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

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Ready For An MBA? Why It's Important to apply at the Right Time [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jan 2017, 15:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Ready For An MBA? Why It's Important to apply at the Right Time
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You've probably heard people say that there is no magic formula for success; however, there is one component that most successful endeavors have in common: timing. The ability to choose precisely the right moment to act on an idea is essential. 
This fact can be applied to everything from comedy and cooking to entrepreneurial startups and investments. Timing is also important when it comes to your education.

If you are thinking about applying to business school, the timing must be right, as the free Berkeley MBA ebook Five Signs You're Ready for an MBA points out.

MBA program admissions are increasingly competitive. If you apply at the wrong time, your candidacy may not be strong enough to clearly demonstrate what you can contribute to an MBA classroom. That mistake could keep you out of business school.

Applying at the Right Time Makes it Easier to Succeed
There are also investment factors to consider. With tuition costs exceeding $110,000 at top business schools, the financial investment required to earn an MBA is significant. The time investment required to succeed in a rigorous academic program is also extensive, particularly if you hope to successfully balance program requirements with other obligations like work or family.

The point is that it is very easy to focus on the rewards of an MBA program (and there are quite a few),  but applying to a business school such as Berkeley-Haas is a serious decision. Submitting your application at the right time will make it much easier to succeed in the admissions process, in the classroom, and in your post-graduation career.

Is the time right for you? Find out before you apply to business school.

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Part-time MBA Admissions Tips: Put the GMAT/GRE in Perspective [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jan 2017, 15:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Part-time MBA Admissions Tips: Put the GMAT/GRE in Perspective
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For many applicants to top part-time MBA programs, gearing up to take the GMAT or GRE can be a nerve-wracking part of the admissions process.

We get it—it may have been awhile since you had to sit down and take a 3.5-hour exam, let alone study for one.

Take a deep breath, and let this video message from Berkeley-Haas help you put the GMAT/GRE in perspective.

 

 

You might also like our free ebook: Avoiding the GMAT/GRE Blues.
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Why Networking should be part of your search for more Meaningful Work [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jan 2017, 09:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Why Networking should be part of your search for more Meaningful Work
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Networking is not a numbers game—how many connections you have on LinkedIn or names in your contact list. Algorithms can only take you so far. It is about building productive relationships that deliver mutual value and grow stronger over time.

As Berkeley-Haas students seek out and retool themselves for more meaningful work, the Berkeley MBA Career Management Group coaches them on how to network for the best possible results.

Here are their thoughts on five reasons people network and some tips for doing it right:

1. Learn and explore
Networking opens a window into a new industry. It’s a way to figure out how one company (or one MBA program) differs from another. Good techniques include informational interviews and attending industry events.

2. Circulate your name
Just like the best time to find a new job is while you already have one, the best time to network is when you aren’t under any pressure to network. And, keep circling back to the people you network with. Find ways to refresh your networking relationships.

3. Impress
We don’t mean by overpowering people with your 100-watt smile and sterling resume. People tend to remember someone with whom they’ve made a genuine connection. That connection can come from a shared experience or a well-placed question (and strong attention to the answer).

4. Build contacts
Networking isn’t a series of one-off encounters. One connection builds on another. And remember, the relationship has to be mutually productive. Think about expanding your network by connecting other people. (The whole six degrees of separation thing.) 

5. Plant a seed
This is related to “impress,” but it goes deeper. When you network, you want to give the other person something to think about that will put you “top of mind” when the time is right. That could be an insight on a topic of mutual interest, an article you email later on, or a tip on the best parking spot no one knows about.

One way to to super-charge your network is by pursuing your MBA. Did you know that all three Berkeley MBA Programs share the same strong alumni network?

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Tip #2 to Finding More Meaningful Work: Explore [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2017, 08:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Tip #2 to Finding More Meaningful Work: Explore
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Deciding you're restless at work is one thing. Deciding what to do next? That's quite another.

If you've got that general sense that work could be more fulfilling, but are not quite sure what to do from there, you'll first want to take stock of your values, contemplating what matters most to you and makes your heart sing. 

As you begin identifying the roles and companies that best align with your passions, your next step is to explore. In this highlight from our free ebook, Finding More Meaningful Work: Five Steps Toward Your Next Career Move, we share career management tips on launching your exploration.

"Most importantly," says Berkeley MBA Career Advisor Luke Kreinberg, "Get in front of other people." Luke advises stepping away from email and meeting up with people in person for real-time conversations.

"Talk to people who actually work in your field or position of interest to gain some insight on the reality of their days," says Luke. "Ask questions about what they enjoy and what they don't, and don't be afraid to ask for recommendations for other people to connect with."

Want more insight from the career management professionals at Berkeley-Haas on finding more meaningful work ? Get the ebook.

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Considering the Best Executive MBA Programs? 7 Reasons to Choose Haas [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jan 2017, 11:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Considering the Best Executive MBA Programs? 7 Reasons to Choose Haas
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If you're a highly experienced professional considering pursuing an MBA, chances are you're looking at executive MBA programs, which let you continue working while you study and apply your new learning in real time.

