Part-time MBA Students: From Everywhere, Going All Kinds of Places

By Eileen Jacob

Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA students at orientation

There are so many benefits to a part-time MBA program: You can pursue a degree alongside your career, invest in your present and your future, and learn about fields you've always been interested in.

At Berkeley-Haas, students enjoy all of these perks—and a few more. In addition to a campus location with proximity to careers in just about every field you can think of, students also benefit from expansive diversity and talent among their classmates.

 No matter your professional background or career goals, you’ll find a place to learn and grow at Berkeley-Haas. Evening and weekend MBA students enrich the Berkeley-Haas experience by bringing different experiences and interests to the classroom, with student who are veterans, technology product managers, financial consultants, healthcare professionals, and more.

The Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program is home to students who come from everywhere—and are going all kinds of places.

When Alicea Wu decided she wanted to transition from her role as a physician to a more business-centered role in drug safety and public health, she chose the part-time MBA program at Berkeley-Haas to gain the skills and knowledge she needed to make her career move successful. 

Berkeley evening and weekend MBA student Alicea Wu

 And it was on a Haas Healthcare Association trek that Alicea encountered Gilead Sciences—where she now works as the Associate Director of Drug Safety & Public Health. 

Successfully making the shift was helped by her MBA studies, which she says, “have helped me understand organizations better on a higher level. With the foundations of finance, operations, and statistics under my belt, I see my job in a different light. It is not just a list of to-do's—I can see how each of my to-do's fits into the bigger picture and how it helps the organization on a high level.”

Learn More: The Berkeley EWMBA 

Because Berkeley-Haas EWMBA students come from all over, they represent the very best talent from many different fields. The diverse student body at Haas is representative of how eclectic and fluid the business world itself is.

You meet students from organizations completely different than your own, as well as students who share a similar professional path, bonding with people you have something in common with and building relationships with peers you’d have never met otherwise. 

Alex Polyansky wanted to apply his engineering background to his entrepreneurial dreams, enrolling in the EWMBA after working as a patent examiner at the US Patent & Trademark Office. He was confident that Haas would introduce him to new opportunities—and new relationships.

Sure enough, a classmate soon connected Alex with a patent attorney who helped Alex co-found Nventi, a startup that converts patent data. “Four hours [into our meeting], we had the idea that became Nventi,” he recalls.

Berkeley evening and weekend MBA student Alex Polyansky

Serving as co-founder and COO, Alex is also able to apply much of what he learned at Haas directly to his budding business: “There is no better way to learn and benefit from your studies,” says Alex.

And you learn new ways of thinking and working through the varying perspectives of your classmates. If you’re considering completely changing your career course, or perhaps just slightly pivoting to a different position, you have the valuable experience of learning from other students who’ve done what you haven’t (yet)—and they seek out your unique perspective as well. From case studies and classroom discussion, to consulting opportunities, you are able to contribute more through listening and learning from your peers.

Desirae Early found great support from her experienced classmates when she decided to use her MBA to pursue a career in management consulting. “Classmates and recent grads who work in the (consulting) field were so generous with their insights and advice,” she says. Desirae Early

 And she has strengthened her new found role at McKinsey by applying problem-solving approaches and discussions from class. “Many of my Berkeley MBA classes have been applicable in my role at McKinsey,” she says.

“I used methods taught in class to change our approach on a client project. Other skills from marketing, operations, and finance classes are in my mind on a daily basis.”

 Perhaps you’ll go in an unexpected direction—or exactly where you always saw yourself. With classmates and professors who represent a breadth of fields, you have access to networks that can take you exactly where you've planned, or open doors to completely new possibilities.

Learn More: The Berkeley EWMBA 



Topics: Evening & Weekend  |   Admissions Tips  |   Career
Eileen Jacob
Eileen was Senior Assistant Director of Admissions for the Berkeley MBA Programs for Working Professionals from 2017-2019. She enjoyed meeting prospective students and helping them explore the benefits of an MBA, and hopes these blog posts provide valuable insight into the Berkeley MBA experience.