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

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Calling all Haas Executive MBA Applicants:(2016 Intake) Class of 2018! [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jul 2015, 23:33

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Every Wednesday: Meet MBA Experts in Chat Room and Ask Your Most-Pressing MBA Admission Questions to them in a Live Chat.

Must Read Forum Topics Before You Kick Off Your MBA Application

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Re: Calling all Haas Executive MBA Applicants:(2016 Intake) Class of 2018! [#permalink]

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Meet Executive MBA Student and Abbott Executive VP Robert Ford [#permalink]

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New post 31 Aug 2015, 11:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Meet Executive MBA Student and Abbott Executive VP Robert Ford
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Robert Ford’s listing in the Class of 2015 student directory for the Berkeley MBA for Executives Programidentified him as vice president, Abbott Diabetes Care. Within two months, he had erased the “vice” to become president of the division. His latest promotion adds a couple of words to his title and a lot more responsibility: executive vice president, Medical Device Business Unit at Abbott, a global diversified health care company. 

The promotion adds two new lines of business—Vascular and Ophthalmology—and two new business models to his portfolio, as well as bringing the amount of annual revenue he oversees to more than $5 billion. “I’m drinking from a fire hose right now,” he says, “but it is exhilarating.” 

It’s also an occasion to apply some of the new knowledge he has gained at Berkeley-Haas. “The quant courses have been certainly sharpened my analytical skills. New Venture Financing taught us how VCs think and showed the kinds of battle scars they can incur. Knowing both the theory and how it plays out in the real world will be very useful." 

“Similarly, the Silicon Valley Immersion Week gave us all first-hand insights into the concerns and mindsets of founders,” he continues. “This will help me do a better job when I’m sitting across the table in acquisition discussions.” 

His new business cards aside, new insights, new ways of looking at and solving problems, and most of all a cohort of classmates who are “always awesome” are what Robert Ford will carry forward from his Executive MBA experience.

Interested in the work, aspirations, and experiences of our executive MBA students? We invite you to read some student profiles.

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Am I Ready for an MBA? [#permalink]

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New post 01 Sep 2015, 11:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Am I Ready for an MBA?
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There is no doubt that the decision to pursue an MBA is a big one. One that requires a clear-eyed assessment of your readiness to do so.

At Berkeley-Haas, we hear from thousands of aspiring candidates each year, and we've learned that those who are most ready for a program like the Berkeley MBA have clearly engaged in some self reflection.

They've asked themselves what they have to offer and what they hope to get out of the business school experience. They've taken steps to confirm that the credential will, indeed, get them where they want to go—not just right out of school, but in the longer term.

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To help you get started, we've put together a free e-book: Five Signs You're Ready for an MBA. You'll find insights on the questions you need to ask yourself and the things you need to weigh before embarking on the application process.

We've even added some thought-starters that not only help you determine your readiness, they give you the beginnings of a business school application.

If you are considering an MBA, you're thinking some deep thoughts. About your future. About how you want to use your life. About what meaningful work means for you. It's an exciting journey, and we wish you the best.

 

 

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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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Free Ebook: Am I Ready for an MBA? [#permalink]

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New post 01 Sep 2015, 13:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Free Ebook: Am I Ready for an MBA?
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There is no doubt that the decision to pursue an MBA is a big one. One that requires a clear-eyed assessment of your readiness to do so.

At Berkeley-Haas, we hear from thousands of aspiring candidates each year, and we've learned that those who are most ready for a program like the Berkeley MBA have clearly engaged in some self reflection.

They've asked themselves what they have to offer and what they hope to get out of the business school experience. They've taken steps to confirm that the credential will, indeed, get them where they want to go—not just right out of school, but in the longer term.

Image

To help you get started, we've put together a free e-book: Five Signs You're Ready for an MBA. You'll find insights on the questions you need to ask yourself and the things you need to weigh before embarking on the application process.

We've even added some thought-starters that not only help you determine your readiness, they give you the beginnings of a business school application.

If you are considering an MBA, you're thinking some deep thoughts. About your future. About how you want to use your life. About what meaningful work means for you. It's an exciting journey, and we wish you the best.

 

 

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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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Why Business School? Berkeley MBA Students Share Their Reasons [#permalink]

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New post 07 Sep 2015, 12:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Why Business School? Berkeley MBA Students Share Their Reasons
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At its core, a decision to pursue an MBA is a decision to take ownership of one's career. We hear often from students about the desire to explore and to move their careers forward in new ways. They also tell us they want to have greater impact and to refuel their passion for work. 

