MBA-Jahresrückblick – Haas (Berkeley)

Haas: The proliferation of formats for the MBA degree

What do you consider the most significant developments in MBA/management education and the international business school market as a whole this year?

  • The proliferation of formats for the MBA degree to accommodate fully employed professionals.

    To accommodate more fully employed students and those who don't wish to interrupt their career momentum to earn an MBA, the Haas School now offers four different ways to get an MBA. The Berkeley MBA is offered as a full-time residential program (since 1942), in the Evening cohort (since 1972), the Weekend cohort (since 2002), and the Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA Program (since 2002). Total enrollment in the Berkeley MBA has increased by 64%, from 836 in 2000 to 1312 in 2005.

  • Rise of business degrees in financial engineering

    As jobs in certain business sectors become increasingly quantitative, recruiter demand for graduates with such skills has increased dramatically.

    The Haas School started a new program, the Master's in Financial Engineering (MFE), in 2001. While a few math, statistics, and operations departments at other universities have offered programs or degrees in computational finance for some time, the MFE at the Haas School was the first such degree program in the US offered entirely under the auspices of a business school. The degree distinguishes itself through the following:

    1. financial engineering being taught in a business context,

    2. the world-class reputation of the Haas School's economics and finance faculties, and

    3. its mid-program internship program, which teaches students to apply concepts learned in class in a business setting.

    This year's MFE students are pulling down an average monthly salary of $6,414, which tops last year's by 22%. Ninety-seven percent have been placed and are tackling quantitative finance projects with such companies as Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, and Dow Jones.

    Here is a link to a feature article on the MFE program in CalBusiness magazine:

  • Experiential learning becomes increasingly important for future business leaders

    Haas prides itself on plying graduate and undergraduate students with many such opportunities to apply classroom learning to real-life business situations. Programs and courses expose students, through class projects and fellowships, to the tough lessons they will encounter as future business leaders. At least 50 to 70 percent of full-time MBA electives use hands-on projects, which almost always means team projects -- another important aspect of experiential learning.

    International Business Development course

    sends one quarter of the full-time MBA class to conduct real consulting projects for multi-national corporations and nonprofit organizations abroad every summer. Last year's projects included establishing micro-enterprises for villagers as a way of rebuilding the economy in the wake of the December 2004 tsunami; spreading a model school lunch program, created in Ghana, throughout Africa; developing pricing strategy for an educational institution in Ghana; developing a marketing strategy for non-timber forest products in Nepal; developing market entry strategies for a Finnish computer company.

    Corporate Social Responsibility Projects

    is a course that allows students to translate CSR theory they've learned in class into real-world CSR strategies for corporations such as Birkenstock, Deloitte, ChevronTexaco, McDonald's, Levi Strauss & Co., Pfizer, Torani, and Wells Fargo Bank. In turn, the students teach what they are learning to corporate executives who are in the position to affect change.

    The Management of Technology program

    offers a variety of hands-on class projects:

    UN Fellows: To support the mission of the United Nations Industrial Development Program, teams of UC Berkeley graduate students, including MBA students, will conduct field research in an effort to elicit best practices in sustainable industrial development.

    The Mayfield Fellowships provide students opportunities to work at venture capital-backed start-ups in various high technology fields, most located in Silicon Valley.

    The China Fellows allows selected MBA students in the Management of Technology Program to travel to Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing to meet with high tech executives, business leaders, researchers and government officials, and to meet their counterparts at Chinese universities.

  • Growing demand and opportunities for MBA students to study business abroad

    See International Business Development course and China Fellowships above

  • Additional Opportunities for Berkeley MBA Students to Study and Travel Abroad

    Starting this year both Full-time and Evening & Weekend MBA students have more opportunities for overseas learning that accommodate their busy schedules thanks to two new winter break seminars in international business being offered in India and Brazil.

    The seminars are less than two weeks in length, and meet different demands for each MBA program. For Evening & Weekend MBA students, the trips complement a popular International Business Seminar that takes place in the summer and usually fills quickly. Jennifer Chizuk, executive director of the EWMBA Program, says, "We've always had students on the waiting list for the summer course. We added these opportunities to accommodate the demand from students who want to learn about global business first-hand."

    For full-time MBA students, the winter break option adds an experience with less time commitment to an already rich selection of global learning opportunities, such as International Business Development consulting work and UNIDO fellowships. "We heard from students who wanted more opportunities for global exposure - but in a shorter timeframe," says Julia Min, executive director of the Full-time MBA Program.

  • Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA Students Explore the Opportunities and Risks of Global Business

    Select groups of Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA students have been travelling the globe to learn about international business through the Berkeley-Columbia program's International Seminars, which this year offered courses in Germany, Great Britain, China, and Argentina.

    "These students have gained a broad exposure to international business strategies, opportunities, and risks through a mix of corporate visits and classroom work," says Robert Gleeson, executive director of the Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA Program.

    This year's seminars include a course in Berlin in May on behavioral decision making and economics, taught by Columbia Professor Eric J. Johnson and one in August in London on globalization and markets, taught by Columbia professors Bruce Greenwald and Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz.

    Students are just returning from fall trips to Shanghai where they studied emerging markets and the economy of China. The trip included corporate visits to HSBC Bank and Economic Park, an industrial park that is home to a number of electronics and textile companies. Students also travelled to Munich to explore branding with executives from BMW and Siemens and to Buenos Aires to learn about emerging markets and the economy of Argentina.

    The international seminars take place in the fourth or fifth term of the 19-month-long Berkeley-Columbia program. Merging the strengths of two top business schools, the Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA Program offers instruction at and degrees from both the Haas School of Business and Columbia Business School and membership in two worldwide alumni networks. For more information on the program, visit
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