Life as a Second Year….

So the perception I had before I came to Haas was the MBA students had nothing but time on their hands. I mean, compared to working full time, going back to school was supposed to be the life of leisure – nothing but sleeping in, working out, pleasure reading, and vacations. I learned very quickly that this is not the case in my first year! Between reading for classes, working in study groups to get projects done, recruiting for internships, getting to know your fellow classmates, and taking advantage of all the top speakers coming to campus, I found myself busier that I had ever been working (albeit, having a lot more fun than working). But this was surely just a first year phenomenon, right? Once I got “promoted” to being a second year, I would be through all of it and have nothing but time on my hands….No Way!

Here is just a list of the things that have kept me busy around campus during the last two weeks:

Class – Second year classes are no cake walk! They get into deep into the subject matter and require a lot of prep. My Real Estate Finance class dug into the financing of the Rockefeller Center Buildings in 1986 and 2001 – talk about a lot of detailed prospectus reading!

Clubs – I’m involved in both the Consulting and Finance Club. This week both clubs had firm nights – so I was busy helping set up, welcoming the companies, and paying the tab on both Tuesday and Thursday nights. This is in addition to 2 hours of exhausting networking.

Talking to Applicants – I’m one of the 8 Haas Student Ambassadors and a lot of people are getting serious about applying. We’ve had tons of people at our information sessions and I’m having a lot of phone conversations about Haas. I absolutely love the position and always happy to talk about life here, but it takes a lot of time!

Golf – OK, nobody is going to cry for me with this one. I organized a beginner series of golf lessons for me and 6 classmates. This is a nice break on Wednesday afternoons, but I’m finding that between the lessons and practicing at the driving range, this golf thing is really take some hours. I figure that a lot of business is done on the golf course, so although I don’t get credit for this class, it could be the most enjoyable class I have this year…

Speakers – We do a great job getting some really big name speakers to come to campus. Just two weeks ago my favorite author, Michael Lewis, gave a talk about his new book The Big Short and some of his thoughts about Liar’s Poker and the finance industry in general. He also talked about the sequel to Moneyball that he’s currently working on. We also had an Entrepreneur’s Forum last night hosted by the Lester Center. I got to hear about some start-ups pitches and listen to two CEOs who hatched start-ups in the food industry.

Social – Just hanging out with my classmates. Seeing how my fellow second years are doing in their full-time interviews and getting a chance to meet all the new first years. There are so many cool people that you want to know and see how their doing – I find that I can talk all night, but sooner or later I need to go home and get some sleep before I have to get to class the next morning…

So what’s my advice for people who are applying? When you get into B-School, take some off before. Quit your job in May and travel or just relax for 3 months because when you get here, it’s no vacation…not even when you’re a second year with a fulltime job offer!

—Chuck Doppelt

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