Our Students Apply From All Over The World
Designers of all Types
About 2/3rds of our students have a design background of some kind, whether it’s in architecture, industrial, interaction, graphic, Web, game, fashion, or automobile design. Most have a design education while some are self-taught professionals. They come to open-up their career possibilities as they take-on more responsibilities and managerial roles.
Scientists and Engineers
We always have a few scientists and engineers in our cohorts who come to enhance their technical skills with business acumen, leadership skills, and sustainability techniques. Kathryn was a nuclear engineer who wanted to create social innovations. After the program, she joined Kaiser Permanente’s Innovation Center. The diversity of our students creates a dynamic learning community.
We also have a significant number of professionals from a variety of non-profit roles. Many of these have an interest in social ventures across many disciplines and come to the program for professional business skills as well as creative leadership experience. For example, Olivia Nava worked on a social venture throughout her last year in the DMBA program and, upon graduation, launched Juabar, a venture to spread the use of solar energy for charging and cooking in Tanzania (where she spends most of her time today, as a result).
More and more, we see students with finance backgrounds join the program, like Linda. While she had a successful career in currency trading, she yearned for the opportunity to create more meaningful change in the world beyond the financial strategy. We hear from our students with a financial background that, at some point, the numbers just weren’t fulfilling any longer so they come to a program like the DMBA to build a more personally meaningful career.
20% of our Students Commute to the Program From All Over North America
Whether it’s from Los Angeles, New York City, Idaho, or Vancouver, about 20% of our students commute to the Bay Area every month for class and then head home, like Calvin, here. Each month, he flew or drove from Los Angeles to attend classes. In between residencies, he worked with his teams using distance technology tools, regardless of ZIP code, area code, or geography. This creates some of the most interesting logistics learning among the students and a unique opportunity for a different kinds of diversity.
Over 20% of our students come from outside the USA and represent almost every continent of the Earth. They come to San Francisco for the innovation and sustainability cultures but bring their own cultures to mix in our melting pot. Mon, a student from Thailand, was one of our first international students. He came to soak-up the culture of the San Francisco Bay Area and took it back with him to Bangkok, where he lives and works today. He is still a vibrant part of our extended community, even from a far.
Increasingly, and especially for our new Public Policy Design program, those with a government background are joining our programs in order to learn to innovate more effectively in government and large NGOs. Kiran Jain, one of our Leading by Design Fellows, does just this within the City of Oakland. She’s responsible for identifying new opportunities for innovation within the city as well as training and evangelizing design thinking and market insight techniques among her many colleagues. These specialized domains require additional skills to navigate the complicated communities that reside in governments around the world.
Class of 2017
Class of 2018