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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, 13:00
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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Evening & Weekend MBA Class Profile Infographic: Meet the 2020s [#permalink]

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New post 31 Aug 2017, 16:00
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

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How to Become a Product Manager [#permalink]

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New post 18 Sep 2017, 10:00
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

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

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New post 20 Sep 2017, 06:00
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

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What is the Berkeley MBA looking for? Here's the class of 2019—By the  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2017, 15:00
FROM Haas Admissions Blog: What is the Berkeley MBA looking for? Here's the class of 2019—By the Numbers
There is no one formula for getting into Berkeley-Haas. We build each class in our Full-time MBA Program to cultivate a diverse mix of backgrounds, industries, interests, and passions.

So when I'm asked, "What is the Berkeley MBA looking for?" the answer is: The chance to get to know you as an individual.

We want to understand your motivations, purpose, and goals. To do that, we evaluate your application holistically—no one piece of the application weighs more than the others.

What will make your MBA application stand out? For one thing, taking the time to self reflect, to truly understand why you want an MBA and why you want it from Berkeley-Haas.

This year, we built a class of 282 students with strong all around applications and who were very clear on their reasons for being here. Here's a look at the full-time Berkeley MBA class of 2019—by the numbers. 

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Want to go beyond the numbers? Check out our student profiles to learn more about who chooses Berkeley-Haas.

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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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Video: The Engaging and Rigorous Berkeley EMBA Classroom [#permalink]

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New post 04 Oct 2017, 07:00
FROM Haas Admissions Blog: Video: The Engaging and Rigorous Berkeley EMBA Classroom
Step into a Berkeley EMBA classroom, and you will be stretched and challenged both by your professors and your peers.

Delivering a general management curriculum rooted in leading academic research, the Berkeley executive MBA program is as rigorous as the full-time MBA program. The program holds to the same high course standards and draws from the same top faculty pool.

Your professors deliver concepts and frameworks that you can take right to work, and the lively discussion of ideas with classmates deepens your learning.

"What I love most about the EMBA students is that they're able to bring something to the classroom from their own experience that really demonstrates why each and every topic we touch on has value and relevance in real life," says Microeconomics Professor Steve Tadelis.

I invite you to meet Prof. Tadelis and some of his students and in the video above and to learn more about the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program.

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

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Student Perspective: How I'm Using My MBA To Break Into Entertainment [#permalink]

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New post 13 Oct 2017, 10:00
FROM Haas Admissions Blog: Student Perspective: How I'm Using My MBA To Break Into Entertainment
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When I discuss my post-MBA goals of transitioning into the entertainment industry as a writer-producer, the question I get most often is, “Wait, why are you in an MBA program again?”.

Disruption opens opportunities
In response, I note how the entertainment industry is being “disrupted” by new entrants who bring capabilities like streaming, analytics, machine learning, and alternative financing and marketing to the table. Those entrants have forced incumbents to rethink their core business models and thrown the industry into a frenzy that has a direct effect on the content that gets greenlit, produced, and distributed to the masses.

I then add that as companies undergo these democratizing shifts, reshuffling and retooling around questions of access and diversity, my goal is to help institutionalize efforts to include diverse creative voices before the dust settles and the new world emerges.

Creating a personalized MBA
For me, my business degree is unavoidably tied to my creative goals. To reach them, I looked for a program that would provide me the best opportunity to gain a well-rounded, personalized MBA. Berkeley-Haas came out on top.

To begin preparing for my career shift, I left my consultant job at Accenture in New York City the summer before I started at Haas and took an unpaid pre-MBA internship at a new Hollywood-based production company called Macro. Led by agency veteran, Charles King, Macro describes itself as “a disruptive media company focused on the multicultural market…positioned to capitalize on the explosive growth in media consumption by African-American, Latino and multicultural consumers.” The experience was amazing. Their mission was right in line with my own and my time there solidified my interest in the industry—and my insistence that the business and creative sides of the entertainment industry are intertwined.

Following that summer, I came to Haas energized to connect with every entertainment-adjacent resource I could find.

How I built a network
My classmates, the Haas Career Management Group (CMG), and Haas alumni have been integral to this quest. Everyone who learned of my interest connected me to someone else. Immediately, I had a network to tap into. The second-year students coached me on the best ways to utilize career services—early and often—and CMG coached me on reaching out effectively to the entertainment alumni. The alumni I talked with were responsive and supportive, connecting me to additional resources so I felt confident pursuing relationships in the industry.

I then joined the Digital Media & Entertainment Club, became the operations lead of DMEC’s >play conference, and took a number of impactful courses to expand my network and prepare me for my internship. My professors were industry executives in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and they took the time to advise me on my recruiting strategy and connect me with executives at my target companies. Through these connections, I landed my internship at Otter Media, a joint venture between The Chernin Group and AT&T, which works to invest in and create digital content brands. While in L.A., I was also able to reconnect in person with the alumni who had supported me earlier.

A Student-driven culture
Along the way, Haas’ student-driven culture drove me to start an official CMG-networked job search team for media and entertainment; plan a trek to the Sundance Film Festival; and build a team for Paramount’s case competition. To take full advantage of my classwork, I often requested that my study groups select entertainment companies for our team projects, to which they have graciously agreed. Analyzing Netflix’s pricing strategy and financial forecasts and Disney’s corporate strategy approach, for example, was invaluable preparation for interviews.

For me, the Haas MBA has been about eschewing pipelines and cookie-cutter degrees. It has been about empowering me and every classmate to go exactly where we want to go at Haas and well after graduation.

After an eventful first year, I feel more confident in my journey than ever before, and I know that Haas has been invaluable for this—alongside some unforgettable classmates!

