32 minutes | Nov 10th 2020

MBA Life at UC Berkeley Haas, From Its New Executive Director of Admissions

Learn what's new at Berkeley Haas, as well as tips for crafting admissions-worthy applications. [Show summary] Eric Askins, the newly appointed Executive Director of Admissions at UC Berkeley Haas, explores the school’s full-time MBA program and its admissions policies, as well as how it’s adapting the MBA experience to COVID-19. Interested in applying to Berkeley Haas? Read on for info about special programs and application advice. [Show notes] UC Berkeley Haas has a new Executive Director of Admissions: Eric Askins, formerly Haas’s Senior Associate Director of Admissions. He’s here today to explore Haas’s full-time MBA program, as well as how the school is adapting to COVID-19. Can you give an overview of the Berkeley Haas full-time MBA program for those listeners who aren't that familiar with it and focus on its more distinctive elements? [2:37] The first place to start is our location. Based in the San Francisco Bay area, our program is incredibly close to the center of innovation that exists out here. I think some of that is probably evident if you look at our outcomes. Berkeley Haas has graduates in tech. About 15 to 20% of our students each year are going into startups. But if you were to ask us for the most defining feature of our program, it's likely our defining leadership principles (Question the status quo. Confidence without attitude. Students always. Beyond yourself.). It's a set of culture-forward initiatives that we have here, about 10 years old now, that really hold our core values up-front. You'll find, I think, very few programs that lead with values, and we're certainly one of them. What's new at Berkeley Haas (other than lockdown, the pandemic, and smoky air)? [4:08] Certainly, all of those things are new, and they are challenges. But there's a silver lining in there too. Let's talk about some of our academic programs first. Chief among the things that we launched in pilot mode last year that are truly new this year are a joint degree with our school of engineering, an MBA/MEng program. This program is two years, so no additional time. It is a cohort model that is part of the MBA cohort, so it doesn't operate separately, which is really a great opportunity to continue to stay connected with the broader community here at Haas. Additionally, the students select from among seven different engineering programs to really give you that niche opportunity that you might be seeking and give you the skills that you need to take advantage of some of the great opportunities that exist in the career world. You can go, let's say, into electrical engineering/MBA, artificial intelligence/MBA, all kinds of different engineering specialties, including nuclear engineering, if that's what you're looking for. Chemical engineering. We took a nuclear engineer this year. This program launched in pilot mode last year. We didn't recruit heavily for it. We simply listed it on our website. We are beginning to look at expanding it. We now have a cohort of about 30 students, 15 in each class here. There is a community. Although it's new, it's new with a community, which we think is really essential. Again, we're very community-focused here at Haas, and we want you to be learning alongside others and learning from others as well as from our faculty. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxMWjFryl0g&feature=youtu.be How do you see the MBA/MEng program growing for the entering class of 2021? [6:00] I think 15 feels like a pretty healthy number for us. We may move it up to 20 if we see qualified candidates in and around that space. We probably won't move it beyond that. We have a successful joint degree already with our MBA/MPH, which is a master's in public health. That's been running for about 10 years and has an incredible community around it, and we typically don't go over about 20 students in that group either. The goal here is not to create little segments of the MBA,
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