Meet The Berkeley Haas MBA Class Of 2020

Benny Johnson

University of California Berkeley, Haas School of Business

Technology optimist intending to accelerate the resource productivity revolution.”

Hometown: Houston, TX

Fun Fact About Yourself: I facilitated a pinewood derby race on a submarine.

Undergraduate School and Major:

University of Texas at Austin – BA Economics
Johns Hopkins University – MS Energy Policy and Climate

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Lieutenant, US Navy

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Shepherding a $1B+ federal research-and-development budget through multiple continuing resolutions and government shutdowns.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Humility. My classmates are simultaneously the most accomplished and humble group of people I’ve ever been privileged to meet.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? Culture. Berkeley Haas maintains a strong culture of curiosity, innovation, and selflessness through its four Defining Leadership Principles. Unlike many such initiatives that amount to PR stunts, I was pleasantly surprised to see that reality reflects the school’s chosen ideals.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? Sharing a lifetime’s worth of beautiful memories with people who inspire me every day.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I wanted to lay a stronger foundation for a future consulting career. The kinds of soft skills required in consulting are not well-practiced in military work.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment?An MBA is extremely valuable for soft skills development and for career exploration. Someone with exceptional soft skills and defined career goals may reconsider the opportunity cost involved.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Dartmouth-Tuck, Yale SOM

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I did full-day campus visits at each school, and at others to which I did not apply. My top priority was small class size, small enough to eventually know everyone in my year. I attended webinars and contacted current students and alumni. All top MBA programs place well into consulting.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? Joining the Navy as an enlistee. Nothing strips one of pretension and entitlement as quickly as enlisted service.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? Management consulting.

Where do you see yourself in five years? Manager at a leading consulting firm.