Haas Dean Rich Lyons welcomed 250 students in the school’s Evening & Weekend MBA Program during orientation, urging them to embrace the school’s defining principles as they further their careers.
The event, held entirely on campus for the first time on August 1-3, enabled Evening & Weekend MBA students to meet their cohorts, get advice from current students, and hear from professors and program directors.
All orientation sessions integrated the four defining principles of Haas: Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself.
“We have high expectations for this class to use its time at Haas to gain a deep understanding of how our defining principles weave through our curriculum and the entire school,” said Courtney Chandler, director of the Evening & Weekend MBA Program at Haas.
Haas Lecturer Clark Kellogg asked students to design business cards they will carry in 2027, a decade after they graduate, and create so-called “impact cards” that define what they intend to make happen in the world by then.
"These cards invite students to take a credible leap into their own future,” said Kellogg, who teaches Problem Solving, Problem Finding, the flagship course of the school's innovative leadership curriculum. “These are frameworks we want our students to have for their whole lives.”
Incoming students hail from 29 different countries, including China, India, Russia, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and Brazil. They speak 44 different languages and currently work within 195 companies across 33 industries. One diverse student team working on a bridge-building exercise at orientation included a mechanical engineer, a scientist, a product manager, a financial services executive, and a market researcher.
Many in the class, with an average age of 31, will be balancing school with their day jobs at companies including Apple, Visa, Genentech, Google, and Chevron. About 28 percent of the class are women.
For the majority of students, working on teams is an integral part of their work life, a fact reflected in Berkeley's innovative leadership curriculum.
“We’re providing a platform, starting at orientation and progressing through the three-year curriculum, in which students have the opportunity to work on multiple teams, with different types of tasks, and in different contexts,” says Brandi Pearce, Director of Team Performance and Research at Haas.
Social highlights of orientation included a “Best of Berkeley” reception Friday evening, where students noshed on local food from Top Dog, CREAM, and The Cheese Board. At “Stay Golden, California” Saturday, the class sipped wine offered by Haas-affiliated wineries.
Stephen Preston, a senior manager of developer technical services at Autodesk, said he applied to the program to gain new career skills to prepare him to move from a technical role at work to making business decisions.
“I didn’t have the vocabulary and tools that I needed,” he said. “I chose Haas because I have already experienced the benefit of studying with a cohort of extremely bright and motivated people at the University of Oxford. My visits to Haas convinced me that the caliber of students was on the same level.”