Graduate Reflections from Berkeley MBA for Executives Program (video)

It's really about investing in yourself," said Kelly Brashear on graduating from the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program. "I'll never be able to explain how big an impact it’s had on me.  The investment that I’ve made in myself is going to give back long beyond what I can expect.”

At January's graduation ceremony of Berkeley MBA for Executives Program, students, faculty, and families celebrated the graduating cohort of 69 students in the EMBA Class of 2016. Students reflected on the lasting impact of the rigorous 19-month program on their perspectives and career paths.

“I feel I really want to give more back to community and that comes from the values that come through really strongly in the EMBA program,” said Tom Duggan. The four defining principles of the Haas School of Business create a core set of values to guide the work of students in the program.


Many students note the transformative thinking that is a result of the program. “Before, I saw myself on a very narrow career path,” said Adam Kerin, reflecting on how the program has influenced his thinking. “But all our immersion weeks, especially the last one in DC, have me looking at a much bigger picture, even potentially a role in government.”

“I see myself differently – my level of confidence is much higher,” said Kris Piliero. “I’m much more comfortable speaking in front of people, and that’s a huge part of what I do in my career. I’m excited to do it!”


For this particularly tight-knit class, the power of relationships and the network of support was a recurring theme in graduate reflections. “I look now at the network I’ve gained, the people I’ve met. The doors are already opening,” said Scott Olszewski. “Other people should give themselves the opportunity of an MBA… The learning is amazing – but the people, network, and family are never-ending.”

Kelly Brashear echoed that sentiment in her appreciation of “all of the professors and all of my classmates—really 68 new best friends that I’ll have for the rest of my life.”


“We are full of pride at the achievements of this remarkable group of people. We eagerly anticipate your great accomplishments,” said Dean Rich Lyons, addressing the class at graduation. “The ripple effects from these 69 people on our world is and will be incalculable. After this, you can accomplish anything, I guarantee that.”

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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.