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Berkeley Haas MBA Admissions & Related Blogs

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Becoming a Leader In Product Management: Jay Dave's Amazon Career [#permalink]

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New post 21 Aug 2017, 14:00
FROM Haas Admissions Blog: Becoming a Leader In Product Management: Jay Dave's Amazon Career
Although Jay Dave, EMBA 16, came from an engineering background, he'd always considered transitioning to a leadership role in product management. ""I still wanted to be in tech, but I also wanted to be part of the decision making process," he says. And in the back of his mind, Jay also thought about how an MBA would help him change his professional path. "I even took the GMAT in 2011," he says, "and then I sat on it for a while."

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From Program Management to Developing as a Product Manager
With a successful history as a program manager at Microsoft, where he worked in application security on the Windows team, and then as a technical program manager at Amazon, Jay eventually did decide to shift from engineering to product management in 2012.

"The shift was not so much for the title but for the nature of work," he says. "At Microsoft I was the owner of a small set of features for a massive platform (Windows). So it was almost impossible to measure the impact of my team's efforts on the business of Windows. For my next role, I wanted to work on a product where I had visibility into the entire value chain and could trace the impact of my efforts on the balance sheet."

"I wanted to be involved in the conversations around why we're doing what we're doing and how to do it best." 

His interest in guiding and influencing a product's lifecycle led Jay to the Kindle Newsstand team at Amazon, where he was responsible first for the launch of interactive magazines on Kindle and later for expanding into international markets. "I knew I would get to work on a product that was focused on a single category (digital magazines) and closely observe how business decisions were made."

Three years later, Jay made another move to a product management role in retail for Amazon Pet Supplies. And while he enjoyed "working in a space that had both a physical and digital product," he found he was curious about the retail side of Amazon's business.

"I wanted to be involved in the conversations around why we're doing what we're doing and how to do it best," he says.

And that's when Jay revisited the idea of business school—and why he decided an MBA from Haas would help him lead both his product and his team.  

Applying His Berkeley MBA at Amazon
While he was simultaneously working and earning his MBA, Jay applied what he was learning at Haas to pioneer the launch of one of the biggest subscription initiatives within Amazon Pet Supplies. "Haas has given me frameworks I can apply to any business problem. I can now ask the right questions to gain insights from my customers."

In addition to the gratification that comes with leading successful projects, Jay has also been able to truly make an impact on—and a connection with—the user behind the product. "I'm able to help to create a product strategy [that] shapes the experience of shopping on Amazon."

Becoming the Best Leader He Can Be
Jay recently transitioned to another leadership role in product management, joining the search and discovery team for the home furnishings space.

"In addition to the engineering challenge, this role gives me the opportunity to flex in terms of leadership, negotiation, and building strong relationships… and my time at Haas gave me the tools I need to succeed."

Haas has also provided Jay with broader resources to which he can turn to creatively solve problems.

"When I came to Haas, I'd been in the tech industry for 10 years, and most of my network came from tech and engineering. I wanted to get a more diverse prospective. Doing an MBA at Haas connected me with classmates who are experts in everything from public policy to the social sector. If I have a question on a topic or area I'm not familiar with, I know I have a [Haas] friend in that sector who I can go to for insight."

One of my goals it to adjust my style of leadership to be more visionary, and more willing to coach my team."

Most importantly, Jay credits his Haas experience for not only enhancing his professional success, but also teaching him about himself.
"Haas had made me more conscious of my management style. I have a pace-setting leadership style, which I learned about in Jenny Chatman's class on creating effective organizations. One of the characteristics of a leader with a pace-setting style is he/she tends to say 'let me show you how it is done—follow my lead'. I have a very new team of product managers that is both new to Amazon and new to product management. We operate as a small startup where we need people to show a strong bias for action."

Although he admits to sometimes thinking "it might be faster if I just did this myself," Jay knows that this leadership style may not always motivate or connect his team,  As a result, adjusting his leadership style has become one of his goals, because Jay wants to not only lead Amazon products, but also Amazon teammates.

"One of my goals it to adjust my style of leadership to be more visionary, and more willing to coach my team."

Learn more about Haas EMBA students who are leaders in their fields:

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

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This post has been originally posted on the Admissions Blog and re-posted here for convenience

Kudos [?]: 16 [0], given: 0

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Evening & Weekend MBA Class Profile Infographic: Meet the 2020s [#permalink]

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New post 31 Aug 2017, 17:00
FROM Haas Admissions Blog: Evening & Weekend MBA Class Profile Infographic: Meet the 2020s
In the Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program, part-time students are all in. It takes drive and commitment to earn your MBA while working—traits shared by the 253 students in the program's class of 2020.

These students successfully balance career, family, and friends with the rigor of the nation's top-ranked part-time MBA program. They bring diverse experience and perspective, share a desire for even greater impact in their careers, and join a community built to support lifelong growth.

This MBA class profile takes a look at our newest entering class in the Evening & Weekend MBA Program:

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Want to learn more about the students, curriclum, and culture of the Evening & Weekend MBA Program? Continue exploring.Image

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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

_________________

This post has been originally posted on the Admissions Blog and re-posted here for convenience

Kudos [?]: 16 [0], given: 0

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How to Become a Product Manager [#permalink]

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New post 18 Sep 2017, 11:00
FROM Haas Admissions Blog: How to Become a Product Manager
Product managers help companies envision, produce, and market products. They are responsible for every stage from conception to sale. Their role is so essential that they are sometimes referred to as "mini CEOs".

