From Consulting to Corporate Insights, MBA Students Gain Global Experience

Armed with passports and knowledge from their Berkeley MBA studies, more than 150 students from the Full-time and Evening & Weekend Programs have traveled to foreign lands this summer to learn more about global business and apply their learning to real-world challenges.

For the school's Seminar in International Business, students from the Evening & Weekend MBA Program traveled to China, visiting Taipei, Beijing, and Shanghai from June 24 to July 5. To better understand the culture, politics, and challenges that define China’s business environment, students met leaders in tech, banking, and consulting at firms including Cisco, Silicon Valley Bank, Ford Motor Co., McKinsey, and social magazine app Flipboard. Lecturer and China business expert Anthony Zaloom led the seminar, which also included visits to the U.S. Embassy, the Forbidden City, and the Great Wall.

Selena Lee, MBA 14, appreciated the opportunity to visit all three areas covered by the trek. “Shanghai is truly a city where east meets west, while in Beijing, the country's 5,000 years of history are apparent everywhere,” she says. “And Taiwan has certainly played an important role in helping China to develop to where it is today. Going to both China and Taiwan helped me to really compare and contrast the business and legal environments of both places.”

Learn more about the China Seminar in International Business in this Haas in the World post.

Nearly 100 students in the Full-time Program and 40 in the Evening & Weekend MBA Program traveled overseas this year as part of the International Business Development (IBD) class, the Haas School’s global management consulting course. Full-time students spent three weeks in-country supporting 25 clients on projects that included exploring funding models for the Brazilian Biodiversity Fund, developing a strategy for an innovation lab in Nairobi, and investigating market opportunities on behalf of a large Silicon Valley Tech firm for team performance and fan engagement solutions in two European football (soccer) leagues.

“I was never a sports fan,” reported Michael Nurick, MBA 14, who traveled with his student team to iconic football houses in England and Germany. “At the start of this journey, I saw these stadiums as simply beautiful achievements in engineering," Nurick adds. "But now, at the end of my IBD experience, I see them as conduits for engagement: tools meticulously designed to intimately involve the most passionate of fans in the truly heartbreaking, euphoric experience that is football.”

After launching a new IBD program last year for 20 evening-and-weekend students, Haas doubled the program's size this year. Forty students are spending two weeks in-country on consulting projects for 10 clients in the corporate, government, and nonprofit realms.

One IBD team of evening-and-weekend students is currently working with, a New Delhi nonprofit collecting cloth in India’s large cities and using it as currency to help villagers improve their quality of life by digging wells, cleaning up river banks, and constructing bridges. In a recent blog post, team members wrote, “We’re so grateful to be in-country with such a fantastic organization. We’ve already learned so much and are humbled by the efforts of every person on the team.”

Another team is working with Uganda Solar to develop a business plan for the retail and distribution of solar lights, while in the Middle East, students are developing a marketing plan for Israel’s Fuel Choices Initiative. Closer to home, in Mexico, another team is creating an ophthalmologist recruitment and retention plan for salaUno, a network of affordable eye-care clinics in Mexico co-founded by Carlos Orellana, MBA/MPH 10.

Read more about the adventures and consulting experiences of all the IBD teams on the Haas in the World blog.