Meet The Berkeley Haas MBA Class of 2018


David Middleton

Haas School of Business, University of California-Berkeley

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Dwayne Johnson in the movie San Andreas. Not really. But kind of.

Hometown: Ramona, CA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I love golf for not only the sport but the camaraderie and networking. One of the many rounds I’ve played actually resulted in an offer to be the lead actor for a TV commercial that played thousands of times on TV as well as on a jumbo screen in Times Square, New York.

Undergraduate School and Major: U.S. Coast Guard Academy — Mechanical Engineering

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

U.S. Coast Guard — Helicopter Pilot

Chief Pilot/Operations Officer — U.S. Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far: It was overseeing the merger of two Coast Guard Air Stations. After my supervisor retired on short notice, I moved up and was charged with overseeing operations and logistics for my current Air Station while simultaneously absorbing another. For over a year, I was fortunate to work alongside some of our nation’s best Coast Guard members to solve complex problems to expand our operations from Northern California to Southern California. The increase in people, aircraft, and geographical area of responsibility presented daunting challenges, as this was the first time a Coast Guard Air Station would operate with a home unit and a forward operating base. Although we encountered many setbacks, the end result was a success.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? Working in the public service sector, I put my job first a lot. I literally worked around the clock to ensure I provided the necessary decisions and actions for success. The downside to this approach was that it significantly impacted my business school application process. How would I have done it differently? It would be to set aside time for myself, dedicate time during the process to separate my work thoughts from my business school application thoughts. The applications require your best work, not the leftover effort after a long day in a demanding profession.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Three reasons: location, diversity, and culture. Having lived and worked in the Bay Area, I knew the value of Berkeley’s geographic stronghold in the entrepreneurship capital of the world. Also, with a career of military service, I yearned to learn from those outside the military, from a diverse group of peers and professionals. Finally, the culture, the Berkeley Haas Defining Principles resonated with me. The personal and professional leadership traits I learned both inside and outside the Coast Guard encompassed the defining principles. I wanted to be surrounded by those who also valued these same leadership and thought capacities.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life. With a passion for aviation and business, a dream job for me would be in a leadership/management position for an on-demand private jet charter company.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? “I want David on my team.”

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