Students in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program gathered recently in classrooms at Google, Facebook, and Airbnb for intensive case study and frank conversations (many off-the-record) with 28 entrepreneurs during the program’s recent Silicon Valley Immersion Week. The experience was one of five deep-learning, off-campus modules that are part of the Executive MBA Program.
Adding to the experience, according to Professor Toby Stuart, is that “We have a cohort. The students are all in it together and this gives a completely different vibe to the classroom. It’s much more intimate and that’s really refreshing.” Cases and classroom time focused on the more tangible aspects of entrepreneurship, such as funding and business models, while small-group visits to newer startups revealed how those lessons play out in real companies, as founders shared secrets and stories.
“The amount of value I’ve extracted from this one week is amazing” says Rochelle Webb, EMBA 14, senior vice president of global marketing activation at Quiksilver. Morad Movassaghi, EMBA 14, senior manager at Accenture, agrees. “The number of CEOs and entrepreneurs we’ve interacted with in one week would take a year, or two or three, to connect with on your own—if you could do so at all.”