Student Perspectives

Student Perspective

Kavinda Udugama

Kavinda Udugama

MBA 16

Program Manager, Supply Chain Operations
Cisco

Following a Mentor's Advice: Get an MBA

Once Kavinda Udugama realized that he didn’t want to just build machines, he wanted to be part of the team strategizing how to build businesses around them, he followed his Cisco mentor’s advice to get an MBA. The choice of Berkeley Haas was made easy by seeing how Haas alumni among his Cisco colleagues had progressed in their careers.

It's almost like an extension of the classroom

I really appreciate that at Berkeley Haas there were so few distinctions between the full-time and part-time programs. We were welcome to participate in all of the activities that we could fit into our schedules.

I would probably have had to drop out if it weren’t for the shuttle that took us from the South Bay to Haas, and back. It was almost like an extension of the classroom. We could continue discussions and have formed really close bonds.

Haas showed me what else is out there

The best thing business school can do for you is challenge the way you think. Berkeley Haas showed me what else is out there in the world--things I had never thought about before.

I looked forward to participating in the International Business Development class. Executives today need a global mindset. What better way of getting it than this, where you are applying lessons learned in class and getting firsthand experience in a different culture and marketplace.

The faculty were very approachable and open-minded. They were comfortable being challenged in classroom discussions and are very willing to continue the debate after class. They treated us like their peers.

Being an MBA candidate at Haas made me stand out

Innovative leadership was not about developing the next new app. It was about being the kind of leader who builds responsibly.

I was convinced that being an MBA candidate at Berkeley Haas made me stand out when I applied for—and got—a new job at Cisco. My core classes had already helped me flesh out my skills in finance and accounting, which gave me context when I was interviewing for my new role.

My new role is much more strategic, which is just where I want my career to head. Thanks to Berkeley Haas, I have had new frameworks and business models to use on the job. I’m much more confident forecasting and doing financial planning.

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