Scroll to top


Student Stories

Is an Executive MBA Right for Me?

Don’t be deceived—your job title is not the defining characteristic that determines your suitability for an executive MBA program.

Indeed, in a world where titles like “chief troublemaker,” “genius,” and “creator of opportunities” abound, your title may be the last indicator.

“At first I didn’t consider the Executive MBA because I thought I wasn’t qualified,” says Ronak Shah, MBA 16, “My perception was that I needed to be a vice president or a director, and I wasn’t there yet.”

Adds Shah, “During the interview process at Berkeley I discovered that qualifying was more about career trajectory and being on the path toward executive leadership.” Shah began his MBA studies as a systems engineering manager with Altera and is now senior manager of SW product planning & marketing for electronic design automation (EDA) at Intel.

At Berkeley-Haas, executive MBA students come from diverse industries, job functions and points in their career—what matters most is the value they add to the classroom.

“Most of our students have 8 to 18 years of work experience, says Susan Petty, senior associate director of admissions for the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program. Students in the program have included surgeons and restaurateurs, executives, and sales managers, even pilots and at least one FBI agent.

“Your classmates will expand your network and push you to think across the boundaries of what you are doing now,”

“I was under the impression that all of the executive programs were abbreviated with diluted academics,” says Danielle Dudum Baxter, MBA 16, global operations & strategy manager for Google. “More often than not our professors have not only analyzed and researched theories, but applied them in industry, so I have confidence in what I’m learning and in applying it at work. This, combined with the diverse experiences of my classmates, makes the program a very rich learning environment.”

“I didn’t want school to feel like a chore and one more thing to do after a 12-hour work day,” says Danielle. “With the executive program I never feel that way because I have these long weekends of reflection and learning and development. When I’m there I’m focused and investing in myself wholly—that makes the time and investment so worthwhile.”

See Who Else Found the Berkeley EMBA to Be a Fit