Student Perspectives:

Oji Udezue

"I love how the program is designed around teamwork, like the real world, where your success often depends on working with others."

Oji Udezue, MBA 2012

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A Model for Success

The Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA curriculum draws from the best of both schools. The rigorous core courses taken in early semesters focus on building and expanding essential business skills. With that strong foundation, you customize your final terms to meet your professional needs and personal schedule, combining pragmatic and application-based coursework with an emphasis on electives. In addition, a required international seminar completes your global education.

A Deep and Fundamental Understanding

Begin by building a basic framework in qualitative, analytical, strategic, and problem-solving skills. You also delve into studies of successful management, leadership, human behavior, how organizations work, and how the economy and markets function—working with faculty members who are experts in these areas, both as scholars and practitioners. As a result, you gain well more than functional competencies; you gain deep insight into the fundamental principles driving business. One student likened his new understanding of business to the difference between listening to music and really hearing music: “It connects someplace inside of you.”

Vast Options

Once you complete your core requirements, you will begin to tailor the program to your specific interests by selecting from a menu of rigorous elective courses. Elective courses, which make up 40 percent of your curriculum, are taken during terms four and five.

A Collaborative Approach

Much of your coursework and special projects are based on a team construct, which allows you both to master the nuances of working in complex teams and to benefit from exposure to a wide array of working styles, personalities, and perspectives.

“The program encourages you to contribute with your diversity, whether, for me, that’s as a French person, an entrepreneur, or someone in media,” says Agnes Faure, MBA 2012, a Parisian living in San Francisco and planning an entrepreneurial venture at the intersection of art and science. “It is most collaborative, encourages building relationships and working in groups. It’s a very human approach.”

Your assigned study group, typically made up of four to five students, is central to your experience, enabling you to share perspectives and workload, while learning how to synergize and leverage the various strengths of each team member.

The study groups comprise diversity along almost every matrix imaginable. One is composed of a Symantec vice president, a direction oil driller based in Alaska, a vice president in his family’s car and truck rental business, and an associate director of development for The Nature Conservancy. Another study group consists of a former Hollywood producer and YouTube executive, a German-born gaming executive, a Denver-based financial executive, a shoe factory owner from China, and a Naval officer just back from Iraq.

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