Why go to business school? Here are a few reasons shared by students in the Evening & Weekend, Full-time, and MBA for Executives programs at Berkeley-Haas:

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“The best thing business school can do for you is challenge the way you think. Berkeley-Haas is showing me what else is out there in the world—things I had never thought about before.”—Kavinda Udugama

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"Business is very different from the Army, as I found out when I worked at a J & J subsidiary. I’m a big-picture kind of person, and when I couldn’t understand why decisions were being made, I realized the best way to expand my perspective was getting an MBA.”—Crystan Allan

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“I started my career as a bench scientist in R&D. As my career progressed, I found myself in positions that were increasingly business focused: budgeting, planning, and marketing. It became clear, that getting an MBA would be the best way to grow my capabilities in these areas."—Richard Wilson

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“I’ve filled many operational project management roles in my career without having the formal academic training. As I have more responsibility for contractual relationships, financial negotiations, and driving work in the external environment, I wanted a better, more formal, understanding of business.”—Sally Allain

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“Being a consultant was a a great place to start my career, but I soon realized that the projects that I felt most engaged in were for companies or brands that really ignited my passion. I decided that going to business school might allow me to align my passion with a career path.”—Matt Richards

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“I know the mergers & acquisitions field really well. What I want from business school is that added polish, the backing of a brand like Berkeley-Haas, and the power of its alumni network.”—Belinda Wang 

Looking for more reasons people might choose to go to business school? Check out these posts:

8 Reasons to Consider an MBA

7 Reasons to Choose a Part-time MBA Program

 

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Financing Your Executive MBA: Asking Your Employer for Sponsorship [#permalink]

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New post 11 Sep 2015, 15:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Financing Your Executive MBA: Asking Your Employer for Sponsorship
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When it comes to financing your executive MBA, one idea is both obvious and difficult—asking your employer for assistance. Clearly, your employer will benefit from your advanced training, but many companies don’t have a formal policy for tuition reimbursement, or if they do, it may be vague or not well communicated.

However, many students can and do receive financial assistance from employers, and there are a number of steps that help them secure it:

1. Start with an understanding of your company’s policies.
Look for any existing company information on tuition reimbursement. If your organization has no formal policy—persist—your company may offer financial compensation for professional development or training, and that may apply to study in the Berkeley MBA for Executives program.

2. Identify the decision maker. Find an advocate.
Who makes the financial decisions? Ultimately, you'll likely need to approach and work with this person directly, but if he or she doesn't know you well, you’ll also want to secure an advocate who can support you.

3. Make a strong case for support.
Find out if anyone else in your organization has received compensation for an advanced degree or if other companies in your field have helped employees with educational goals. Other MBAs at your company— particularly those who are well respected or have been through your particular program—may also be able to help or write a formal letter of support.

4. Showcase your impact at work.
This is not the time to be overly modest. Collect evidence of your contributions and accomplishments over time to convey the positive impact you have made, currently make, and will continue to make on your organization.

5. Highlight the value your degree will bring to the organization.
With all you've been able to accomplish before earning your business degree (See #4), think what you could do during and after your studies. Outline specifics of the curriculum for your employer to emphasize the new skills you'll gain in everything from leadership and strategy to finance and marketing. 

6. Highlight the EMBA program's cross-pollination with other industries.  
Berkeley-Haas purposefully chooses each executive class to include different industries and job functions, so students are exposed to many different points of view and perspectives. The result is a dynamic environment where you glean insights on strategy and innovation that you might not be exposed to within the culture of your own industry.

7. Consider what else you might give back in exchange.
For example, some employers agree to offer financial assistance in return for an employment contract specifying a length of time you will remain at the company. Ensure that your conversation with the decision-maker isn't only an "ask," but a negotiation aimed at meeting both party's needs.

Convincing your employer that its investment in your business education is a good investment for the organization as a whole is key to securing financial sponsorship. In addition to employer assistance, we invite you to learn more EMBA financing options.  

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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What exactly do people do with an MBA? Stories from Berkeley-Haas [#permalink]

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New post 17 Sep 2015, 11:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: What exactly do people do with an MBA? Stories from Berkeley-Haas
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There are as many answers to that question as there are students—maybe even more if you consider the changes possible over the course of a career.

Here are a few stories from the MBA programs at Berkeley-Haas full-time, evening and weekend, and executive that might intrigue or inspire you:

Brian Lee’s studies in the evening and weekend program became his “springboard to accelerate my career in a new direction,” from being a civilian employee of the U.S. Navy to an internship with Wells Fargo Securities.

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For Skyler Soto, the switch was from the nonprofit sector to the retail space. Worried at first that she might be giving up on the Beyond Yourself Defining Principle, she soon learned that “social impact isn’t just the responsibility of the nonprofit sector, it can be woven into any company’s culture.” Today, she is proving that as a buyer for Target.

Out of the 68 members of executive class of 2014, Joe Inkenbrandt was one of 16 who chose to pursue entrepreneurship. Aside from the executive skills he gained in the classroom, Berkeley-Haas gave him, “the confidence to do something I never thought was possible.” He founded Identify3D.

Nearly 10 years ago, Indiegogo Co-Founder Danae Ringelmann, MBA 08, and her classmate Eric Schell had the “crazy" idea to democratize fundraising online. Today, she is chief development officer of Indiegogo, the largest global fundraising site.

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Robert Ford, started his executive MBA studies as vice president of Abbott Diabetes Care, progressed to president of the division, and then became executive vice president of Abbott's Medical Device Business. Along with a new business card, he's gained new insights, new ways of looking at and solving problems, and an “always awesome” cohort of classmates.

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At Google, Leslie Hernandez Dinneen used concepts she learned in the Leading People class in her part-time MBA program (evening and weekend) to good effect when she took a role in a different part of the company to broaden her knowledge and skills. Today, she is a product marketing manager, Employment Brand, leading marketing strategies for Google’s People Operations Group.s Unit.  

