This Time It's Personal: Berkeley Executive MBA Student Looks Back

By Susan Petty

Berkeley EMBA student Richard Wilson

At the start of a new year, it’s natural to contemplate what new growth opportunities lie ahead in the coming year. For some, that might include getting an MBA. As someone who asks himself annually, “Did I learn enough over the last 12 months to make me a wiser human than I was 12 months ago?” Berkeley EMBA student Richard Wilson found himself in just this situation at the start of 2014.

His answer to that same question this year is a resounding “yes”, as he completes his studies in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program. Richard, director of corporate partnerships at Innoviva, shared thoughts on his Berkeley-Haas experience in two posts on LinkedIn.

In his first, A Decision Point, Leadership Defined and Some Lessons Learned, he recalls the 2014 decision to “step off the sidelines and take myself back to school for an MBA.” He writes about discovering that the GMAT is “a thing,” his careful consideration of how this decision would impact those people in his life who matter most, and about why he chose to attend Berkeley-Haas.

The residential format of this executive MBA program let him continue working while “effectively becoming a full-time student for a few days every three weeks,” and he found meaning in the Haas School culture and its four Defining Principles: Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself.

“I can truthfully say that these four principles have made a lasting impact in terms of how I think about what I do on a daily basis,” says Richard.

In his second post, This Time it's Personal, Richard wanted to “lift the lid” on the central role that his fellow students played in shaping his experience. “What happens when you put almost 70 strangers together in a pressure cooker, turn up the heat and seal the doors for 19 months?” he asks. “Well some pretty interesting stuff, as it turns out.”

“Haas becomes a safe environment in which to pressure-test career risks and opportunities,” he says, “and to consider the challenges those same risks and opportunities could bring to your life and bounce possibilities off others at a similar life-stage.”

“To those of you who might be reading this and weighing whether to make the leap into an EMBA program,” Richard closes, “I hope that these two posts have given some more personalized insight beyond how to ace a GMAT, pick electives, or see which school offers the most exotic destinations for international study.” 

We invite you to learn more about culture and community in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program.

Confidence Without Attitude? Tell Me More






Posted on January 12, 2016
Themes: Haas culture
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.