And perhaps you’ve narrowed your search to top EMBA programs. In that case, you may want to learn about ours: From renowned faculty and accomplished classmates to a manageable schedule and attitude-free environment—here are 7 reasons students considering the best executive MBA programs choose Berkeley-Haas

1. A schedule that respects the rest of your life
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“The program—from the schedule, to the curriculum, to the student body—is perfectly suited for commuters like me. Flying up every three weeks was the ideal cadence to keep me well-connected to my career and fully immersed in my studies.”—Christine Elfalan

2. Strong values that resonate with all kinds of people
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“I learned values as a kid growing up playing sports, and they have stuck with me through my career as a military officer. When I started researching MBA programs, I looked for a school with straightforward and clearly written values. When I came across the Haas Defining Principles, I thought they had nailed it.”—Eric Shanley

3. Confidence Without Attitude
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“When I started looking into executive MBA programs, I was 50/50 between a university closer to home in Southern California and the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program. A class visit was all it took to convince me --I felt so welcomed. And once class got started, the quality of the questions being asked, the energetic back-and-forth discussion blew me away.”—Adam Kerin

4. Peers and profs that inspire
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“After 15 years in the workplace, I wanted to be in a learning environment where I would be educated by top academics as well as learn from classmates at similar levels in their careers, from an array of industries. I found both in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program.”—Sally Allain

5. Location, location, location
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“Silicon Valley is one of the most amazing places in the world. It’s full of optimists and misfits who want to move the world toward what it should be, rather than settle for what it is. Berkeley-Haas is a key part of this of this community. It was essential that I found an MBA program that embodied the values embedded in Silicon Valley culture.”—Tansy Brook

6. Just what the doctor ordered 
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“I looked at other executive MBA programs, even some that are designed for medical practitioners. The Berkeley MBA for Executives gives me a diversity of experience among my classmates that adds depth to our discussions and that is expanding my network in unexpected ways.”—Adam Tibble

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As Thomas Grenville sums it up, “The Berkeley MBA for Executives Program is about so much more than skills. It really is the whole package: leadership, connections, collaboration, personal growth.”

Think we might be the whole package for you? Learn more about the program, and find out. 

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Shaping Your Business School Studies for a Product Management MBA [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jan 2017, 09:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Shaping Your Business School Studies for a Product Management MBA
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Part problem-solver, part storyteller, part trend analyst, and part entrepreneur, a product manager is part of putting The Next Big Thing in people's hands. 
To do so, they juggle competing priorities and call upon many of the skills gained in an MBA program.

ImageBerkeley-Haas alum Tim Gray has served as a product management industry specialist for the Berkeley MBA Career Management Group and has worked as a product manager (PM) for both startups and established companies, including Autodesk, BandPage, and Ask.com. He regularly speaks with Berkeley MBA students about how to shape their studies for a product management MBA.

Understanding the diverse range of skills needed is key to determining if the role is right for you and how you should shape your time in an MBA program, according to Tim.

Work for the win (and the win-win)
One of the most important skills good PMs possess is the ability to negotiate. “PMs are constantly doing negotiations, especially around product trade-offs,” Tim says.

“A major accounts manager may want to see a certain feature in a product, but adding it will mean the product won’t ship on time, or the engineering team might want to make part of the code more robust and stable, but that won’t necessarily produce more revenue. So a huge responsibility of PMs is to negotiate these trade-offs.

Look for courses that will strengthen your ability to build cooperation and achieve strategy-supporting outcomes, such as Berkeley MBA Program classes in Negotiations and Conflict Resolution, Game Theory, and Power and Politics in Organizations.

Think “Hamilton”
You may not be translating history into hip-hop, but you do need to know how to weave a compelling narrative.  “PMs are frequently telling the story of a product to both internal and external audiences,” says Tim.

For example, they may explain a customer’s workflow and goals to the engineering and design teams, help the product support team understand a new feature, or describe the problems the product solves during interviews with industry analysts or reporters.

Look for classes that will strengthen your presence and your ability to build trust and be persuasive. Berkeley-Haas classes that support this product management skill include Leadership Communications and Storytelling for Leadership.

Dig data
Quantitative skills are also required. “Product managers need to analyze trends and project how the product is going to be adopted and grow over time,” Tim says. Recruiters are now asking that PMs be knowledgeable about SQL, so they can pull data and do analysis without depending on others for help.

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Unleash your inner entrepreneur
It helps to think like an entrepreneur. Some companies, like Google, prefer PMs with entrepreneurial instincts, who can research and pitch their own product ideas, according to Tim. Even if you're at a firm with more of more of a  top-down, programmatic approach to creating products, you'll need a strong sense of ownership.

MBA entrepreneurship courses can equip you with skills that help you with everything from recognizing opportunities to running an enterprise. Courses on entrepreneurship at Berkeley-Haas include Innovation Strategies for Emerging Technologies, The Lean Launchpad, and Business Model Innovation. 

Be intentional
Tim also advises students to use their MBA internships to gain specific experience they can later point out to recruiters, for example, creating product roadmaps or prioritizing product features.

But whether students are talking to alumni or recruiters for PM internships or full-time jobs, it’s especially important to demonstrate a genuine interest in the particular company’s products and/or customers. Tim suggests tailoring MBA class projects to a specific area of interest whenever possible.

“Being really committed to a product, or even better, to a specific customer problem or opportunity, and demonstrating this, is one of the most important things you can do as an MBA student interested in product management. It shows that you have already done some work that is relevant for the job.”

Read more about how Berkeley MBA studies have helped people become product managers at Amazon, GoodHire, SlingMedia, Twitter, and @Walmart Labs.

You'll find curriculum and connections relevant to a career in product management in all three of our MBA programs. Compare our programs to learn more about the Berkeley MBA.

