Many Happy Returns: Long-Term ROI on the Berkeley MBA, Part I

By Julia Sprague

Against the backdrop of frequent stories about the financial return-on-investment of b-school, we wondered about other benefits of the degree that contribute to professional success and personal satisfaction. In this three-part series, we asked several Berkeley-Haas alums for a different kind of MBA ROI—how their Berkeley-Haas studies and degrees have affected their lives in the longer term.

Beau-Giannini, MBA 94Name and degree: Beau Giannini, class of 1994

Lives in: Tiburon, CA

Works in: San Francisco, CA

Position prior to Haas and position today: “Before coming to Haas to study in the Evening & Weekend MBA Program, I was running my own print and promotional products company. Since getting my degree, I’ve done a ton of different things. Right now I’m a capstone professor of entrepreneurship and startups in the MBA program at Presidio Graduate School. I’m also a fifth-year PhD candidate in economics and management technology at a Tongji University in Shanghai."

"I have this incredible institution and a very strong network behind me. It opened a lot of doors."

"And for fun, I started an organic snack food company.”

How his MBA has improved his career: “I was a Chinese major from Dartmouth with some experience in international markets. My business degree gave me the confidence to go out and really work globally, knowing that I have this incredible institution and a very strong network behind me. It opened a lot of doors, largely because of the strength of the Haas brand.”

Most rewarding aspects of life today: “Learning from top professors at one of the world’s leading universities has given me the confidence to think more creatively, to take risks, and compete. I’ve been able to travel around China and when I meet with other Haas alums, there’s an immediate comfort level. The school attracts a very progressive, internationally minded student.”

Other ways in which his Berkeley degree has impacted his life: “My wife also holds a Berkeley MBA, so we share that special experience. And I now have a son at Berkeley as well, so Cal is definitely running through our veins. I feel very fortunate to be a part of the Berkeley community, and specifically Haas. The core principles and that rich community have really added value to my career and my life by allowing me the freedom to dream up and launch innovative business ideas.” 

—Kirsten Mickelwait

Do you want more freedom to dream up and launch innovative business ideas? 

See More Reasons  to Choose the Berkeley MBA

You can also read about Independent Strategic Consultant and 2003 graduate of the Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA Program Martha Gerhan, in Part II of this series.


Topics: Evening & Weekend  |   Alumni  |   Entrepreneurship  |   Career
Julia Sprague
Julia is Associate Director of Admissions for the Berkeley MBA Programs for Working Professionals. She hopes these blog posts provide you with more personal insight into the Berkeley-Haas and Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA program experience.