What could you do with an MBA? Find more ideas and inspiration with these student journeys:   

A Dream Internship

The Road to Product Management

Making the Move to Management Consulting

Leap into Entrepreneurship

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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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Convincing Employers to Help Finance Your EMBA—Advice from Students [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2015, 17:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Convincing Employers to Help Finance Your EMBA—Advice from Students
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Be prepared, be connected, be flexible, and be tenacious—these are some key points of advice from executive MBA students who have secured financial assistance for their program from employers.

For Liz Lowry, MBA 16, being prepared was particularly important as she was the first person at her firm to request financial help for an advanced degree. “I’m setting the precedent for this at my company,” she says.

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After doing some research and participating in a Haas webinar on employer sponsorship, Lowry, the senior director of business development for INgrooves Music Group, created a formal Request for Sponsorship document. Her request addressed her background and qualifications, how she and the organization would both benefit from key aspects of the program, the required schedule, and her commitment to her employer.

One advantage of the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program she highlighted was the diversity of her classmates. “I looked at business schools in Southern California where I knew there would be more people from the entertainment industry, but I wanted to get away from that. At Berkeley-Haas there is a diverse array of backgrounds that my cohort brings to classroom discussions—I can learn from that and bring that back to the music industry.”

Lowry also was prepared to be flexible in her negotiations with her employer. Rather than receiving full sponsorship, she and her company agreed to payment for one class, negotiated each semester.

While Lowry’s negotiations are ongoing, she is tenacious about continuing her requests. She is also already applying what she is learning, and shares that with her boss during weekly meetings. “I’m using these skills to lead and manage my team, and also in my job function negotiating with partners.”

Savannah Thompson is another Berkeley EMBA student who secured several forms of financial support Image
from her employer, a small private financial services firm.

While Thompson benefited from another employee who previously negotiated financial sponsorship for an MBA, she still did her homework before making her request. One of her first steps was to speak with key decision makers. “I work as an operations manager at a small company, and I first had conversations with the owners and other members of the executive team. I wanted to make certain everyone had buy-in.”

Another key to success was asking early. “I approached my employer four months before the final round of (MBA) applications were due. Asking early allows your employer to ask questions. They may also need to speak with accountants if they provide tuition reimbursement (to explore possible tax deductions), or involve different legal parties if contracts need to be drawn up.”

Thompson also made sure to have a plan in place with her team for the times she would be out of the office. “I tried to approach it from a collaborative standpoint—how do we make this work together? I am fortunate to have a great team of three people who work with me. They have really stepped up and taken on more responsibility.”

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Meet the Berkeley MBA for Executives Class of 2016 [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2015, 01:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Meet the Berkeley MBA for Executives Class of 2016
What do pilots, doctors, and senior execs from Amazon, Deloitte, and Shell have in common? They are among the accomplished professionals in the Berkeley MBA for Executives class of 2016.

Classes began in May for this class, of which more than half the students were born outside the U.S., and about a third commute from outside the Bay Area, including one who travels from China.

In addition to sharing an interest in personal and professional development, these students felt a fit with Berkeley-Haas culture and its Defining Principles: Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself.

“Confidence Without Attitude is knowing that your classmates have no ulterior motives," says EMBA student Harold Allen. "We complement instead of competing with each other."

Meet the class: 

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Want to learn more about the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program? Request information, and we'll keep you updated on special events and the latest news. 

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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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You're ready for an MBA if...(Free Ebook) [#permalink]

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New post 05 Oct 2015, 14:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: You're ready for an MBA if...(Free Ebook)
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You might be ready for an MBA if...you can clearly demonstrate what you bring to an MBA classroom and business school campus. Most top-tier MBA programs are looking for candidates who can add significantly to classroom discussion through frst-hand experiences gained in the working world. 

While some schools are admitting younger students with less time on the job, they generally do so only when a candidate can show an accelerated career path and/or unique work or life experience.

Why? Keep in mind that while you are looking to pursue an MBA because of what you want to learn, business schools are looking for what you have to offer. The ideal business school classroom brings together students from diverse backgrounds and industries, who can share best practices and skills developed in the trenches.

Are you ready? Download the free ebook from Berkeley-Haas, Five Signs You're Ready for an MBA, and find out.

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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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Berkeley EMBA Experiential Learning: Q&A with Asst. Dean Mike Rielly [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2015, 08:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Berkeley EMBA Experiential Learning: Q&A with Asst. Dean Mike Rielly
Mike Rielly, assistant dean for the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program is recently back from Brazil, the International Field Immersion for the class of 2015. We caught up with him to talk about immersions just as he and his team prepare for one in Washington, D.C. for that same class and the Silicon Valley Field Immersion for the 2016s.

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You’re back from Brazil and deep into planning another set of immersions. How are these learning experiences important to the Berkeley EMBA program?


Executive MBA students seek a high degree of engagement in their education, with a strong preference for experiential learning, which allows them to apply learning in real time and real world settings outside the traditional classroom. We’ve made a deep commitment to this, delivering 25 percent of our curriculum experientially—through five immersion weeks that happen at the end of each term.

