The Berkeley-Columbia EMBA: a Pioneering Program

Posted By SWatts on Jan 9, 2012 | 0 comments


The Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA is the only joint EMBA program between two top tier U.S. business schools. Upon graduating, students become alumni of both the Haas School of Business and Columbia Business School, gaining access to a global network of 75,000 alumni. The program was created to allow senior executives the opportunity to make an immediate impact in their workplace, with a focus on experiential learning and application-based coursework developed from solid academic foundations. By combining the talents and intellectual capital of both Silicon Valley and Wall Street, students are equipped with skills to meet the evolving needs of business.

Whether EMBAs are considering starting their own business or innovating from within an existing organization, the focus of the Berkeley-Columbia EMBA is to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset. Award-winning professor Peter Goodson acknowledges “You’ve got to be a pioneer to even enroll in this kind of two-degree program, a relatively new concept . . . [that] draws people who challenge convention, take risks and do things differently.” Although the program emphasizes creative and innovative business thinking and problem solving, students are also taught business fundamentals spanning leadership, general management, finance, accounting, and marketing. These core requirements teach students pragmatic business skills and cover about 60% of the program, the balance of which is covered by electives of students’ choosing. In addition, the program offers a one-week international seminar under the concept of “experience locally, learn globally.” Students travel to a key business center to learn business etiquette and conduct site visits with successful companies.

The Berkeley-Columbia EMBA is noted for fostering an environment of collaboration and teamwork. Most classes incorporate team projects and study groups are formed with four to five students comprised of different backgrounds, working styles, and personalities. Students are encouraged to discuss business problems in the classroom and leverage classroom learning in their workplace.

With an emphasis on intensive learning and a personalized experience tailored to each student’s needs, the 19-month program starts in May of each year and meets every three weeks for five terms. Classes start on Thursdays and end Saturdays cumulating in 25 total weekends. Each class consists of approximately 70 students from a wide range of industries and diverse backgrounds. Most classes take place on the Berkeley campus, although students have the option to spend a full term in New York City. EMBA students gain exposure to world-class speakers, conferences, libraries, cultural events and career resources at both universities.

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