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Richard Wilson

Richard Wilson

Director, Corporate Partnerships Theravance, Inc. South San Francisco, California

“Student-led” is more than a phrase at Berkeley-Haas. It is Richard Wilson heading the EMBA 15 team of student leaders to get the most out of the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program for everyone. One priority is leveraging the connections among classmates, the Haas Alumni Network, and even other executive MBA programs.


B Sc, Chemistry University of Manchester England


“Luke Kreinberg in the Career Management Group is an excellent resource. He can tease apart your most nebulous and tangled thoughts about career direction to help you focus.”

The biggest impact of the Berkeley MBA for Executives for me has been the leadership skills development.

“I started my career as a bench scientist in R&D. As my career progressed, I found myself in positions that were increasingly business focused: budgeting, planning, and marketing, for example. It became clear that getting an MBA would be the best way to grow my capabilities in these areas. But the biggest impact of the Berkeley MBA for Executives for me has been the leadership skills development.”

“In my position, I have to develop strong relationships, often using phone and email, with people I meet infrequently. The lessons gained in Leadership Communications and Building Trust-Based Relationships have been invaluable in strengthening those connections and understanding how to build the trust and respect that can weather the challenges of a dynamic work environment.”

The program is tailored to our needs.

“The three days on campus are sacred time. I’m there to focus on learning and to forge strong bonds with my 68 new best friends. We spend hours working on assignments, but also talking through workplace challenges, hopes, and aspirations, and sharing family stories.”

“There is an intense focus by the administration on making each of us the best student we can be. The program really is tailored to our needs as a class and as individuals.”

“My first-term study group, for example, included an entrepreneurial tech engineer, a financial analyst at a construction engineering firm, a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot, and a principal of an IP investment bank. At first we wondered how we would all work together, but it became clear that we all brought something different to the conversation and all tugged each other out of our comfort zones.”

You're never too old to learn.

“The Haas Defining Principles were my entrée into the program. They captured my attention immediately. As I talked with Program Director Mike Rielly, Dean Rich Lyons, and graduates of the program, it became clear that the Defining Principles are integral to the school.”

“This has been a unique opportunity to look both inwards and outwards, to re-evaluate my focus, my direction, and my goals with a class full of some of the best coaches and supporters one could ask for.”

“As the father of two teenage daughters, I’ve become accustomed to us all hitting the books at the same time. It’s quite common to find me burning the midnight oil with my eldest, who’s a sophomore in high school. I believe it’s a great example for my children to see that you’re never too old to learn. You have to be a Student Always.

The environment is something you have to experience; just reading about it isn’t enough.

“It’s great to have so many touchpoints with the Haas Alumni Network while we’re still students. They regularly participate in career panels and social events, and we met with several alumni on our Silicon Valley Immersion Week. You can feel their passion for their careers and for the school.”

“The Silicon Valley Immersion Week gives you the chance to test-drive the life of an entrepreneur. That environment is something you have to experience; just reading about it isn’t enough.”

“In our Macroeconomics class, Professor Andy Rose incorporates class discussion and real-world events along with theory and history. I love seeing the topics we discuss play out in the headlines of the newspapers every morning.”

“I feel like Professor Suneel Upda gave me a secret decoder ring that helps me really understand financial statements. He taught Financial Accounting with such energy and candor. He showed us not only what the numbers tell you but just as importantly, what they can hide.”