Student Perspectives

Student Perspective

Howard O

Howard O

MBA 17

Venture Manager
Accenture Digital

Learning leadership

Prior to Haas, I saw myself as the individual contributor. When I came into the MBA program, I learned good leadership is often not about you, but about the people around you.

I always thought leadership was something you developed within, like bodybuilding. But now I realize it's about listening to people. It's about creating the best version of somebody else.

Broad learning across UC Berkeley

The variety of resources available at UC Berkeley made the biggest difference during my two years. I went to talks about epidemiology, I went to pitch competition about aging; there are so many cool activities that really broadened the ideas and challenges I could see myself working on after the MBA.

At Haas, you can invite a lot of cool people in to talk about what they're doing, especially organizations working on projects and services bigger than yourself. There's a lot of infectious optimism among Haas students, and you feel like anything is possible if you work toward it.

A new approach to solving problems

First and foremost, Haas taught me how to pick apart different business models. Especially for early-stage startups, I'm able to evaluate the different factors that will shape their success, such as the unique value propositions they bring to customers, any unfair advantages, and most importantly, the team.

Haas changed the way I approach and solve a challenge, how to ask the right questions that help lead you to a solution rather than jumping into problem-solving.

Advice on finding rewarding work through Haas

The Career Management Group is fantastic at helping you explore what you want out of your professional life and your personal life and how you balance the two, with coaches who know how to ask the right questions to help you think through what you want out of work.

I think it's important to be honest about what your needs outside of work are. It's easy to be career-focused, but it's also valuable to think about your career within the context of family, geography, and whether your job is helping you meet those other things that are important in life.

The value of being part of teams with diverse perspectives

In our first Leadership Communications class we had to answer in front of a small group of peers, “Who am I?” People really opened up about themselves in a vulnerable way, and we listened without judgment. Haas is really great at creating safe spaces for open and honest discussions.

In Design and Evaluation of Development Technologies, we were grouped together in teams of engineers, scientists, and business students to help a real-world company develop a successful business model. We each came at the challenge from our respective backgrounds. Our final proposal was comprehensive and better than one that just one group would have been able to put together.

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