IBD is excited to welcome our newest Faculty Mentor to the Spring IBD program, Jon Metzler. Jon is a Lecturer at Berkeley Haas, where he teaches competitive advantage in technology, telecom and media markets (Strategy for the IT Firm), and international business. He teaches MBA and undergraduate students at Berkeley Haas, and has led EWMBA students on Seminar in International Business (SIB) class trips to Japan. Jon is also associated faculty for the UC Berkeley for Center for Japanese Studies, and a faculty mentor at Berkeley SkyDeck, our local accelerator for Berkeley-affiliated startups.
When Jon is not teaching, mentoring or leading SIB class trips to Japan, he is managing the consulting firm that he founded in 2007, Blue Field Strategies. Blue Field Strategies helps clients accelerate service innovation through market research and entry support, investment sourcing and due diligence, and market and policy advocacy. Jon has supported new business launches in online media, print, edtech, wireless infrastructure, geolocation, events and services.
Jon is also an alumnus of Berkeley Haas, where he earned his MBA/MA-Asian Studies. He co-founded the Berkeley Asia Business Conference, now called the Bridge Conference.
Jon can now add IBD Faculty Mentor to his extensive resume, and we are thrilled to have him on our team. Recently we tracked down Jon to ask him some questions about himself and his career. Please check out his answers below.
IBD: What excites you most about being an IBD Faculty Mentor, and what would you like to get out of the experience?
Jon Metzler: “ What I enjoy most about teaching is working with students and getting to know them — how they think, what they aspire to, and then working with them to help them grow. I also come from a client services (consulting) background and derive satisfaction from helping clients, so IBD is very aligned with both of these!”
IBD: What skills or qualities do you hope to bring to your new role and/or offer to our IBD MBA students?
Jon Metzler: “I have launch experience in print, wireless broadband, events, edtech, wireless infrastructure and innovation spaces, and have experience helping clients assess new opportunities and figure out how to go to market, or, as incumbents, how to harness a growing market. In general, I enjoy helping new enterprises get off the ground and hope to bring this to the IBD program.”
IBD: What brought you to Berkeley Haas, and how has your experience been teaching these last 4+ years?
Jon Metzler: First, some context. When I was a student at Haas (MBA/MA-Asian Studies), I really enjoyed the balance of tenured and professional faculty, and with regards to the professional faculty, I always enjoyed the pragmatism of classes led by practitioners.
Fast forward to 2014. There were two paths that led me to teaching at Haas. First, I felt like I had value to provide to students after years working at startups and in services, particularly in the fields of tech and telecom. This is what eventually led to teaching Strategy for the Information Technology Firm. Secondly, my Master’s thesis advisor (Steve Vogel in PoliSci) suggested that I teach on Japan. This is what led to leading SIBs on Japan in the EWMBA program, and a business in Japan class in the UGBA program.”
Jon Metzler: “I will answer this question as: I feel that teaching and consulting feed each other — consulting allows me to deep dive into current industry issues, and teaching helps me digest and synthesize that into more broadly applicable lessons and material.“
IBD: What do you like to do when you aren’t teaching, mentoring or working at Blue Field?
Jon Metzler: I am board chairman of a non-profit in San Francisco – the Japan Society of Northern California. It’s a 113-year-old non-profit, and I take that heritage and history seriously. It’s been fun working with the board and staff making sure a venerable institution is addressing market needs today.
I also have two children, one in sixth-grade and one in third-grade. Both are far smarter than I am. This keeps me on my toes! And also helps me keep perspective on what’s important.
Lastly, I play – albeit not well – soccer as often as my schedule and body permit.”
The IBD team feels very fortunate to have Jon as a Faculty Mentor, and we look forward to his contributions to the upcoming 2019 IBD Spring program.