Haas News

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An Ambitious New MBA: Q&A with Jon Kaplan, Executive Director, Part-time Berkeley MBA Programs

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An insider’s look at Washington, D.C., with Professor Laura Tyson. A trip to Shanghai to learn about international business led by Haas Asia Business Center Director Teck Ho. A new applied innovation course with Senior Lecturer Sara Beckman. Those are among the unique offerings planned for the inaugural class of the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program, which will arrive at Haas in May 2013. To learn more about the program, Berkeley-Haas magazine talked with Jon Kaplan, executive director of part-time Berkeley MBA programs. Kaplan joined Haas in March after working at UCLA Anderson and Chapman University in Orange County.

How is Haas adapting its Innovative Leader curriculum to the MBA for Executives Program?

Students will learn to better navigate the innovation process by taking the school’s unique Problem Finding Problem Solving course during the first semester. The class is a cornerstone of our Innovative Leader curriculum and will give our students the skills to find, frame, reframe, and solve difficult problems.

Haas also has homed in on four key capabilities that we believe an innovative leader should possess. Those capabilities will be woven throughout the courses in the MBA for Executives Program, just as they are for our other MBA programs. (The capabilities are: frame problems; experiment to learn; navigate uncertainty; and influence beyond authority.)

How will the new program for execs differ from other Berkeley MBA programs?


Full-time MBA students need in-depth experiential learning to develop what they learned in the classroom. It’s different for the Evening & Weekend and the new MBA for Executives programs because students work full time and hopefully integrate what they learn into their workplaces. But there is some evidence that students do that less than they could. So we’re creating a class called Applied Innovation led by Senior Lecturer Sara Beckman and her colleague Michael Barry from the Stanford Design Program. Students will dive in and apply the concepts that they’ve learned to a complicated business challenge. Then they’ll have an international business trip in which they more deeply explore the challenge from a global perspective.

Talk more about the D.C. and China trips.

Laura Tyson is very excited about teaching the D.C. course. She has an incredible network in D.C. and has mentioned some very recognizable people who may be able to speak to our students.
We may integrate an innovative project into the trip. We also are exploring focusing on governance issues, which is ideal for executive MBA students, who come from higher levels of organizations and could benefit from learning how to more effectively work with their boards.

The trip to Shanghai led by Asia Business Center Director Teck Ho will explore issues related to international business specific to Shanghai or Chinese relations with the U.S. A trip to Shanghai offers a tremendous learning opportunity because substantial private equity and VC money is flowing from there to fund projects in Silicon Valley.

How have Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA graduates helped shape the new program?

We had an alumni focus group in June that generated some great ideas, in particular the Washington, D.C., trip, and we hold monthly calls with an alumni advisory board. We also recently added one staff member who is dedicated soley to career services for both the Berkeley-Columbia and new Berkeley MBA for Executives programs.

What will make the new MBA for Executives Program stand out the most from the competition?

The simple answer is Berkeley. The unique culture of Berkeley-Haas and our Innovative Leader curriculum produce a different kind of leader than other business schools. We are keenly focused on developing forward-looking leaders who know how to harness new ideas and put them into action.
In addition, we will be reaching out across campus to bring in special-topic speakers—speakers, for example, from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, the School of Information, the Engineering School. That’s unique to Berkeley.

I always encourage prospective  students to visit the schools they’re interested in, and inevitably they’ll get a feel for whether a school is a place where they can feel comfortable. I just think Haas is a really easy place to feel like you’re at home.

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By the Numbers

Record Fundraising

Alumni and friends shattered several records with their donations to the Haas Fund in the last fiscal year, demonstrating their deep gratitude to the school. Show your gratitude and break even more records this fiscal year by giving at haas.berkeley.edu/givenow.

  • $3.3 million
    Total Haas Fund support
  • 4,286
    donors
  • $711
    average alumni gift
  • $209,000
    New Alumni Challenge matching funds
  • 2,062
    online gifts
  • 407
    Non-alumni donations
  • 62%
    Portion of full-time students (BS & MBA) who gave or plegded to their class campaign.

Haas Fund donors may direct gifts to school-wide support, Dean Rich Lyons' initiatives, faculty support, or any degree program.

