Academics

Berkeley MBA for Executives

Academic Roadmap

Overview

The Berkeley MBA for Executives program curriculum consists of the traditional business core curriculum, field immersions, and electives. An overview of the curriculum follows:

  • The core curriculum takes place over the first three terms; electives are held over the last two terms.
  • Students participate in one mandatory field immersion per term for a total of five field immersions (25% of the EMBA curriculum).
  • All core courses and field immersions are two units, except the 1-unit course Building Trust-Based Relationships. Electives are usually one or two units but may also be three units as further explained below.
  • A normal course load generally means four two-unit courses (three core courses or electives plus one field immersion) per semester.
    • Students requesting an increased or decreased course load must seek approval from the Program Office. Good academic and financial standing is required for any increased course load.
    • Please note that students with financial aid must register for at least 6 units in any term to continue to receive financial aid.
  • Students will have an average of 6 electives (assuming two-unit electives) during the EMBA program.
  • Core electives will generally be scheduled during the regular block format (three-hour classes Thursday - Saturday, once every three weeks). Subject to professor availability and scheduling necessities, additional electives may be scheduled in block week format (e.g., one elective could be Monday through Friday or Wednesday through Sunday) or one Sunday (for one-unit courses) or two Sundays (for two-unit courses).

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Core Curriculum

The core curriculum is taught through 10 core courses and, like that of the full-time and evening and weekend programs, focuses on key business skills. The courses and class descriptions are listed below. Field Immersions are covered separately in the section below.

Financial Accounting (Term 1)

This course covers the accounting principles and methods (GAAP) used in preparing financial statements. It emphasizes the rationale for, and implications of, the fundamental accounting concepts. The course provides a foundation to critically analyze and interpret accounting data, and to use accounting data in various decision situations. The course requires no prior academic knowledge of accounting, and it is designed accordingly.

Data Analysis for Management (Term 1)

The objective of this course is to provide an understanding of the role of data and statistical analysis in managerial decision-making. We focus on the role of managers as both consumers and producers of information, illustrating how finding and/or developing the right data and applying appropriate statistical methods can help solve problems in business.

Economics for Business Decision Making -- i.e., Microeconomics (Term 1)

Business success or failure depends critically on the successful positioning of the firm and the management of its resources. The goal of this course is to learn to think systematically and strategically about achieving competitive advantage through the management of the firm's resources. We will analyze management decisions concerning decision-making under uncertainty, costs, pricing, and in strategic situations. We will use readings and cases along with class discussion to develop practical insights into managing for competitive advantage.

Introduction to Finance (Term 2)

In this introductory course, students learn how to value assets given forecasts or projections of future cash flows. The course also concentrates on the risk characteristics of different asset classes. The first part of the course focuses on bonds and stocks. The second part of the course deals with measuring and pricing risk. The third part of the course introduces students to valuation. The final part of the course introduces students to derivative instruments. This course will combine the theoretical underpinnings of finance with real-world examples.

Leading People -- i.e., Organizational Behavior (Term 2)

This course takes a scientific approach to leading people--drawing on research and theory from the social sciences. Here we will identify key leadership skills and to provide you opportunities to practice them.

Marketing Management (Term 2)

The purpose of this course is to introduce you to the key principles, ideas, and decision frameworks of modern marketing management. In this course, you will learn the strategies and methods modern marketers use to create value for customers and develop long-term profitable relationships with them. Central themes of this course beyond customer value and marketing strategy will include an emphasis on how digital marketing is changing the face of marketing today, practical application of theory to highlight when it is useful and expose when it may be deficient, knowledge transfer between your areas of expertise and marketing to enhance learning in both areas, and exposure to recent marketing research that is advancing the discipline.

Building Trust-Based Relationships - Part 1 (Term 2)

The objective of this one-unit course is to help students to become better leaders by strengthening their ability to lead others through trust-based relationships. In this course we introduce students to key concepts and techniques around building trust-based relationships, a key competence of a successful leader in any organization today. By the end of this course, students can expect to have comprehensive understanding of the concept of trust in a business setting, self-awareness of their own ability to build trust-based relationships with others and areas for improvement, and tangible techniques to help build trust-based relationships with others.