But our commitment is qualitative as well as quantitative.

How do you ensure quality?

We start by partnering with rock-star faculty, and focusing on high-level and highly relevant curriculum, company visits, speakers, and networking opportunities.

We also execute these programs completely in-house, which is unusual among executive MBA programs, in order to make them uniquely Berkeley-Haas and to ensure best-in-class delivery of our unique blend of immersion components.

Taken together, these experiences offer transformative engagement and learning within the business and culture of global hubs such as Washington, D.C., Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Singapore, and of course the San Francisco Bay Area, including Silicon Valley and Napa.

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In what ways are these immersions transformative?

We’ve now had two classes go through Silicon Valley Immersion Week, which brings to life for students the core capabilities of entrepreneurs as well as the demands, benefits, and risks of launching or working at a startup.

Inspired by what they learned and experienced in Silicon Valley and throughout the program, 16 of 68 students in our class of 2014 have launched new ventures—23 percent of the cohort. We’re already seeing a similar trend for the class of 2015, which completes study in December. Many of these students have told us they had never before considered such a deep entrepreneurial path.

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At Google during Silicon Valley Immersion Week

Just what happens on these immersions?

As Professor Toby Stuart, who leads our Silicon Valley Immersion Week says, “The right experience will never be forgotten, and it has an impact on the decisions that people make in a way that is much more profound than anything that happens solely in a classroom setting.”

We want not just the educational content, but the learning environments to make that kind of impact and to reflect the business and culture of our destination. In Brazil, for example, led by Professor Flavio Feferman, the curriculum focused on sports marketing, entrepreneurship, and global market venture.

What are some ways in which students learned about sports marketing?

We were in Rio following the 2014 FIFA World Cup and ahead of the 2016 Olympics. Our students met with Leonardo Gryner, Deputy CEO of the Rio 2016 Olympic Committee, and with executives from sponsoring companies of both the World Cup and Olympics, such as Flavio Camelier, vice president of Coca Cola Brazil.

We visited Maracanã Stadium, a semi‑religious moment for a lot of our students who follow football (soccer)! There we had a private tour and met with Marcelo Hargreaves da Costa, marketing and commercial director of Odebrecht, the company that manages the stadium’s marketing rights. Marcelo underscored for us what this facility means to Brazil, to the world of soccer and to companies who align with the stadium for marketing purposes.

On a private tour of Allianz Parque with Luis Dix, marketing superintendent, of global financial services firm Allianz Brazil, we learned how his company uses sports to infuse its brand with energy and character.

With sports marketing an increasingly significant portion of marketing budgets worldwide, our students learned about methodology, opportunities, and activation strategies from high-level executives at blue chip companies that are investing heavily in sports. It was eye-opening and will likely factor into future marketing decisions—one way or the other—for our EMBAs.

Why was Brazil a good match for entrepreneurship?

Brazil was the right place at the right time. Having gone through Silicon Valley Immersion Week, it was really interesting for this class to see the much younger entrepreneurial culture and ecosystem in Brazil. We visited four accelerators that were among the first five in the country.

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Fabio Coelho, CEO, Google Brazil

On the corporate side, the week started with a fascinating, and at times personal, presentation and Q&A with Fabio Coelho, CEO of Google Brazil, followed by a high level multi-national panel on market entry, and then a session with Eduardo “Duda” Hernandez, creative director from WMcCann Brazil, the number one advertising agency in Brazil.

In six days we connected with a total of 40 VIP speakers and panelists, in various settings, all of them sharing insights that help our students think and act more strategically around global challenges and opportunities.

What were some of the cultural experiences students had in Brazil?

Flavio arranged for the students to visit two NGOs, both focused on getting kids off the street and into constructive activities, one around ballet and one around football. These were very emotional experiences, with our students playing a lively pickup soccer match with the kids at Bola Pra Frente, and hearing from passionate dance teacher and Ballet Santa Teresa founder, Vania Farias, about what motivates her to carry on in the face of often very difficult circumstances, i.e. a lack of support and funding.

Our students have since rallied to raise funds on behalf of both organizations.  

We organized optional excursions to soccer matches in Sao Paulo and Rio on both sides of the immersion, as well as a presentation and tour with one of Rio’s most engaging city planners—Flavio Feferman's father. Last but not least, many of our students extended their visit in order to further explore Rio, Ilha Grande, the Amazon, and other amazing Brazil destinations.

What’s next for the classes of 2015 and 16?

Both classes are in the field in December, with the 2015s in D.C., and the 2016s in Silicon Valley.

In Washington, students spend the week with Professor Laura Tyson, an expert on trade and competitiveness who has served as an economic advisor to Presidents Clinton and Obama, in order to increase understanding of how Washington intersects with business and vice versa. We look at key policy areas including financial market reform, healthcare reform, and climate change.

This will be the class of 2015's last week together before graduation. We can’t share our schedule quite yet, but the access and venues that Professor Tyson has arranged are amazing (Students in the class of 2014 met with Fed Chair and Haas Professor Emeritus Janet Yellen, for example). One thing I can share is that the EMBA 2015's final dinner as a cohort will have an international flair—it’s taking place at the stunning Italian Embassy and will be co-hosted by Professor Tyson and Claudio Bisogniero, Italian Ambassador to the United States.

