Experiential Learning

Hands-on Learning at Berkeley Haas

Experiential learning has been an integral part of the Berkeley Haas MBA experience for more than 25 years. Even more than being in the classroom, hands-on learning lets you feel the impact of what you have learned—and accomplished. You recognize the growth in your own skills and knowledge. Even more importantly, you see how your newfound skills can solve real-world problems.

We draw on deep relationships with leading firms and organizations in the Bay Area, across the nation, and around the world to offer unparalleled opportunities for our MBA experiential learning. More than half of our electives feature hands-on projects. You will take at least one of nearly 20 Applied Innovation courses, working on team projects that range from corporate innovation initiatives with major firms to global consulting work.

Sample Applied Innovation Courses

International Business Development

International Business Development (IBD) arranges consulting projects with a variety of for-profit and nonprofit clients. Students work in small teams with clients throughout the spring semester and then for three weeks each summer in various countries.

Design Sprint for Corporate Innovation

Students learn a structured approach to a business challenge that combines best-of-breed of design thinking, innovation strategy, and entrepreneurship in a course that takes place at THNK School of Creative Leadership in Amsterdam. The class focuses on one client and business issue, for example, Shell and urban mobility, or Booking.com and on-line travel.

Sustainable Investment Fund

As the first and largest student-managed socially responsible investment fund within a leading business school, the Sustainable Investment Fund at Haas offers our MBA students real-world experience in delivering both strong financial returns and positive social impact. The student principals have more than doubled the initial investment to +$3M since 2008, learning through experience about SRI and ESG investment strategies and practices.

Cleantech to Market

In Cleantech to Market (C2M), students work with scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to evaluate the commercial viability of new technologies. C2M develops the next generation of energy leaders capable of addressing critical energy and climate change issues.


Haas@Work sends teams of Berkeley MBA students to work with top executives at major firms, such as Visa, Virgin America, Cisco, Disney, Panasonic, Clorox, and Wells Fargo. Students research and develop solutions for a competitive challenge posed by the firm. The best ideas are then selected for student implementation by the firm's executives.

View all Applied Innovation courses. 

Sandeep Pahuja

Sandeep Pahuja

MBA 15

Senior Design Lead

“International Business Development was a real-life situation with real stakes on the table and reputations on the line. My experience took my team to Brazil, where we worked with a company to craft a strategy to enter the U.S. market. That same project had an opportunity for the team and other students to continue the work in the Lean Launchpad class."