Haas Welcomes New Evening & Weekend Class

Mike Gallagher, BS 67, MBA 68, retired CEO of Playtex Products and chairman of the Haas School Board, welcomed more than 250 new students in the school's Evening & Weekend MBA Program with a talk Friday on the school's four defining principles.

“I ask you to embrace these and turn them into leverage-able advantages," Gallagher told the new students during their orientation at the Doubletree Hotel in the Berkeley Marina. The Haas School developed the defining principles—Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Student Always, and Beyond Yourself—to articulate what differentiates Berkeley-Haas.

“The culture at Haas is unique to any business school," Gallagher added during the orientation, which also featured a team-building exercise (pictured). "Culture is one of the most important determinants of the longer-term success of a company."

Students in the new class will be balancing their classes while working full time for such companies as Oracle, Qualcomm, Wells Fargo, Yelp, and Pandora. Eighty-five percent of students live and work in the Bay Area, while the rest work as far away as San Diego and Seattle.

Students originally hail from countries as far away as Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Romania, and range in age from 25 to 44. A quarter of the new class are women.

Over the last decade, a growing number of students seem to be earning their master’s degrees in business “not simply to climb the ladder,” says Siu Yung Wong, associate director of academic affairs. Instead, Wong notes that evening and weekend students are using their Berkeley MBA degrees to “really run with their experiences and do something new and exciting.”

“More and more people seem to be looking at entrepreneurship,’’ he adds. "The Haas experience allows them to try out new ideas and build their networks so that they can achieve their dreams."

Increasingly, these students receive financial support from Berkeley-Haas to pursue those dreams. This year, students in the program received $210,000 in aid—more than double the $101,415 in scholarship and grant money that was awarded to students in 2009-2010. A substantial portion of the additional funding has come from the recently endowed Ronald Shapansky Memorial Scholarship, which provides need-based aid specifically for EWMBA students.

"Berkeley-Haas provides more funding to part-time MBA students than many other programs,” says Director of Financial Aid Daniel Roddick. “We’d love to be able to do even more.”