Outside the Classroom

Experiential Learning Enables Students to Learn Lessons of Innovative Leadership


One of the best ways to learn is by doing. That's why experiential learning has long been a popular, integral part of the Berkeley Haas curriculum. This year, Haas overhauled experiential learning to better align with the school's focus on developing innovative leaders.


Haas is now requiring all MBA students to take an experiential learning course, starting with the full-time class of 2012 and evening and weekend class of 2013. Haas also is adding new hands-on workshops for undergraduates. The reason behind the changes: To give students the opportunity to test out the capabilities of the innovative leader, such as the ability to effectively find and frame problems.


Consequently, Berkeley Haas has integrated experiential learning into the new Berkeley Innovative Leadership Development (BILD) curriculum, launched this year to better deliver on the school's mission. Now, in all experiential learning courses, students must apply skills and capabilities developed in other BILD classes. The capabilities, identified by Haas as crucial to innovative leadership, range from opportunity recognition to fostering team creativity


Haas also added a new team performance module to its experiential learning courses to teach students how to become strong leaders and strong team members. Student teams work closely with professional coaches on everything from giving performance feedback to resolving conflict.


Full-time MBA students now can choose from 10 experiential learning courses. Here we highlight three offered this spring: International Business Development (IBD) and Haas@Work, both of which changed significantly this year, and Real Estate Investment Analysis, a new offering.


In IBD, students traveled to 21 countries to work as international consultants. In Haas@Work, they developed new business strategies for enterprises in technology, financial services, and retail. And in the real estate course, students learned firsthand how to navigate development challenges in Berkeley's Telegraph Avenue Corridor. Read on to learn about students' unforgettable experiences.






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