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.
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.
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).