Could Berkeley-Haas be the right fit for you? Learn more about the Full-time Berkeley 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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Why a Part-Time or Executive MBA Works for a Wide Array of People [#permalink]

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New post 17 Oct 2017, 14:00
FROM Haas Admissions Blog: Why a Part-Time or Executive MBA Works for a Wide Array of People
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An MBA can have a transformative effect on your life and career. But, is it right for you? What if you want to continue working or have a family? How do you balance your personal commitments with the requirements of an MBA? What if your background is not business-oriented? How will you fit in?

At Berkeley-Haas, our MBA programs for working professionals let people realize their fullest potential as leaders and trailblazers — all while continuing work and family life. The Evening & Weekend MBA (EWMBA) and the Berkeley MBA for Executives Programs are designed for students from a broad diversity of backgrounds and cultures.

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Melanie Akwule, a senior technical product manager at GE Digital, is part of the EWMBA class of 2019.

She initially wasn’t sure if the MBA was for her, but says, “Boy was I wrong.”

“Going to school part time has allowed me to stay tuned into what’s going on in the industry while bringing skills learned in class to work,” she says.

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For biotech consultant and Senior Global Clinical Operations Manager Lan Fong, the MBA experience is empowering her to “question the status quo” in an industry where regulation and technology struggle to stay apace with fast-evolving diseases. Lan is currently a student in the Executive MBA program class of 2018.

For both women, the chance to come together with a diverse array of talented people was part of the appeal of studying at Berkeley-Haas.

“The most empowering part of my MBA experience is the people I’ve met along the way,” says Melanie. “Everyone here has passion, purpose, and a determination to leave the world better than they found it. It’s been an extremely motivating force for me.”

Register for our MBA Programs for Working Professionals Diversity Summit
Lan adds, “We are smarter collectively, because we each bring our unique skills and diverse work experiences to class. Every time I come to Haas, I am inspired by my classmates and professors to be a catalyst for change."

This month, Melanie and Lan are two of the students hosting a diversity summit to explore the value that difference brings to learning.

“It’s important to come”, says Melanie, “because it’s a way of getting to know the spirit of Berkeley from the inside. Experiencing diversity at Haas goes beyond the numbers. I attended the summit in 2015, and I was blown away by the energy, humility and dedication to the student experience here.”

Lan also looks forward to the conversations that will be part of the summit. “We can’t keep up if we keep developing medicine the same way as before. Being able to tap into the diversity of experience in the EMBA classroom allows us to see problems from a different lens – a different perspective than our own.”

“I know the change I wish to see in this world, and I’m making strides in bringing it to fruition,” says Melanie. “The support, creativity, and shared dedication of my classmates has helped me to shine my light that much brighter.”

We invite you to join Melanie, Lan and other students at theDiversity Summit on Saturday October 28, 2017, at Berkeley-Haas, and to learn more about our MBA for Working Professionals Programs. Compare our three MBA programs to see which may be right for you.

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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 we learned by taking a chance on innovating for Tesla [#permalink]

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New post 26 Oct 2017, 16:00
FROM Haas Admissions Blog: What we learned by taking a chance on innovating for Tesla
 

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When the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth calls you with an opportunity to present a business case to a panel of Tesla judges, you answer! Even if you don't end up winning, you'll learn a great deal.

Thanks to the Career Management Group (CMG), Haas Technology Club (HTC) and Berkeley Energy and Resources Club (BERC), Berkeley Haas organized a selection process for teams interested in participating in a hypothetical business challenge about Tesla. Our team of four evening & weekend MBA students and one full-time MBA student was thrilled to be selected out of many applicants (pictured above: Brad Crist, FTMBA 19; Suhas Sheshadri, EWMBA 19; Melanie Davidson, EWMBA 19; Varun Kallepalli, EWMBA 19; and Paul Kim, EWMBA 19).

Customer Love
The prompt we received from Tesla Sales and Service: “Present your best ideas to take the relationship between driver and car to the next level, and create true customer love.”

As a team of engineers and finance people, we were up for the challenge to put on our marketing and sales hats. Through interviews, test drives, combing through social media and reading hundreds of articles, a clear challenge emerged: With a projected 500,000 new customers being added each year, how was Tesla to maintain its high level of customer service while managing service costs? And how does the company transition from being a niche car maker for the innovator/early adopter customer segment to a true mass-market vehicle manufacturer?

Our strategy: Tesla CX
In Round One of the competition, Team Haas presented our solution, Tesla CX: an all-encompassing customer experience (CX) strategy to delight Tesla Model 3 owners throughout their ownership journey. We proposed company structural and behavioral changes to smoothly transition itself from makers of a niche car to mass-market car, including naming a customer experience officer (CXO) who reports to the CEO and implementing a CX scorecard across all departments. Our proposal included concrete examples of how the strategy could create engagement and delight in customers and help Tesla manage resources over time. For example, we suggested creating a program to engage customers on queue for the Model 3 through more regular communications and events and promotions, as well as an enhanced program for drivers to customize and get to know their vehicle better with remote support from Tesla service agents.

The Tesla judges asked particularly insightful questions. It’s clear that Tesla’s sales and service team spends a lot of time thinking about the company’s organizational structure and how its incentives helped build the best automobile company in the world.

Stiff Competition
Unfortunately, in the first round we faced stiff competition from Wharton, who went on to win the event.

The final round consisted of the following four ideas, ranked as follows:

  • 1st Place, Wharton: “M8”- Reduce customer anxiety around automobile accidents. The M8 program encouraged safe driving using a car-generated TeslaScore based on the driver’s driving record that was linked to insurance rate adjustments, and an AI-powered repair program.
  • 2nd Place, Tuck: “Tesla Oasis”- A hyper-personalization program for Teslas in the car-share future. The vehicle adapts its interior to your mood and preferences.
  • Finalist, Columbia: “Tesla Connect” - Peer-to-peer charging program (Think AirBnB for Tesla charging)
  • Finalist, Tepper: “Nikolai” – Customer rewards program
 Meaningful and realistic
Overall, participating in the event was a great experience. For me, there were two highlights. The first was the teamwork: Our team embodied the four Haas Defining Principles (Question the Status Quo; Confidence Without Attitude; Students Always; Beyond Yourself) and collaborated brilliantly. The second was observing how closely our design-thinking journey reflected what we learned in Applied Innovation this semester. Using our training from this class we were able to put ourselves in the shoes of the customer. This helped us provide a case solution that was meaningful and realistic.

