ALUMNI EXPRESS ‘A LITTLE REMORSE’
But the question remains: How are the alumni of the now defunct Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA taking the news? “At first there was a little remorse because what they knew as students is going away,” Kaplan says. “But when they saw what we were doing and because we engaged so proactively with them, they’re really excited about it,” he adds. DeGraca recalls reaching out to a few alumni to speak with an undecided candidate – within four hours he had spoken to four different people, she says.
Although the program is about $15,000 less than the hybrid with Columbia, students can still expect to plop down $149,000. A price Kaplan says is well worth the experience. “The price tag is what it is, but I think people, once they go through it, will say that was worth it and so much more,” he says. “If you have an MBA from one of the top schools in the world, you parlay that into higher-level responsibilities in the workplace. But there’s an intangible that until you go through a program like this, it’s hard to say what that is.” The first class will get a taste of the unknown next month. Only time will tell if Berkeley’s own experiment in innovation will prove a boon for its students and the school’s stellar B-school reputation.