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1. What kind of background and skills do you like to see in applicants expressing interest in a career in technology?
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.
Candidates who wish to pursue a post-MBA career in technology should demonstrate at least one of the following pursuits through their application: previous work experience in a technology function, related extracurricular involvement in technology with a leadership role, or comprehensive research into specific positions or organizations for post-MBA employment in technology. Candidates who are making a career-switch into technology 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
Learn more about general admissions criteria.
2. What aspects of your curriculum do you feel are best suited to students who want to eventually pursue a career in technology?
Berkeley-Haas is one of the world’s leading graduate programs for the study of technology. In recognition of the pervasive impact of technology on business, the Berkeley MBA program provides students with an overview of technology management as well as the opportunity for specialization. Our proximity to Silicon Valley strengthens our connections to the high-tech community.
Students at Berkeley-Haas have access to Management of Technology (MOT) courses to supplement their general management curriculum. MOT courses focus on the set of management activities associated with bringing high-tech products to market. It is an interdisciplinary effort of the Haas School of Business, the College of Engineering, the iSchool, the College of Environmental Design and the College of Chemistry. Students benefit from the diverse knowledge and experiences of an interdisciplinary classroom.
MOT courses include:
- Managing the New Product Development Process: Design Theory and Methods
- Strategy for the Information Technology Firm
- Opportunity Recognition: Technology and Entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley
- Cleantech to Market (C2M)
Students interested in technology are increasingly exploring Berkeley-Haas’ strong energy and clean technology offerings. The Energy Institute at Haas sponsors numerous courses and experiential learning opportunities.
Student-initiated courses, such as Topics in Technology, Managing Internet and Digital Media Products and Alternative Energy Speaker Series, bring real-life practitioners from top firms to the classroom and deliver first hand insights on critical issues in the technology field. Students frequently will have an opportunity to meet with the speaker in a small group setting or over dinner.
In addition to technology-focused courses, Haas’ 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.
3. Which school clubs and extra-curricular events are most relevant to people interested in technology?
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 technology skill set.
- Clubs: Most students take a leadership role in the industry club that aligns with their career interests, such as the Haas Technology Club. Many also join an industry club in which they’d like to focus, such as the Digital Media & Entertainment Club or the Berkeley Nanotechnology Club. The clubs aim to educate students on career paths in technology, 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. In recent years, students have participated in case competitions with Apple, Facebook and Hewlett Packard. 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.
- >play Digital Media Conference: >play brings over 500 attendees to campus for a day-long dialogue on digital media in an immersive, interactive and entertaining environment. Keynote speakers in 2010 were Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of Wired magazine and Dr. Michael Johnson, Moving Pictures Group Lead at Pixar Animation Studios.
- Industry Leaders at Haas: Each year, distinguished leaders are brought to campus to share their real-world experiences and insights. Recent speakers with a technology bent include Paul Otellini, CEO of Intel, John Chambers, CEO of Cisco, George Lucas, Founder and Chairman of Lucasfilms and Biz Stone, Co-founder of Twitter.
- Energy and Clean Technology: Energy and clean technology is an increasingly popular area of emphasis for Berkeley-Haas students. The Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative (BERC), the Energy Institute at Haas, and the UC Energy Institute facilitate numerous courses and experiential learning opportunities, including Cleantech to Market.
- 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 technology component, and sponsor companies have included Cisco, SunPower, Hewlett Packard, Autodesk and Applied Micro.
- Career Management: The Berkeley-Haas Career Management Group 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. They also work closely with the clubs on a Technology Firm Night, attracting dozens of companies for technology specific roles nationwide.
4. Since “technology” is a very broad term, can you break down some of the some of the sub-categories in the field that Haas excels in?
- High Tech: Through the Management of Technology (MOT) program, Berkeley-Haas students will have access to courses around design, new product development, open innovation and innovation strategy and entrepreneurship. Students who pursue this path will frequently take post-MBA roles such as Product Marketing Manager, Product Manager, Business Development Manager, Product Planner, Corporate Development Manager and Strategy Manager, among others.
- Energy and Clean Tech: Additionally, students with an interest in Energy and Clean Technology can take advantage of the Energy Institute at Haas, a joint venture with the UC Energy Institute. Courses in energy and clean technology prepare students to lead businesses that address the market, policy and technological challenges of the energy industries.
5. Which five technology 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 technology. Approximately 25-30% of students gain full-time employment in the technology sector after graduation.
In 2010, the top technology employers at Haas included Amazon, Apple, Autodesk, Cisco, Facebook, Google, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, VMWare, Yahoo! and Zynga. Graduates typically pursued the following roles: Product Marketing Manager, Product Manager, Business Development Manager, Product Planner, Corporate Development Manager, Senior Financial Analyst, Strategy Manager and Operations Manager.
In addition, Berkeley-Haas graduates are increasingly pursuing jobs in energy and clean technology. Most recently, 11% of the graduating class landed in the energy field. Top recruiters in 2010 included Bloom Energy, PG&E and SunPower.
Learn more about the technology career paths post-MBA from recent graduates:
- MBA ’11 Della Huff, Product Technology Manager Intern, Apple
- MBA ’11 Alejandro Caraza, Product Manager Intern, Microsoft
- MBA ’11 Alain Pyree, Cisco Services Intern, Cisco
- MBA ’11 Ivan Santana, Intern, Sempra Energy
By Morgan Eckles, Assistant Director, Haas Full-Time MBA Admissions.
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