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How an MBA led to more meaningful work for Digital Green's Karin Lion [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jan 2017, 07:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: How an MBA led to more meaningful work for Digital Green's Karin Lion
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For many, being a program officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sounds like a dream job. And for Karin Lion, EMBA 15, it was – for eight years.

As an associate program officer at the Seattle-based foundation, Karin worked in such diverse areas as agriculture, urban development, water, sanitation, and hygiene, emergency response, global libraries, and family interest. She played multiple roles on multiple teams – developing program and donor strategies, creating budgets, managing implementation, and evaluating impact.

She hoped to advance within the organization to higher levels of managerial and decision-making responsibilities that would change the direction of the work, and that’s what motivated her to pursue her Berkeley Executive MBA.

But once she received her degree, Karin realized that she’d hit a wall at Gates. She wanted to become more of a decision-maker with a better perspective on the ultimate impact of programs but, even with her advanced degrees, there wasn’t a clear route to advancement within the organization.

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Fortunately, using her MBA as a path to more meaningful work, Karin was prepared to jump. She landed back in San Francisco to begin a new role as director of global agricultural strategy for Digital Green – a nonprofit international development organization.

While Gates has about 1,500 employees, Digital Green has 100. Karin is part of the global leadership group, exactly where she wanted to be. “Before, I was an individual contributor, but now I’m leading a team,” she says. “I’m able to shape and build something real. I can immediately see the impact of my decisions.”

Karin enthusiastically credits her Berkeley EMBA experience with her ability to choose more gratifying work. Looking back, she appreciates the framework the EMBA curriculum provided, which helped her to understand how she thinks, designs, strategizes, and presents her thoughts.

In particular, she loved the courses “Trust-Based Relationships” taught by Rajiv Ball and “Executive Leadership” with Jennifer Chatman. Even more valuable was the confidence she gained through the program and from her classmates. “Everyone is so brilliant, with such strong experience,” she says. “Before, I sometimes had trouble believing I deserved a seat at the table. But they taught me to think outside the world I had created for myself. My contributions were valued, my voice was heard, and they forced me to push my own limits.”

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At graduation, Karin was elected by her fellow students to be class speaker. Finally, there is the degree itself. “I know it got me my current job,” she says. “In my interviews, every single person brought up my Berkeley MBA as something that would bring value to the organization. And my salary increased by 35 percent.”

No job, of course, is perfect forever. As we grow and gain experience, our professional sights change, too. And Karin is sure that, as her own career develops, her degree has equipped her with the skills and knowledge that will advance her along that road. “My MBA is preparing me for that dream job ten years from now,” she says. “It’s helping me think long-term about who I want to be at the end of my whole trajectory.”

Are you considering what meaningful work means to you? Get our free ebook with five steps toward making your next career move.

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 Main image courtesy of Digital Green



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Video: Which Berkeley MBA Program is Right for You? [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jan 2017, 18:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Video: Which Berkeley MBA Program is Right for You?
 
Choosing an MBA program is, in part, about finding the peer group and the program format that works best for you.

Berkeley-Haas Assistant Dean Marjorie DeGraca reviews the similarities and differences between Berkeley MBA Programs to help you decide which MBA is right for you. (4:00) 

To learn more, we invite you to compare our programs.

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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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Going to business school could turn you into an MBA entrepreneur [#permalink]

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New post 01 Feb 2017, 07:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Going to business school could turn you into an MBA entrepreneur
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Above: Berkeley MBA startup Planet Murple aims to help kids each more vegetables

If you've ever considered enrolling in an MBA program, you may have pictured yourself getting promoted to a prominent new position at your current company or transferring to an innovative startup after graduation, but have you ever thought about launching your own venture?

One of the things that a lot of successful new startups have in common is that they are the product of MBA entrepreneurship, founded by students who didn't necessarily even plan on embarking on an entrepreneurial career—until they got to business school.

Berkeley-Haas students, for example, often find themselves positioned to add entrepreneurship to future career options. They learn business and management fundamentals from one of the world’s leading schools for the study of entrepreneurship. They gain strength and inspiration from the network and support system available through Berkeley MBA programs. And they begin to realize that they don't have to wait for other people to start the perfect business--they can start it themselves.

Here are some students who did:

Solving real-world problems
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As a student in the evening and weekend MBA program, Shuai Jiang found himself faced with a real-world problem: the hassle that comes along with the home delivery of online purchases. He began thinking about ways to receive, track, return, and manage packages.

Shuai combined his ideas with what he learned through the MBA curriculum, enlisted the help of fellow students, founded Enchantin Inc., and created the uCella smart mailbox.

This wirelessly connected wall-mounted container secures packages, and using an app, makes managing, tracking, and returning packages easier. "A lot of classes I took really opened my eyes," says Shuai. "To be honest, I don’t really think I’d have launched my own startup if I wasn't in the Berkeley MBA Program." >>More

Using acquired knowledge
Students in the Berkeley executive MBA program also acquire invaluable startup knowledge from the curriculum and experiential opportunities.

Stewart Wells, for example, used what he learned in his EMBA classes to launch California Artesian, a company that sells artesian water, sourced from a 7,000-foot elevation in the Sierra Nevada, to markets in California and Asia.

"Three instrumental classes were Finance, which allowed me to change my business model and estimate cash flow; Marketing, which gave me incredible insight into consumer preferences; and Strategy, where I assessed and dissected the competition," says Stewart.

Additional opportunities, such as the EMBA program's Silicon Valley Immersion Week, which combines visits to companies like Google, Facebook, and Airbnb with face-to-face interactions with company founders, also provided pivotal experiences for Stewart.

