Photos From Haas Alumni Mixer In Singapore

Over winter break, a group of 25 Haas MBA students visited South East Asia and explored Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Bali, and Vietnam. During their stay in Singapore, the students networked with influential Haas alumni and members of the Berkeley Club of Singapore at a beautiful outdoor bar called OverEasy.

Click beneath the fold to see some of the pictures from the event.

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Asia Business Conference – 2010

Next month, the Haas School of Business will host the Asia Business Conference (ABC). This is the largest Asia focused student-run conference on the West Coast. Founded by Dr. Laura Tyson, economic advisor to President Obama and former Dean of the Haas School of Business, this conference intends to increase awareness and insights about businesses in Asia. 2010 marks the conferences’ 10th anniversary, and is expected to draw over 500 attendees. Audiences include various professionals and MBA students from the Bay Area who are interested in entrepreneurship and businesses in Asia.

The theme of the 2010 conference, “Asia: Shifting the Global Center of Gravity,” seeks to provocatively discuss whether major business and commercial activities are increasingly centered on the Asian region.

The conference seeks to address these issues from 4 perspectives:

  • Macroeconomic trends occurring in Asia’s ascent and its broader implications on capital flows and labor
  • Rise of Asia as a region of business and technology innovation as well as entrepreneurship
  • Challenges of leadership, organizational alignment and people management amidst relentless growth in Asia
  • Implications for personal development and career growth to take advantage of Asia’s rapid growth

I’m pretty excited about the list of incredible keynote speakers that we have lined up for the event. The list includes Scott Matlock, Chairman M&A, Morgan Stanley Asia, Joi Ito, CEO of Creative Commons and General Partner of Neoteny Labs, Lim Siong Guan, Group President, Government of Singapore Investment Corporation and Arun Sarin, Senior Advisor, KKR and former CEO of Vodafone. (WOW!). Further, in the spirit of innovation, this years organizers have included a VC networking event over lunch. This exclusive lunch will allow entrepreneurs to take advantage of opportunity to exchange ideas with , lawyers and experienced entrepreneurs. The conference also includes panels ranging from clean tech, India, tech, consumer, finance and global operations with eminent thought leaders as panelists

Organizers have been working hard to make this conference a huge success. I’m sure it will be one – and I hope this blog has sparked some of your interest as well. To learn more about ABC, check out the conference website.

To attend or learn more about the conference, you can check the following resources as well.

Hope to see all of you on Feb 20th at Berkeley!


the four weeks that just flew by – my winter break trek

“CAL” braving -15°C in the Forbidden City

They say that time waits for no one and it won’t wait for me. What seemed like for long weeks have quickly sped by as I start for my second semester at Haas.

Berkeley, CA
A little known fact: Berkeley has a low-cost, fairly broad student health insurance plan (SHIP).  Under SHIP, we not only enjoy $5 copay for eye exams, but also 50% discount on Lasik. Following my last final, I walked across the street from Haas to the UC Berkeley School of Optometry.  The next couple days were a bit dark.

Taipei, Taiwan
A week later, got onto a plane and headed to Taiwan. My wife and I got married right before school started and I wanted to take her to Taipei to meet the rest of my family. While in Taipei, I was able to connect with Haas alumni.  I was amazed at the loyalty of the alumni that they were willing to go out of their way to meet a stranger.  I learned more about what consulting, technology, financial services was like in Taiwan.

Taiwan Alumni dinner with a MBA ’11

Shanghai and Beijing, China
On the 5th, I flew from Taipei to Shanghai to meet up with 59 other Haas MBAs (combination of Full Time and evening/weekend) on a 10 day China Trek.  Treks are entirely student run and five of my classmates put together a truly memorable trek.

Balancing company visits, site seeing, and a lot of late night karaoke, it was a tour de force of activities.  We got the opportunity to visit companies including: Johnson & Johnson, GM China, Frog Design, Medtronic, Google China, Tencent, Huawei, Innovation Works, and LiNing. Beyond the company visits, we were able to meet up the alumni chapters who were able to provide great insights into doing business in China.  One alum stated that there are three rules of doing business in China:

  1. Everything is possible
  2. But, everything is hard
  3. When they say that there it is not a problem, it is a big problem

Over the past four weeks there have simply been to many unforgettable times. It was a privilege to have Kai-Fu Lee (李开复) drop in and discuss his thoughts on China, innovation, and the Chinese psyche. It was incredible to see the passion and love of Haas from the alumni. It was pure bliss to sing “I want it that way” with 59 other classmates.

So what’s next? Study tonight for the waiver exam Friday afternoon, meet up with my wife to attend a SF MOMA 75 Anniversary event in the evening, and meet some prospective Haas ’12 at the Super Saturday I over the weekend.

