This post about Haas and marketing 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 a career in marketing?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.
Marketing at Berkeley-Haas is ranked among the best in the world. Candidates who wish to pursue a post-MBA career in marketing should demonstrate at least one of the following pursuits through their application: previous work experience in a marketing function, related extracurricular involvement with a leadership role or comprehensive research into specific positions or organizations for post-MBA employment in marketing. Candidates who are making a career-switch into marketing 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 eventually pursue a career in marketing?A solid general management foundation is a prerequisite for a career in marketing. Haas’ general management curriculum teaches students fundamental business concepts – from accounting and finance to strategy and marketing. Through core and elective courses, experiential learning and a global focus, the Berkeley MBA Program helps students develop skills to become innovative leaders.
Elective courses comprise over 60% of the curriculum, and students begin to customize their own course of study in the first year of the program. Students have access to numerous elective courses in marketing, designed to prepare them for the rigors of a career in the field.
Students can choose from a range of marketing electives specific to their area of interest:
- Business to Business, courses include:
- Brand Management and Strategy
- High Tech Marketing, courses include:
- High Technology Marketing Management
- Sales Force Management
- Product or Brand Management, courses include:
- New Product Development Process
- Consumer Behavior
In addition, student-initiated courses such as CMO Insights Series, Managing Internet and Digital Media Products, and Careers in Marketing bring real-life marketers from top firms to the classroom and deliver first hand insights on critical issues in the marketing field. Recent speakers include leaders from Apple, Clorox, Facebook and Gap.
- Business to Business, courses include:
- Which school clubs and extra-curricular events are most relevant to people interested in marketing?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 marketing skill set.
- Clubs: Most students take a leadership role in the industry club that aligns with their career interests, such as the Haas Marketing Club. Many also join an industry club in which they’d like to focus, such as the Digital Media & Entertainment Club or the Design & Innovation Strategy Club. The clubs aim to educate students on career paths in marketing, connect them with alumni in the field and prepare them for job interviews.
- Business Competitions: Case competitions challenge students to apply classroom learnings to real-life business problems. There are a number of marketing competitions, including the Elite Eight Brand Management Case Competition where Berkeley-Haas has taken first place in four of the last six years. In 2010, Berkeley-Haas students took first place in the 8th Annual Innovation Challenge, earning them the title of “America’s Most Innovative MBA Team” from over 100 competing teams. Other recent case competitions have been with Facebook and Apple.
- Industry Leaders at Haas: Each year distinguished leaders, and innovators are brought to campus to share their real-world experiences and insights. Recent speakers with a marketing bent include Clorox CEO Donald Knauss, Levi Strauss President and CEO John Anderson, IDEO General Manager Tom Kelley and Twitter Co-founder Biz Stone.
- Haas@Work: This experiential learning course gives students an opportunity to develop innovative recommendations to address a competitive challenge posed by the sponsor company. The strongest recommendations are then added to the client’s business roadmap for implementation. Haas@Work projects often have a marketing component, and sponsor companies have included Clorox, Virgin America, The Walt Disney Company, Cisco and Visa.
- Career Management: The Berkeley-Haas Career Management Office was ranked #4 nationwide by recruiters in a 2008 BusinessWeek survey. Career Management plans workshops, panels, networking events, job fairs, company visits and receptions specific to all phases of the marketing job search.
Learn about other extracurricular activities directly from Haas students on the Berkeley MBA Student Blog. Browse the blog library or find marketing specific posts using relevant keywords.
- 4. Since “marketing” is a very broad term, can you break down some of the some of the sub-categories in the field that Haas excels in?From the curriculum perspective, Berkeley-Haas courses equip students with the strategic, quantitative and innovative skills they need to succeed post MBA. Specifically, courses investigate substantive issues such as pricing, market entry, distribution channels, consumer choice, role of emotions, and managerial decision making.
Post-MBA, Berkeley-Haas students transfer the knowledge gained from the curriculum and experiential learning to various marketing functions. The most common include:
- Associate Brand Manager, such as at a consumer packaged goods firm like Clorox, Del Monte or Unilever. In these roles, graduates typically manage the P&L for a product category, similar to a general manager role.
- Product Marketing Manager, more typical of a technology firm like Apple, Microsoft or Salesforce. In these roles, graduates commonly manage the outbound marketing decisions related to pricing, promotion and customer targeting.
- Which five marketing firms recruit the most Haas graduates? What kinds of positions did they go into? Berkeley-Haas remains one of the world’s leading centers for the study of marketing. Approximately 20-25% of students gain full-time employment in a marketing function after graduation, from product marketing in technology to brand management in consumer packaged goods.
In 2010, dozens of firms recruited on campus for marketing functions. Some of the top employers include Amazon, Apple, Clorox, Del Monte Foods, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Salesforce.
Learn more about the marketing career paths post-MBA from upcoming graduates:
- MBA ’11 Della Huff, Product Marketing Manager, Apple
- MBA ’11 Alejandro Caraza, Product Manager, Microsoft
- MBA ‘10 Alison Zander, Associate Marketing Manager, General Mills
- MBA ’09 Vandita Lakhani, Associate Brand Manager, PepsiCo
By Morgan Eckles, Assistant Director, Haas Full-Time MBA Admissions.