Dr. Jane Melia, Ph.D.
Dr. Jane Melia, Ph.D., Vice President of Strategic Business Development
I was very interested in expanding my knowledge, refreshing some parts of my training, and expanding it broadly as part of my job in QuintessenceLabs and I decided the Berkeley Executive Certificate of Business Excellence (COBE) was a good match.
The Berkeley Executive Education Financial Analysis for Leaders program was the first program I took at Berkeley. It was excellent because, as a leader in a small company, you need to understand the consequences of decisions that are being made. The Financial Analysis Program gave me an excellent overview of some of the fundamentals of corporate finance while giving me the tools needed to understand the impacts of different decisions that we needed make in our company. I was able to convey my perspective in a data-driven way to the other stakeholders.
I found the Product Management program extremely useful because we recently created the position of Product Manager within our company. QLabs had engineering development, marketing, and business development, but we didn't have product management. As we planned and developed that role within QuintessenceLabs, figuring out what those roles and responsibilities would be and how a product manager would fit into our organization was very important. What I learned in the Product Management program also helped as I interact with our new Product Manager. It gave me clarity regarding our roles and responsibilities, mission, what I could expect and request from a Product Manager, and ideas on how to divvy up the roles that previously had been shared with an existing organization.
The Communications Excellence program was very beneficial. We learned a lot about the delivery and preparation of verbal communications in the context of meetings such as team meetings or executive meetings and conference presentations. I liked that we went deep into this constrained area. We also learned how to think about the delivery and how to have an impact when sharing your perspective. While obviously, you need to practice and remember to implement the tools, the tools we gained in the Communications Excellence Program aren’t any that I've seen presented anywhere else. I liked that we were hands-on right from the beginning and had to get up in front of the group and present. It was both a safe environment and a challenging environment. You are presenting things in front of a group of strangers, and you have to put yourself out there. It was interesting to watch this affect other people in the class. I saw their presentation skills change from the morning of the first day to the end of the second day as they learned to implement their new tools and skills.