GNAM Gives Haas Students the Chance to Study All Over the World |

GNAM Gives Haas Students the Chance to Study All Over the World

By Francesca Di

Updated August 24, 2018 Updated August 24, 2018

The UC Berkeley Haas School of Business recognizes the importance of providing students with a global network and experiences.  Unlike other top-ranked business schools, it doesn’t have any partnerships with foreign schools, so when the Yale School of Management asked Haas to join its Global Network for Advanced Management (GNAM), it signed on.

Yale SOM and Haas are the only American schools in the organization; other schools come from Europe, Asia, and Africa, including INSEAD, HKUST, and University of Ghana.

SOM launched the program in 2012 with the intent of providing exposure to business in different cultures, beyond the borders of the university. To become a member, proposed schools must bring a unique point of view and geographical location.

Special access

Students from member schools participate in global network weeks, where they can take a weeklong course at a partner campus. They can also participate in small, networked online courses (SNOC), which are like virtual meetings for students.

In June, Haas students participated in a number of GNAM courses, including Social Innovation at EGADE Business School in Sante Fe, Mexico; Germany 4.0: Startups, Hidden Champions, and More at ESMT in Berlin, Germany; and Compete Successfully in China’s Changing and Growing Market at Fudan University School of Management in Shanghai, China.

Jamie Breen, assistant dean of MBA Programs for Working Professionals at Haas says, “GNAM gave us a chance to broaden our geography possibilities. It’s a range and variety we could never offer on our own.”

The program operates on a give-to-get system, for example, when Haas extends invitations to member students to take courses, more slots open up at partner schools for Haas students. In addition, alumni from different geographies can go to events at member schools.

Global network

Faculty members are also starting to make connections in relation to research projects across the campuses. In fact, progress has been made on research related to incubators and startups.

Breen says, “Students are at the core of this and what we treasure about it, but there are all kinds of other experiences we’re sharing.”

In May, representatives from the member institutions met in Paris, there they decided they’d start opening up case competitions on each campus to students in member programs. For now, teams will be composed of students from the same school, but in the future, the group would like to allow students from different partner schools to be on the same team.

The gatherings have enabled people to network, and as a result, representatives of the schools have interacted more on a one-to-one basis. Breen recently introduced her colleagues at Haas to those from HEC Paris, when they were in town. 

The leaders of tomorrow

At the heart of GNAM is the idea that future leaders need a global mindset. To get that, you must have exposure to the world beyond your borders. This line of thought fits nicely into the Haas culture, says Breen.

The school’s four defining leadership principles – students always, confidence without attitude, beyond yourself, and question the status quo – compliment the notion of leader as citizen of the world, she adds.

“We think GNAM gives another dimension to students,” says Breen. “Being part of the Bay Area, we have an international business community out our door. But the way of doing business has spread out well beyond…This ability to understand different cultures and geography and how that changes the way you do business is necessary today.”

There’s a push on the part of students and recruiters for meaningful international experiences in today’s business schools. Haas students give high scores to the school’s participation in GNAM, according to surveys and anecdotal data, says Breen.

In the simplest terms, students benefit from the variety of courses (in a variety of places), says Breen. If Haas offers a global network week of courses, its students have 17 to 20 different electives in different parts of the world from which to choose.

“These experiences open up their minds,” says Breen. “It makes them more thoughtful, more able to think deeply.”

This article was originally published in August 2018 .

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Written by

Francesca Di Meglio has written about higher education for two decades. She covered business schools and all aspects of management education for what became Bloomberg Businessweek from May 2004 to December 2013. Di Meglio was the consultant editor for the book Admitted: An Interactive Workbook for Getting into a Top MBA Program (85 Broads Publishing, 2011), which was written by admissions consultant Betsy Massar. In addition, she is a family travel and parenting blogger at the Italian Mamma website


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