"The founders were very candid, sharing stories about how they put their money on the line,” says Stewart. "Sometimes they're failing and trying again, sometimes succeeding. It was a priceless experience." >>More (second story)

 Meeting your co-founder
When Emily Yao arrived at Haas to study in the full-time MBA program, she set her sights on solving an age-old problem: getting children to eat their vegetables. She combined expertise in human behavior, a passion for art, and her new-found business skills to launch Planet Murple.

A former behavioral/cultural change strategist for IBM, Emily met her co-founder, former elementary school teacher Dave Resnick, in Eat. Think. Design., an interdisciplinary innovation course for UC Berkeley graduate students who want to improve the food system.

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Planet Murple co-founders Emily Yao (r) and Dave Resnick (second from right)

 

“Over 90 percent of kids don’t eat the recommended amount of vegetables," says Emily. The solution? A creative app using colorful stop-motion videos (pictured above) and interactive recipes to encourage children to prepare and eat nutritious food.

Planet Murple quickly raised nearly $9,000 through Indiegogo, received additional support from the Berkeley-Haas Dean’s Startup Seed Fund, and was a regional finalist in the 2016 Global Social Venture Competition. 

In addition to meeting her co-founder at UC Berkeley, Emily drew inspiration and support from the Berkeley-Haas Innovation Design (ID) Club, which she helped lead as co-president, and from the Social Lean Launchpad course. Says Emily, “This was an amazing community of teachers, mentors, and fellow social entrepreneurs.” >>More (third story)

Is MBA entrepreneurship in your future? Download our free ebook to find out if the time is now.

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Conquering Sticker Shock: Insights Into Financing Your EMBA, Part I [#permalink]

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New post 09 Feb 2017, 12:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Conquering Sticker Shock: Insights Into Financing Your EMBA, Part I
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Anita Ratnathicam admits to a moment of panic when she first saw the tuition fee for the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program. You may be feeling the same thing. But for Anita, director of operations at Good Food Guys, focusing on the ROI turned sticker shock into satisfaction.

Q: What led you to consider an Executive MBA program?

A: I realized that, as much as I had learned on the job, it was time for a more structured business education to take my career forward. At first, I considered the Evening & Weekend MBA Program, but Marjorie DeGraca in Admissions suggested the EMBA. When I think now about how important my cohort has been to my education—their maturity, diverse experiences, and insights—it was clearly the right choice for me.

Q: How did the cost of tuition factor into your decision to apply? What funding options did you consider?

A: It is a big factor, but you should not look at tuition in a vacuum. For me, the EMBA is much more conducive to working while being a student. I found there is little opportunity cost. In fact, it heightens your value to your employer because you bring the lessons learned in class back to the workplace almost immediately.

In addition, the tuition is nearly all-inclusive. The best example is the immersion weeks. We spent a week in Singapore and another in Washington, D.C. doing amazing things, and all we paid for was airfare and some meals.

My family generously helped me pay for the program. Getting a loan from family members is much friendlier than going to a bank. But be careful. Don’t sacrifice good family relationships over this; they are much more important. 

Q: How did you approach your family?

A: I did a lot of research, not just about the program, but about what I wanted to get out of it. I explained the broader context for what my MBA would mean for me and for my family. For example, I’m a trustee of my father’s Vanni Aid Foundation. My newfound knowledge of finance and marketing will help us take that initiative to new levels.

Q: What advice would you give people about financing an EMBA?

A: Take advantage of the financial planning advisory services at Berkeley-Haas. They will help you explore a variety of EMBA financing options. And the ranks of current and former EMBA students can help, too. There is almost certainly someone in circumstances similar to yours who can offer advice.

Once you’re here and have started building what will be lifelong relationships with classmates and faculty, you’ll realize what a good investment this is in your career and yourself as a person.

Get assistance figuring out your options for financing your EMBA by scheduling a consultation with a member of our Admissions staff.  

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Am I Ready for an MBA if I Don't Have a Business Background? [#permalink]

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New post 15 Feb 2017, 15:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Am I Ready for an MBA if I Don't Have a Business Background?
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Am I ready for an MBA?

It's a question that every potential applicant needs to ask. There are circumstances that could stop you from applying to business school, but one thing that shouldn't hold you back is the fact that you see yourself as a non-traditional business school applicant.

Business schools, and the people who attend them, need and value diverse perspectives. More than 75 percent of the students entering the Full-time Berkeley MBA Program in fall 2016 majored in engineering, natural science, social science and other non-business fields in college.

Students in the Berkeley MBA for Executives and Evening & Weekend MBA Programs are similarly diverse: many have work experience in industries like technology, banking, health services, retail—and everything in between. Berkeley MBA applicants have just one major thing in common: they want to be empowered to have a greater impact on something they care about.

Here are two students who are getting the tools they need to make that impact:

Making Chemistry Work For Humanity
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Maxwell Kushner-Lenhoff is a full-time MBA student at Berkeley-Haas. He received a BS/MS in inorganic chemistry through an accelerated four-year program at Yale. His research, in renewable fuels production, was funded by the Department of Energy.

Maxwell applied to Berkeley-Haas with the goal of supplementing his scientific training with the business mainstays that so often make or break a technology's success. The diverse backgrounds of his classmates have helped to enhance his experience.

"The sheer diversity of talent (from philosophy to engineering) and of backgrounds (from Boston to Bangladesh) have broadened my experience by driving me to consider perspectives I've never faced before," says Maxwell. 