Operations Management (Term 3)

Operations Management is the systematic direction and control of the processes that transform inputs into finished goods or services. Operations is one of the primary functions of a firm. While marketing induces the demand for products and finance provides the capital, operations produces and delivers the products and services. This course provides an introduction to the concepts and analytic methods that are useful in understanding the management of a firm's operations. The goal of this course is to familiarize students with the problems and issues confronting operations managers, and to provide students with language, concepts, insights, and tools to deal with these issues in order to gain competitive advantage through operations.

Competitive and Corporate Strategy (Term 3)

Competitive and Corporate Strategy is a course in management and organizational leadership. It is designed to acquaint the student with delineation of a business strategy by the firm, and the development and implementation of an execution plan that will lead to achievement of its strategic goals and objectives. The pursuit of these goals and objectives usually occurs within a competitive context, in which rival organizations often seek similar ends (e.g., market share, profits, control of scarce resources, etc.). Accordingly, the essential drama of the marketplace is how one firm attempts to "win" vis-à-vis its rivals-- that is, how it develops and implements a competitive strategy.

Global Economic Environment -- i.e., Macroeconomics (Term 3)

This is a course in introductory macroeconomics, with a strong emphasis on international applications. There are two objectives for this course. The first is to develop simple models of the goods and services, asset, capital, and labor markets which can be usefully applied to generate realistic predictions regarding the behavior of such macroeconomic variables as: output, employment, inflation, the current account, and interest and exchange rates. The second is to apply these models to understand and interpret current and historical macroeconomic developments, primarily in the industrialized OECD countries. Having both the theoretical framework and the empirical knowledge in place will enable you to frame a large number of managerial questions within a larger macroeconomic context, and allow you to navigate uncertainty with more precision and confidence.

Building Trust-Based Relationships - Part 2 (Term 3) *

See course description above in Term 2 section.

* Building Trust-Based Relationships spans the second and third terms but students receive credit for this course in Term 3.

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Field Immersions

In the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program, 25% of your curriculum is experiential, delivered through five immersive learning opportunities that let you apply your growing skills across a variety of challenges and ecosystems:

  • Discover your authentic leadership style
  • Gain insights into life as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur
  • Go behind the scenes with industry leaders
  • Explore an international business hub
  • Experience the entire innovation cycle

Field immersions leverage our global ties and premier location to connect you with groundbreaking entrepreneurs, global leaders, and renowned innovators-as well as with the authentic leader in you.

Leadership Communications (Term 1)

Students will explore the vital link between leadership and communication. They will increase self-confidence when speaking, learn how to think fast and clear under pressure, use voice and body effectively, and learn to be deep and brief with their content. The course also focuses on giving, receiving, and applying feedback, as well as understanding one's leadership strengths and weaknesses.

Silicon Valley Immersion (Term 2)

The focus of this immersion is understanding core capabilities of entrepreneurs, engaging in deep conversations with founders and C-suite executives, and understanding the requirements, demands, benefits, and risks of working at a startup. The course will be split between classroom time, guest speakers, and visits to some of the most interesting, emerging companies in Silicon Valley and San Francisco. Classroom time will be 100% case-based and will focus on entrepreneurial companies. The company visits will mainly be with founder-CEOs.

Applied Innovation (Term 3)

This immersion focuses on design-centered thinking and development, as well as design-in-action: conversations with design firms. Our emphasis will be on going beyond the obvious questions and answers because insights that lead to breakthrough innovation are rarely obvious (until we discover them). Specifically, we'll talk about ways of collecting information to characterize a problem space, discovering meaning in the data that allows us to frame and re-frame problems, generating a range of solutions and then gathering feedback to assess those solutions. We'll apply those processes and tools to design and redesign solutions and business models.

This class builds on Confucius's notion: "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." There will be a lot of doing in our class sessions to further build upon learnings from Leadership Communications and Building Trust-Based Relationships, and to develop facility with a toolkit you can take back to work with you. We will complement the hands-on work with visits with design firms and corporate innovation leaders so that you can not only learn something of the mindset, skillset and toolset associated with innovation, but also how it is used in industry today.

