Ted Kuh’s Path to Lifelong Learning

Alumni Spotlight: Ted Kuh, Haas BS 82; Wharton MBA 87
Lecturer and Advisor-in-Residence, Haas School of Business
Advisory Board Member, Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership


ted_kuh_prague “I left banking to pursue new passions such as teaching and getting involved in the start-up community. I am a firm believer in lifelong learning and am certainly learning a lot from my students, I hope to continue learning from different people and different cultures.”

Lifelong Learning: A Structured and Unstructured Path

There are times when the defined and well-lit path is worth following. My 24 year investment banking career offered excitement, world travel, exposure to new cultures, and the challenge of developing a new business.  I was entrepreneurial with the support and resources within a large organization. My best professional decision was to work abroad to lead Citi’s Global Retail investment banking effort, first from London then from Hong Kong.  All told I spent 10 years abroad and had an extraordinarily rich professional and personal experience.

In 2009, I relocated back to the Bay Area, where one of my goals was to re-engage with Haas and my community, as well as to prepare for the next stage of my career outside investment banking. The transition has been tremendously rewarding and has reinforced the idea that learning is flexible, and that adapting and embracing new circumstances and life events is a critical component to finding and retaining passion in life.  Once back in the US, I began exploring my interests at Haas and investing in start-ups. I delved into the start-up world through the Berkeley Angel Network, a group of alumni and faculty of UC Berkeley who provide angel funding for start-up companies.

Exploring Social Impact at Haas

I learned about the Haas Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership through Nora Silver, who invited me to attend a Cal Strategic Philanthropy class. I was very impressed by the course, which led to introductions to inspiring Bay Area nonprofit organizations such as First Graduate and Operation Access. In 2012 I joined the Center’s Advisory Board and am constantly impressed by the Center’s ability to impact hundreds of students and the opportunity to instill the importance of making a social impact on the future leaders of society. Because of the Center’s reach, we are able to influence an entire generation of future leaders and to make a significant impact on our community.

Lifelong Interest: Teaching

Ted Kuh and Nick Cain

In the Fall of 2012, I had the pleasure of co-teaching a finance class at Haas as well as serving as an advisor-in-residence for MBA finance students in the career management office. I thoroughly enjoyed the stimulating classroom interaction of my inaugural teaching experience and will teach an expanded course this coming Fall: I am also enjoying my work with startups, many of whose founders are recent graduates of Haas and other top business schools. I recently attended a lecture by Stew Friedman, (a Wharton professor) on Total Leadership — that through working towards optimizing four key areas: professional, family, self, and community, one will be a better leader and have a richer life, a concept which I wholeheartedly follow. My favorite personal passions are traveling and playing tennis, golf and skiing.

My Career Advice for students:

  • Be passionate about the sector you’re going into.
  • Look through the front window rather than the rear view mirror.  Don’t’ think about what professions were hot, anticipate what may be interesting in the future.
  • Be open to new opportunities, new groups, new geographies, and new people –that’s where one expands both professionally and personally.

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