Academics

Full-Time MBA Program

Student-Initiated Courses

Student-initiated elective courses are a tradition at the Haas School. Every semester, the Berkeley MBA Program offers several courses that are initiated and run by students with faculty guidance. Typically, such courses focus on a specific theme or industry. Recent student-initiated courses include:

Life as an Entrepreneur

Leading Bay Area entrepreneurs share the lessons they learned in creating their organizations. Each week the guest speaker gives a one-hour presentation, followed by a networking dinner for select students. Past participants have included Shai Agassi, whose Project Better Place aims to revolutionize electric cars, and the Haas team behind Revolution Foods, who are improving the quality of school food throughout the area.

The Private Equity Deal

This seminar provides an overview of private equity investing through weekly interactions with a diverse group of accomplished industry professionals from institutions such as buyout funds, mezzanine capital funds, equity fund limited partners, investment banks, and other third-party service providers. In addition to reviewing the roles of each party involved, the course also focuses on each step in the deal process, demonstrates the varying investment strategies of industry players, highlights current market trends, and provides both financial and strategic insight into this growing asset class.

Real Estate Speaker Series

Through discussions led by local professionals, this course gives a general introduction to the various segments of the real estate industry, including: commercial and residential development, REITS, private equity, investment banking, brokerage, investment sales, consulting, homebuilding, lending, affordable housing, and asset management. The speakers offer insight into their particular market segment, as well as current industry trends and career path strategies.

Microfinance

The course explores the growth of microfinance operations to provide financial services to poor and low-income people on a sustainable basis. Addressing the current challenges and debates in the world of microfinance, the course presents advice and best practices from scholars and successful practitioners as well as new technology startups targeting the industry. For the final project, the class invests $25,000 (in real dollars) in a portfolio of microfinance opportunities.

Careers in Marketing

Leading marketing professionals discuss various marketing career tracks, functions, and skill sets, allowing students to gain valuable advice from real-world practitioners. Recent speakers came from some of the most-well known companies in the Bay Area, including: Yahoo!, Apple, Old Navy, Intuit, Banana Republic, and Ogilvy.

Wine Industry

Covering all aspects of producing, distributing, marketing and selling wine, this course provides broad knowledge of the wine industry. Classes are taught by industry experts, from winemakers and CEOs to wine writers, importers, and lawyers. In addition to learning about the wine industry, class members will have the opportunity to refine their tasting skills.

Investment Speaker Series

This course introduces various investment styles and strategies as speakers from different sub-segments of the asset management industry present lectures and case study workshops to dissect the challenges and issues investors face. A wide variety of practitioners are guest speakers, from portfolio managers of major mutual fund companies to recent MBA alumni working as investment analysts.

Applied Frameworks in Consulting

Each week consultants from top firms offer a better understanding of the work and lifestyle associated with a career in Management Consulting and a glimpse of individual firms' cultures and areas of concentration. An in-depth case discussion proves invaluable in preparing for interviews for summer internships and full-time employment.

Topics in Technology

Sponsored by the Haas Technology Club, this course provides firsthand information from internet executives in. Industry executives will discuss major business issues, including competitive forces, technological evolution, business models, and future growth prospects in their respective spaces.

Alternative Energy Speaker Series

This course establishes a basic understanding of the traditional energy industries and explores developments in alternative energy technologies in response to global warming, energy dependence, and the geopolitical impact of hydrocarbon extraction. Guest speakers will give an overview of alternative energy fields, including: solar, ethanol, wind, smartgrids/distributed generation, wave, and storage-and discuss their company's business decisions, obstacles, and vision.

Digital Media and Entertainment Speaker Series

Developed in 2008, this course explores new concepts, tools, and methodologies in the software, internet, and digital media spaces. Bay Area industry professionals from Google, Apple, Yahoo, Electronic Arts, among others, present an overview of the different roles involved in bringing internet and digital media products to market. By providing insight into leadership roles that are common for graduating MBAs, such as product management, marketing management, and business development, this course prepares students for product leadership interviews and making important career decisions.

General Management and Strategy Speaker Series

This one-unit course aims to educate Haas students about the various roles individuals play within the Strategy, Business Development, and General Management functions and increases the career opportunities available to Haas students. Each week, a guest executive will speak on their firm's areas of concentration and culture, followed by a case discussion and Q&A. In the past, executives have come from companies such as McKesson, Google , Intel, and Chevron.

Education Leadership Speaker Series

The Education Leadership Speaker Series introduces students to esteemed leaders in the field of education, from both the public and private sectors, from schools, districts, nonprofits, and other organizations. Topics include school districts, charter schools, consulting to education organizations, operations support, human capital, and investing in education.

Venture Capital Speaker Series

This course covers various aspects of the venture capital industry from the perspectives of venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. Guests are invited to introduce their venture capital firms and share insights from their experiences in the industry. Topics include investment process, seed to late stage investment, industry trends, fundraising as an entrepreneur and sector specific discussions (i.e. IT, consumer, web, biotech, etc.). The objective of the course is to provide those interested in venture capital or seeking venture capital funding the opportunity to learn from and engage with prominent figures in the industry.

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