Done. Almost.

Classes are over, finals are done, and we are almost done with Dis-orientation Week.

Whew.

The Berkeley MBA experience exceeded my best expectations. I knew going in that it would be an incredible experience, and oh boy, was it.

For some reason, I’m at a loss of words on explaining exactly how amazing it was, but my previous entries shed a bit of light on that. The education, the way I think, the social scene, the networking… it’s all there.

I highly recommend getting an MBA, and for me Berkeley was definitely the right choice. I can’t help to think how lucky I am having attended Haas.

Some quick food for thought:
1. Living. Live near the action, that’s Berkeley the first year and San Francisco the second year. Preferably somewhere near BART for quick access and drivingless-drinking or, if in the city, in a great neighborhood with other classmates (cabs are great).

2. Participate. Go to football games, social events, golf outings, hiking/biking, dinners. Throw your own events. Whatever turns you on, do it. And then reach out and try something new. You’ll expand your horizons and connect with some new friends.

3. Audit. If you’re curious about something, audit a related class. You’ll enhance your learning experience and will be glad you won’t have to do the extra work, especially when it’s job hunting season. Then beef up on the classes you need for the next job or a future job.

4. Use add/drop. Shop around, look at more classes than the ones you want to take. Talk to friends. You may stumble upon a gem that you really want to take and perhaps receive credit for it.

5. Professors. Look for the great ones, and there are plenty. They’ll make learning better and you’ll get more out of your experience. Remember, you’re paying for this, to make the most of it.

6. Tahoe. Surf the web and see what’s going on with the El Niño and La Niña. Then buy (or not) your season pass and share of a house.

7. Waive classes. If you can, take a class or two before heading to Haas so you can waive out of the monster classes and take electives you’re interested. Finance and Data & Decisions (Stats) come to mind. Brutal classes.

8. Math Camp. A must. Make friends, settle in, get ahead. It will help immensely and connect you with lasting friends outside your cohort.

9. Fun. Sure, you’ll do a lot of work and spent countless hours cranking out projects, homework, prepping for tests, interviewing, competing, and all the other serious things that MBA Candidates do… and you’ll still manage to have fun. I promise.

Oh, the photos?

A few shots from Dis-orientation week (a student-run final week of fun and celebration between the last day of classes and graduation). The first two are 80’s prom, then Vegas… no… scratch that, then paint-ball aftermath, and a bike trip from San Francisco to Sam’s in Tiburon (via the Golden Gate Bridge).

—Colin C.

3 thoughts on “Done. Almost.

  1. Hi,I noticed you talked a little bit about waiving out of classes…if you had a choice, would you prefer to waive the core Finance or Accounting class? Which class is harder? Which class would be more useful to someone who was interested in investment mgmt?Thanks!

  2. Everyone has different education needs at Haas. I actually wanted more accouting classes. Stats and Finance were, in my opinion, the toughest 2 core classes. Could I do it all over again, I would have taken Stats and Finance classes before coming to Haas and waived them both. Not everyone feels the same.(Word of advice: take Math Camp and know that both courses shift into high gear after the mid-term, be ready for it).Waiving requires that you know the material, and if you take a comparable class before going to Haas, you’re covered. Most people will get the knowledge they need by taking an equivalent class elsewhere then waiving the course in order to take more classes in their particular interest (e.g. Real Estate).Studying real hard to pass the waive test won’t get you the knowledge you need. Remember, you can always take more credits to expand your knowledge.For you, the answer to your last question depends on your background. Investment management folks need to do well in Corporate Finance and the other related electives. So whether or not you waive depends on whether or not you’re truly qualified. If you’re not, you risk missing something in core Finance that could hurt your performance in Corporate Finance. I’d chat with the Finance Club folks, they’ll help you figure this one out.

  3. Hi,Thanks for the post. Exactly the kind of information I was looking for. some questions:1) would I really miss out on the experience by choosing to live in SF instead of Berkeley the first year? Would it be much like living off-campus during your freshman year in college while everyone else is living in the dorms? 2) Also, what neighborhoods are popular with Haas students living in SF?I’m married and while my husband has been very supportive, I know that SF will be much more fun for him while I’m wrapped up with the first-year experience :) So that’s my dilemma and was hoping to get more of your thoughts. Thanks!

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