Student Perspectives

Student Perspective

Joshua Moody

Joshua Moody


Project Risk Manager
American Systems for NASA at the Ames Research Center
Mountain View, CA

"The separation from active military duty can be jarring. My MBA is a springboard that gives me lots of options and leverage."

The separation from active military duty can be jarring. My MBA is a springboard that gives me lots of options and leverage.

Having worked only in the public sector—first in the US Navy and now at American Systems for NASA at the Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley —an MBA fills a knowledge gap for me.

Enrolling in the EMBA program meant I could still contribute to the workforce and build out my résumé while studying. Plus, the condensed schedule meant I would finish fast!

Joe O’Brien, EMBA 20, is a Navy vet who called to welcome me to the program. He had recently been promoted at American Systems, leaving his position open. I applied and got the job—the Haas network in action!

Exposure to disciplines needed in the private sector

Venture capital was that nebulous world on Sand Hill Road where they do money things. The Silicon Valley Entrepreneurship & Innovation Immersion made it tangible to me. It was an eye-opening peek behind the curtain.

I expected Marketing class with Bill Pearce to be about buying print and TV ads. Those might be an end product, but the subject is really about strategy and understanding how to align your offer with what customers want.

Finance was a major weakness for me, so I doubled down on all the finance classes I could take. I really deepened my skills and knowledge.

An introduction to the softer side of leadership

Grasping the sensitive side of leadership was a big takeaway for me.

Power & Politics introduced me to the skill of understanding who in the room or the organization has the power and taught me useful conflict resolution techniques.

Coming off the high of our Leadership & Happiness class I noticed differences in how I approach people and problems. Now, I am more likely to tell people I’m grateful to be working with them. Being able to express that gratitude is a change in me.

A diverse community with distinct benefits for vets

The veterans in my cohort are diverse. One is an anesthesiologist now practicing at Kaiser Permanente. There is a Navy submariner who is interested in real estate and entrepreneurship, and another guy who was in the surface Navy has his own start-up after working at Facebook and AWS.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill covers 100% of tuition for degrees at public universities. Berkeley Haas being a top-ranked program at a public university was a big factor in applying here. But it also brought me back to the Bay Area with my family after a decade-plus of residing in places like Italy and Japan.

Groups like Service to School and Veterati helped me transition out of active duty and I remain involved with both to help others in the same way.

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