One of the primary goals of the Haas-Berkeley MBA is to prepare innovative leaders who can drive growth by transforming new ideas into action in every division and function of his or her organization. Now the School is itself innovating to introduce new curricula and formats for students of the Berkeley Evening & Weekend MBA program.
To expose these students to a broader variety of topics, the program created a more flexible format this year for electives. For example, one offering this fall grouped three topics into a series of one-unit electives: Corporate Financial Decision Making, Game Theory, and Behavioral Finance.
Another new elective launched for weekend MBA students combined elements of marketing research, customer behavior, and brand advertising in an integrated marketing course. As students progressed through each discrete module, they also applied the knowledge earned practically by working on various phases of an advertising and brand positioning project for clients that included Gap, Kaiser Permanente, and Huffington Post. The course culminated with group presentations to the instructors and marketing executives from the client companies.
The Evening & Weekend Program now offers intensive classes modeled on executive education courses. According to Dave Gent, executive director of the program, These courses enable us to provide more opportunities for faculty to teach in the Evening & Weekend Program and give our students the opportunity to network with Berkeley-Columbia students.
In line with the general DNA of Innovation at Haas, this program too has seen a lot of focus on management innovation and leadership. As in the full-time MBA Program, first-year evening and weekend students also began their studies within the context of the school's new Berkeley Innovative Leader Development (BILD) initiative. Elements of BILD were incorporated into the core curriculum this fall and relevant courses will be offered to evening/weekend students starting next spring.
Keeping pace with the evolutions in focus and curricula, career services have been upgraded for participants, many of whom join this program with a view to changing jobs or industries. In October this year, the Evening & Weekend MBA Association, Evening & Weekend Program Office, and Career Services Department partnered to organize a Career Night, which saw students and alumni sharing real-life experiences in diverse fields as venture capital, high-tech marketing, investment banking, and management consulting.
Other expanded career services include a larger pool of peer coaches on CareerNet to give students more access to first-hand knowledge about industries and job functions; a new experienced-hire email, which highlights just-in-time open positions; and new two-minute YouTube videos with quick overviews of such topics as writing cover letters and networking.
The Evening & Weekend MBA Program at Berkeley is a three year part time program which enables busy working professionals to pursue formal b-school instruction on campus, or (for weekend schedules) at a nearby location in Silicon Valley. The program admits four cohorts of approximately 60 students each: two cohorts of evening students and two cohorts of weekend students.