Who’s Sitting Next to You? Caliber of EMBA Classmates Carries Weight

     

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When it comes to describing the people you’ll be studying with in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program, the numbers are the least important factor. What really matters is the chemistry. It’s about finding the exact blend of students that will energize the classroom, foster bonds of friendship, and stretch everyone beyond their limits. 

As student Rob Schult, an enterprise sales unit manager with IBM puts it, “Each classmate brings something different to the table. As VP of Admissions, I’ve seen how the Admissions Office strives to put together a Berkeley-Haas class in which every individual will complement and magnify the others.” 

You don’t want to be in a classroom filled with people who do the same thing you do. Where’s the learning—or the growth—in that? The best EMBA programs connect you with classmates who allow you to “see different industries through their eyes and experiences,” says management consultant Carmen Palafox. 

Greg Durkin, SVP at Warner Bros. Pictures, lists even more occupations among his classmates: physicists, lawyers, biotech researchers, engineers, and a dozen other professions.

Defining Principles Rule
The Defining Principles that guide us at Haas apply equally to the Berkeley MBA for Executives. Speaking to Confidence Without Attitude, for example, Robert Ford, president of Abbott Diabetes Care, says he is “truly excited to engage with my colleagues. The group is extraordinary; interacting with them has been enriching and rewarding.” Jennifer Loo, VP at LegalZoom, says she shares an intellectual and emotional bond with her classmates, who are “able and eager to offer a second perspective when I need advice.”

Close Ties and Lasting Connections
According to Nicole Farrar, senior corporate counsel with Paragon Legal, “The connections and real friendships I’ve made among my classmates are by far the biggest takeaway from the program. These are such smart, accomplished people. I’m proud to be in their company.”

 But perhaps Mike Alter, of Huneeus Vintners says it best, “This is more than a student body; it’s a family.”

 About those numbers, here are a just few for the class that started in 2014:

  • Median years of work experience: 13
  • Women: 31%
  • Multilingual: 64%
  • From outside the Bay Area: 29%

Want to know more about the accomplished, hard-working, all-around great people who are drawn to our Berkeley MBA for Executives, read a few student profiles:

Just How High Caliber? Find Out

 

 

 

About The Author

Susan is Director of Admissions for the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program. She has nearly twenty years of experience in marketing and advertising, having worked in several different industries including technology, travel, healthcare -- and many others from her media planning days at J. Walter Thompson where her clients included Chevron, Kaiser Permanente, Nestle, and Ford. She enjoys advising prospective students and guiding them through their personal MBA experience.