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Donald Ball

Donald Ball

Director, Global Innovation Marketing Visa Foster City, California

Ten years into his career, Don Ball knew it was time for a shift. After years of work in client services, he wanted to apply his breadth of knowledge in the payments field. He knew an MBA would make him more competitive, and applied to the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program. But when he landed his ideal job before he even graduated, he braced himself for a challenge.


BS, Management and International Business Georgetown University Washington, DC


“The professors have an incredible ability to take heavy and complex concepts, like price elasticity and game theory, and translate them to a true level of understanding that we can use in our real work. They use unique and relatable examples from their own world, not just from search results or headlines.”

Every day, I feel more stimulated, academically and professionally

“It’s certainly not easy to start a new job while going to school at the same time, but I discovered it’s definitely feasible and has some advantages.”

“The Berkeley MBA for Executives Program has three unmatched advantages: its academic rigor, Cal’s location and deep penetration into the tech sector, and the tremendous diversity of my classmates.”

“Questioning the Status Quo is why we were all in the program, searching and preparing ourselves for what comes next. Preparing to create what comes next. We see the potential for disruption everywhere.”

“Every day, I felt more stimulated, academically and professionally. For me, that is an immediate return on investment, a return that will only continue to evolve and deepen over time.”

“This program challenges you, builds you, and elevates you to new heights of remarkable acumen.”

My classmates provided an intimate advisory board

“The collaborative nature of the students here differentiates the Berkeley MBA for Executives from all other programs. It’s like the program is a vessel that we fill up with our interest, effort, teamwork, curiosity and connectedness.”

“EMBA participants have a huge variety of skills and expertise, and because all 68 of us are together for 19 months, people really get to know you—they see where you are strong and where you can improve. My classmates provided an intimate advisory board to me through my job decision process. I think that is a major value driver of the program.”

“In class, I often sat next to an accomplished cardiologist who is a real expert in his field. Yet, he’s always telling me how much he’s learning here—a lot of it from our classmates. So am I."

The professors never get too far away from the real world

“I love coming to campus for three days at a time. It lets you shift gears away from work and family, to dedicate yourself to your studies and your classmates.”

“It is terrific to learn from professors who are doing ground-breaking research, but who also maintain active consulting practices. They never get too far away from the real world, and that informs their teaching.”

“My wife and the partners of my classmates are completely welcome on campus and at events organized to help us relax and have fun.”