If you have not participated yet in a case competition, our team highly recommends it. And if you have not yet driven a Tesla… we highly recommend that, too!

 

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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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6 Questions for US Navy Lieutenant, MBA Student Nick Stoner [#permalink]

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New post 08 Nov 2017, 09:00
FROM Haas Admissions Blog: 6 Questions for US Navy Lieutenant, MBA Student Nick Stoner
Many military veterans and those on active duty pursue an MBA as a way to advance both their personal and professional goals, bringing with them a wealth of lessons that find relevance and value in the classroom.

This week, we're exploring what brought some of our military MBA students to BerkeleyHaas and they hope to do with an MBA.

Meet MBA student and military member Nick Stoner, Lieutenant (Active-Duty) US Navy, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Full-time Berkeley MBA Program

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1. How did your military experience develop you as a leader? In the military I was put in positions where I had to make decisions using only the information I had. I had to evaluate what was in front of me and develop courses of action under uncertainty. You experience a lot of responsibility right out of the gate and it develops you quickly.

2. What did you want to learn or do with an MBA, and why was this important to you?
I wanted to round out my existing skills and develop new ones, whether that was analyzing big data and learning design thinking and innovation processes, I knew these finance and analytics skills would help me be a better leader. Just like any organization, there’s a lot of data that the military has, and learning how to leverage that data to make better decisions is something I wanted to learn at Haas.

3. Why did you choose BerkeleyHaas?
Haas is very diverse and I wanted to work and learn with people who would offer different perspectives than the ones I'd experienced in the military.

4. What does your military experience contribute to the MBA program?
I think that what I contribute is similar to what a lot of vets contribute: In some form, I've been involved with American foreign policy, and I think vets bring unique experiences through operating under pressure and serious consequences. I learned that my decisions affect others, especially my team, and this is also true at Haas (and beyond).

5. What would you tell other vets or active duty members who are considering getting an MBA?
I’d encourage it. For those transitioning out of the military, business school is a great steppingstone back into the civilian world. Especially at Haas, I think you’ll find a very supportive vets network and everyone is very welcoming.

6. How has the Berkeley MBA made your goals more possible?
Haas has so many speakers and alums who come to speak about experience in different industries. It has exposed me to the different possibilities out there and allowed me to see where these industries connect with my own interests. As a cyclist, I especially loved when the marketing director for Strava (Megha Doshi, a Haas alum) came in and discussed how she broke into the intersection of tech and sports. We got to ask any questions on the future of sports tech, and because many of my Haas classmates use Strava with me to track our rides, this was really interesting to me.

We invite you to read more posts about military MBA students and to learn about the Full-time Berkeley MBA Program.

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Six Questions for Military Surgeon, MBA Student Jane Alston [#permalink]

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New post 08 Nov 2017, 15:00
FROM Haas Admissions Blog: Six Questions for Military Surgeon, MBA Student Jane Alston
Joining the Haas community with a unique set of experiences and skills, military service men and women provide a wealth of perspective on leadership, performing under pressure, and teamwork

This week, we're exploring what brought some of our military MBA students to BerkeleyHaas and what they hope to do with an MBA.

Meet military surgeon, MBA student [b]Jane Alston: [/b]Active Duty General Surgeon, Major, U.S. Air Force, Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program.

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1. How did your military experience develop you as a leader?
My work in the military and in medicine has been complementary; both require decisiveness and call for leadership. Both arenas require every team member to work together seamlessly to accomplish a common goal, such as treating a surgical emergency or responding to a mass casualty. 

Effective leadership in both the military and in medicine requires a systematic approach to problems as well as a degree of resourcefulness; if plan A can't happen, it's crucial to have plans B, C and D in mind. I think this is also true in business. 

2. What did you want to learn or do with an MBA, and why was this important to you?
My long-term goal is hospital administration. As a physician, I see many of my colleagues left frustrated when decisions about clinical care are made by those who have never practiced medicine. I hope to bridge this gap by learning both sides of the coin. I am confident an MBA will teach me about the business side of medicine and hone my managerial skills, so that I can be a more effective leader in the future. 

3. Why did you choose BerkeleyHaas?
I went to one of the classroom visits, and in addition to enjoying the class immensely, I was struck by how tightly knit the student body was. They were truly a community, not just classmates. 

4. What does your military experience contribute to the MBA program?
I think Haas does an excellent job of recruiting a diverse student body that represents a wealth of industries and professional experiences, and this shows in the many different ways students approach problems. My background in medicine allows me to contribute a different perspective on biomedical cases, which are often written from the pharmaceutical or device company’s point of view. 

I am in the process of learning about the financial and strategic intricacies of making these go/no-go decisions about product launch, but I also still approach these cases as a physician first. This means I often have a different assessment of market potential, product value, drug/device efficacy, barriers to adoption, and most importantly, a keen focus on risks versus benefits to a potential patient population.  

5. What would you tell other vets or active duty members who are considering getting an MBA?
I would absolutely recommend Haas to both veteran and active duty applicants. In my experience, Haas has gone above and beyond to accommodate me as a military applicant, and now as an active duty student.

They allowed me to apply and interview remotely while deployed in Afghanistan last year. I was also granted special permission to conduct independent study last quarter when I had a last minute tasking to Turkey so I’m still on track to graduate on time.  Finally, Jay Nelson from UC Berkeley’s Veteran Services Office is extremely responsive and always on top of things which makes using my benefits much easier. 

