Bay Area MBA-1

Top reasons you should get your MBA at Berkeley this year

By Liz Rosenberg

Prospective students seek out Berkeley to earn their MBA for several reasons. Its rich history of activism and questioning the status quo is only the tip of the iceberg for free thinkers looking to push their professional limits.

Part of Berkeley’s appeal is its proximity to Silicon Valley’s bustling economic center. Additionally, Berkeley’s network of like-minded and driven people is invaluable for many prospects.

Are you interested in earning your MBA from one of the country’s top MBA programs? Read on to learn why Berkeley is an ideal place to pursue your MBA and discover if its offerings align with your needs.

1. Berkeley’s line-up of prestigious professors

Berkeley maintains high standards for its faculty, one of the key reasons the school earns accolades as a top business school in the country year after year. Berkeley’s faculty is known to push the boundaries of academia both inside and outside of the classroom.

Here are just a few examples of what we mean:

Professor Andrew Rose is an international finance scholar who has taught macroeconomics to three decades of Berkeley Haas students. He is the Bernard T. Rocca, Jr. Chair in International Business & Trade and has served as chair of the Economic Analysis & Policy Group. He was also the founding director of the Clausen Center for International Business & Policy.

In 2018, Rose received the Williamson Award from Berkeley, its highest faculty honor.

Professor Omri Even-Tov is an accounting scholar whose numerous awards include:

  • Poets & Quants’ 2018 Best 40 Under 40 Professors
  • Earl F. Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching, PhD. Program 2017 – 2018
  • Earl F. Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching, MBA Program 2016 – 2017

Even-Tov is known to take his teaching to extremes. Alongside Professor Jennifer Chatman, Even-Tov brought 10 MBA students on a six-day (two-credit) Andes Mountain Trek to show the power of teamwork and leadership in challenging and unusual settings.

Professor Maura O’Neill is an expert in entrepreneurship, leadership, blockchain, and policy. Before holding a position at Berkeley, O’Neill was a senior counselor and chief innovation officer for the U.S. Agency for International Development, and a chief of staff and senior advisor for the Energy and Climate for Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

O’Neill has also won the Berkeley Haas Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching three times –– in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Learning under professors who have a deep understanding of the curriculum they teach not only inspires deep thinking, it fuels the passion that will carry you through your professional career.

2. The Bay Area advantage

Berkeley is lucky to be located in the Bay Area, which overflows with innovation, technology, and opportunity. Thanks to its access to top businesses and the leaders who run them, Berkeley MBA students have three specific advantages over other business schools in the country in entrepreneurship exploration, starting salaries, and unique networking opportunities.

Opportunity for entrepreneurship

If the Bay Area is the heartbeat of entrepreneurship, the Berkeley Haas entrepreneurship program has its finger on the pulse. Students experience a breadth of coursework ranging from topics like new venture finance to social entrepreneurship. Additionally, students can explore experiential opportunities like:

  • Lean LaunchPad: an initiative that allows students to talk to potential customers and rapidly iterate to build products they could use and buy
  • The Startup Lab: a program geared to connect students across disciplines with local venture-backed startups to help identify, frame, and address strategic business challenges
  • Student-led competitions: Berkeley’s MBA-founded Global Social Venture Competition and LAUNCH Startup Accelerator give students the chance to apply their education to real business practices with the end goal of acquiring seed funding for their startups

These initiatives are also an excellent opportunity to expand MBA students’ professional networks. The combination of coursework, taught by highly regarded professors, and real-life experience which exposes them to a network of organizations and business leaders, helps accelerate students’ professional path and provide them unique opportunities post-graduation.

Above-average starting salaries

Our research shows that Berkeley MBA students land positions with a median starting salary of $125,000 after graduation. That figure climbs to an average of $171,000 after three years back in the workforce. The US median is roughly $110,000.

These high salaries are made possible by a combination of Berkeley's proximity to tech hubs, the caliber of companies within Berkeley’s network, and the exceptional education Berkeley offers its students.

