Spending the past year overseas far removed from the corporate world granted me many of the personal pleasures that my investment banking career so graciously stripped away during my 5-plus year tenure on Wall Street. To name a few: sleeping normal hours, walking in sunlight, eating at a table instead of inside a cubicle and, best of all, waking up when my body was ready (sans alarm clock). Yet, as good as a leisurely lifestyle is, matriculating to Haas is a very welcomed transition. Moving to Berkeley from the Philippines; however, was not a joyful pleasure.
Long story short, moving is the worst chore ever. I’ll spare you the details. Actually, I won’t. I tried out the ‘San Francisco method’ roommate search, aka Craigslist, to hunt down the ideal living / roommate situation. I didn’t find it after 1.5 weeks and 30 apartment showings, partly because I’m picky and high maintenance but probably because I’m just not cool enough for a set of random people already living together. Not so pleasant was the short-term housing I arranged during my apartment search, listed as a ‘hotel’ which, at that address, was a euphemism for ‘halfway house’ (chair under the doorknob at night, check). I eventually found a sweet studio, though, basically on campus and right in my sweet spot for rent. So I guess it was worth the pain I put upon myself. My advice for any new student: find roommates among classmates and get a whole house for yourselves (basement, garage, backyard, deck, the works). My way was the hardway, but we aren’t playing craps in Vegas.
So, after getting my place, moving in and buying the essentials (TV, lounge chair, dishes, rice cooker, sham-WOW, etc on credit card), I am all squared away and set for O-Week next week. I did sign up and attend the two-week summer workshops, which for me was a great way to ease my body into a routine / rhythm after a long my time off. Plus, I needed some brain calisthenics. Plus plus, I’ve already met dozens of awesome people even before O-Week started! Plus plus plus, I had many afternoons off to work on the ol’ golf game at Tilden Regional Park.
With hundred-year-old redwoods, rolling hills, well groomed appointments and affordable green fees make Tilden a breathtaking gem of a public golf course in a state park in the hills just above campus. Tilden is a superb medium, along with the summer workshops, to adjust my mind and body for the MBA program and to help me get into the swing of things. Even after school starts, I can likely sneak in 9 holes before class if I can train my body to get up at 5am. Hopefully, I’ll soon get my score back into the double digits and perfect an all to critical business skill.