6. How has the Berkeley MBA made your goals more possible?
I initially had some concerns that pursuing an MBA would pull my focus away from medicine, but I actually feel like the intellectual curiosity fostered at Haas has made me a more vigorous “student always” in both realms.  Furthermore, learning from our excellent faculty members has recharged and inspired me as an educator to our surgical residents and medical students. The team leadership concepts I learned in classes like Leading People have already made me a more effective communicator and leader in the operating room.

BerkeleyHaas is not just about classroom learning, it’s about learning from my classmates. Medical school was a lot of independent study; you study and test alone. At Haas, it's primarily group work so you learn how to be a more effective team member, which is just as important as being an effective team leader. It’s a much more dynamic process. I now have a better understanding of team dynamics and how to utilize each teammate’s capabilities to the fullest. At Haas, I have developed as a team player and as a leader. 

We invite you to read more posts about military MBA students and to learn about the Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program.

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Six Questions for Airforce Reservist, MBA Student Ricky Cornejo [#permalink]

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New post 09 Nov 2017, 11:00
FROM Haas Admissions Blog: Six Questions for Airforce Reservist, MBA Student Ricky Cornejo
It's an honor to help military veteran MBA students at BerkeleyHaas take their extensive leadership skills and experience into the business world.

This week, we're exploring what brought some of our military MBA students to BerkeleyHaas and what they hope to do with an MBA.

Meet EMBA student, pilot, and military reservist Ricky Cornejo: Pilot, United Airlines First Officer & Maj US Air Force Reserves, Berkeley MBA for Executives Program.

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1. How did your military experience develop you as a leader?
The most important thing I learned in the military was that it is very important to set an example for your team. You have to establish your credibility by showing you’re a reliable leader. When you’re in command, your co-workers have to know you possess those traits in order to trust and follow you. I try to set the example, not just in work, but in everything I am a part of.

 2. What did you want to learn or do with an MBA, and why was this important to you?
Normal career progression for a military aviator after leaving the service is to join an airline. I enjoy flying, but I wanted to continue to grow physically, mentally, and emotionally. I knew a Haas MBA would help me accomplish this and push me to become the best version of myself. Also, I’d like to start my own business or transition to an executive role within the airlines someday. Getting an MBA from BerkeleyHaas will help to open these career possibilities. 

3. Why did you choose Haas?
In addition to the value alignment I felt with Haas' Defining Leadership Principles, I also chose Haas because it allowed me to work while attending school. I'm in the Air Force Reserves at Travis Air Force base, and I fly 737s for United out of SFO.  Having everything in the same area gives me a chance to be a part of the professional and academic worlds in the East Bay. 

4. What does your military experience contribute to the MBA program?
With my military background, I am very accustomed to pressure and adhering to deadlines. As a result, I'm able to help guide my group at times to stay on task, completing our objectives or meeting our timeline. Also, as a veteran, your deployments and military experiences will provide a valuable perspective on issues facing the cohort. 

5. What would you tell other vets or active duty members who are considering business school?
I’m the military admissions rep for my cohort, and I’ve already encouraged several vets to pursue their MBA. It’s going to be challenging at times but you will learn new things and grow as a leader. Also, you’re going to connect with individuals you would have never crossed paths with if you didn’t get an MBA. Lastly, the character you develop will help you have a larger impact at your company and within society.

6. How has Haas made your goals of what you wanted to do/learn more possible?
Haas sets you up for success in terms of connecting you with people across different industries. I’ve met a lot of talented individuals, and I have learned how to feel confident in approaching and interacting with them. Haas opens all the doors and then you get to choose which one you walk through.

We invite you to read more posts about military MBA students and to learn about the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program.

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Six Questions for Air Force Reservist, MBA Student Ricky Cornejo [#permalink]

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New post 09 Nov 2017, 12:00
FROM Haas Admissions Blog: Six Questions for Air Force Reservist, MBA Student Ricky Cornejo
"Haas opens all the doors and then you get to choose which one you walk through," says pilot, military reservist, and MBA student Ricky Cornejo of the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program.

It's an honor to help military veteran MBA students take their extensive leadership skills and experience into the business world. This week, we're exploring what brought some of our military MBA students to BerkeleyHaas and what they hope to do with an MBA. Here are six questions for Ricky Cornejo, United Airlines pilot and First Officer & Maj US Air Force Reserves:

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1. How did your military experience develop you as a leader?
The most important thing I learned in the military was that it is very important to set an example for your team. You have to establish your credibility by showing you’re a reliable leader. When you’re in command, your co-workers have to know you possess those traits in order to trust and follow you. I try to set the example, not just in work, but in everything I am a part of.

 2. What did you want to learn or do with an MBA, and why was this important to you?
Normal career progression for a military aviator after leaving the service is to join an airline. I enjoy flying, but I wanted to continue to grow physically, mentally, and emotionally. I knew a Haas MBA would help me accomplish this and push me to become the best version of myself. Also, I’d like to start my own business or transition to an executive role within the airlines someday. Getting an MBA from BerkeleyHaas will help to open these career possibilities. 

3. Why did you choose Haas?
In addition to the value alignment I felt with Haas' Defining Leadership Principles, I also chose Haas because it allowed me to work while attending school. I'm in the Air Force Reserves at Travis Air Force base, and I fly 737s for United out of SFO.  Having everything in the same area gives me a chance to be a part of the professional and academic worlds in the East Bay. 

4. What does your military experience contribute to the MBA program?
With my military background, I am very accustomed to pressure and adhering to deadlines. As a result, I'm able to help guide my group at times to stay on task, completing our objectives or meeting our timeline. Also, as a veteran, your deployments and military experiences will provide a valuable perspective on issues facing the cohort. 

