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COBE Success Story

Certificate of Business Excellence: a Supportive Community

headshot of Reena Miglani

COBE Alum: Reena Miglani, Director CX Cloud Applications, Oracle Corporation

Reena is head of global sales engineering at Oracle, overseeing Marketing, Sales, and Service Cloud products. Her customers are hundreds of Oracle sales consultants located around the world. Reena also manages Oracle’s portfolio of acquired new products, communicating the value of each product, and ensuring that it becomes part of the Oracle ecosystem. “It’s exciting work. These aren’t back-office application, the CX market changes and evolves constantly – there’s always something new going on,” she says. Reena has worked for Oracle for 20 years.

Discovering UC Berkeley Exec Ed

In 2018 as Reena’s responsibilities at Oracle were expanding, she went online to look for training and development opportunities to expand her knowledge level. Her online search led to the UC Executive Education Digital Transformation Strategy program description. The thought of learning under the guidance of reputable Haas faculty was appealing to her and, reading further, she learned about UC Exec Ed’s Certificate of Business Excellence (COBE) program. She knew instinctively this was her path so she launched her COBE journey.      

“With my first program, Digital Transformation Strategy, I was looking to energize and refresh my knowledge in this area. In three days, I got a semester’s worth of learning!” Most of the learning came from stories and experiences shared by other students in the program. Reena explained, “The information and knowledge I gained from that program and my fellow cohorts was significant. Within a month after this program, I was itching to learn more.”  

Next on Reena’s list of programs was the Women’s Executive Leadership program. “This program was amazing – it was unlike any other for its ability to help me grow as a person. It was less academic and more about learning to be authentic,” she says. In the program, Reena connected with other professional women around the globe and learned how other women leaders navigate the same challenges and face the same realities, all the while they forged meaningful relationships and bonds because of their time together in the program. “I am still deeply connected with the women I met. We stay in touch via LinkedIn, and those of us who are local regularly meet for lunch, dinner, and coffee. We’ve stayed in close contact – especially now during the pandemic – often daily, through texting, direct messaging and video get-togethers. 

“In the Corporate Business Model Innovation program, I was inspired to learn from professor Henry Chesbrough because he invented the open innovation concept – there is no better person on this topic to learn from!” Reena says. “I work with cross-functional teams at Oracle and I learned a lot about how to leverage innovation across a large corporation.”  Reena also met cohorts from across the world who have 10-20 years of experience in the field. “Hearing the global perspectives from others in the class was enlightening. Since the program ended, we’ve remained a very tight group. We are active daily on WhatsApp. Because innovation is constantly evolving, there is much to share regularly. Most of us work in corporate innovation within large organizations so the knowledge sharing is invaluable.”

“For me the next program, Venture Capital Executive, was about getting introduced to the topic, because it’s not something I knew much about. Learning from professor Jerry Engel was incredible – he’s at the top of his field and has strong relationships in Silicon Valley and beyond. Like the other programs, the cohorts were from around the world. I walked away with an understanding of the nuances and drivers of venture capital. I got a semester’s worth of knowledge in five days,” Reena says. “This group is also active on WhatsApp where I continue to learn from others.”

COBE Highlight: A Life-Changing Experience

Next Reena enrolled in the High-Impact Leadership program, the highlight of her COBE journey. “If I were to say that the Women’s Executive Leadership program helped me find my voice as a female leader, the High-Impact Leadership program helped me become bold, and to trust my instincts and to be authentic at all times, professionally and personally.”

Reena says the transformation she experienced was life-changing. “I learned that I have everything I need within me to be a leader, I don’t need to be like anyone else – I have it all. Before this program I was carrying a weight or a shield – but after class that weight melted and that shield disappeared. I gained acceptance of who I am, and learned that I am enough exactly as I am. Who I am is enough!”  

Sheltering in Place: Staying Connected Regardless of Time Zone

As with the other programs, Reena’s High-Impact Leadership cohorts are active daily on WhatsApp – but their commitment to staying connected goes beyond the app. Once COVID-19 and sheltering in place hit the scene, Reena helped organize the group’s regular Zoom meeting, where cohorts and Professor Rittenberg meet by video every 4-6 weeks, no matter what time zone they live in. “We have cohorts in the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, Guam, and beyond, and we all do our very best to show up no matter what time it is for us, even if it’s in the middle of the night. It’s really incredible how committed we all are.”

That includes Professor Mark Rittenberg. “Professor Rittenberg joins our calls every month too,” says Reena. “He’s like a father figure to us; it’ such a joy to know him – and we all see him as a coach and a friend – he’s amazing. We cohorts are like siblings with nothing to hide, we are an open book with one another. I went into the program with curiosity and I came out with authenticity, not to mention a group of wonderful new friends from around the world.” 

A Community to Lean on During the Pandemic

Reena says that the ongoing, regular contact with her cohorts has helped her to be a better and more effective leader during the pandemic.  

“In my daily WhatsApp interactions with cohorts, I learn what other leaders are doing to pivot during this situation, and it’s given me ideas on how to lead my teams through this crisis.” 
Allowing her authenticity to shine has also paid off for Reena. “Being authentic has helped me be bold at work, and to be flexible and trust my teams to do the right thing. I have been doing team building activities on Zoom – using the skills I learned through my COBE journey – to keep everyone connected,” Reena says. 

“Who knew that my COBE journey would give me skills to be a better leader in a pandemic. I discovered UC Exec Ed on a whim, and look at me today!”