Berkeley-Haas has awarded scholarships to a record half of the entering Full-time MBA class, a diverse group including a West Point-educated Special Forces battalion operations officer and a former General Electric exec who founded a solar company in Mexico.
Overall, Berkeley-Haas will provide nearly $6 million to students in all three MBA programs. Awards to Full-time MBA students range from $10,000 to $110,000 for two years of coursework, with an average award of $26,000 for entering students.
“It’s a real tipping point, and we plan to continue the trend of providing the highest level of financial support possible to help our students achieve their academic goals,” says Daniel Roddick, Director of Financial Aid at Haas.
This fall, 41 percent of scholarship recipients in the incoming Full-time MBA class of 2016 are women, a figure that nearly equals the record 43 percent of women who now comprise the class of 241 new students.
Students have the opportunity to apply for dozens of other scholarships offered through Haas, UC Berkeley, and many outside organizations based on need, merit, career area, or commitment to diversity. Here, we highlight a few from outside and inside the university.
The Financial Women of San Francisco (FWSW): The FWSW offers $10,000 grants to remarkable women graduate students. Toni Kraeva, MBA 16, received one of the two FWSW scholarships awarded to Berkeley-Haas students (Tanya Gupta, MFE 16, was also a recipient). She plans to become a leader in the technology industry. A native of Bulgaria, Kraeva moved to the United States at 13.
Before attending Haas, Kraeva worked in strategic planning at Virgin America and in mergers and acquisitions at eBay. “Without this generous scholarship, I wouldn’t have the amazing opportunity to attend Haas,” she said. “Most of all, I’m thrilled to get to know the FWSF members and form lasting relationships with them.”
Maxwell Scholarship: Established in memory of Brian L. Maxwell through the generosity of Jennifer Maxwell, the prestigious Maxwell Fellowship goes to individuals who have demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit and a drive to create and implement innovative projects, products, and ideas.
Gerardo Ruiz de Teresa, MBA 16, (pictured below), this year’s recipient, left a secure position at General Electric to cofound Iluméxico, a social enterprise that provides solar energy systems to replace such hazardous energy sources as candles and diesel lamps in remote communities. In just four years, Iluméxico has brought light to more than 15,000 people in 11 Mexican states.
“My goal is to be an integral contributor to the development of my country, with a company that nourishes the economy through job creation and a strong social and environmental focus,” he says.
Dean’s Fellowship: This $110,000 scholarship is awarded based on career potential as a “path-bending leader.” This year’s recipients include Ben Raphael and Zara Khan, both MBA 16.
West Point-educated Raphael spent nine years in the Army, serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan and rising from infantry platoon leader to Special Forces battalion operations officer.
During his military career, he often sought unconventional solutions to complex problems- such as using pomegranates to quell violence in a war-torn Afghan province. He sought a Berkeley MBA to equip him with the skills to create global economic opportunities. “I’m passionate about developing and employing unconventional solutions to complex problems,” he says. “Through business, I want to make the world a better place for children like my two young daughters.”
Khan grew up alternating between the comforts of suburban American and the realities of rural Pakistan, with a determination to fight poverty as her life’s work.
With her Haas degree, she plans to continue her career in international development. “In my village in Pakistan, farmers are still struggling to feed their families and make ends meet,” she says. “The economy is shrinking, schools and hospitals are starved for resources, and there is little hope that the children will live a better life. I can change this in my lifetime, but it will take more than just money.”