The Berkeley InSITE Dinner Series had the pleasure of having Dan Leberman as its guest speaker in November. Dan was as candid and open regarding his personal journey as he was with the advice he left us with. Advice that proved equally useful and insightful for both the MBA Candidate and J.D. Candidate Fellows in the room.
Dan is currently a VP & GM for North America Small/Medium Business at PayPal. Before joining PayPal he worked at McKinsey & Company as an Associate Principal. He holds a JD-MBA from the New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business and the New York University School of Law. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.
There were a lot of questions posed to Dan throughout the dinner. Everything from how going to law school influenced his career, to his experience with the consulting industry, and even to the direction that he thought financial technology was heading. An experienced businessman, he responded with ease and confidence, yet proved remarkably introspective and thoughtful when offering advice.
His combination of humor and candor captivated our attention, and left us with some really practical advice for shaping our own careers. His lessons were simple yet profound. Don’t be afraid to carve your own path, and things may come together in a way that is ultimately unforeseeable and not transparent at the time. Dan’s personal brand of wit and directness added a sense of credibility to his advice that made it truly resonate.
This was the last speaker series of the year, and while listening to Dan, I couldn’t help but feel incredibly grateful. Through the series we had the opportunity to speak openly and candidly with talented and successful individuals. Through the series I gained deep and meaningful insights that are invaluable in shaping my own career. As students at Berkeley, we have incredible opportunities to see some of the world’s great business leaders on a regular basis. And yet, the InSITE Fellowship does an incredible job of leveraging that network to the next level and creating an exceptionally intimate environment. The InSITE Fellowship has done a fantastic job of leveraging its network to help give us the necessary perspectives to emerge more successful business leaders
Michael Ebel is an InSITE Fellow in Berkeley and an MBA Candidate at the Berkeley Haas School of Business.