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The paths to product management can be diverse. Some individuals start on the technical side of things, while others start in customer-facing positions. Some have an MBA, while others do not.

Although everyone takes a different path to get to the role, there are certain qualities that  product managers (PMs) share. For example, the most successful PMs enjoy working as part of a team and know how to communicate effectively with others. They are familiar with a wide swath of business areas and can bring that to bear when creating a viable product.

The best way to find out what a career in product management might look like for you is to seek out insight from experts who fully understand what the role is like, which skills are needed, and what steps should be taken before embarking on this career path.

Wondering how to become a product manager? Download our free ebook for more insights 
In our new ebook, Breaking Into Product Management, three senior product managers identify the unique combination of qualities and preparation needed to become a product manager. They discuss what they did before becoming a product manager, what they do now, and why they love their jobs.

Their insights will help you learn:

  • 6 qualities every PM needs
  • 5 things you can do to prepare for a career in product management
  • Whether or not it helps to have an MBA for product management
  • What you can expect to encounter in a PM role
Want to learn more? Download our free ebook on Breaking Into Product Management for more insights.

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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

_________________

This post has been originally posted on the Admissions Blog and re-posted here for convenience

Kudos [?]: 16 [0], given: 0

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Joined: 13 Nov 2013
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Kudos [?]: 16 [0], given: 0

Haas Alumni Network Connects MBA Entrepreneurs in Biotech [#permalink]

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New post 20 Sep 2017, 07:00
FROM Haas Admissions Blog: Haas Alumni Network Connects MBA Entrepreneurs in Biotech
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Anyone who’s launched a startup knows that the road to success is never straight or smooth. Riding the inevitable ups and downs and finding your way to financial success requires many factors, not the least of them finding the right leadership team for your fledgling company. The Haas Alumni Network (HAN) has been the matchmaker for many professional partnerships, and the story behind GigaGen is one of them. When two Berkeley Haas MBA entrepreneurs connected at a HAN event, it began an alliance that would spell GigaGen’s ultimate success.

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In 2013 David Johnson had just started theBerkeley MBA for Executives Program. With a Stanford PhD in genetics, he’d already enjoyed success as COO at Natera – a biotech firm providing molecular diagnostic services for reproductive genetic therapies such as in vitro fertilization. He left that company in 2010 to launch GigaGen, a biopharmaceutical company developing novel antibody and T-cell therapies derived from immune repertoires. David had already raised $1.5 million in seed money and received a few grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). GigaGen had begun developing the first recombinant intravenous immunoglobulin and immuno-oncology therapies, in addition to a pipeline of other products.

That’s one of the things I wanted from the EMBA program: introductions to people I wouldn’t otherwise meet.”

After a few setbacks with his VC backer, David had won more NIH and NSF funding, as well as a big pharma contract. But a greater source of income was necessary for GigaGen’s anticipated growth and he knew that he needed a solid fundraiser with targeted expertise and deep credibility. “Get someone with drug company experience,” one VC advised. That was on his mind when he attended a HAN event at the Menlo Circus Club in February 2013.

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Enter Carter Keller. Prior to attending Haas in theFull-time MBA Program, Carter had received his BSE from Stanford in chemical engineering and pre-med. Since he graduated from Berkeley-Haas in 2004, he’d been working in marketing for pharmaceutical firms.

With colorful name tags identifying their common industry, David and Carter found each other quickly. Carter’s firm had just experienced the failure of one of its clinical studies and was laying people off. David’s nascent company sounded promising. The two men soon discovered a mutual appreciation of results-oriented hard work, transparency, and data-driven decision making, says Carter. He joined GigaGen as chief operating officer in December 2014, and in July 2017 the company pulled in a $50 million deal from global healthcare company Grifols, which currently produces pharmaceutical products from human plasma. GigaGen uses its patented recombinant technologies to produce antibody drugs, which promises to modernize the methods currently used at Grifols.  

Creating a commercially viable technology
“Bringing Carter on was directly related to winning this big contract,” David says. “I’ve learned so much from him, and it’s enormously valuable to have a guy at the table who’s been around the block.”

The admiration runs both ways. “David is easily one of the smartest, hardest-working people I’ve ever met,” Carter says. “He’s mastered so many areas of science – including genetics, microfluidics, antibody discovery and engineering, and protein expression – and has used this knowledge and a lot of sweat to create new and commercially valuable technologies.”

Both men credit their Haas experience with the effective partnership they’ve made. “I recently mapped my LinkedIn connections,” says David. “While my contacts through science and my startups clustered together, my Berkeley-Haas classmates were all over the map. That’s one of the things I wanted from the EMBA program: introductions to people I wouldn’t otherwise meet.”

Carter sees another advantage. “Haas has quietly been stoking the fire of the biotech industry by supplying leaders to organizations of all sizes and training entrepreneurs to build the next set of biotech companies,” he says. “Biotechnology is a team sport and Haas graduates are the best in the world at working productively in a team environment and leading teams to successful outcomes."

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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

_________________

This post has been originally posted on the Admissions Blog and re-posted here for convenience

Kudos [?]: 16 [0], given: 0

Haas Alumni Network Connects MBA Entrepreneurs in Biotech   [#permalink] 20 Sep 2017, 07:00

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