January 03, 2016

Joined: Feb 06, 2014

Posts: 30

Kudos: 5

Haas EMBA - more than meets the eye


This review is for Berkeley Haas

Program EMBA

Class of 2015

Experience during the program

Very meaningful experience - strong academics, with high work load, as you would expect from a top tier EMBA program. You should expect to have your days stretched as you juggle work, family and school commitments.

My class was full of thoughtful and accomplished individuals across a wide range of functions. Berkeley-Haas is known for tech, but that did not mean that my cohort was overly tech focused. Median age was in the late 30's, spanning 30 to a little over 50 (I believe). Lots of real life experience in this group that made the classroom experience very interactive and much deeper as a result.

At a programmatic level, the immersion weeks were excellent - Silicon Valley Immersion provides a total inside view on the valley, startup culture and access to founders and funders with the superb Toby Stuart. Our international immersion focused on emerging markets in Brazil ranging from sports marketing (run up to the Olympics) to entrepreneurship and great access to folks from Google Brazil's CEO to BNDES to individuals running startup accelerators etc. Washington DC was a tour de force with Laura Tyson - amazing access to policy makers, lobbyists, staffers etc (won't name drop here, but suffice to say the Berkeley network really opened doors).

The academic foundations were great and provide a very solid business school education. Two threads emerged of particular note. The first is leadership - Berkeley-Haas lives by its defining principles and encourages a rigorous evaluation of one's own capabilities and challenges, starting with the Leadership Communications immersion with Mark Rittenburg, the Leading People course with Dana Carney, Trust Based Relationships with Rajiv Ball and the excellent Exec Leadership course taught by Jenny Chatman. It's something of a hidden strength for Haas. The second if entrepreneurship and new venture funding. Between Toby Stuart and the excellent Maura O'Neill who teaches wildly popular electives on new venture finance students get an A-grade exposure to what it means to be an entrepreneur, and through face time, lectures, field-immersions, role play, case work etc, etc. it's possible to really gain a deeper dive into what it takes to build a successful startup.

I came into the program as an "advancer" - ie. staying with in my field looking to further my career by building in formal business training. I achieved that goal with room to spare, more interestingly though I came out feeling very interested in the possibility of leading my own company. It's a bit of a cliche, but I can't think of a better word - it's a transformative experience.

Advice for future applicants is pay attention to the defining principles, they really do mean a lot at Berkeley-Haas. If you find those meaningful, Berkeley-Haas can be an amazing fit. Dean Rich Lyons is a phenomenal leader for the school and he has successfully enshrined an underlying culture that feels quite different to other schools. I can't think of a better place to help you become the best "you" possible.

About professors, classes and curriculum

Make the most of the time you have there - many opportunities exist to mix and exchange ideas with students from other programs within Haas as well as other schools within UC Berkeley.

The professors are very accessible and enjoy teaching EMBA, again make the most of the help and perspective they can bring to both the course work but also your work.

About job placement process

On campus recruiting is open to EMBA, but the Career Management Group at Haas is adept at working with more experienced hires (i.e. EMBA's) who may be looking for more senior positions.

The entrepreneurial network is also very strong, but Haas goes a lot deeper than just tech and entrepreneurship.

Overall BSchool experience (5.0)
Schools contribution (5.0)
Classmates rating (5.0)

Strengths of the program:

Curriculum, Classes, Professors
Culture & Student Support

Best fit at this program:


Can be improved:


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