International Immersion (Term 4)

The international immersion explores how culture and geography affect core business disciplines and provides rich exposure to companies, organizations, and executives in the selected location. Prior classes have traveled (or will travel) to Shanghai, Brazil, and Singapore.

Industry-Focused Immersion (Term 5)

Industry immersions focus on a particular industry and geography and the associated business and culture. Prior classes have traveled to Washington, D.C. to learn how public policy affects business--and how business attempts to influence public policy.

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Electives

Students may select from a variety of elective options, including anchor electives, cohort-specific electives, independent study, dual-listed electives, full-time and evening & weekend electives, and courses at other UC Berkeley graduate schools.

Anchor Electives

The EMBA program has curated "Anchor Electives" selected based on the core capabilities and knowledge a leader needs to manage an enterprise, as well as student feedback. These anchor electives are taught by our top-ranked faculty.

A list of anchor electives, organized by program pillars, is available below. You can click on each course for a course description and information about the instructor. Please note that anchor electives and instructors may change from time to time depending on a number of factors.

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship & Innovation
This course teaches the approach entrepreneurs use to identify attractive opportunities and to design and build new ventures. The pedagogy in the course includes case studies, as well as in class visits from case protagonists and other speakers, and the development of a pitch for an entrepreneurial venture. One of the major objectives of this course is to model the work life of a variety of entrepreneurs so that you will have the chance to personally reflect on your desire to pursue an entrepreneurial career. Throughout the course, the cases and our discussions will have as their focal point the entrepreneur who, often when confronting significant uncertainty, must make and implement a set of complex decisions.

Professor Toby Stuart

  • Helzel Chair in Entrepreneurship, Strategy, and Innovation, and the Faculty Director at the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship.
  • Was the Charles Edward Wilson Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and the Arthur J. Samberg Professor of Organizations and Strategy and Academic Director of the Eugene M. Lang Entrepreneurship Center at Columbia Business School.
  • From 1995 to 2003, he was on the faculty at the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business, where he was the Fred G. Steingraber-A.T. Kearney Professor of Organizations & Strategy.
  • He received his Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University.
  • Taught two courses for EMBA 2014s, where he achieved coveted Club Six status via TIES scores of 6.93 for course effectiveness and 6.93 for instructor effectiveness (on a 7-point scale).
  • Awarded the Earl F. Cheit Outstanding Teaching Award by EMBA and FTMBA in 2014.

New Venture Finance
This is a course about how to successfully finance a high growth business. Since the Haas School is principally about professionally managed businesses, the course will focus on businesses that are not small by design, but on those businesses that with hard work, key strategic decisions and good luck can be expected to develop into complex enterprises. The course will examine a full range of financing options. The goal is to equip the student with the concepts, tools, risks and considerations for financing a business through its life stages.

Professor Maura O'Neill

  • In 2009 she was appointed by President Obama to be the first Chief Innovation Officer of the US Agency for International Development.
  • Most well-known for adapting venture capital and drug discovery methods to global development by co-creating the Development Innovation Venture Fund.
  • Served as a member of the White House Innovation Cohort assisting in innovation across federal government.
  • Prior to joining the Administration she served as a Chief of Staff in the U.S. Senate.
  • Received "Honorable Mention" for the Cheit Award with EMBA 2014s.
  • Taught EMBA 2014s, where she achieved coveted Club Six status via TIES scores of 6.93 for course effectiveness and 6.90 for instructor effectiveness (on a 7-point scale).

Technology Innovation
This course examines innovation strategies applied to emerging technologies. You will discuss successful and failed approaches for the commercialization of new technologies in both consumer and business settings using both contemporary and historical examples. Emphasis is placed on understanding the fundamental issues in commercialization of a broad range of technologies, including IT, energy, life sciences and consumer technology. The course is particularly suited for those who anticipate founding or leading a technology-based enterprise.