5. What would you tell other vets or active duty members who are considering business school?
I’m the military admissions rep for my cohort, and I’ve already encouraged several vets to pursue their MBA. It’s going to be challenging at times but you will learn new things and grow as a leader. Also, you’re going to connect with individuals you would have never crossed paths with if you didn’t get an MBA. Lastly, the character you develop will help you have a larger impact at your company and within society.

6. How has Haas made your goals of what you wanted to do/learn more possible?
Haas sets you up for success in terms of connecting you with people across different industries. I’ve met a lot of talented individuals, and I have learned how to feel confident in approaching and interacting with them. Haas opens all the doors and then you get to choose which one you walk through.

We invite you to read more posts about military MBA students and to learn about the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program.

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Six Questions for Post-Military MBA Student Jordan Waiwaiole [#permalink]

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New post 09 Nov 2017, 12:00
FROM Haas Admissions Blog: Six Questions for Post-Military MBA Student Jordan Waiwaiole
Airforce veteran Jordan Waiwaiole saw the Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program as the perfect way to make a post-military pivot back to civilian life. 

Military veterans already immersed in the world of business often choose part-time MBA programs to build on their leadership skills and to take their business expertise to the next level. This week, we're exploring what brought some of our post-military MBA students to BerkeleyHaas and what they hope to do with an MBA. Here are six questions for Jordan Waiwaiole:

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1. How did your military experience develop you as a leader?
What was most formative in becoming a leader was being put in a difficult situation with people I don't know and coming to a resolution. You learn to work with people who are different than you to accomplish something important.

2. What did you want to learn or do with an MBA, and why was this important to you?
Personally, I was at a point in my military career where I was looking at what was next, and an MBA was a perfect pivot tool to be back into civilian life. I knew an MBA would offer an education on things that aren't part of the military experience, like marketing, building a financial model, and understanding the market and your competitors. I wanted to gain those hard skills.

3. Why did you choose BerkeleyHaas?
The Bay Area has a family tie for me. My wife is a resident at Stanford and I wanted to be together after many years of being apart while I was on duty. I also wanted to pursue a top tier education while working at Dodge and Cox in downtown San Francisco.

4. What does your military experience contribute to the MBA program?
This isn't specific to me, but I've had the chance to work and live in almost every region of the U.S., as well as abroad. This has exposed me to a range of perspectives that I can share.

5. What would you tell other vets or active duty members who are considering getting an MBA? 
I'd tell any vet to consider what you want to do afterward and select an MBA program that will help you get there. Understanding who you are and where you want to go, because there are many different MBA schools, programs, and cultures, will be valuable.

I'd also encourage vets to leverage the network of other vets who are always happy to help.

6. How has the Berkeley MBA made your goals more possible?
What I'm learning at Haas now is valuable for me both immediately and long-term. For example, I just finished Microeconomics, where I learned how to move a consumer down a price point. As I build a career in the financial services industry, this was immediately relevant to what I'm doing in my job. I could apply it the next day.

I'm also learning how to give negative feedback in a constructive way through my Leading People course. In the military, feedback is largely direct and comes in one style. But what I'm learning about feedback now–how to deliver it and specific skills to make it constructive–will help me interact with and mentor people in a positive way.

We invite you to read more posts about military MBA students and to learn about the Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program.

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MBA student Nancy Hoque Leans In for Gender Equity [#permalink]

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New post 15 Nov 2017, 08:00
FROM Haas Admissions Blog: MBA student Nancy Hoque Leans In for Gender Equity
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Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In sparked a long-awaited conversation around women in business, dynamics of gender roles (both professional and personal), and how women can advance their careers. Her message also hit a personal chord for women like Nancy Hoque. Nancy, a second-year student in the Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program, could relate to juggling multiple roles at home and at work.

As a wife and working mom of two children, Nancy was familiar with the challenge of balancing personal responsibilities with professional goals—she almost didn’t pursue an MBA because of it.

“I had my Master’s in engineering, and I was hesitant to go back to school to get my MBA," she says. "I started a family at a young age, assuming the role of wife and mother as my engineering career was starting."

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Before deciding to attend Berkeley Haas, Nancy lived in Singapore, working remotely as a sales engineer for Motorola. "For three years I played the role of expat homemaker and mother by day, and engineer by night. Through these experiences, I learned to find my own strengths, drive, and a way to make room for my aspirations."

“My husband pushed me to apply for my MBA. He was very supportive and goes above and beyond in taking care of the family, making room for me to pursue my business school and career goals. He leaned in, which is why I am at Haas today.”

Starting Lean In circles to connect with others on gender equity
After reading Lean In, she was inspired to start Motorola’s first virtual Lean In circles. "While I was remote, I still wanted to connect with people. I found the framework for starting Lean In groups to be very approachable. Within three months, over 200 employees signed up for our virtual Lean In.”

During her time abroad, Nancy also started a side business designing head scarves for Muslim women. Her hobby-turned-business became a passion project a way to connect with other Muslim women and test a more entrepreneurial path.Eventually Nancy’s desire to shift from sales engineering to product marketing led her to business school. "I decided to get an MBA because it would help me push beyond my technical background into a leadership and business-oriented role, opening doors that would help me accelerate my career."

Nancy's passion for continuing the conversation about women in business and the dynamics of gender roles at home and in the office followed her to Haas.

"I have struggled with acceptance all my life: Of people accepting my identity as an American Muslim woman, or being one of the few women engineers in a male-dominated, U.S. military-charged environment. At work, I had an invisible barrier to penetrate in order to prove my technical and business worth. But I learned to demonstrate my abilities, and became part of the team. "

Expanding the conversation among women MBA students—and allies 
With support from Haas’ Women in Leadership (WIL), Nancy initiated a Lean In group at Haas, starting with a Facebook page that welcomes the entire Haas community.  “We discuss topics like making negotiations or speaking with confidence. We also discuss issues that relate to our current political climate. For example, after the election, many students wanted to discuss ally-ship. The objective was to address how we help a group of marginalized people, who may be in a difficult situation, feel comfortable.”