From the very beginning of his scientific career, Maxwell has directed his research toward making chemistry work for humanity, and the MBA program is helping him continue on that path.

"Today, just over one year after submitting my essay during round one, I have come into my own at Berkeley, as the Haas Center for Responsible Business Fellow, VP of Development for the Berkeley Energy Resources Collaborative (BERC) and a member of the executive team of LAUNCH, the UC Berkeley Startup Accelerator. I could not be happier with my choice to come here!"

Making a Difference in the Arts
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As an undergraduate student, Amelia Kusar majored in classical music performance, playing both the clarinet and the bass clarinet. She interned at Lincoln Center and fell in love with the administrative side of the business. Amelia knew that she didn't want to be a professional musician but that she did want to stay in the arts and make a difference.

She decided as an undergraduate that she wanted to pursue an MBA because of the well-rounded curriculum. "The other thing that really excited me about the thought of getting an MBA was being in a room with people who were different than me, who had completely different experiences, because I could learn from that," says Amelia.

"In the arts, there's really a lot we can learn from for-profit organizations that are different from us. It's something I become more and more convinced of every day as I move through the Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA program."

For those who think they may be non-traditional MBA applicants, there’s no reason to assume that keeping up with classmates will be too much of a challenge. Non-traditional students make up a large portion of the MBA class.

"When I talk to people from other non-traditional backgrounds, their main concern is, 'I'm not going to be able to hack it in business school, I'm going to be so behind and all of these people are going to be so much smarter than me,' and the long and short of it is that it is absolutely not true," says Amelia.

"I remember being shocked that I was on a level playing field with people in the class. My classmates might be engineers, or they might be in finance, but the subjects that we're learning in business school aren't their specialty either, so we are very much on a level playing field."

An MBA can make you stronger regardless of your background. Find out if you're ready with our free ebook: Five Signs You're Ready for an MBA.

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Video: From the Wine Industry to an Executive MBA, Opening New Doors [#permalink]

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New post 16 Feb 2017, 09:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Video: From the Wine Industry to an Executive MBA, Opening New Doors
Working in the wine industry, Matt Wood decided to pursue an Executive MBA to take his career to the next level.
At Hess Collection Winery in Napa, Matt Wood works in the wine business as Vice President of Operations. “I oversee everything from fruit sourcing and production, to warehousing and logistics, through customer’s order fulfillment,” Matt says.
As an undergraduate,he earned degrees in agricultural business and in wine viticulture at California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo. He then went on to work for 10 years in the wine industry, specializing in manufacturing and supply chain.

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In 2014, his interest was sparked when his boss enrolled in the Executive MBA at Berkeley Haas.
“I kind of got to ride along with him, and see what he was able to bring back to our company,” Matt recalls. “Once I saw how impactful the EMBA was for him and his career, I knew it was something that I wanted to pursue for myself.”

For Matt, the most important element in choosing a business school was the culture. When he visited classes at Berkeley, it quickly became  clear that Haas was the right match for his vision.

“The defining values at Haas really spoke to me. They were being lived every day in how the school goes about their business. I knew right away – that really connected with me.”
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Now enrolled in the Executive MBA program, Matt most appreciates the exposure and repetition in many different business settings. Working in the safe space of the program, students are encouraged to take on new and diverse business challenges. “With very supportive colleagues and faculty around to you, it fosters a learning environment where you can get the most out of each of the exercises."

At first, he felt cautious, getting to know new classmates and beginning classes in the program. However, it took just a couple of months for him to fully let down his guard and settle into the challenges and opportunities of the EMBA.

“From there, I was in a position where I could be vulnerable," Matt says. "Testing my own capabilities, experimenting with leadership styles, and ultimately walking a path that has made me a better leader today."

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In addition to working and attending classes, Matt also committed to keeping his family as a top priority. “The time that you have for everything you do in a normal pace of life starts to diminish,” Matt affirms. “You really have to make prioritization decisions about where you spend your time.”

Marie Wood, his spouse, nods in agreement. "As long as you really communicate with your spouse about what the expectations are – like how much time’s going to be spent on things," Marie says. "The program goes by really fast. There’s so much good that comes out of it, that it’s all worth it in the end."

"It’s definitely been a challenge, but everything that’s come out of it has been really positive," says Matt.
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Coming out of the Executive MBA, Matt recognizes that Berkeley Haas has opened additional doors in pursuit of his career goals. On a deeper level, the program has also helped to build his confidence in pursuing those goals.

In the future, Matt looks forward to taking on the challenge of general management of a company. “That’s my ultimate goal, and the program is helping me achieve that… Ownership from top to bottom – with operations, profit and loss accountability,” he says. “Really being a steward of people and process.”

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What Many Top Leaders Have in Common: Cross-Sector Careers [#permalink]

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New post 23 Feb 2017, 17:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: What Many Top Leaders Have in Common: Cross-Sector Careers
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Want to be truly versatile? A two-year study that looked at the career paths of more than 2,000 of the country's top executive leaders found that half of them had rounded out corporate experience with work in the nonprofit or public sectors—or vice versa. 

In this Q&A, study co-author and Berkeley-Haas Professor Nora Silver, faculty director of the Center for Social Sector Leadership at Berkeley-Haas, discusses the importance and benefits of this cross-sector experience, along with some steps that rising leaders can take to build a multi-sector career.

How does cross-sector experience help career development?
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Building upon experience in one sector with work in another exposes you to a new set of factors that potentially impact your industry or organization. Broadening your knowledge in this way makes you more valuable.

