UC Davis Working Professional (Bay Area) MBA course review
MGB 290: Executive Leadership Seminar with Jim Wunderman
Date evaluated: Winter 2010 at the Bay Area Working Professional San Ramon campus.
Official course description: Launched in 2007, this seminar brings successful corporate leaders to the Bay Area MBA program to teach important lessons from the frontlines of industry. Executives share their first-hand experiences of the complexities of today’s business world, inspiring students to seek new ways to meet the challenges of tomorrow.
The real course description: CEOs and VPs come to class and talk to us. Lots of discussion regarding their perspectives. Fluffy textbook from a self-help consultant intent on helping you overcome your inner demons.
The professor: Jim seems to know everyone in the SF bay area based on his position as CEO of the Bay Area Council, a business lobby group that has links to most medium- and large-size firms in the area. He is an excellent presenter and one of the best talks we had was when he told us the very personal story of the Constitutional Challenge failure, the evening it happened! He brought excellent visitors, drove the in-class discussion with skill, and made the course as successful as it was.
The course: The visitors were excellent. David Cush, CEO of Virgin America. Andy Ball, CEO of Webcor Builders. Larry Baer, President of the SF Giants. Mark Edmunds, vice-chairman of Deloitte. Nancy McFadden, SVP at PG&E. Rhonda Zygocki, VP at Chevron. SK Gupta, VP Ops at Lockheed Martin. Ray Arata, life coach. Steve Buster, CEO of Mechanics Bank. The open-forum discussions we had with them were amazing. You wouldn’t believe it, but “Mobility” was consistently a top reason they gave for their success. The work/life balance was incredibly different between the presenters: we knew Mark Edmunds’ kid’s names five minutes into the talk, while others didn’t mention their families at all.
I have one gripe. We were graded on assignments we completed with no feedback on why we received a particular grade. I don’t like that.
The grade: I got an A-. I was surprised, I was hoping for an A. Thus my gripe. I give Jim and the class an A+.