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For Silicon Valley Immersion Week, with Professor Toby Stuart, the big change this year is that we are moving a significant portion of the week into San Francisco and the East Bay—as the valley’s ecosystem moves north. 

Toby will again teach his curriculum at Google and Airbnb, plus one other venue we will soon finalize, and small groups of EMBAs will visit founders at 28 of the region’s hottest startups. The week will finish at the St Francis Yacht Club, where over dinner we will celebrate a number of Berkeley-Haas entrepreneurs, as well as the completion of another transformative field immersion. 

Want to learn more about the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program? Request information, and we'll keep you updated on special events and the latest news. 

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Lindo, Maravilhoso! Executive MBA Brazil Immersion Week [#permalink]

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New post 08 Oct 2015, 23:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Lindo, Maravilhoso! Executive MBA Brazil Immersion Week
In mid August, 68 executive MBA students travelled to Brazil for an immersion week focused on entrepreneurship, multi-national corporations, and sports marketing—especially timely in a country focused on preparing to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.

The packed six-day curriculum included meetings with executives including the CEO of Google Brazil and the deputy CEO of the Rio 2016 Olympic Committee; seminars and hands-on workshops; visits to startup incubators; and time for sightseeeing and bonding. 

Below, you'll find two students' reflections on the trip.

Next up in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program is DC for students in the Class of 2015, and Silicon Valleyfor the Class of 2016. Both immersion weeks are in early December. 

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Photo: Visiting the Plug accelerator 

“There's an air of belief and self-confidence in Brazil that reminded me of our own Confidence without Attitude... 

Perhaps the greatest highlight of all was the group outing to the accelerator named Plug, to visit their brand-new office space and hear the war stories of those making it happen on the ground. They spared any sense of political correctness in their mission to induce change in Brazilian policies and government regulations. Plug is so much more than shared office space and seed funding: they are the advocates fighting for their entrepreneurs against the established behemoths in the regulatory world of Brazil. Their no-nonsense approach appealed to the "question-the-status-quo crowd gathered in front of them to absorb their impassioned message.

...Ultimately, what I learned most was a further reinforcement to my greatest takeaway in the Berkeley MBA for Executives program that it is all about people and nurturing lifelong relationships.”

—Kirk Harding, EMBA 15, CEO, Bay Computing

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Photo: Sightseeing in Rio

"While visiting the amazing school called Bola Pra Frente, I heard children laughing and as I turned, a Brazilian boy on the soccer field had taken a shot on goal and faked a dive. Holding his knee in fake injury he rolled on the ground. 'This child has a real future in the game,' I thought, in a country obsessed with futebol—a game that brings this diverse nation, influenced by Portugal, Italy, Japan, and Africa, under one roof. All races, all colors, come together, chanting, “sambando com a bola no pé...goool!"—dancing the samba with the ball on the feet...goal!

Bola Pra Frente brought me to a field of fun. Perhaps this place is an escape to play and learn, in a nation plagued by corruption and hardship. One must see beyond that, to a nation of culture, of music, of sport, and of passion.

The coming Olympic Games shines a light on a country that trumpets: "lindo, maravilhoso!"—beautiful, marvelous!  Indeed, Brazil is a country of extremes and my hope is that it moves to samba, feels joy, and that perhaps the 16 days of Olympic Games will serve as a proof point—not only to the world, but to Brazil itself—that it can transform itself and lead South America; and that it stands for the ideals of the Cristo that watches over this hopeful country." 

—Don Ball, EMBA 15, Director, Innovation Marketing, Visa

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Related posts:

Berkeley EMBA Experiential Learning: Q&A With Asst. Dean Mike Rielly

 

 
 

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Seed Funding for Berkeley MBA Students [#permalink]

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New post 15 Oct 2015, 11:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Seed Funding for Berkeley MBA Students
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From seed funding to greater connections to UC science programs, Berkeley-Haas is strengthening support for students interested in founding companies and for those who want to join or who already work at startups.

Initiatives include the Dean's Startup Seed Fund, providing $5,000 grants to early-stage startups that include Haas students. The grants will fund prototype development and customer discovery activities, skills that Berkeley MBA students build in the Problem Finding, Problem Solving course and through applied innovation coursework.

“Our student entrepreneurs are already thriving within the Berkeley-Haas and Bay Area startup ecosystem,” says Dean Rich Lyons “This new effort will continue to build on and expand that success."

Read thefull story at Haas Now and learn more about support for students offered through the Berkeley-Haas Entrepreneurship Program.

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The Executive MBA: Is it a Fit for You? [#permalink]

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New post 25 Oct 2015, 23:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: The Executive MBA: Is it a Fit for You?
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Perhaps you're considering an MBA, but feel you're too far along in your career to hit the pause button. Or maybe your job requires ongoing travel commitments, or you'd rather not relocate to earn the degree. If any of these describe you, may already know that a part-time MBA program could be the best fit for you. 

But many people researching part-time programs initially only consider those with the evening/weekend format. In fact, many students who apply to Berkeley-Haas actually find theBerkeley MBA  for Executives Program is a better fit.