Another benefit is that when you work with constituencies and peers in another sector, you get better at communicating with a wider range of people.

Gaining experience across sectors also helps you develop diverse networks that create professional opportunities you wouldn’t otherwise have.

What are the personal and professional benefits of gaining experience across corporate, public, and nonprofit sectors?
Cross-sector affiliations can lead you to clarify your personal priorities, resulting in greater fulfillment at work. Many leaders we spoke with said how much they loved what they were doing and how they felt they were making a difference. 

Changing sectors also engages you in continuous learning, increasingly important in today's workforce. We had one leader from the financial field who, because he sat on the boards of different kinds of nonprofits, learned more about what his clients on the financial side valued and thus was a more effective leader in both spheres. 

How do organizations benefit from leaders with multi-sector experience?
Having a diverse range of experience allows you to bring thinking and ideas from one sphere to another, applying nontraditional approaches to solving problems in each. And by having access to a broader pool of workers, you can help your organization recruit talented employees.

What are potential tradeoffs of building a cross-sector career?
There can be financial costs if you choose to forgo a high corporate salary to work in other sectors, such as nonprofits, and there can be time costs if you add to your experience by serving on a nonprofit or corporate board. Also, you won’t develop the same depth of knowledge about one particular industry or role, as someone who remains in that sector.

How do you build a cross-sector career?
Start early and explore. Great career outcomes don’t start at age 50; they begin at 25.

Also, begin to build networks in very different ecosystems. This will help you increase future career opportunities. Make sure you get involved with ideas and organizations you are passionate about. This is important due to the time cost.

You also need to look not just for new opportunities, but for unusual ones. Cross-sector executives tend to see something on the radar that is a little out of their comfort zone, that is a little different, or that takes some effort, as an opportunity, not a burden. That makes them better leaders.

For more fresh insights and ideas from Berkeley-Haas, see our faculty research news.  

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Video: MBA Application Tips for Your Letters of Recommendation [#permalink]

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New post 25 Feb 2017, 10:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Video: MBA Application Tips for Your Letters of Recommendation
Procuring letters of recommendation can feel like one of the more daunting parts of the MBA application process—but it doesn't have to be.

Whether you're applying for a part-time MBA program or an executive MBA program, Eileen Jacob, senior assistant director of admissions, has MBA application tips for you. Learn who should write your letters (and who should not) and how to approach prospective recommenders. (2:11)

To learn more, see admissions pages for our Evening & Weekend MBA and MBA for Executives Programs, or take an at-a-glance look at our three MBA programs.

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Meet Chris Sampson: Balancing Business and Family with a Berkeley EMBA [#permalink]

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New post 01 Mar 2017, 16:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Meet Chris Sampson: Balancing Business and Family with a Berkeley EMBA
“The Berkeley EMBA program really encourages you to dig deep and discover what your motivating factors are... There has been a lot of self-reflection, asking myself and other people: what drives me?”
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Like many students, Chris Sampson enrolled in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program to advance his business skills in order propel his career. To his surprise, this period of self-reflection and growth in the EMBA led Chris to begin shifting his professional perspective and long-term career plans. Through his experience at Haas, Chris has opened up to a new world of opportunities and deepened his understanding of himself as a business leader. Today, he has stepped back from his longtime career path, and is exploring new business ventures with enthusiasm and deliberation.

“Through self-reflection in the program, I learned that I really thrive in short durations. I love new projects: I get super stoked, ramp up, and put in all of my energy,” Chris said. “And then as soon as we deliver, I’m ready for the next thing...” Excited by this aspect of entrepreneurship, Chris is currently exploring options for his own new venture, while continuing to work as a strategic business consultant. Now with a new sense of personal understanding, he always has his eye out for new great projects and opportunities.

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Chris is enjoying the weekly practice of putting his latest MBA lessons to work. “Having those two and a half weeks in between sessions: you learn something, and then you get to go apply it directly,” Chris said. “So often, I'll take what we just talked about in class and start applying it in my work that week.” For Chris, as for other executive MBA students, the EMBA learning extends far beyond the classroom and into their everyday, ongoing work.

“The EMBA program is the best of both worlds... It's ‘part-time’ in that we're only together every three weeks – but it's ‘full-time’ in that we always spend three intensive days together at a time. I love that.”
Just months before he started the program at Berkeley, Chris, his wife, and their young daughter had relocated from the Bay Area to Southern California. Already traveling part-time for work, he fully expected to commit to a business program that was closer to his new home. However, he and his wife Megen were surprised to find that Berkeley-Haas became the clear best choice for their family, despite requiring a commute from Los Angeles.

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“I was so relieved when Chris chose the Haas EMBA program,” says his wife Megen. “It was a huge weight off my shoulders knowing that it would only be a year-and-a-half of every third weekend.” Megen recognizes that the extra time and effort pays off, seeing the great opportunities and perspectives that her husband has gained at in the Haas community.

For Chris, family will always be his top priority – and they support him in turn. He, Megen, and their nearby extended family lean on each other to make it work with intensive school and work schedules. While Chris jumps with enthusiasm into his studies and explores new ventures, Megen provides extra support with their usual household and parenting responsibilities.

“Thankfully we live close to a lot of family members,” Megen says. “So when I can't pick up the extra responsibilities, I know we have a support system to fall back on.” They all especially enjoy the blocks of “down time” in between sessions where there is more time to relax and recharge as a family.