One thing that was important to Nancy in Haas’ Lean In circle was to expand the scope of conversation beyond just women. “I didn’t want was for this to be a discussion between just women MBA students; we wanted male students to participate, and our Haas Lean In circle is almost 40 percent men. They realize we’re talking about how to navigate corporate situations and that it’s a topic that affects us all.”

Haas’ Lean In circle soon evolved into in-person meetings that, like the Facebook page, welcome all of Haas. Nancy is also starting a virtual Lean In circle at Symantec, where she was recently hired as a product marketing manager for the Global new Ventures group.

With a full work and home life, one might wonder how (and why) Nancy makes time for this cause.  “I care about giving a voice to others who don’t have the privilege or advantage to speak for themselves. I feel comfortable with the voice I’ve found, and I want to others to find their own, or at least speak for them if they can’t.”

We invite you to learn about our new Center for Gender Equity & Leadership at Haas and about the Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program. 

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At the Diversity Summit for Working Professionals [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2017, 10:00
FROM Haas Admissions Blog: At the Diversity Summit for Working Professionals
 This fall, BerkeleyHaas students in the Evening & Weekend and MBA for Executives Programs organized a Diversity Summit for Working Professionals.

Dean Rich Lyons welcomed attendees, telling them, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” When a mentor suggested he pursue his PhD, it was the first time Lyons had considered such an idea. “I had a lot of advantages as a young person, and there was a career path that was totally unavailable to me in the sense that I couldn’t see it,” he says.

Four years later, he was in a PhD program for economics and became an academic.

“It was a totally different life than I was planning, and it was because that person stepped into my life and said, ‘You need to think about this.’ That’s part of what BerkeleyHaas is about, as well.”

Students coming to the business program learn finance, management and critical thinking, but they also learn their identity and to redefine how business operates in society, he says.

“We are actually not just in the knowledge or learning transfer business, but in the identity-making business, ultimately,” Lyons says.

Attendee Sandy Hobbs moved to the Bay Area in 2007 and decided to advance her career now that her son is out of the US Navy and she would have more time for school.

The diversity summit showed her what Berkeley was about, she says. “I’m ready to look toward the next step of my career and what I want to do. I’ve liked the school before and I think this just really helps solidify that.”

Sandy moved from the Pacific Northwest, an area she did not find very diverse. The diversity was part of what drew her to Berkeley, she says. “Coming to the Bay Area, I was introduced to all kinds of diversity. I find it interesting, and that’s the kind of community I wanted to be involved in.”

Jorge Pena, who graduated from Berkeley in 1993, found himself in a similar situation as a parent. He is a father of four, and two of his children are in college, freeing some of his time to go back to school. Jorge is a project manager at La Clinica in Oakland and always wanted to invest in a formal business education. He attended because he wanted to see “how people balance their job and their families.”

Most attending were professionals later in their careers. Joshua Olivar is a recruiter for Google Cloud Platform and served in the military before that. He says, “It’s really important that the school actually lives and breathes some of the values that drive me. I’m a recruiter so I talk to people from all walks of life, and Berkeley people just really stand out to me.”

Since working at Google, Joshua has been thinking about how he can increase diversity while hiring at the company. “I’m looking to continue my education so I can take on more leadership positions,” he says, “and understand the business in a way that I really can drive diversity in the future and make it grow organically at institutions.”

Sandy, Jorge, and Joshua all attended the diversity summit to learn more about Berkeley MBA Programs. We invite you to do the same.

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Do I Need an MBA to be a product manager? [#permalink]

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New post 29 Nov 2017, 17:00
FROM Haas Admissions Blog: Do I Need an MBA to be a product manager?
Product managers draw upon a wide array of skills to help companies envision, deliver, and market the new and the next. Some of the abilities a product manager (PM) needs stem from innate qualities such as extroversion. Others, such as negotiation and analytical skills, can be developed through education and practice. 

One way to get that education is through an MBA program. While most business schools do not offer an MBA in product management, they do offer learning opportunities. When structured correctly, they can provide the curriculum, activities, internship experience, and network needed to prepare for a career in the field. Here, Berkeley MBA alums share their perspective:

How Does an MBA Help for Product Management?

PMs have to be familiar with a wide swath of business areas and be able to communicate effectively within a team environment. Successful product managers also have to fill the role of problem-solver, storyteller, trend analyst, and entrepreneur to create a viable product and predict how it will grow over time. Taking MBA classes can help you build the many diverse skills needed.

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For example, Max Wesman, VP of product for GoodHire and a Full-Time Berkeley MBA alum, prepared for his PM career by taking classes that could help him build cooperation and trust, tell the story of a product to internal and external audiences, negotiate product trade-offs, analyze trends, and achieve strategy-supporting outcomes.

“While in school, I focused on taking classes and building up experiences that I thought would help me look better to companies hiring PMs and assist me down the line in the actual job," says Max. The MBA classes he took for product management included organizational behavior, customer and market development, statistics, financial modeling, negotiations, leadership communications, market research, strategy, and entrepreneurship. "All helped me strengthen my core PM skills,” says Max.

Gaining these skills not only helped Max launch his career, but also allowed him to be more effective in his role as a product manager and then as the leader of a product team—and now also as an industry advisor to Berkeley MBA students.

“In my career as a PM, I’ve definitely had to reach back into my own business school experiences bag for everything including dealing with troublesome personalities on development teams, pricing new products, evaluating A-B tests for statistical significance, presenting a product vision, and building financial models for forecasting, ” says Max.