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“At first I didn’t consider the Executive MBA because I thought I wasn’t qualified,” says Ronak Shah, manager of the Algorithms Group for Altera Corporation. “My perception was that I needed to be a vice president or a director, and I wasn’t there yet.

“But during the interview process at Berkeley I discovered that qualifying is more about career trajectory and being on the path toward executive leadership.”

At Berkeley-Haas, EMBA students come from diverse industries, job functions and points in their career—what matters most is the value they add to the classroom.

The majority of students have 8- 18 years of work experience in jobs ranging from executives to doctors to sales managers to scientists. This not only creates a rich classroom experience filled with different perspectives, it allows students to keep up with the fast-paced, rigorous program.

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Rigor is not what Danielle Dudum initially expected from an executive MBA program.

“I was under the impression that all of the executive programs were abbreviated with diluted academics,” says Danielle, global strategy & operations manager for Google. She found the opposite was true at Berkeley-Haas.

 “More often than not I find our professors have not only analyzed and researched theories, but applied them in industry, so I have confidence in what I’m learning and in applying it at work. This, combined with the diverse experiences of my classmates, makes the program a very rich learning environment.”

Both Daielle and Ronak found another huge advantage with the Berkeley MBA for Executives: schedule. Students gather for a three-day session every three weeks, allowing for advanced planning around demanding work or travel schedules.

“The executive program schedule is paramount for me to continue to be successful in my career,” says Ronak, who plans customer site visits in between school sessions and often does his studying on long plane flights.

Danielle, who commutes daily between San Francisco and the South Bay, finds the block scheduling allows her to be fully present for school.

“I didn’t want school to feel like a chore and one more thing to do after a 12-hour work day. With the executive program I never feel that way because I have these long weekends of reflection and learning and development.

“I am working hard, but when I’m there I’m focused and investing in myself wholly—that makes the time and investment so worthwhile.”

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Part II of our Q & A with Berkeley EMBA Assistant Dean Mike Rielly [#permalink]

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New post 02 Nov 2015, 17:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Part II of our Q & A with Berkeley EMBA Assistant Dean Mike Rielly
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When we last spoke with Berkeley MBA for Executives Assistant Dean Mike Rielly, we focused on the program’s commitment to experiential learning through its five immersion weeks. This time, we talk about other aspects of program curriculum, as well as what most surprises students, what is most important for them to know up front, and the best ways to assess program fit.


What should prospective students know about the Berkeley EMBA’s curriculum?

 Our promise is to develop leaders who are equipped to deliver innovation at scale. We build executive-level fluency in business fundamentals through our core courses, strengthen that with elective coursework, and, once each term, take learning into the field for experiential immersion weeks. Twenty-five percent of our curriculum is experiential – it’s important to note there is no other MBA program so deeply committed to this incredibly effective learning model.

Tell us more about elective courses.

We offer what we call anchor electives, which focus on the key areas of executive skill we believe students need to complement their core, and to be increasingly capable of delivering this innovation at scale: leadership, entrepreneurship, strategy, and finance.

Anchor electives include very popular courses such as Negotiations, Executive Leadership, New Venture Finance, Corporate Finance, Global Strategy and Turnarounds. To add more breadth, we also cross-list special-interest electives, such as a new Food Venture Lab, Game Theory and a blended Marketing course, with our other MBA programs. This is one distinct advantage of an EMBA program that’s integrated into a larger campus community.

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Professor Dana Carney

Independent study is another way to go deep on a niche topic. Many of our EMBAs take advantage of relationships developed with faculty in this way, engaging with Sara Beckman on design thinking, Dana Carney on leading people,  Maura O’Neill on venture finance and Toby Stuart on entrepreneurship and innovation, for example.

What are student/faculty relationships like in this executive MBA program?

EMBAs are our most professionally experienced student population. Along with the unique nature of block scheduling (three intense days about every three weeks), the experience our students bring to the classroom leads to an incredibly engaged dynamic.  Our faculty love this dynamic – their research and teachings are challenged by real world examples that students bring to class, and they know students are applying their learning in the workplace in real time.

In other words, EMBA classrooms are lively. Our faculty often receive standing ovations at the end of the term and are often engaged again for independent study, teaching an advanced elective in their subject matter, and/or for professional advice as the students' careers progress.

We also arrange intimate student-faculty dinners each block, and during our field immersions there is intense 24/7 student-faculty engagement in places like Napa, Silicon Valley, Chicago, Washington D.C., Brazil and Singapore.

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What most surprises students about the program?

The quality, diversity and depth of each cohort. An absolutely consistent observation among all our students is, “Wow, this admissions department did a great job. This is an incrediblecohort—and personal and professional network.”

What might be most helpful for them to know before starting the program?   

That the program is intense, accelerated, and requires stamina and the ability to compartmentalize to really excel. Expect to feel it right out of the chute, but know that students work through it by the end of the first term.  

They’re typically ready for Block 1, borderline overwhelmed by Blocks 2 and 3, and relieved and proud to finish Block 4 in better shape than expected. Then it's off to the Leadership Communication Immersion, which is when we see the character of each cohort emerge, significant personal growth, and a big moment of, "We did it!  We're all still here and ready to keep rolling."