New Years at Taipei 101 (the 2nd tallest building in the world)

Shanghai at night


Yokoso! Japan

While many of the Haas students had a relaxing spring break, 33 of us decided to visit the beautiful Japan last week with 4 hours of sleep everyday. Thanks to the excellent planning by our 5 fearless, super-human Japanese classmates, we had the opportunity to experience Japan’s amazing culture, people, and food. Some of the many highlights of our trip include:

Hiroshima Peace Memorial: This was definitely a very humbling experience for all of us. We got to witness firsthand the terrible results of nuclear weapons and wars. We also met with Steven Lloyd Leeper, Chairperson for the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, who encouraged all of us to take part of stopping the development of nuclear weapons.

Itsukushima Shrine: Touring the world heritage shrine with cherry blossoms and wild deers all around us. What more can you ask for?

Kyoto: The best tofu in the world and the beautiful temples are a winning combination.

Sumo Wrestling in Osaka: We witnessed the biggest upset of the Osaka tournament. As the best sumo wrestler in the world, Asashoryu, got pushed out of the sacred ring, the whole stadium went crazy, and people started throwing their seat cushions everywhere. Let me know if you want a video of it.

Toyota Factory Tour: Our visit to the Corolla/IQ factory in Toyota City would have been described by our operations professor as a tour to Disneyland. We all used the terms (flow rate, capacity, bottleneck, kaizen, andon cord, etc.) we learned in the ops class last quarter to describe the Just-In-Time System as it unfolded right in front of our eyes. Our ops professor would have been very, very proud had he heard our conversations with the Toyota tour guide.

Onsen (hot spring) at Atami: We held the first Haas WBC (World Beer Classic) in Japan during dinner. After three rounds of intense and controversial battles, Texas won and Taiwan came in second (I only wish I drank just a little bit faster!). Oh, and did I mention that you can’t wear swimsuits in the hot spring?

Ghibli and Sunigami Animation Museums: It was heaven for anime geeks like me.

Tsukiji Fish Market: Wow, just, wow. We left our hotel at 5 am, dodged left and right from the hectic fish cars, and waited for an hour and a half in front of Sushi Dai to enjoy arguably the best sushi in Tokyo (i.e. the world). The sushi took my taste bud through a spiritual journey.

Sony Visit: We enjoyed the showroom, The Square, inside Sony’s headquarter. We also had lunch at the Sony cafeteria, the biggest cafeteria in Japan.

Alumni Party in Akasaka: It was a wonderful ending for our trip as we met with alumni (the keynote speaker was a class of ’82, the year when I was born!), new admits, and prospective students. I was very touched to see the spirit of the Golden Bear is alive and well in Tokyo.

I just want to give a huge thank you again to our student organizers, our alumni, and our sponsors. With sleepy eyes, an extremely happy stomach, and an enriched mind, I encourage all of you to be a part of the Japan Trek next year. It may just be the best trip of your life!

—Eugene Lin


Jetlag is kicking in and it is time for me to go to sleep. But I nevertheless wanted to finish this series of posts with a few words about Tokyo.

We were lucky to be in Tokyo just in time to watch Sakura – the Japanese cherry blossoms and over the course of four days had a number of opportunities to see the cherry blossoms and to hang out in under Sakura trees in addition to the usual Tokyo hangout places: Karaoke joints, arcade halls and endless walks in subway stations.

Of course we hit all the typical sightseeing spots (including Tokyo’s fish market), but I really enjoyed just being in the city and experiencing city life in the world’s largest metropolitan area.

I wanted to use this blog post to once again thank the organizers of this trip – 7 of our fellow Haas students. We all had a blast and I will definitely come back to Japan in the future.

Update: Check out Helen’s blog to read about her experience in Tokio as well.

P.S. In case you wondered, the post titles all refer to song names. I have only picked those songs names because they in some way refer to Japan, so please disregard any other connotations they might or might not have.

  • Turning Japanese was originally recorded by the Vapors in the 80s.
  • Big in Japan is another 80s song, this one by Alphaville.
  • Tokyo is a song written and recorded by the Swedish band Local Boys.(The last link starts the MySpace music player immediately – so don’t open it at work.)


Turning Japanese

We arrived in Osaka yesterday afternoon and after a longish train ride and a 20 minute walk through the maze that is Kyoto’s Namba Station’s underground walkway system, finally made it to our capsule hotel.

It was not the Ritz, but if you ever come to Japan, I would highly recommend you spend one night in a capsule, to get the real experience.

I will post again later (hopefully with pictures), but wanted to send this first sign-of life from this year’s Haas Japan Trip.

PS: It is hard to type if the computer you use constantly tries to turn your words into Kanji-Signs!