Student Perspectives

Student Perspective

Rohit Agarwalla

Rohit Agarwalla

EMBA 20

Product Manager and Principal Engineer
Cisco
San Jose, California

"Instead of being pigeonholed as a technical problem solver, my studies are positioning me to identify problems worth solving."

Gain the structure and freedom to realize a longtime ambition

I am realizing my longtime personal ambition to get an MBA in a program that, at the same time, provides a rigorous, challenging structure and gives you the freedom to explore.

Instead of being pigeonholed as a technical problem solver, my studies are positioning me to identify problems worth solving. I’m gaining the well-rounded business acumen and people skills needed to lead broad-based solutions and teams.

In the short-term, I’m preparing myself to have a bigger impact in my job, to step into a role with business scope, more focused on shaping products and strategy. Longer-term, I hope to pivot to the entrepreneurial path, where I can build a company and product that can improve millions of lives.

Diverse points of view inform debate

I am expanding my network beyond what I have built in my career within the tech industry to include people as diverse as a cardiac surgeon, a CFO, and an engineering leader—and that’s just in my study group!

My cohort includes leaders in investment banking, cleantech, pharma, and business operations. Plus, I am now part of the larger UC Berkeley network of alumni and resources.

We are thinking and talking about the biggest issues facing the world today, and not just in business. Our discussions go beyond capitalism or technology to encompass the human issues, the soft skills and the compassion needed to create positive social impact.

Learn to lead with authenticity

The Leadership Communications immersion week hit on all cylinders. Mark Rittenberg created a safe environment where we could be open and vulnerable, and gave us the skills to uncover our authentic leadership style.

It helped me understand that leadership isn’t a formula or a recipe. Being a leader calls on all of you, all of your experiences and your authenticity.

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