Sometimes you have to wait a long time to see the results of an effort: The people involved with NASA’s Project Apollo worked for eight years to send astronauts to the Moon. Sometimes the results arrive more quickly: The astronauts on Apollo 11 reached the Moon in just four days of flight.
The return-on-investment (ROI) horizon for an MBA can also be long-term and immediate; sometimes at the same time. Not long ago, a group of Berkeley Haas Evening & Weekend MBA students and graduates talked about the immediate ROI of their studies.
The financial ROI
Salary is one of the most concrete ways to measure ROI.
The manager who hired me specifically told me it was because of the Berkeley name and the MBA.”
Joselyn Baety, MBA 24, had a 10-year career in the oil-and-gas industry when she started classes. Within her first semester, she switched gears and landed a job at Deloitte as an advisory manager. Starting as an advisory manager, she noted, “is a pretty big deal and I also got an increase of 30% to 40% on my pay. The manager who hired me specifically told me it was because of the Berkeley name and the MBA.”
When Joselyn thinks about the investment she made in herself and her MBA studies, she calculates between 15 to 18%. Plus, she is in talks with her new employer about paying some of her tuition, “so that return on investment will also go up.”
With a background in the U.S. Army and the aerospace industry, Alan Duong, MBA 22, said that the moment he got into Berkeley Haas, “a manager from LinkedIn who just graduated from Haas reached out to me on LinkedIn and asked me to join her team almost immediately.” He started as a senior FP&A analyst, and within two years, was promoted to manager while he was in the program. Today, he is a consultant at EY-Parthenon.
Alan applied a lot of what he learned at Berkeley Haas in negotiating his promotion and raise. “I could do things in a manner such that I presented a complete package. It wasn't ad hoc or haphazard.” What he learned in class benefited his career directly.
The responsibility ROI
Identifying and qualifying for new roles is another source of immediate ROI.
“Since I started the program I’m in about my third role. Now that might be perceived as not desirable, but it's because of growth in areas that have opened up new doors for me and to have more impact with my skillset,” said Chloe Kaufman, MBA 23, product manager at Cisco. “What I've been able to do with the learning and experience in the classroom is really identify the gap areas that I could go after.”
Chris Dekmezian, MBA 24, tells a similar story. He started his studies in a technical staff position at QuantumScape. “After just a half-semester worth of classes from my MBA and I could transition into product management at the same company,” he said. “Being able to leverage the classwork and the coursework immediately in my job was incredible.”
And these are just a few examples. As Joselyn said, “The classmates that I'm working with, I see them also getting promoted. I'm seeing a lot of people using this MBA as leverage to say, ‘I deserve more money’ or ‘I deserve a better title.’ They're setting their eyes at a similar, if not higher, goal than mine.”
All that plus the intangible ROI
“The immediate ROI I've seen doing my MBA has really been the broad access to a differentiated set of people,” said Kyle McKenzie, MBA 23, VP and senior regional director, Private Equity, Voya. “I started out in one role in a company and now have drastically changed to another role. That's primarily because I've learned so much and created different passions at UC Berkeley that I found a new route at work into my life.
“I think my friends and family have really noticed my work ethic go up quite a lot because I'm actually passionate about something,” he continued. “That's helping me really find a path in life and understand where I want to go. It's been very beneficial for me, and I think made my family proud. I'm the first person to go to college, let alone get a master's. They see how much work I'm putting into it, and that really allows me to feel a lot of pride.”
Interested in making an impact through your career? An MBA from a top business school can help you grow your network and leadership skills so you can take the next step toward a fulfilling career. How will you measure the ROI of your MBA?