Members of the first class of the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program will take in majestic views of San Francisco Bay tonight while enjoying dinner and hearing from a Nobel Laureate, all part of orientation for the new 19-month program, which began on Wednesday.
Haas launched the new program after reaching a mutual decision last year with Columbia Business School to end the joint Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA Program. Based in Berkeley, Haas’s new program will include three off-site blocks, one in Washington, DC, one in Shanghai and one in Silicon Valley. The school’s Berkeley Innovative Leader Development (BILD) curriculum, introduced as part of the full-time MBA program in 2010, will serve as the basis for the new executive MBA program.
The inaugural class is made up of 70 students, including high-level military officers, an early Google employee and a veterinarian. While most are from the San Francisco Bay area, some participants have traveled from Southern California, the East Coast and even as far away as Seoul, Korea, to take part. To enhance the immersion aspect of the program, all students will stay together in Berkeley’s Hotel Shattuck for the three-day blocks that take place on Haas’s Berkeley campus.
Tonight’s welcome event, at the top of Memorial Stadium, will be hosted by Haas Dean Rich Lyons and will feature special guest Haas Professor Emeritus Oliver Williamson, winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economics. Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA alumni will also attend the dinner, representing the first of many opportunities current students will have to interact with alumni from the previous executive MBA program.