Reflections from the first Berkeley Haas hosted MLT seminar

By Eric Askins

Berkeley Haas hosted our first-ever Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) seminar just two short weeks ago.  I’ve spent the last few days reflecting on the deep integration of self and purpose I felt in the middle of all of our programming and community building.

We hope we created a space that shows how students at Haas might integrate deep personal values, experiences, and motivations into their career pursuits.”

Integration. An evening filled with stories of home and community, with DJ Wonway spinning in one virtual room while corporate partners, student leaders, and Haas staff leadership offered words of welcome in another. A vision statement from Dean Ann Harrison that wove in themes of business leadership, Haas values, and the expectation of leading change out in society and business. An invitation to meditate alongside our ancestors and caregivers from our interim Chief DEI officer, Dr. Élida M. Bautista, feeding into an MBA mock-class from Professor Kim MacPherson on strategic decision making toward health equity and access innovation.

Partnering with MLT to help equip underrepresented communities

The mission of MLT is to equip and embolden high-achieving women and men from underrepresented communities—African American, Latinx, and Native American—to realize their full potential, make a mark, and make a difference. As a proud MBA program partner in that vision, we were thrilled to host the 350+ MLT MBA Prep Fellows for this 3-day admissions seminar. We did it in partnership with students, alumni, staff, faculty, and our corporate partners. We integrated our own Defining Leadership Principles and commitments of inclusion, innovation, and sustainability throughout our programming. I wrapped up my weekend with small group coffee chats feeling grateful that we were able to play this role in helping the fellows feel a sense of belonging, confidence, and inspiration in their admissions journey.

This seminar was years in the making – stemming from a commitment our leadership made in our 2019 Diversity Equity and Inclusion Action Plan. We are now on to our 2021-2025 DEI Strategic Plan, and our pillars of representation, belonging, and lifelong learning continue to guide our approach to equity and inclusion. As such, hosting the seminar plays a key role in our ongoing commitment – around all three pillars. Representation, of course, because partnering with MLT and our other partners is a core component of our outreach and engagement strategy. But also belonging and lifelong learning.

We hope we created a space that weekend that showed how students at Haas might integrate deep personal values, experiences, and motivations into their career pursuits. And, as a learning institution, we made sure to integrate our values into our classroom experience through an engaging health innovation mock class with Professor MacPherson and our corporate practitioner partner, Badia Boudaiffa of Abbott Laboratories.

Thank you for spending a weekend "at" Haas

We sincerely thank Abbott Laboratories, along with our other wonderful corporate partners at Clorox, Inc., Chevron, and Zendesk, for supporting our seminar. We thank all of our students, alumni, staff, and faculty partners for their energy, time, and commitment. We thank our partners at MLT for helping us execute a meaningful seminar for the fellows. And lastly, we thank our MLT fellows for spending a weekend “at” Haas. 

We wish we could have hosted you in person – as a New York-turned-Berkeley resident, I would have loved to show you around the beautiful Bay Area. But, as we say, visiting campus is as much about being with the people as anything else. It’s about seeing yourself in this community and feeling you’re in the right place to help you achieve your career and personal goals. I hope and trust we did that. The hard (but rewarding) work of writing an excellent application is about to begin – and we’ll be with you every step of the way.

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Posted on July 2, 2021
Eric Askins
Eric is the Executive Director of Full-time MBA Admissions. He partners with students, faculty and staff to recruit a diverse student body that enhances our community through innovative leadership and academic excellence.