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“The EMBA program is more focused on the depth of leadership and management experience that you've had – as opposed to just where you are in your career at that time...”
Chris learned about the Executive MBA after applying to the Haas Evenings & Weekends program. When he learned more about the Executive program, he quickly realized that it was the better fit for him and his experience. As a rising leader in his technology company, along with his military management in the Navy, Chris was well-positioned as a young executive. “I had only nine years of business experience at that time – but as a senior manager, I realized that my leadership experience meant a lot,” he said.

The program, which meets once every three weeks over 19 months, has a flexible schedule that works well for Chris, as a working professional and a new parent. Chris’s daughter was just one year old when he started, and he wanted to spend as much time together as possible. “For my family, there's no other program that I could have done,” he said. “Going every three weeks with those long breaks in between: it’s huge.”

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“I took a more holistic approach into determining my next career moves... What motivates me? What do I want to do to make me and my family happy?”
Today, Chris has just a few months remaining in the EMBA program before graduation. He is enthusiastically shaping his next business projects and working on a minimum viable product for his latest business project. With his family as his first priority, he is grateful for the opportunity to have taken this more comprehensive view of his career as a business leader. “I want to make impact,” he said recently. “I want to work in great teams, and I want to have openness to be able to try new things and experiment with things as opposed to being more confined.”

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Shaping Your Berkeley MBA to be a Social Impact MBA: Free Ebook [#permalink]

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New post 02 Mar 2017, 17:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Shaping Your Berkeley MBA to be a Social Impact MBA: Free Ebook
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Pursuing a social impact career takes drive. It takes commitment. It takes passion. It also takes support and resources—both of which you'll find in Berkeley MBA Programs.

At Berkeley-Haas, our values, including Beyond Yourself and Question the Status Quo, reflect not only the principles we hold today, but the rich history of our campus and student body.

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One way we live those values is through a rich array of course offerings, talented faculty, and immersive experiences that can help you build a path toward a social impact MBA—and a more just and sustainable world.  

With major research centers, including the Institute for Business & Social Impact, and the Energy Institute at Haas; the Global Social Venture Competition, the world’s longest-running competition for social and environmental startups; numerous social impact clubs; and targeted scholarships and financial aid, there is much to explore at Berkeley-Haas.

Get our free ebook to take a closer look at social impact opportunities at Haas.

 

 

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Beyond Yourself EMBA Fellowship An Enduring Class Gift [#permalink]

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New post 15 Mar 2017, 15:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Beyond Yourself EMBA Fellowship An Enduring Class Gift
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How much do the members of the Berkeley MBA for Executives class of 2016 believe in the power of going Beyond Yourself? Enough to provide an EMBA fellowship to help “future alumni” participate in the program. 

“From the beginning, our class lived by the motto, ‘leave no one behind,’” according to Liz Lowry, vice president of Business Development at INgrooves Music Group and the class VP for Alumni Relations. “We support one another through everything from missed class sessions to marriages, deaths, and births,” she notes. 

“When it came time to discuss our class gift, we solicited our classmates for thoughts on ways we could Question the Status Quo and leave a lasting legacy as Berkeley Leaders,” says Liz (pictured above at the fellowship campaign kickoff). “We decided on a needs-based fellowship, with a goal of ensuring no future EMBA would be left behind because of financial need.” 

The amount of the fellowship had to be “meaningful enough to make a difference in someone’s decision-making process about enrolling,” Liz recalls. “We also wanted it to endure over time. The committee overseeing the class gift asked each student to donate $1,000. The response was overwhelming. The class raised $73,452, directly and through employer matching gifts, to provide a $25,000 Beyond Yourself Fellowship. The amount raised, Liz says, is further testament to just how much she and her classmates value each other and their Berkeley-Haas experience. 

The first applicants will be from the incoming class of 2018. Members of the EMBA 2016 class will review the applicants’ personal statements, however the final recipient will be chosen by the Financial Aid and Admissions offices. “My classmates and I may never know who receives our fellowship,” Liz adds. “The recipients may not want to reveal themselves, and that is absolutely fine with my classmates and me. This isn’t about drawing attention to the EMBA 16 class. The goal of the fellowship is to ensure another EMBA student can share the incredible camaraderie and Berkeley-Haas education that we all cherish.” 

The Beyond Yourself Fellowship is one of two fellowships available to prospective Executive MBA students, along with financial aid from outside sources. Visit the Haas Financial Aid website for complete information, including timelines, or schedule a consultation with the Admissions Office.

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Graduate Reflections from Berkeley MBA for Executives Program (video) [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2017, 08:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Graduate Reflections from Berkeley MBA for Executives Program (video)
It's really about investing in yourself," said Kelly Brashear on graduating from the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program. "I'll never be able to explain how big an impact it’s had on me.  The investment that I’ve made in myself is going to give back long beyond what I can expect.”

At January's graduation ceremony of Berkeley MBA for Executives Program, students, faculty, and families celebrated the graduating cohort of 69 students in the EMBA Class of 2016. Students reflected on the lasting impact of the rigorous 19-month program on their perspectives and career paths.

“I feel I really want to give more back to community and that comes from the values that come through really strongly in the EMBA program,” said Tom Duggan. The four defining principles of the Haas School of Business create a core set of values to guide the work of students in the program.

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Many students note the transformative thinking that is a result of the program. “Before, I saw myself on a very narrow career path,” said Adam Kerin, reflecting on how the program has influenced his thinking. “But all our immersion weeks, especially the last one in DC, have me looking at a much bigger picture, even potentially a role in government.”