Along the way, early in the program, they start making more informed choices and adjustments in all areas of their lives that facilitate greater comfort with and success in the program.

Also, it’s important to know up front that there’s a zero‑tolerance policy for missing courses and immersions, unless there's a personal or family emergency.  We provide all prospective students with the full schedule through the end of their program, and ask them to clear any personal or professional scheduling conflicts.  This is because the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program is a significant investment of their time and money, and requires a full commitment in order to experience maximum return on that investment. 

How can prospective students best assess program fit?

By really taking the time to get a sense of the student experience. Come to admissions events, sit in on classes, talk with students, meet the faculty, meet the program office, and see what it’s really like.

We have a lot of confidence in who we are, and we believe that the more prospective students get to know our program, our promise, and our  distinctive school culture, the more they'll come away with a clear sense, either way, that "This place is for me," or, "This place is not for me."

Hopefully, they’ll get a sense of the transformations undergone by many of our students and of how the Haas community—from faculty and fellow students to alumni and staff—supports those transformations.  It’s amazing what you can do when surrounded by people who have your back—personally and professionally—during the program and for the rest of your life.”

Want to learn more about the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program? Request information, and we'll keep you updated on special events and the latest news. 

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Executive MBA Ranks High with Veterans [#permalink]

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New post 10 Nov 2015, 12:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Executive MBA Ranks High with Veterans
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The 69 students enrolled in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program pack a lot of diversity into their cohorts. For Mark Gorenflo and Michael Boos (pictured above), that includes the valuable skills learned serving in the military. Here’s what they had to say about why they chose business school, where their careers are headed, and why they recommend it to other vets.

Mark Gorenflo, director of operations, DIUx (Defense Innovation Unit Experimental)
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His military career: A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Mark (pictured r.) served 21 years in the U.S. Navy, and followed that with 10 years as a civilian employee in the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense.

His decision to go to Haas: “As part of an informational session, I made an executive MBA program class visit. It happened to be an Operations class, a very tangible subject that I could easily relate to. Better yet, the students in class asked all of us visitors to introduce ourselves and say a bit about why we were there. Everyone was so welcoming and encouraging—and they still are.”

His future: “In the past, the Department of Defense was a source of innovations crucial to modern society—GPS and the Internet, are just two examples. At DIUx, we want to do the reverse: Introduce innovations developed by the private sector to the military.  We’re looking for more nimble ways to engage high technology entrepreneurs to help ensure that the U.S. military maintain its qualitative edge over potential adversaries.”

He recommends an MBA to other vets because: “First, the marginal utility of what you learn will be greater than your classmates. Almost everything will be new to you, from Accounting to Economics to Marketing. You’ll find a lot of rigor in those subjects. Second, your leadership and operational experience will enrich any classroom discussion. Third, it’s one of the best ways to take full advantage of your Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits.”

Michael Boos, first officer, Southwest Airlines
His military career: After graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Michael served eight years, completing 716 combat hours in Afghanistan and Iraq. He followed that with five years in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. 

His decision to go to Haas: “The caliber of the students and the faculty, the warmth of the welcome were all important factors. But to be business-like about it, the program makes financial sense. The Post 9/11 G.I Bill treats the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program like a full-time program, and because this is a public university, it pays 100% of the tuition and books, plus a housing allowance. All that, and you’re at a top-ranked business school.”

His future: “I love flying and want to stay in the cockpit as long as I can. Fortunately, Southwest Airlines Image
encourages pilots to take on management roles while still flying. Our current VP of Flight Ops still flies. I would love to follow that same path in my career. Or, given my flexible schedule as a commercial pilot, pursuing a second career in finance or strategy has a lot of appeal. I love the idea of being able to pursue more than one passion.”

He recommends an MBA to other vets because: “An MBA program pushes you beyond your core military competencies. I left the Air Force as an expert pilot confident in my leadership skills. But it can’t teach you the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the business world. An MBA gives you insights into everything from microeconomics to how to handle an Excel spreadsheet.”

Interested in pushing beyond your core competencies? Explore the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program.

 

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Video: Honoring Our Student Veterans [#permalink]

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New post 12 Nov 2015, 21:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Video: Honoring Our Student Veterans
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Jeremy Hendricks, MBA 16, U.S. Army Special Forces

This year, Berkeley-Haas has 68 U.S. military veterans in our MBA and undergraduate programs—up from 60 last year, and still climbing. Their unique perspectives on leadership and commitment are powerful reminders of the Berkeley-Haas defining principle of Beyond Yourself. 

In this video, student vets in the Full-time, Evening & Weekend, and Executive MBA programs share some of the experiences that have shaped who they are, and what they bring to the program.



