Zen Menon entered the Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program expecting to finish in 2.5 years, but ended up choosing to spend 3 years in the program. Here's why he changed his timeline and why he's glad he did.
Zen chose Berkeley-Haas in part for its accelerated part-time MBA option, but it turned out that what prompted him to choose Haas isn't what kept him here. "The strong cohort community made me want to extend my time at Haas," he says. "I realized I didn't want to come in, do my thing, and get out. I wanted to continue building strong relationships."
Zen also pivoted to a 3-year plan to make a career change to venture capital. "I sold my startup company, and my goal was to become a VC partner in 5 years," he says, "and many current VCs advised that I stay at Haas longer and work for a startup in the meantime, using the extra time to experiment with different roles, like product management and business development."
The extra time Zen gave himself led to an exploration of management consulting and search funds, which help entrepreneurs raise funds through private equity investments, and which aligned with his previous background as a startup owner.
“The extra time at Haas allows you to explore options, take time to figure out what fits, and prolong that valuable time with a growing network.
Zen advises other students who are asking themselves if they should choose an accelerated MBA option to determine what they really want out of their time in the program.
How long does it take to get a part-time MBA? "Ask yourself, 'Is this just to move up a little bit in my career?' Perhaps this is the time to make a really transformative move," says Zen. "Consider this as a time to reboot your life.'"