“I see myself differently – my level of confidence is much higher,” said Kris Piliero. “I’m much more comfortable speaking in front of people, and that’s a huge part of what I do in my career. I’m excited to do it!”

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For this particularly tight-knit class, the power of relationships and the network of support was a recurring theme in graduate reflections. “I look now at the network I’ve gained, the people I’ve met. The doors are already opening,” said Scott Olszewski. “Other people should give themselves the opportunity of an MBA… The learning is amazing – but the people, network, and family are never-ending.”

Kelly Brashear echoed that sentiment in her appreciation of “all of the professors and all of my classmates—really 68 new best friends that I’ll have for the rest of my life.”

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“We are full of pride at the achievements of this remarkable group of people. We eagerly anticipate your great accomplishments,” said Dean Rich Lyons, addressing the class at graduation. “The ripple effects from these 69 people on our world is and will be incalculable. After this, you can accomplish anything, I guarantee that.”

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Should I Retake the GMAT [#permalink]

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New post 10 Apr 2017, 13:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Should I Retake the GMAT
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Taking standardized tests like the GMAT and GRE is, of course, part of applying to top MBA programs—but did you know that applicants are taking these tests more than once in hopes of increasing their score? 

The Graduate Management Admission Council reports that nearly 30 percent of people take the GMAT two times or more, and the Educational Testing Service reports that approximately one in four people take the GRE more than once. In both cases, individuals who take the test twice usually score higher the second time around.

Does the Berkeley MBA Have a Minimum Required GMAT Score?
Berkeley MBA Programs have no minimum required GMAT or GRE score, but our admissions committees do suggest trying to get the best score you can, based on the mean and median scores for programs in which you’re interested.

Prepping for business school entrance exams? Download our free ebook with Berkeley MBA GMAT/GRE Test Prep Tips
"We don’t have a minimum score, but we do suggest an applicant shoot for the 600 range on the GMAT in order to be competitive for the program," says Susan Petty, director of admissions for the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program. "That's not to say that we won't take people under 600; it just depends on the strength of the rest of their application."

If you don’t hit your particular target on the first try, Susan recommends retaking the GMAT or GRE. Doing so can make you look good as an applicant because it shows commitment and a dedication to studying that can bode well for success in the program.

"We’ll often encourage people, especially those who have been away from standardized tests for a long time, to retake the exam. Taking it the first time is almost a refresh. We find that if they take it again, they can often do a lot better," says Susan. "In some cases, when we see a lot of strength in the rest of application, and the standardized test score is an area that is not that competitive, we'll actually reach out to applicants and ask them if they're willing to retake the exam."

Why Retake the GMAT or GRE
Candice Knoll, a student in the Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program and co-president of the EWMBA Student Association, had a good score on the GMAT the first time around, but she wanted to strengthen her application even further, so she decided to retake the test. She recommends that other applicants do the same.

"Students should take it again if they have the chance. It doesn't hurt you. If you take it again, and don't get a better score, you can cancel that score," says Candice.

Test prep…and more test prep can also help you get back into school mode by sharpening your critical thinking and study skills so that you are more prepared for business school.

Whether you're asking yourself, "Should I retake the GMAT?" or getting ready to test your skills for the first time, our free ebook can help. 
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Should I Retake the GMAT? [#permalink]

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New post 11 Apr 2017, 14:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Should I Retake the GMAT?
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Taking standardized tests like the GMAT and GRE is, of course, part of applying to top MBA programs—but did you know that applicants are taking these tests more than once in hopes of increasing their score? 

The Graduate Management Admission Council reports that nearly 30 percent of people take the GMAT two times or more, and the Educational Testing Service reports that approximately one in four people take the GRE more than once. In both cases, individuals who take the test twice usually score higher the second time around.

Does the Berkeley MBA Have a Minimum Required GMAT Score?
Berkeley MBA Programs have no minimum required GMAT or GRE score, but our admissions committees do suggest trying to get the best score you can, based on the mean and median scores for programs in which you’re interested.

Prepping for business school entrance exams? Download our free ebook with Berkeley MBA GMAT/GRE Test Prep Tips
"We don’t have a minimum score, but we do suggest an applicant shoot for the 600 range on the GMAT in order to be competitive for the program," says Susan Petty, director of admissions for the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program. "That's not to say that we won't take people under 600; it just depends on the strength of the rest of their application."

If you don’t hit your particular target on the first try, Susan recommends retaking the GMAT or GRE. Doing so can make you look good as an applicant because it shows commitment and a dedication to studying that can bode well for success in the program.

"We’ll often encourage people, especially those who have been away from standardized tests for a long time, to retake the exam. Taking it the first time is almost a refresh. We find that if they take it again, they can often do a lot better," says Susan. "In some cases, when we see a lot of strength in the rest of application, and the standardized test score is an area that is not that competitive, we'll actually reach out to applicants and ask them if they're willing to retake the exam."

Why Retake the GMAT or GRE
Candice Knoll, a student in the Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program and co-president of the EWMBA Student Association, had a good score on the GMAT the first time around, but she wanted to strengthen her application even further, so she decided to retake the test. She recommends that other applicants do the same.

"Students should take it again if they have the chance. It doesn't hurt you. If you take it again, and don't get a better score, you can cancel that score," says Candice.

Test prep…and more test prep can also help you get back into school mode by sharpening your critical thinking and study skills so that you are more prepared for business school.

Whether you're asking yourself, "Should I retake the GMAT?" or getting ready to test your skills for the first time, our free ebook can help. 
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This post has been originally posted on the Admissions Blog and re-posted here for convenience

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