began to view a product manager as the CEO of a specific product, managing it from concept to launch, taking into consideration all aspects of its development and marketing activities. Being in product management I could look at the bigger picture and make a meaningful impact. I loved the idea of combining my technical background with my newly acquired business acumen to bring life into products that could change peoples’ lives.

What are your current responsibilities as a product manager?
I am a senior staff product manager, working on Sling TV products. I develop the
strategic product road map and define product features by closely working with
user experience and consumer research teams and other product managers. I
collaborate and negotiate with development teams to drive milestones. I also work
with marketing, legal and customer experience teams the launch.

Having been in the same shoes as my technical team members, I can relate very well
with them. This helps me lead my teams to deliver the best products.

How has earning an MBA been helpful in landing a position and working in product management?
There are both qualitative and quantitative aspects to product management and the
Berkeley MBA curriculum addresses both. Courses like Marketing Research, Strategic Brand Management, Pricing, and Design Thinking greatly improved my product management skills. Power & Politics and Leadership are examples of classes that honed my people skills.

Class projects at Haas offered me opportunities to work with team members of different skills and perspectives. More often than not, they were culturally diverse too. These experiences prepped me to work better with geo-diverse and cross-functional teams.

My networks at Haas were invaluable in helping shape my decision to be a product manager and they opened up doors to new avenues.

Do you recommend an MBA to people interested in product management?
Absolutely. The curriculum gives you a well-rounded understanding of business and
people skills. And there are so many other valuable resources at Berkeley Haas: on-campus recruiting, the Career Management Group, student clubs and the Haas Alumni Network are to name just a few.

Want to learn more about the MBA program that's helped Kavya with her career in product management? Learn more about the Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program.

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See the Berkeley MBA Product Manager Series

 

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Leaders Who Redefine: EMBA Cristy Johnston Limón, Destiny Arts Center  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2016, 10:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Leaders Who Redefine: EMBA Cristy Johnston Limón, Destiny Arts Center
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As a teen in the San Francisco Mission District, gang pressure was high and she dropped out of high school. But she went back, with the help of her cello.

At 19, with skyrocketing rent, she joined angry street protests against gentrification in The Mission. But felt violent confrontation didn’t work.

Following undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley, she returned to San Francisco to work on a pilot program to revitalize the neighborhood: the Excelsior District. It was a success.

She received a national community leadership award for this pilot program, which has since become a citywide initiative for transformation.

Cristy Johnston-Limón spent her early years resisting gang pressures and street violence. She learned and overcame every step of the way. It wasn’t easy, but it ultimately prepared her for the road ahead: heading up a nonprofit and pursuing her degree in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program.

Steps to Destiny
The work that prepared Cristy for Berkeley-Haas was no walk in the park. In 2011, her future employer, Oakland’s Destiny Art Center, was facing eviction from its shared space. They needed to do something and they needed to do it fast.

Destiny Art Center was a pillar in the community for encouraging violence prevention through the performing arts. It offered classes in hip hop, kung fu, and karate for thousands of kids. As the newly hired executive director, Cristy was tasked with finding a new space and saving this organization from floundering.

She went to work; overcame obstacles, and gained priceless skills along the way.

Even before her first day, Cristy had already scouted 50+ new sites for the organization. Eventually she found one. But it was a tough sell. Directors and advisors were worried about a plan to purchase and build out an 8,000 square-foot warehouse. Cristy was not.

“I knew this one was it and I did everything in my power to a make it happen,” Cristy says.

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With the help of Destiny Arts Center board member (and Berkeley-Haas Executive Fellow) David Riemer, Cristy met with the board often and was able to counter their arguments against the building plan calmly and confidently, listening and solving problems all along the way.

“Cristy is a leader with an incredible combination of confidence, ambition, passion, and vision,” said David Riemer, an Executive-in-Residence at Berkeley-Haas.

Growing with an MBA
Cristy expressed having nerves starting her EMBA program at Haas. But was soon pleasantly surprised by what she found.

“The bonds you are able to build with classmates are a key piece of the Haas experience. I've come to know my classmates as truly extraordinary individuals and I am astounded at both the diversity of background, experience, and interests, and at how much we have in common, across nationality, industry, and life experience.” says Cristy.

Starting the program she had strengths in communication and leadership, but lacked the quantitative skills to keep up with the class. That changed too.

“I’m a much better critical thinker now, much more likely to Question the Status Quo, and to not take data for granted,” Cristy continues.

More than anything else, Cristy learned how to talk to her board at Destiny Arts Center and really give a deep analysis of the present state of affairs.

“The Destiny Arts Center has quadrupled in the last four years, which posed some structural challenges. Now I can look at our balance sheet and P&L with greater understanding. I can talk with our board at a deeper level of analysis,” Cristy states proudly.

Leaders who Redefine
Cristy chose the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program because at Haas, we develop leaders who redefine the way we do business. Her opportunity was relocating and rebuilding a nonprofit ...What will yours be? Define your destiny. Find opportunities to grow. Join Berkeley-Haas.

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Career Management Also Means Knowing When It’s Time to Move On  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Dec 2016, 12:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Career Management Also Means Knowing When It’s Time to Move On
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Are you thinking it might be time for a new job? We've got tips from the MBA career coaches at Berkeley-Haas on managing your career in pursuit of more meaningful work, along with questions to ask yourself—all in our new free ebook.

