New Berkeley MBA for Executives Class Arrives

The new EMBA class arrives. Photo: Jim Block
The new EMBA class arrives. Photo: Jim Block

Marcus Krauss, a U.S. Marine turned chef, began looking into part-time MBA programs while he was running Salsipuedes, his Oakland, Calif.-based bistro.

“Being a military veteran, I felt like I had a lot of leadership and organizational management experience, and that I wanted to bring my knowledge of business up to that level,” said Krauss, who closed his restaurant last year and joined the Berkeley MBA for Executives Class of 2018 that arrived on campus last week.

Dean Rich Lyons welcomed the new class of 70 EMBA students May 10, kicking off an orientation week that included a Chez Panisse-inspired dinner at Memorial Stadium and the sharing of EMBA experiences by past and present class presidents.

“We’re so excited to welcome this new class to Haas, where they’re beginning an intense 19-month journey in our challenging curriculum and deep immersion programs,” said Jamie Breen, assistant dean and director of the MBA for Executives Program. “This class hails from a wide array of top companies and organizations in the Bay Area and beyond—and we’ve enrolled more women than ever this year.”

The accomplished group includes three doctors, two commercial airline pilots, seven PhDs, and a U.S. Army ranger. Students have an average of 12 years of work experience in industries ranging from tech and retail to energy and consulting. The group works at a total of 64 companies, including Intel, Salesforce, Amazon, PG&E, Levi Strauss, Uber, Kaiser Permanente, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

With deep international roots, 41 percent of the EMBA class was born outside of the US, in 22 different countries including Uganda, Barbados, Ecuador, Russia, Iran, and Mexico. More than a third of the class—34 percent, up from 30 percent last year—is women, and the average age of the class is 36.

Women of the new EMBA class.
Women of the new EMBA class gather during orientation.

Over the coming months, the new class will participate in five immersive experiential learning sessions, which comprise a quarter of the EMBA curriculum. At the center of this format are five field immersion weeks, led by Haas faculty on location, including Leadership Communications in Napa Valley, Applied Innovation in San Francisco, entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley, an international trip (to be determined), and a public policy-focused trip to Washington D.C.

Three women in the class have spouses who graduated in the EMBA Class of 2016.  Sahar Sadeghian-Kleinman, who is married to Matthew Kleinman, EMBA 16, said she made the decision to apply to Haas when she watched 69 strangers in her husband’s program “become family for life.” “It’s amazing how everybody really takes care of each other in any way they can, which is authentic,” said Sadeghian-Kleinman, who is manager of digital production at Macy’s, overseeing new technology enhancements.

Krauss said the Defining Principles at Haas (Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself) aren’t just words on paper; he could see them come to life as he was applying.

“Through the admissions process, talking with current students and staff, and now through just one class block within my own cohort, I can see that the defining principles really guide how the program is built and how everyone strives to carry themselves,” he said.