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COBE Success Story

Certificate of Business Excellence: Personal & Professional Growth

headshot of Larry Green with a wide smile

Q&A with COBE Alum Larry Green

In 2019, Larry Green learned about UC Berkeley Executive Education by attending a custom Product Management program with Dr. Sara Beckman that was offered by his employer, Google. After completing Google’s program, Larry wasted no time enrolling in the Negotiation & Influence program, and made the decision to pursue his Certificate of Business Excellence (COBE). 

Larry recently shared some insights about his COBE learning journey.    

What brought you to UC Berkeley Executive Education?

At the time, I was looking for solutions to two dilemmas. First, I wanted relevant post-graduate education to enhance my professional development, and secondly, I wanted help leaning into my authentic self. Exec Ed hit the mark!

What sets Berkeley Exec Ed apart from other programs?

Berkeley Exec Ed is a world-class educational experience. The differentiator is that it brings the “human” into the room. There are a lot of amazing choices and opportunities for education out there, but integrating the human aspect is very rare – that sets Berkeley apart.

What left the biggest impression for you?

Berkeley Exec Ed inspires so much vulnerability and authenticity. They’ve figured out how to take a world-class, educational environment and apply it to anyone who attends. It doesn’t matter what your background is, or your culture, or your income.  It’s a magical atmosphere.


On the topic of authenticity, what does that mean for you?   

Being authentic is so important to me. There aren’t many people who look like me, or have my set of experiences, which can sometimes make me feel insecure, or give me the sense that I don’t belong. In the past, I would shrink back. But UC Berkeley’s Executive Education has helped me to grow into who I am, and to be confident coming to the table. I now bring all of my experiences with me, because I know that I belong and that I can contribute.  

What advice would you give to someone considering the COBE track?

My advice is, DO IT! Obviously, you have to consider your life situation and time commitment, but it’s important to know that it’s a combination of different courses under multiple pillars – and what you’ll learn is very applicable to what you are doing in your role right now. 

You’ve taken quite a few programs on your journey - what are some of the main highlights from your programs?

Corporate Business Model Innovation program:

The main highlight for me was getting the framework around how to develop a business model and business plan. We used real-world examples, and bringing those models to life was very powerful.

Customer Obsessed Design program:
Learning how to interview and really listen to another person was the biggest takeaway for me. There is a skillful way to do that brings out not only the initial sentiments of what someone is thinking, but the underlying motivations and factors that are driving them.

Advanced Executive Presence program:
The program was great. What it means for me to be an executive with presence is to embrace life curiously, which ties to the Exec Ed principal of “student always.” There is always something to learn and always opportunities to improve and get better. 

High-Impact Leadership program:
I learned about the power of using different acting skills in the business setting. The professor is a trained actor who really helped us develop and lean into a number of ways to bring our presentations and communications to life. 

Are you able to apply what you learned to your everyday work?

Everything I learned was immediately applicable to what was happening in my role. You can literally take everything you learn from any one of the different courses and apply it to your next meeting, the next day at work. 

I recently led a large all-hands offsite-meeting at work. Normally that would have made me very nervous and scared, but because of the experience I gained through Exec Ed, I had confidence and skills to be present and to fully embrace that opportunity.

Tell us about the connections you’ve made.

I have a new tribe of folks I’ve met from the different courses. I am active in different networking groups that have formed. Many of us have stayed in close contact for more than two years now.

What has changed for you since earning your COBE?

People have expressed noticeable changes in me! I’ve become more comfortable with who I am and how I show up in different situations—not only at work but in my personal and home life as well. It’s very rewarding.