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Working Together

Haas Expands MBA teamwork toolkit


Michael Nurick, Chung Seo, Aschlee Adams, and Bri Treece, all MBA 13, make a straw tower during a teamwork exercise at Orientation Week.

More than 600 entries from a record 50 countries competed in the Global Social Venture Competition this year. The competition, started in 1999 by Berkeley MBA students, culminates in a final round in Berkeley every April.

As part of the competition leadership team, Tarek Hosny, MBA 12, built new partnerships with business schools in Kenya, South Africa, and Turkey.

“Since I began working on this in 2010, interest in social entrepreneurship has been growing and growing,” he says.

Of the Haas entries, Watsi, a team that includes Katie Dewitt, MBA 13, won the $1,000 People’s Choice Award. Watsi is a global peer-to-peer crowdsourcing platform that enables donors to fund low-cost medical treatments in developing countries.

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Sowing New Ideas

Professor David Teece takes helm at Institute for Business Innovation

David Teece and Maria Carkovic
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Professor David Teece takes helm at Institute for Business Innovation
As the new faculty director of the Institute for Business Innovation (IBI), Professor David Teece is setting his sights on launching new programs to support research on the management of intellectual property and the impact of information technology on business and the economy.

Teece succeeds Haas Professor Michael Katz, who took a three-year post on the UC Berkeley Budget Committee. Also joining IBI is new Executive Director Maria Carkovic, former director of Brown University’s Program in Commerce, Organizations, and Entrepreneurship.

IBI promotes interdisciplinary research, instruction, and corporate outreach on innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology. It oversees the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship; Fisher Center for Management and Technology; and Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation.

Teece and Carkovic already are exploring a signature annual event on entrepreneurship and innovation that would involve the Lester and Garwood centers.

“We aim to rejuvenate existing programs and launch new ones focused on intellectual capital,” says Teece, a world-recognized authority on strategy, innovation, and intellectual capital, who served as director of IBI’s predecessor organization from 1982 to 2009. “I also want to explore the online world, particularly online education, innovation, and the management of technology.”

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New @cal Directory Complements LinkedIn

Alumni asked to update their profiles

The new @cal Alumni Directory launched this fall, giving Berkeley-Haas alumni access to all 400,000+ Cal grads, including 36,000 business school alumni. Now alumni are being asked to check their profiles for accuracy, to add more profile information, and to encourage classmates to follow their lead.

 “If everyone confirms and contributes updated information to the alumni directory now, the Haas Alumni Network will become more beneficial, useful, and valuable very quickly, ” says Tenny Frost, executive director of Haas Alumni Relations and Development.

The directory is expected to serve as a complement to the popular social networking site LinkedInbecause only @cal contains all Haas alumni and only @cal can verify someone’s degree.
Alumni can log in to @cal from the Haas Alumni Website or at cal.berkeley.edu.

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Teaching the Teachers

Haas hosts startup training

Lecturer Steve Blank
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The Lester Center for Entrepreneurship hosted more than 60 university faculty from around the country for a three-day Lean LaunchPad Educators Program  in August.

Haas Lecturer Steve Blank and Lester Center Founding Executive Director Emeritus Jerry Engel taught the cutting-edge Lean LaunchPad approach to teaching entrepreneurship, which emphasizes experiential learning and immediate feedback to engage students with real-world entrepreneurship.
Instead of relying on case studies or market research, the Lean LaunchPad challenges students to create their own business models. Students learn by proposing and immediately testing hypotheses and by “getting out of the building” to talk to customers, partners, and competitors.

Blank previously taught his Lean LaunchPad course to students in the Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA and Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA programs and will teach it to full-time Berkeley MBA students this spring.

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Feedback from our Readers


last_issueToday, reading the “Power of Culture” piece in Berkeley-Haas Magazine, I once again found myself dreaming about re-immersing myself in the culture as an MBA—to the point that I wish I hadn’t been there as an undergraduate so I could be more likely to have the opportunity to return!!
-Alicia P. Salmeron, BS 12

Congratulations on the new Berkeley-Haas! I like the new format. The magazine is interesting reading—and a good representation of what Dean Rich Lyons is doing. I send my admiration.
-Former Dean Budd Cheit

Send feedback to letters@haas.berkeley.edu.

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