EMBA Bonding Over Strategy Case Studies and S’Mores

By Susan Petty

What do an executive MBA program and sleep-away camp have in common? At Berkeley-Haas, everything.

For three days every three weeks, our students come to campus for classes and stay together in a nearby hotel. “When we’re in the hotel for block it’s like being at camp with 68 of my best friends,” is how Julia Felts, managing director, The Sourcery, describes her experience. She isn’t alone. We hear from a lot of students that the block scheduling and residency components are two of the most valuable parts of the program.

Don BallEMBA students appreciate the block scheduling because it gives them an opportunity to, as Don Ball, account director at gyro, says, “shift gears away from work and family, to dedicate yourself to your studies and your classmates.”

Sharrifah Al-SaleemSharrifah Al-Saleem, director of Investor Relations at Xoom, agrees. Because she travels for work, “the Evening & Weekend MBA Program would have been a logistical nightmare. The block scheduling of the executive program is much easier to handle,” she says.

Residency accelerates and deepens the bonding that make the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program so valuable while you're in school—and for years to come.

Richard Wilson

Richard Wilson, director, Theravance, Inc., puts it well: “The three days on campus are sacred time. I’m there to focus on learning and to forge strong bonds with my 68 new best friends. We spend hours working on assignments, but also talking through workplace challenges, hopes and aspirations, and sharing family stories.”

Here’s what Christine Elfalan, executive director of The Bouqs Company, has to say about the end of each block: “As a class, we’ve coined the term ‘blockover.’ It’s the feeling of withdrawing from a group of people who lift your spirits and challenge your intellect—it happens every time.”

Even without the campfire—or the s’mores, sorry—students value the closeness and camaraderie that result from the structure of the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program. Find more of what they have to say about their experiences during block, in class, and with each other in our student profiles.

View EMBA Profiles
Collections: Student perspectives  |   MBA for Execs
Susan Petty
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.