This post about Haas and entrepreneurship is part of a series of interviews of top MBA programs called “MBA Career Goals and the B-Schools that Support Them.” Please subscribe to our blog to ensure that you receive all the interviews exploring the elements at each school that support career goals in finance, consulting, general management, entrepreneurship, marketing and more.
- What kind of background and skills do you like to see in applicants expressing interest in an entrepreneurial career?The Berkeley MBA Program is delivered from a general management perspective, and thus attracts applicants with a diverse range of backgrounds and interests. We seek candidates who have solid professional experience and leadership potential, and who possess the Berkeley values of confidence without attitude and a willingness to look beyond the status quo.
Entrepreneurship at Berkeley-Haas is ranked among the best in the world. Candidates who wish to pursue a post-MBA career in entrepreneurship should demonstrate at least one of the following pursuits through their application: previous entrepreneurial or start-up involvement, professional experience in business model evaluation, or progress towards a specific business concept with demonstrated passion in the field. Candidates who are making a career-switch into entrepreneurship should also be able to clearly articulate how they intend to leverage their skill set and work experience to date to successfully make this transition.
- What aspects of your curriculum do you feel are best suited to students who want to pursue entrepreneurship?Berkeley-Haas is one of the world’s leading centers for the study and practice of entrepreneurship. Through academic and experiential learning, the Berkeley MBA Program offers students the skills and knowledge to launch fast-growth, high-potential enterprises and teaches them how to start careers in venture capital.
Some in-demand entrepreneurship courses include:
- Introduction to Entrepreneurship
- Opportunity Recognition: Technology and Entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley
- Customer and business Development in High Tech Enterprise
- Venture Capital and Private Equity
- Entrepreneurship Workshop for Start-ups
In addition to entrepreneurship-focused courses, the Berkeley MBA Program’s general management curriculum teaches students fundamental business concepts – from accounting and finance to marketing and strategy. Through core and elective courses, experiential learning and a global focus, the Berkeley MBA Program helps students develop skills to become innovative leaders.
- Which school clubs and extra-curricular events are most relevant to people interested in entrepreneurship?Providing students with hands-on exposure to real-world business situations is a key strength of the Berkeley MBA Program. Experiential activities are required for graduation, and numerous out-of-the-classroom initiatives give students the opportunity to build on their entrepreneurial skill set.
The Lester Center for Entrepreneurship in Innovation is the primary locus at Berkeley for the study and promotion of entrepreneurship and new enterprise development, both inside and outside of the classroom. Students can take advantage of numerous experiential learning opportunities through the Lester Center, including:
- Network with professionals through the Berkeley Entrepreneurs Forum and the Entrepreneurs Corner mentoring program
- Learn real life lessons from distinguished entrepreneurs at the Entrepreneurial Best Practices Series, the Life as an Entrepreneur Series and the A. Richard Newton Distinguished Innovator Lecture Series
- Compete in two prominent Business Plan Competitions: the UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition and the Global Social Venture Competition.
- Meet students with similar interests through one of the Student Groups dedicated to entrepreneurship, such as the Entrepreneurs Association, Venture Capital Roundtable or Partners for Entrepreneurial Leadership to name just a few
- Apply for a fellowship or internship through the Lester Center
- Since “entrepreneurship” is a very broad term, can you break down some of the some of the sub-categories in the field that Haas excels in?
- Technology-Based Entrepreneurship – Exploring the innovative potential of versatile and scalable technologies to solve customer needs.
- New Venture Financing – Addressing the full range of funding sources and roles that entrepreneurs may need to involve over the lives of their ventures.
- Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration – Organizations that strive to develop entrepreneurial ecosystems that create innovative opportunities for their citizens. Countries from Brazil and Spain to Russia, India and China have made this agenda a top priority.
- Corporate Entrepreneurship and Innovation – Established enterprises recognize their futures depend on continual innovation in creating value for customers and investors.
- Social Entrepreneurship – A new breed of entrepreneurs is tackling some of the world’s most urgent challenges – from global poverty to global warming – through sustainable ventures that do not rely on private philanthropy, corporate social responsibility or government support.
- What percentage of the class joins a start-up or starts their own company upon graduation? Within approximately 5 years of graduating Haas? What companies did they start or start-ups did they join? Berkeley-Haas remains one of the world’s leading centers for the study and practice of entrepreneurship.
Some companies with their roots in the Berkeley-Haas community include Revolution Foods, Carsala, TubeMogul, Aurora Biofuels, Yardbarker, Mozes, Acumen Medical, World of Good and BrightSource Energy.
Learn more about successful entrepreneurs and leaders in the Haas community, including alums, faculty and distinguished professionals.
The Lester Center also hosts the Startup Board of Mentors, themselves entrepreneurs and investors,whose goal is to guide companies to success. Learn more about careers post-MBA, view an employment snapshot of recent graduates or see a list of firms that recently recruited on campus.
By Morgan Eckles, Assistant Director, Haas Full-Time MBA Admissions.