Student Perspectives

Student Perspective

Cristy Johnston Limón

Cristy Johnston Limón


Executive Director
Youth Speaks
San Francisco, California

As an undergraduate, Cristy Johnston Limón lived at home and worked three jobs. What she missed out on campus life then, she is making up for during her weekends in residency in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program. She calls it a “do-over” and has made the most of the opportunity to build trust and form lasting bonds with her classmates.

I needed to learn the language of business.

“After 20 years in the nonprofit sector, I’ve grown more curious about creating a more compelling connection with the for-profit sector. To do that, I needed to learn the language of business.”

“The Berkeley-Haas values are completely in sync with my own. It’s refreshing to be in a business school culture where Defining Principles like going Beyond Yourself and being Students Always are honored.”

“I’m a much better critical thinker now, much more likely to Question the Status Quo, and to not take data for granted.”

The bonds you are able to build with classmates are a key piece of the Haas experience.

“It was such a surprise to find my classmates so open about sharing their notes and tip sheets. I really hadn’t expected that degree of collaboration.

“The bonds you are able to build with classmates are a key piece of the Haas experience. I've come to know my classmates as truly extraordinary individuals and I am astounded at both the diversity of background, experience, and interests, and at how much we have in common, across nationality, industry, and life experience. I have never experienced this level of authenticity with such an accomplished group of people.”

“I appreciate that my classmates and are all at the same level in our careers, but that we all bring something different to the table. For example, in our Statistics and Financial Accounting classes, others had stronger quantitative skills, but I contributed facilitation skills that helped us complete our assignments.”

I can now talk with our board at a deeper level of analysis.

“Of course it’s a challenge to manage another layer of activities on top of my job and my family. It’s made easier by being surrounded by a wonderful group of classmates, who encourage each other to be their best, authentic self.”

“I’m in awe of the commitment of everyone—from professors to the Program Office to the Career Management Group—to make this the best possible experience for all of the students. They genuinely care and are empowered to act for our benefit.”

“Financial Accounting was transformational. The Destiny Arts Center has quadrupled in the last four years, which posed some structural challenges. Now I can look at our balance sheet and P&L with greater understanding. I can talk with our board at a deeper level of analysis.”

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