EMBA Immersions: Unrivaled Access, Unanticipated Growth


EMBA students with Fed Chair Janet Yellen during DC Immersion

Could you use fresh insights on entrepreneurship and innovation? Leadership? Students in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program value the program for its practical application in their current positions and future career moves. And you can’t get much more practical than our unparalleled Immersion Weeks.

Once each term in the Berkeley EMBA, you spend time steeped in a very different kind of classroom: the real world. These immersive and experiential learning opportunities are a full 25% of the program and, together, they’ve given our students surprising new insight into entrepreneurship, leadership, innovation, public policy, and international business.

The Leadership Communication Immersion Week is equal parts self-reflection, pushing your boundaries, and bonding with classmates early in your studies. Professor Mark Rittenberg helps students tap their potential to motivate and inspire others, empower their work groups, build a support system, and learn from both failure and success.

“Eye-opening,” ‘fabulous,” “phenomenal” are some of the milder descriptions of our Silicon Valley Immersion Week. Here’s what Nicole Farrar, EMBA 14, senior corporate Counsel, Paragon Legal, said: “Professor Toby Stuart used the case method to illustrate key lessons in entrepreneurship and how ideas make it—or as importantly, don’t make it—into successful startups. Being able to then talk with actual founders and CEOs, to hear their personal stories, made it all so much more real and attainable.”

Companies visited during Berkeley EMBA Silicon Valley Immersion Week

Honing the entrepreneurial—and intrapreneurial—mindset is also the aim of the Applied Innovation Immersion, a week focused on getting hands-on with the entire innovation life cycle. As Paul Simpson, EMBA 14, founder and CEO of SageTel International said, “By emphasizing the importance of the story behind the product, Professor Sara Beckman helped me understand that true innovation is understanding the customer and using their needs to define your solution.”

Our International Immersion Week goes deep into a specific country and its business environment. In 2014, Professor Teck Ho, director of the Asia Business Center at Haas, led a trip to Shanghai, where students analyzed the market entry of US companies into China through lectures, site visits, and discussions with local business and government leaders. This year, students are headed to Brazil to explore that country’s entrepreneurship, multinational corporations, and sports marketing.  

The final Immersion Week is designed to introduce students to the role of policymaking in business. The 2014 trek to Washington, D.C., was organized by former presidential advisor, Professor Laura Tyson. “We met corporate executives, Cabinet undersecretaries, the directors of policy centers, and of course, a certain chair of the Federal Reserve Bank (Haas Professor Emeritus Janet Yellen, pictured above with students)," said student Luke Johnson, vice president, Business Development & Growth Initiatives, Christus Health.

He added, "Meeting with advocacy groups, policy makers, and regulatory leadership provided an amazing window into the intersection of business and government."

 Are you ready to be immersed? Get a taste of the experience with our Silicon Valley Immersion video.

Watch the  Silicon Valley Immersion Video


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.