One of the classes I took in the spring was Competitive Strategy. Btw, this is going to be a “core” class starting class of 2013 (it’s already a “core” class for the FT-MBA program). For my 2nd year colleagues, I would strongly recommend taking this elective as it helps tie together most if not all of the different functional areas covered during core (Micro, Macro, Finance, Accounting…). It was a semester long class, entirely case based. We evaluated how companies tried to gain and sustain competitive advantage, and analyzed moves made by companies such as MSFT, INTC, AAPL, WMART, etc. Over the summer I got a great opportunity to apply some of these concepts in a project I did with one of the top tech companies in the Bay Area, with their corporate strategy team. Two things helped me get this assignment, contacts with Haas alums and the Haas brand. It was a crazy busy summer with work kicking up a notch and the strategy assignment taking as much time as regular school.
The fall classes are off to a steady start but there’s a lot going on campus as well. For instance, the final Haas@work engagement before the program becomes a “3-credit” class starting spring has generated some debate. On the plus side, semester long commitment will give participants enough time to not only thrash ideas but also actively engage in the execution phase. On the other side of the debate is the loss of one of “free” programs. Regardless of the debate the program itself brings a lot of value (I was involved in a Haas@Work engagement this past spring).
The EWMBA Association events are also picking up and we have a packed schedule of Academic, Social, Alum and Career Services activities. Just completed our mid-year kick-off where each of the committees presented a mid-term report card. It’s amazing to see the level of commitment from the folks who’ve stepped up to drive the association and help make a difference during our stay at Haas. This is despite balancing family, school and work lives. A big shout out for them.
More on EWMBAA in the next post as we prepare for our annual elections coming up in November....