For Sarah Reichenbacher, meeting the Berkeley MBA for Executives community made it easy to choose the program for her MBA. "I wanted to be sure that I would be in a place that really aligned with my personal values," she says, "one that would be supportive and nurturing and where I would feel really excited to learn from the people around me. That's very much how it feels in the classroom here."
The strength of that community has only become more apparent over time. "There is no competition, there is no stockpiling of answers and not sharing what you're learning with people around you. My classmates are some of the most intelligent, kind, funny people that I have ever gotten to spend time with."
She has found the relationships forged with other women in the program to be particularly rewarding. "A lot of them have been through the same experiences I'm going through right now in my career and family life. To have other women who can really relate to both a strong, professional drive and a desire to have family life balance is amazing. What's more, I now have all these women in my life who, at the drop of a hat, are available for advice--both personally and professionally."
Learning How Different Business Functions and Disciplines Relate
Sarah works for Stitch Fix, previously as learning and development manager and now as a business partner, in an extremely cross-functional role. "Before coming to Berkeley Haas, I had a general idea of what each of the business functions did, but now I'm able to engage and understand my partners' work and metrics on a much deeper level," she says.
This is exactly what she wanted out of her MBA: to better understand how different business disciplines and functions relate to each other—and to boost her business acumen.
Her interest in exploring a wide variety of topics made Berkeley Haas even more appealing, with its options to take classes across the UC Berkeley campus and to go deep with the program's immersive schedule.
"I love that we're here for three days at a time. I try to put everything else on pause, and truly focus on my schoolwork and classmates," she says. "I also love the week-long immersion structure. I like to learn in an immersive setting, and they have been a wonderful way to dive deeply into one topic at a time."
Newfound Confidence at Work—and a Common Misconception
Since enrolling, Sarah has a newfound confidence at work. "I am able to participate in conversations, especially those related to more quantitative topics at an entirely different level than before," she says.
The Berkeley EMBA was clearly right for Sarah, but she knows some prospective students have hesitations. One false assumption she's noticed people make "is that you need to be a C-suite executive to be in an executive MBA program. That's just not true; I am not an executive, though I do hope to be one someday. To be in this program what you do have to have is that drive and excitement to learn more, to take it back to your career and apply it, and to help the rest of your cohort do the same."
Do you have that drive and excitement to learn more about the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program?