University of Arizona
Brian Knowles was at a crossroads when he came out of the military where he served as division officer and a department head onboard two Navy nuclear-powered fast-attack submarines. He knew he liked management and leadership roles and an MBA seemed like the best next step. But he didn't want to dive right into a full-time program. He realized that blending work experience with broader, academic exposure to business would give him the best of both worlds.
"My career goal is to be involved in VC funding. I like the feeling that you are putting together the pieces of a puzzle — the idea, the business model, the finances — to make something happen."
"The flexibility built into the Berkeley-Haas program is very important. While my employer has never asked me to miss a class to take care of business, when I have made that choice, the administration makes it easy to arrange to take the missed class with another section. I get to meet my work obligations and keep up with my classmates. My professors have been great at making sure I have the basic knowledge I need on each subject, while at the same time, tempting me with how much more there is to learn."
"The whole idea of Confidence Without Attitude resonates with my military experience. You expect the best of yourself and are the steward of the group experience as well. You see innovation at Berkeley-Haas in the students admitted to the program. Students here share a mindset. We all want to excel, to learn quickly, and to be part of taking care of something bigger than ourselves and our careers."
"I love to get out to Yosemite for rock climbing, and the Bay Area is the epicenter for cycling, which I do a lot of in the Santa Cruz Mountains. And while the surfing isn't quite up to Hawaii standards, it's still a lot of fun."