Professor Drew Isaacs

  • Former Executive Director of UC Berkeley's Management of Technology Program.
  • President of California Technology International, Inc., a consulting firm he founded in 1990.
  • Prior to founding CTI, Isaacs was a marketing executive for public and private high tech companies in Silicon Valley, and was Senior Scientist at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston.
  • Has achieved coveted Club Six status at Haas on a regular basis.

Professor Don Proctor

  • Senior Vice President at Cisco in the Office of the Chairman and CEO.
  • Since 1995, Proctor has led product engineering in Cisco's software, VoIP, Web collaboration, and service provider businesses.
  • A graduate of UC Berkeley, he currently advises worldwide government leaders on cybersecurity policy.

Finance

Financial Information Analysis
This course (i) provides you with a framework for business analysis and valuation using financial statement data; and (ii) shows you how to apply this framework to a variety of business decisions. The course assumes that you have a good working knowledge of accounting, finance, economics and business strategy. The focus is on integrating key concepts from each of these areas and applying them to financial decision-making. The course is taught through a combination of lectures and interactive cases. It requires some facility with Excel spreadsheets.

Professor Patricia Dechow

  • Donald H. and Ruth F. Seiler Professor in Public Accounting, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, 2007 to present.
  • Chair of the Accounting Group, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, 2008 to 2013.
  • The Carleton H. Griffin-Deloitte & Touche LLP Collegiate Professor of Accounting, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. 2002-2007.
  • Professor of Accounting and Michael A Sakkinen Scholar, University of Michigan Business School, 1999-2003.
  • Associate Professor of Accounting, University of Michigan Business School, 1997-1999.
  • Anheuser-Busch Assistant Professor of Accounting, Accounting, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (1992-1997).
  • Ph.D. Accounting and Finance 1993, W. E. Simon School of Business Administration, University of Rochester.
  • The Earl F. Cheit Outstanding Teaching Award for Doctoral Students, Haas School of Business, (2006-2007).

Corporate Finance
This course is designed from the perspective of a CFO or senior corporate manager. It covers techniques for valuing projects and companies, methods of financing projects and companies, financial management, capital structure and capital budgeting. The course is meant to provide a good understanding of the ways in which financing methods and techniques can affect firm value.

Professor Joshua Rauh

  • Professor of Finance at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
  • Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
  • Formerly taught at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business (2004-9) and the Kellogg School of Management (2009-12).

Leadership

Executive Leadership
This course focuses on helping students become great leaders. The most effective leaders understand that their role is to set the context for others to do extraordinary work and maximize collective success. The overall objective of the course is to increase awareness about individual strengths and opportunities for improvement while gaining an understanding of the essential qualities to be an extraordinary leader. The course will include a 360 degree assessment component.

Professor Jenny Chatman

  • Recently named Chair of the EMBA Program Committee
  • Serves as Paul J. Cortese Distinguished Professor of Management at the Haas School of Business and was faculty director of the PhD program from 2002 to 2004.
  • Prior to joining the faculty at Berkeley in 1993, she served as a professor at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University from 1987 to 1993.
  • Served as a consultant at Cisco Systems, The Coca-Cola Company, ConocoPhillips, Genentech, Intel, Kaiser-Permanente, Microsoft, and Qualcomm.
  • Awarded the Earl F. Cheit Outstanding Teaching Award from BCEMBA in 2008.
  • Taught EMBA 2014s, where she achieved coveted Club Six status via TIES scores of 6.83 for course effectiveness and 6.89 for instructor effectiveness (on a 7-point scale).

Negotiations Negotiating is a commonplace life activity. The purpose of this course is to develop a general framework around negotiations so that you can be successful in achieving your goals in settings involving competition and cooperation. Negotiation is both an art and a science. Because all negotiations involve two or more interdependent parties, understanding human nature and the psychology of conflict are essential for success. By exploring these central issues, we will deepen our understanding of how individuals, groups, and organizations behave in potentially competitive situations. This course is designed to complement the technical and diagnostic skills learned in other courses in your MBA program.