You've probably heard that timing is everything. And it's true that when it comes to many decisions in life, whether it's to get married, buy a house, get your MBA, or pursue more meaningful work—timing is an important factor.But relying on this old axiom isn't enough when it comes to career management—you've got to dig a little deeper to determine whether the time is right.

Fortunately, you don't have to leave this to a gut feeling; you can ask yourself the right questions, evaluate your current position thoughtfully, or speak with an advisor, like those in the Career Management Group who support Berkeley MBA students. Here are a few tips on deciding if it's time to make your move. 

Ask the Right Questions

To gain some meaningful insight on whether you're happy, challenged, and fulfilled in your current job, it's important to ask yourself pointed questions, like "What do I love most about my job?" and "What do I take the most pride in in my role?" If what you love most about your job is your lunch break, or the occasional free baked goods, it's probably time to consider a change.

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Evaluate Your Environment
Take all the ingredients of your office or organization and consider how satisfied you are with them. The important ones, like your boss and your coworkers, should rate high on your satisfaction scale. If the high point of your environment is the office patio, that should be a red flag.

Consider Your Growth
While most people aspire to move up in their companies, it's also important to reflect on the growth you've experienced thus far. Have you been given more responsibility throughout your tenure? Do your current projects challenge you? Have you been able to explore topics that genuinely interest you? Don't stay in a role that's not challenging you, helping you grow, or letting you explore different interests.

Assess What You Like—And What You Don't
This is an important step for a few reasons: assessing what you enjoy about your position will give you something to focus on until you're able to leave, and it will help you depart on a good note. Plus, when you determine what you don't like about your current job, you'll know what you don't want to repeat in a new role.

There are plenty of ways to approach career management effectively, and you can find all of them in the Berkeley MBA free ebook, Finding More Meaningful Work: Five Steps to Making Your Next Move.

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Leaders Who Redefine: Adobe CEO and Berkeley MBA Shantanu Narayen  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Dec 2016, 08:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Leaders Who Redefine: Adobe CEO and Berkeley MBA Shantanu Narayen
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Round Out Tech Skills
He earned a Master’s in Computer Science and holds five patents.

He then earned his graduate business degree at night, while working at Apple and studying  in the part-time MBA program at Berkeley-Haas. "It was clear I needed to round out some of my entrepreneurial genes with a business education," says Shantanu Narayen.

He joined Adobe in 1998, becoming president and COO in 2005 and CEO in 2007. In 2016, he was named one of the world’s best CEOs by Barron’s Magazine.

>He believes that preserving the status quo is not a winning strategy.

Think Outside the Box
With Shantanu Narayen at the helm, Adobe—a name once synonymous with desktop publishing—has become a giant in the world of cloud-based services for content creators and marketers of all stripes.

Under his leadership, the San Jose, Calif.-based company has built a formidable culture of innovation, expanded into new markets, and extended its product portfolio and global reach.

He not only questions the status quo, but believes in surrounding himself with people who are smarter than he is. “It’s about finding people who have that confidence without attitude, team players who will challenge and bring out the best in you as a leader and in each other,” he says.

Scale Your Impact
“To create new businesses and drive growth, you need to have a leader who wakes up wanting to make an impact,” says Shantanu.

At Adobe, he has led by rallying the organization around the mission to: “Empower everyone from emerging artists to global brands--to bring digital creations to life and deliver them to the right person at the right moment.”

More than 90 percent of the world’s creative professionals use Photoshop. Adobe Creative Cloud mobile apps have been downloaded over 150 million times. More than two-thirds of Fortune 50 companies use Adobe Marketing Cloud.

In 2016, the company was named the #1 computer software company on Fortune’s list of the world's most admired companies and made Forbes’ list of world’s most innovative companies.

Leaders who Redefine
Shantanu Narayen saw that merging technical skills with Berkeley MBA business knowledge would prepare him for greater and greater responsibility and better position him to lead innovation.

What will you lead? Find out how our evening and weekend MBA Program could help you get there.

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Managing Your Career for More Meaningful Work  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Dec 2016, 11:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Managing Your Career for More Meaningful Work
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Like all big decisions in life, making a career change in pursuit of more meaningful work can give you a whole spectrum of feelings—it can make you question your direction, make you nervous about actually taking the leap, or make you feel antsy to finally take the first step.

But what are the right steps in career management? Once you've decided now is the time, how do you approach the conversation with your boss, or set yourself up for success in your search for a new role?

If you're looking for some guidance on effective career management, the career advisors at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business can help you navigate the gray area between an old and new position; check out some helpful highlights below from the Berkeley MBA free ebook, Finding More Meaningful Work: Five Steps to Making Your Next Move

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1. Reflect on your own skill set and what you have to offer.
Changing careers is a great time for self-reflection. Look ahead at the roles you're interested in—or, perhaps more broadly, the fields you're interested in—to consider how you'll be prepared for that new position. Think about the skills you've gained from the job you're leaving and how they can add value to the one you're pursuing.

2. Decide what's non-negotiable for you in the next position.
People change careers for many reasons—perhaps you're unhappy with your boss or feel stuck in your current role. Whatever your reason, take this time to assess why you're not fulfilled. This will help you also determine what you do want in your new role.

There are plenty of constructive ways to approach career management and start the process of landing your dream job. Find more tips in our free ebook Finding More Meaningful Work: Five Steps Toward Making Your Next Career Move.

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Managing Your Career for More Meaningful Work   [#permalink] 28 Dec 2016, 11:01

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