The Executive MBA: Is it a Fit for You?


Berkeley MBA for Executives students in class

Perhaps you're considering an MBA, but feel you're too far along in your career to hit the pause button. Or maybe your job requires ongoing travel commitments, or you'd rather not relocate to earn the degree. If any of these describe you, you may already know that a part-time MBA program could be the best fit for you. 

But many people researching part-time programs initially only consider those with the evening/weekend format. In fact, many students who apply to Berkeley-Haas actually find the Berkeley MBA  for Executives Program is a better fit.

Berkeley MBA for Executives Student Ronak Shah“At first I didn’t consider the Executive MBA because I thought I wasn’t qualified,” says Ronak Shah, manager of the Algorithms Group for Altera Corporation. “My perception was that I needed to be a vice president or a director, and I wasn’t there yet.

“But during the interview process at Berkeley I discovered that qualifying is more about career trajectory and being on the path toward executive leadership.”

At Berkeley-Haas, EMBA students come from diverse industries, job functions and points in their career—what matters most is the value they add to the classroom.

The majority of students have 8- 18 years of work experience in jobs ranging from executives to doctors to sales managers to scientists. This not only creates a rich classroom experience filled with different perspectives, it allows students to keep up with the fast-paced, rigorous program.

Berkeley MBA for Executives Student Danielle DudumRigor is not what Danielle Dudum initially expected from an executive MBA program.

“I was under the impression that all of the executive programs were abbreviated with diluted academics,” says Danielle, global strategy & operations manager for Google. She found the opposite was true at Berkeley-Haas.

 “More often than not I find our professors have not only analyzed and researched theories, but applied them in industry, so I have confidence in what I’m learning and in applying it at work. This, combined with the diverse experiences of my classmates, makes the program a very rich learning environment.”

Both Daielle and Ronak found another huge advantage with the Berkeley MBA for Executives: schedule. Students gather for a three-day session every three weeks, allowing for advanced planning around demanding work or travel schedules.

“The executive program schedule is paramount for me to continue to be successful in my career,” says Ronak, who plans customer site visits in between school sessions and often does his studying on long plane flights.

Danielle, who commutes daily between San Francisco and the South Bay, finds the block scheduling allows her to be fully present for school.

“I didn’t want school to feel like a chore and one more thing to do after a 12-hour work day. With the executive program I never feel that way because I have these long weekends of reflection and learning and development.

“I am working hard, but when I’m there I’m focused and investing in myself wholly—that makes the time and investment so worthwhile.”

See Who Else Found the Berkeley EMBA to Be a Fit


About The Author

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.