Professor Laura Kray

  • Holds a doctorate in Psychology from the University of Washington and has been on the Berkeley faculty since 2002.
  • has published over 30 articles in leading journals on topics pertaining to gender and negotiations, and how counterfactual thinking (reflections on the past of "what might have been") influence creativity, analytical problem solving, learning from experience, and the creation of meaning in personal narratives.
  • Has achieved coveted Club Six status at Haas on a regular basis.

Strategy

Data Analytics
It's the Era of Big Data. Data Scientist is the sexiest profession of the 21st century. The purpose of this course is NOT to make you into a Data Scientist. The purpose of this course is to teach you enough quantitative marketing analytics so that you will be able to leverage data scientists and analytics experts to make your marketing strategy better, more robust, more reliable, more profitable. In order to be able to leverage these experts effectively, you need to speak the language of analytics: you'll need to know how to ask your data science experts the right questions, how to give the analytics experts the information they need to do their best possible work, and most importantly, you'll need to know how to tell if you're being hoodwinked.

Professor Amy Gershkoff

  • Recently became Chief Data Officer at Zynga.
  • Served as the Director of Media Planning at Obama for America, where she was the architect of Obama's advertising strategy and designed the campaign's analytics systems.
  • Gershkoff has been named one of the nation's "40 under 40" leading entrepreneurs and was featured in the Washington Post as one of the nation's most prominent innovators.
  • Taught EMBA 2014s, where she achieved coveted Club Six status via TIES scores of 6.63 for course effectiveness and 6.69 for instructor effectiveness (on a 7-point scale).

Game Theory
Game theory is about what happens when decision makers (spouses, workers, managers, presidents) interact. In the past fifty years, game theory has gradually became a standard language in economics. The power of game theory is its generality and (mathematical) precision, and because game theory is rich and crisp, it is applicable to many business situations. As Robert Aumann (2005 Nobel Economics Laureate) said "... game theory is a sort of umbrella or `unified field' theory for the rational side of social science, where `social' is interpreted broadly, to include human as well as non-human players (computers, animals, plants)."

Professor Shachar Kariv

  • Educated at Tel-Aviv University and New York University, where he received his PhD in 2003.
  • Benjamin N. Ward Professor of Economics and Department Chair.
  • Faculty Director of UC Berkeley Experimental Social Science Laboratory (Xlab) 2008-2014.
  • Recipient of the UC Berkeley Division of Social Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award (2008) and the Graduate Economics Association Outstanding Advising Award (2006).
  • Has achieved coveted Club Six status at Haas on a regular basis.
  • Awarded the Earl F. Cheit Outstanding Teaching award for EWMBA (2012).

Global Strategy
Global Strategy is a course in management. It is designed to acquaint the student with the delineation of business strategy and management by the firm that engages in cross-border transactions, and the development and implementation of a strategic plan that will allow the firm to achieve its cross-border goals and objectives.

Professor Paul Tiffany

  • On the teaching faculty at Sasin, the Graduate Institute of Business at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand; IOMBA, the International Organizations MBA program at the University of Geneva in Switzerland; and the AVT Business School in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Served for four years as a visiting professor at CEIBS, the international school of business in Shanghai, China's leading school of business.
  • Currently, Dr. Tiffany heads Paul Tiffany & Associates, a multi-specialty consulting and training organization that offers management services to firms throughout the world.
  • Awarded the Earl F. Cheit Outstanding Teaching Award from BCEMBA on two occasions.
  • Taught EMBA 2014s, where he achieved coveted Club Six status via TIES scores of 6.22 for course effectiveness and 6.00 for instructor effectiveness (on a 7-point scale).

Mergers & Acquisitions
The purpose of this course is to teach value creation in acquiring or selling a business. Most studies show that the majority of corporate acquisitions destroy the buyer's value. Sellers enjoy an immense advantage with competitive auctions and the term "winners curse "is usually very appropriate. Our mission is to offer experience-based curriculum in order to help students create shareholder value and avoid costly pitfalls in future acquisition initiatives. Similarly, we offer insight as to how to maximize value when selling businesses.