Preparing with tailored class projects and internships—or by applying your learning at work

Tim Gray, a Berkeley MBA alum who has served as an industry specialist for the Berkeley MBA Career Management Group and as a product manager for Autodesk, BandPage, and Ask.com, suggests that you not only take classes designed to hone PM skills, but also actively shape your MBA education with tailored class projects.

“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 a student interested in product management. It shows that you have already done some work that is relevant for the job,” says Tim. 

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Jay Dave, who wanted to transition from an engineering and tech background into a product leadership position, used this approach while earning his degree in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program. While working as a senior product manager for Amazon, he took what he was learning in class and applied it to a real-world project that launched one of the largest 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,” says Jay, now managing a product team for Amazon's home furnishings. "I'm able to help to create a strategy that shapes the experience of shopping on Amazon.”

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Even broader projects can be helpful. Kavya Mallesh, senior staff product manager at SlingMedia and a graduate of the Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program, found that working as part of diverse teams throughout her studies grew her skills. "Class projects at Haas offered me opportunities to work with team members of different skills and perspectives," she says. "These experiences prepped me to work better with geo-diverse and cross-functional teams."

Tim also recommends gaining experience through MBA internships to increase your odds of landing a full-time job in the field after graduation. This approach worked well for Max.

Read more posts about product management and product managers
“Ultimately, I used on-campus recruiting to help secure a summer internship as a PM and eventually a full-time role. My MBA very much contributed to me getting my first job as a product manager,” says Max.

Who does (or doesn't) need an MBA for product management?

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The need for an MBA can depend on your background and skill set. If you're like Stephanie Curran, who worked previously as a senior equity analyst at Bloomberg LP, you may need an MBA to make the transition. Stephanie, a full-time MBA program alum, is now senior product manager at Amazon Marketplace,

“For someone like me who was doing a career and industry pivot with no technical background, it was absolutely necessary,” says Stephanie. “Earning my MBA not only allowed me to begin flexing the skills I needed, but it also allowed me to gain experiences working in product-management-like roles in other companies and then through an Amazon internship—which gave me something to talk about during the interviews. It definitely helped me get a foot in the door.” 

Although an MBA for product management might not be considered a necessity for everyone, it can certainly be seen as an asset for individuals hoping to gain a competitive advantage. This was the view of Swetha Tupelly, an Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA alum and product manager at ServiceMax, an SaaS division of GE Digital.

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“Many people said I didn’t need an MBA, but in the end I decided it would be very helpful,” says Swetha, who worked previously as a technical lead and engineer at Qualcomm. "It would be a way of differentiating myself, opening some doors, and competing with those who had more PM experience.”  

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Promeet Mansata, former product manager with @Walmart Labs and also an alum of the evening and weekend program, agrees that while an MBA may not be entirely necessary, the credential can sharply increase your chances of not only landing a PM job, but also of doing the job well. Promeet is now Head of Operations and Growth for Zently. 

“Breaking in is hard, and quite honestly the degree isn’t a silver bullet that will get you a job in product. However this does not mean that the MBA wasn’t important for landing the job," says Promeet. "The MBA gave me a large toolkit of skills, the ability to look at things with a different set of lenses and identify problems, connections into so many companies, and a wonderful network of classmates that helped at every stage.”  

Want more insights from our career coaches and Berkeley MBA alumni in product management? Download our free ebook on breaking into product management. 

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This blog post, originally published July 6, 2015, has been updated to add broader and deeper perspective.

 

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

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How an executive MBA paid off for this product marketing director [#permalink]

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New post 07 Dec 2017, 10:00
FROM Haas Admissions Blog: How an executive MBA paid off for this product marketing director
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For product marketing director Adam Kerin, EMBA 16, it hasn’t taken long to see the return on investment (ROI) from his Berkeley Executive MBA. One of the very first assignments in his finance class, he remembers, was to determine whether the EMBA degree was worth the ROI. “We actually did the math, projecting long-term potential increase in salary after getting the degree,” he says. “I think I’m already close to achieving that number, and I just graduated in January.”

Adam had been working in product management and product marketing in the San Diego area while he pursued his MBA. Eight months after graduating from Berkeley-Haas, he moved to Santa Clara to join the semiconductor and software company Nvidia as director of product marketing. “I feel like I’ve left the provinces and returned to Rome,” he laughs. His new firm is a red-hot Silicon Valley company that has moved from creating graphics cards in the early 1990s to being on the forefront of autonomous vehicles, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and robotics. Its CEO, Jen-Hsun “Jensen” Huang, was named Fortune magazine’s 2017 Businessperson of the Year.

Adam’s MBA payoff began with the confidence that his new degree brought. For the role he was seeking in product marketing, an MBA “was table stakes, necessary just to get your foot in the door,” but it also enabled him to ask for a higher salary. Beyond that, it equipped him with the broader perspective of how to run a business and opened his eyes to fields beyond the world of commerce.

 “We actually did the math, projecting long-term potential increase in salary after getting the degree. I think I’m already close to achieving that number, and I just graduated in January.”

“When we did our Washington, DC Immersion Week, I learned that any cutting-edge business should expect to intersect with government,” he says. “The DC experience gave me insights into how that world works.”

The ongoing benefits of his MBA also include lasting relationships through the Berkeley-Haas Alumni Network – both professional and personal. During his job search, introductions from classmates opened the doors to interviews at Facebook and Google. Yet another benefit came through one of Berkeley-Haas’s Defining Leadership Principles and the opportunity for alumni to audit classes for free.

Image
A Student Always


Inspired by the school’s program of free lifelong learning, Adam has recently been auditing the Berkeley Evening-Weekend MBA course “Accelerating Change Readiness,” taught by Homa Bahrami. “During the two years of my EMBA program, I became addicted to learning new things and I wanted to keep that momentum going,” he says. “No longer can you just sit on your degree for a few decades – constant learning is now a requirement to stay competitive and agile.”

