Tansy Brook

A Berkeley EMBA takes marketing from design thinking to systems thinking

By Susan Petty

Tansy Brook has always been passionate about business as a vehicle for positive change. After more than a decade of experience designing and executing marketing strategies for technology startups, she pursued an MBA from the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program to learn how to significantly scale innovation by merging design thinking with systems thinking. Now, as a product marketing director for the Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Enterprise Performance Management (EMP) team at Oracle Corporation, she helps lead companies through digital transformations, empowering them with emerging technologies.

Tansy’s interest in entrepreneurial impact began early. By the age of 12 she would already have created her first company, leading a team of six friends selling hand-made bookmarks door-to-door to benefit their local animal shelter. At the University of Colorado Denver, she created her own undergraduate degree in social marketing. She spent much of her early career developing marketing strategy, mostly for internet-of-things startups in the fields of big data and wearable tech. “I became fascinated with the intersection of tech and positive social change,” she remembers. “I’ve also learned that technology marketing can quickly direct behavioral change and empower both people and businesses.”

Breaking the mold early on

“Questioning the Status Quo” comes naturally to Tansy. She was eager to create solution frameworks that could be rapidly adopted across an organization. “I wanted to move beyond design thinking (how do you creatively see the problem, find the solution, build it?) to systems thinking (how do you scale solutions for maximum impact?).” She also wanted the credibility of an MBA. She chose Berkeley Haas because of its collaborative culture and legacy of driving change in Silicon Valley.

During her 19-month EMBA program, Tansy found several courses especially helpful. Opportunity Recognition, taught by Drew Isaacs, taught her not to think of herself as a problem-solver, but as an opportunity-recognizer. Game Theory with Shacar Kariv and Data Analytics with Donatella Taurasi provided models to quantify human behavior and scale them through data, respectively. Executive Leadership with Jenny Chatman taught her the value of not just stepping forward as a leader, but also stepping back to recognize the potential of the people around her.

Leveraging the best of humans and technology

Perhaps most important of all, she says, was her cohort of 68 classmates, whose friendship, insights, and networking have proved invaluable. Not surprisingly, at graduation she received awards for embodying not one but two of Berkeley Haas’ Defining Principles: Question the Status Quo and Confidence Without Attitude.

While in the program, Tansy searched for her next career move, seeking a large technology company that would support her entrepreneurial perspective and provide opportunities for large-scale impact. She landed at Redwood-City-based Oracle – a globally renowned technology company with more than 300,000 employees worldwide. She currently develops thought leadership for Oracle’s financial cloud SaaS applications and provides clients access to such emerging technologies as artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotic process automation, and block-chain. “We’re leveraging the best of humans and technology,” she explains.

Tansy advises that a Berkeley Haas EMBA will totally disrupt your life, your relationships, and your thinking. But the disruption is well worth it, she says. “I now have a front-row seat to the many ways that innovation and technology are changing the world.”

For Tansy, this front row seat is her MBA ROI. What could yours be?  Learn More About  The Berkeley MBA for Executives Program
Posted on March 14, 2018
Themes: MBA Benefits
Susan Petty
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.