 

Read more about veterans at Haas: 

Berkeley MBA Studies Help Military Servicemembers Take Flight 

How Part-Time MBA Studies Strengthen Post-Military Careers

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What we're thankful for at Berkeley-Haas: 7 Things [#permalink]

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New post 19 Nov 2015, 12:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: What we're thankful for at Berkeley-Haas: 7 Things
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The holidays are a perfect time of year to reflect on what we’ve been given, and what we can give back. With a devoted staff, inspiring faculty, and diverse and talented students, we at Berkeley-Haas have a lot to be thankful for this year. In keeping with a season that incites an attitude of gratitude, we've gathered together a list of things we're grateful for. Though we could have made a much longer list, we’re especially thankful for…

1. Unique learning opportunities
You may have heard the saying, “if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn't change you.” Life is full of opportunities to learn, to try, to be something new. We believe in providing students with hands-on experiences in stimulating environments, like this year’s tech challenge with Facebook, our executive MBA program's field immersions, and the academic retreat in our Evening & Weekend MBA Program.

2. Creation and innovation
Who said trying to reinvent the wheel was a bad thing? We’re thankful for those who introduce new ideas to old systems. We’re especially thankful to have some of those very minds affiliated with Berkeley-Haas, like alumni Patrick Awuah, who recently received the MacArthur Foundation’s coveted “genius grant.” We welcome students, alumni, and faculty who encourage us to re-envision—and improve—what we already know.

3. Diverse voices and perspectives
The demographics of today's workforce is changing, and student bodies are becoming more diverse. We appreciate the power of a student body that offers differing perspectives and backgrounds. Our Gender Equity Initiative, which focused on admissions outreach to female applicants, demonstrates our commitment to a diverse class; as of 2015, our full-time MBA program has one of the highest female student ratios among top business schools.

4. Leaders who inspire us
Whether they’re in the classroom, the workplace, or the news, leaders have a powerful, yet sometimes quiet, way of differentiating themselves. They draw our interest and attention, and they inspire us to think of what we could be. We’re inspired by many such leaders here at Berkeley-Haas, including Professor Emeritus and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

5. Rewarding careers and professional development
We think having a stimulating career is critical to both personal and professional fulfillment—and The Economist agrees. In its 2015 ranking of top full-time MBA programs, the publication weighted new career opportunities and personal development, along with educational experiences, as its two most important factors. The Haas School ranked #5 in the nation, demonstrating our ongoing career support for students and alumni.

6. Cooperation and co-creation
If two heads are better than one, then a community of bright and service-oriented minds is unbeatable. At Haas-Berkeley, we want the educational opportunities on campus to benefit communities near and far. That’s why Berkeley-Haas partnered with Philanthropy U to debut free online courses to over 100,000 students globally. 

7. Breakthroughs that shake up the status quo
Every so often, research reveals something that wows us. It might contradict what we thought we knew, or invite us to view the world differently. These breakthroughs keep life interesting, keep us guessing, and unlock unknown potential. And breakthroughs don’t happen without fearless thinkers and dedicated pioneers, like Assistant Professor Ming Hsu, whose work with psychology, technology, and analytics promises exciting applications for marketing insights.

We're also thankful that this list reflects much of what students experience at Berkeley-Haas. Want to learn more? You can start by comparing the Berkeley MBA programs.

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Commuting for an Executive MBA: Berkeley EMBAs Share Perspective [#permalink]

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New post 30 Nov 2015, 18:01
FROM The Berkeley EMBA Blog: Commuting for an Executive MBA: Berkeley EMBAs Share Perspective
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Karin Lion, associate program officer with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, commutes to the Berkeley executive MBA program from Seattle

Nearly a third of the students in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program commute for their studies. For them, the chance to study not just in a Bay Area EMBA Program, but in a full campus environment (at the Haas School of Business and at UC Berkeley) were worth the trade-offs.

Here's what some of them had to say about why they chose to commute for an executive MBA program and how the Berkeley-Haas program helps them make it work.

Christine Elfalan, who began the program as the executive director of product management for a Southern-California-based online flower company says the scheduling of classes—every three weeks instead of every two—made a big difference.

"Flying up every three weeks is the ideal cadence to keep me well-connected to my career and fully immersed in my studies," says Christine, who has since moved to the Bay Area as director of engagement marketing for OpenTable.

Greg Durkin, senior VP of marketing analytics for Warner Bros. Pictures, deliberately chose to leave Southern California for his executive MBA studies. “When you take yourself out of your comfort zone and put yourself into a new community, it sets you up to think differently,” he says of his decision to cross-pollinate perspective with executives from other industries.

Even students who aren't commuting work to support the classmates who are. Cindy Chang, who recently left her role as business analyst with REG Life Sciences to launch her own venture, serves as VP of Academics for her class. She has worked closely with the program office to smooth the way for her classmates. Making sure class schedules let commuters get on a plane at a reasonable time are among the issues she's handled.  http://mbaforexecs.haas.berkeley.edu/community/students/profiles/cindy_chang.html

Karin Lion, associate program officer with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (pictured above), commutes from Seattle and says this has actually added to her executive MBA experience. The five Seattle commuters form their own “mini-Haas," studying together and supporting each other. "They have also expanded my view of Seattle," Karin says, "introducing me to new neighborhoods and experiences."

To learn more about what it's like to commute for an EMBA, join current students for our Commuting from Outside the Bay Area webinar, Thurs., Dec. 3, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. (PST).

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Commuting for an Executive MBA: Berkeley EMBAs Share Perspective   [#permalink] 30 Nov 2015, 18:01

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