Specifically, a high percentage of Berkeley MBA graduates accept internships and full-time jobs at financial institutions, consulting firms, consumer products manufacturers, and technology companies located in the Bay Area. Among the top employers hiring Berkeley MBA graduates are:

  • Google
  • Adobe
  • Deloitte
  • Tesla

Each of these organizations is either headquartered in or has a significant presence in the Bay Area.

3. Moments for networking

From networking with students who could become your business partners (or even bosses), to the extensive alumni network and business connections already established at Berkeley, the ability to forge relationships as an MBA student at Berkeley is limitless.

One way Berkeley caters to the significance of networking is through our experiential learning and applied learning programs. Haas@Work, for example, sends teams of Berkeley MBA students to work with top executives at major firms, such as:

  • Visa
  • Cisco
  • Disney
  • Panasonic
  • Clorox
  • Wells Fargo

While working in these organizations, students research and develop solutions for a competitive challenge posed by the firm. The firm’s executives choose the best ideas, which are then implemented by the team.

Students also have the opportunity to strengthen relationships with each other through the vast number of co-curriculars, student-led activities, and treks. These are a significant component of the comprehensive MBA experience at Berkeley.

4. Attention to career paths

As you consider returning to school for your MBA, you’ll want to evaluate the career paths that are available post-graduation. While MBAs can take many paths, some of the most common sectors that Berkeley MBA grads enter after-graduation are the following:


Berkeley offers coursework that zeroes in on new economy enterprise skillsets like product management and marketing, operations, finance, business development, and strategy. Specific courses for a tech career path include:

  • Blockchain and the future of technology
  • Biotech & pharma opportunity
  • Technology & entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley
  • Hands-on rapid innovation
  • Innovation strategy for emerging technologies
  • Design & evaluation of development
  • Technologies intellectual property for tech entrepreneurship

Additionally, Berkeley students can attend the Play Digital Media Conference or join the technology, innovation, and design clubs to advance their understanding of imagining, justifying, financing, producing, and marketing their latest innovations.


One out of four Berkeley Haas MBA grads selects a consulting career.

To enter into consulting, you’ll need exposure to a wide array of coursework, including

  • Design Thinking
  • New business development from a corporate perspective
  • Data science and data strategy
  • Strategic leadership
  • Corporate finance
  • Power and politics in organizations

Similar to other career paths, students with a focus in consulting have opportunities to acquire experience and skills in the industry before graduation. For example, peer advisors and members of the Haas Consulting Club assist with internships and interviewing skills for recruiting season. Additionally, the Career Management Group assists in job placement to help you find a position that suits your aspirations.


Berkeley’s finance program consistently ranks among the top 10 programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. In addition to professors with renowned backgrounds in the sector, MBA students have the opportunity to join clubs focusing on:

  • Finance
  • Investment
  • Private Equity
  • Fintech
  • Venture Capital

If the financial career path is one you’d like to explore, Berkeley also provides its students with the chance to participate in national competitions like the Alpha Challenge, Impact Investing Competition, as well as participation in experiential learning opportunities like the Haas Socially Responsible Investment Fund.

Each of these opportunities enhances the overall MBA experience and creates real-world experiences for ongoing professional success post-graduation.

Are you ready to join one of the top business schools in the country? If Berkeley’s offerings align with your personal career motivations, we’d love to talk with you about applying for an MBA.

To learn more about the advantages Berkeley’s Bay Area MBA can provide for you, contact our admissions office today.

Posted on July 23, 2019
Themes: MBA Benefits
Liz Rosenberg
Liz was Senior Associate Director of Admissions for the Full-time MBA Program at Berkeley Haas from 2018-2019. She holds an MBA from Boston University and came to Haas after gaining years of experience in retail for Gap and Gymboree, in financial services for Putnam Investments, as well as engaging in significant non-profit volunteer work. Prior to joining the Full-time Berkeley MBA Program, she spent 7 years in admissions for Berkeley MBA Programs for Working Professionals. She loves her work in admissions because of the connections she's able to develop with students, all of whom bring such amazing diversity of personal and professional experience to the program.