Gain useful frameworks and skills
I had a unique opportunity at Apple that I didn’t want to forgo, so a part-time program was imperative. Applying what I learn immediately at work and being in a cohort with a degree of maturity and experiences adds value.
On the quant side, Statistics—which I was petrified of—gave me the toolkit I needed to better understand regression curves and the importance of standard deviations and variance. Being able to interpret analyses independently makes me a stronger collaborator with my colleagues.
The leadership classes have given me frameworks and tools I use in conversations or when sharing recommendations with my managers and executives. I’m better able to speak specifically, to be deep and brief when I make actionable suggestions.
Learn that vulnerability begets courage
Leadership Communications with Dr. Mark Rittenberg brought a level of vulnerability to the classroom that people rarely bring to any part of their life. It requires you to be kind and compassionate with yourself, which allows you to be vulnerable in front of others. That vulnerability begets courage, which begets leadership.
Our Macroeconomics teacher, Professor Ross Levine, brought his own vulnerability and authenticity to the classroom. He shared his work in economic inequity and how discrimination affects economic outcomes. He brought his whole self to the classroom.
Macroeconomics also validated a lot of my experience, having parents from Nigeria who lived in the USSR and England, where I was born, before moving to the US. I appreciated seeing how the data and theories support my life experiences and my intuitions.
Find two right answers
As an undergrad I became grounded in the Jesuit values at Georgetown. I recognized the same values-driven sense of purpose at Berkeley Haas. It was less about the specific principles than about the fact the school—students, faculty, and staff—had taken the time and formed the intention to reflect on what matters to them and what they stand for. They also make an effort to attract people who share or strive for those principles.
Even if you have good intentions, capital, and talent, you can get off course if you’re not guided by principles and values. Everyone has an obligation to be a check-and-balance with their colleagues. If you choose silence, you are being complicit.
Individual growth happens when students Question the Status Quo. A lot of learning that is not on the syllabus happens when we ask uncomfortable questions.
Diversity of thought allows us to grow, to challenge assumptions, and our own perspective. Haas creates a safe space to entertain another viewpoint, to see if there could be two right answers.