Professor Peter Goodson

  • A pioneer in the private equity discipline as an early stage partner at Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.
  • Has taught at Berkeley- Haas for the last 10 years and has taught and / or lectured at Harvard, Kellogg, Tuck, Stanford, NYU Stern, and Columbia.
  • Awarded the Earl F. Cheit Outstanding Teaching award by the students of the Haas School of Business on three occasions.
  • Taught EMBA 2014s, where he achieved coveted Club Six status via TIES scores of 6.26 for course effectiveness and 6.17 for instructor effectiveness (on a 7-point scale).

Turnarounds
This one week course is designed to introduce the student to the world of operational and strategic turnarounds of troubled and underperforming businesses. The intent is to focus on the leadership practices that work in fixing flawed enterprises. Our scope of distress will range from rescuing businesses in the grasp of a death spiral to breathing fresh air into sound, but underperforming, enterprises in order to create value.

Professor Peter Goodson

  • A pioneer in the private equity discipline as an early stage partner at Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.
  • Has taught at Berkeley- Haas for the last 10 years and has taught and / or lectured at Harvard, Kellogg, Tuck, Stanford, NYU Stern, and Columbia.
  • Awarded the Earl F. Cheit Outstanding Teaching award by the students of the Haas School of Business on three occasions.
  • Taught EMBA 2014s, where he achieved coveted Club Six status via TIES scores of 6.30 for course effectiveness and 6.14 for instructor effectiveness (on a 7-point scale).

Cohort-specific Electives

Each cohort (e.g., class of 2015 or class of 2016) may select up to one or two additional electives not offered as part of the anchor elective offering. The availability of a cohort-specific elective depends on the depth of student interest and instructor availability.

Independent Study

Many EMBA students craft their own independent study course(s), choosing to focus on a particular field or issue of interest. Many students also specifically seek out professors with stellar reputations in their field of research. This is an opportunity for students to receive guidance and mentorship from key faculty.

Dual-Listed Electives

The EMBA program may from time to time offer electives that are dual-listed with the EWMBA program, and a set number of seats are reserved for EMBA students. Those courses are typically offered weekly in the evenings, usually Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday.

Full-Time or Evening & Weekend Program Electives

Students may elect to enroll in certain Evening and Weekend or Full-Time MBA program electives, subject to course availability and space constraints. Students of those programs have a complex bidding system and are thus given priority. The Full-Time MBA Course Schedule for Fall 2015 is here. The Evening & Weekend Course Schedule for Fall 2015 is here.

Other UC Berkeley Graduate Schools

Students may choose electives at other graduate schools, such as the Schools of Law, Information, Public Policy, or Engineering.These courses, however, are subject to the following constraints: the condensed EMBA schedule often conflicts with other schools' academic calendars; students of those graduate schools also receive priority enrollment; and many courses are off limits because they have prerequisites.Given the range of offerings at Haas, Students will be asked to justify or explain their rationale for desiring to enroll in another graduate school program.

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Graduation

Graduation takes place in January or February following completion of coursework in December of the prior calendar year. The Program Office files on behalf of all graduating EMBA students an "Application for Candidacy for the Master's Degree" with the UC Berkeley Graduate Division office. Please make sure your mailing address is correct in Bear Facts, as diplomas are mailed to students following graduation.

The Program Office will provide additional information about the recognition ceremony and logistics closer to graduation date.

Awards

The following awards and honors are presented at the recognition ceremony:

  • The Earl F. Cheit Award for Teaching Excellence is an award presented to the faculty member who displays teaching excellence during the program. A student panel nominates faculty for this award.
  • The Outstanding GSI Award is an award voted on by students and presented to the GSI who most impacted the students' academic experience.
  • Students elect award recipients who most embody one of each of the school's four defining principles: Students Always, Confidence without Attitude, Question the Status Quo, and Beyond Yourself.
  • A Valedictorian is recognized as the person with the highest G.P.A. from the program.The Valedictorian addresses the graduating class.
  • One additional student speaker is selected by fellow classmates to represent the graduating class at the recognition ceremony. Student speakers should be chosen based on contributions to the program.
  • Students graduating in the top 10% of their class are recognized as graduating with Honors.

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