Even the ROI on that single course has been immediate, he says. On his first day on the job at Nvidia, he asked his new boss to show him an organizational chart of the company. “We don’t believe in org charts,” came the reply. He soon learned why in his Change Readiness course: many innovative firms refuse to buy into a traditional hierarchy and welcome input from all the boots on the ground. “It changes the mentality of what a ‘team’ really is, and you don’t get stuck in siloes when working across an organization,” Adam explains.

Dedicated software product marketing

He also used Professor Bahrami’s framework for a team charter exercise. As Nvidia reinvents itself from an old-school silicon designer to one providing new platform solutions, Adam’s team is responsible for marketing all the developer software for those platforms. “We now have a dedicated product marketing team for all developer software, and we’re trying to help achieve the vision for this rapidly changing company,” he says. “We’re crowd-sourcing the expertise of the people actually living and breathing these products.”

More than once during his studies, Adam learned about a concept on Saturday that he could immediately apply at his job on Monday. His Berkeley-Haas experience has really opened his eyes as to how much he doesn’t know but also what he can learn to get where he wants to go. “My Berkeley MBA has given me the confidence to make these job transitions and aim high,” he says.

What could you learn to get where you want to go? Learn more about the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program.

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

_________________

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

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Berkeley executive and part-time MBA application tips: the GMAT [#permalink]

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New post 20 Dec 2017, 08:00
FROM Haas Admissions Blog: Berkeley executive and part-time MBA application tips: the GMAT
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For Berkeley EMBA student (and now podcast co-host) Manoj Thomas, taking the GMAT meant taking a standardized test for the first time in nearly 20 years. "It did stress me out in the beginning," he admits. In this MBA application tips podcast, he shares his experience and exchanges tips with Susan Petty, admissions director for the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program.

They discuss exam requirements for the executive and evening and weekend MBA programs at Berkeley Haas—and share insights to help you prepare for the GMAT, GRE, or Executive Assessment.

 

 

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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

Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
Joined: 13 Nov 2013
Posts: 405
How an executive MBA paid off for this product marketing director [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2017, 09:00
FROM Haas Admissions Blog: How an executive MBA paid off for this product marketing director
Image

For product marketing director Adam Kerin, EMBA 16, it hasn’t taken long to see the return on investment (ROI) from his Berkeley Executive MBA. One of the very first assignments in his finance class, he remembers, was to determine whether the EMBA degree was worth the ROI. “We actually did the math, projecting long-term potential increase in salary after getting the degree,” he says. “I think I’m already close to achieving that number, and I just graduated in January.”

Adam had been working in product management and product marketing in the San Diego area while he pursued his MBA. Eight months after graduating from Berkeley-Haas, he moved to Santa Clara to join the semiconductor and software company Nvidia as director of product marketing. “I feel like I’ve left the provinces and returned to Rome,” he laughs. His new firm is a red-hot Silicon Valley company that has moved from creating graphics cards in the early 1990s to being on the forefront of autonomous vehicles, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and robotics. Its CEO, Jen-Hsun “Jensen” Huang, was named Fortune magazine’s 2017 Businessperson of the Year.

Adam’s MBA payoff began with the confidence that his new degree brought. For the role he was seeking in product marketing, an MBA “was table stakes, necessary just to get your foot in the door,” but it also enabled him to ask for a higher salary. Beyond that, it equipped him with the broader perspective of how to run a business and opened his eyes to fields beyond the world of commerce.

 “We actually did the math, projecting long-term potential increase in salary after getting the degree. I think I’m already close to achieving that number, and I just graduated in January.”

“When we did our Washington, DC Immersion Week, I learned that any cutting-edge business should expect to intersect with government,” he says. “The DC experience gave me insights into how that world works.”

The ongoing benefits of his MBA also include lasting relationships through the Berkeley-Haas Alumni Network – both professional and personal. During his job search, introductions from classmates opened the doors to interviews at Facebook and Google. Yet another benefit came through one of Berkeley-Haas’s Defining Leadership Principles and the opportunity for alumni to audit classes for free.

Image
A Student Always


Inspired by the school’s program of free lifelong learning, Adam has recently been auditing the Berkeley Evening-Weekend MBA course “Accelerating Change Readiness,” taught by Homa Bahrami. “During the two years of my EMBA program, I became addicted to learning new things and I wanted to keep that momentum going,” he says. “No longer can you just sit on your degree for a few decades – constant learning is now a requirement to stay competitive and agile.”

Even the ROI on that single course has been immediate, he says. On his first day on the job at Nvidia, he asked his new boss to show him an organizational chart of the company. “We don’t believe in org charts,” came the reply. He soon learned why in his Change Readiness course: many innovative firms refuse to buy into a traditional hierarchy and welcome input from all the boots on the ground. “It changes the mentality of what a ‘team’ really is, and you don’t get stuck in siloes when working across an organization,” Adam explains.

Dedicated software product marketing

He also used Professor Bahrami’s framework for a team charter exercise. As Nvidia reinvents itself from an old-school silicon designer to one providing new platform solutions, Adam’s team is responsible for marketing all the developer software for those platforms. “We now have a dedicated product marketing team for all developer software, and we’re trying to help achieve the vision for this rapidly changing company,” he says. “We’re crowd-sourcing the expertise of the people actually living and breathing these products.”

More than once during his studies, Adam learned about a concept on Saturday that he could immediately apply at his job on Monday. His Berkeley-Haas experience has really opened his eyes as to how much he doesn’t know but also what he can learn to get where he wants to go. “My Berkeley MBA has given me the confidence to make these job transitions and aim high,” he says.

What could you learn to get where you want to go? Learn more about the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program.

Image


 

 

 

 

Image
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

How an executive MBA paid off for this product marketing director   [#permalink] 22 Dec 2017, 09:00

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