“Change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous at the end,” according to writer Robin Sharma. No one would agree more than Mithun Shankar, a 2014 graduate of the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program.
A successful software engineer at Oracle Corporation in India and the U.S., Mithun was responsible for developing infrastructure, certifying cloud technologies, managing global teams of engineers, and working with big data analytics. But something was missing.
Back in 2012, Matt Sandberg was working in enterprise software sales, making a decent salary. Overall, he was happy in the position and the overall compensation was good, but there was always a nagging concern about how heavily his total compensation was weighted toward a variable commission – it was hard to make life decisions without real financial security.
He was also worried that his work experience had pigeon-holed him into a career in sales or sales management, and he began thinking about broadening his skill-set to qualify for career advancement in other areas of the business.
MBA entrepreneurship thrives in the Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program, where students find numerous resources to support their interest, from electives and startup competitions to their well-connected and talented peers.
The result? Startups that offer solutions to everyting from healthy workplace eating to procuring senior housing for loved ones, making virtual reality affordable, and getting even better photos with your phone.
Here is a look at a few recent ventures launched by evening and weekend MBA students, with links to fuller stories on each:
If you read our previous blog on how Berkeley-Haas students knew they were ready for an MBA, you may have found others who share similar circumstances or considerations to your own. And perhaps you have more in common beyond the pursuit of an MBA. In addition to their MBA programs, Haas students balance eventful personal lives outside the classroom. In this two-part series, learn these same students knew they were ready to start another exciting chapter, be it an upcoming marriage, a baby on the way, a growing family, or a changing career.
What I love most about my work in the Full-time Berkeley MBA Program is meeting with students who feel fired up about the possibilities for their career. Whether they have only just identified a field of interest or are in the process of evaluating multiple job offers, students bring their intellectual curiosity to our coaching sessions in ways that give us lots of possibilities to explore.
Sometimes, “lots” actually means “too many”. Over the years I have been coaching, students have articulated this in a host of ways, but all are variations on the same theme: “I have so many interests and need help narrowing them down, but I don’t want to close the door on any opportunities too soon!”
Full-time MBA Week Zero is a no-holds-barred introduction to life at Haas. Part MBA-essentials boot camp, part immersion into Haas academic and student culture, and part bonding experience, the week is fast-paced, intense, and sometimes wacky.
“Sometimes you hear that people who don't have children aren’t understanding, but at Haas, I felt like it was the exact opposite…”
Starting the Berkeley Evening & Weekend MBA, Celia Carter was already a working parent, enrolling in a business program that would fit with her existing family routines and work schedule. Then in her second semester, Celia and her wife Sierra were selected to adopt a new baby – and he was on his way early! Their growing family embraced the opportunity, and despite time and location challenges, Celia worked with professors and peers at Haas to manage her workload through the end of the semester.
The daughter of Guatemalan immigrants who grew up in San Francisco’s Mission District, Cristy Johnston-Limón has always figured out how to navigate life’s challenges—as a teenager turning away from gangs, as a young urban neighborhood activist, as a first-generation college student at UC Berkeley, and now as a student in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program.
She is also executive director of Oakland's Destiny Arts Center. And for this MBA, nonprofit is paramount; her objective in pursuing her MBA is to gain the business skills required to ensure the center's future in an environment increasingly focused on nonprofit ROI.