Days At Haas 1

The magic of Days at Haas!!!

Although the weather was less than perfect, the entire Haas community was excited to show our admitted class of 2014 what makes Haas unique. More than words on a page, we believe and act according to our four defining principles. They were present in each and every interaction that weekend.

These principles are, in our opinion, what makes Haas unique. One of our goals was to show the class of 2014 how integrated the principles are in our daily lives.

With more than 150 attendees (partners included, as always) and more than 100 current students volunteering, the weekend was a blast. We hope every attendee had fun, learned about the classroom experience, connected with alumni, professors, and clubs about career opportunities and most importantly got to know awesome new classmates. We were very impressed by next year’s class!

While organizing the weekend, we got to know the class of 2014 by name even before we met
them. We planned the Amazing Race teams, discussed seating assignments for dinner at the Faculty Club, and organized homes for student dinners!

We got to know students’ preferences, career goals and even dietary restrictions! We couldn’t wait for the opportunity to put faces to names.

By our first interactions, the dinner, and Bar of the Week, it was quickly apparent that the class of 2014 has amazing energy, broad and inspiring experiences and a huge desire to be agents of change. We saw bonds already being formed, future companies being discussed, and heard great real-time feedback about the weekend’s events!

While we had naturally hoped that Days at Haas would be a great experience for incoming students, the weekend was a truly eye-opening experience for the HSA team as well!

We realized quickly that we’d be honored to be your classmates. The admitted students reminded us of why we chose to come to Haas. We recalled our passions, our career goals and our enthusiasm.

We are now preparing for Days at Haas 2 and we are certain that it will be just as amazing as the first edition, so come with energy and curiosity!

-Andrea Schalka, HSA Team 2012

Days at Haas

What better picture to describe Days at Haas, the first of Haas’ weekends for new admits, than Google’s weather forecast for today.

It’s been almost a year since I came to Haas for the first time for Days at Haas II and this weekend made it painfully clear to me that I am almost halfway through my MBA experience. Last year at Days at Haas I met my current housemates, got to know many of my current classmates and friends for the first time, and eventually decided to leave Germany and come to Haas. This year, my house hosted a dinner for a group of admitted students on Thursday and I was able to take part in some of the activities during Days at Haas, so is should be no surprise that this weekend’s activities brought back a lot of memories: The campus scavenger hunt, my first Bar of the Week, Karaoke, the club fair and the information panels all played a big role in my decision last year to come to Haas and it was good to see that this year’s student ambassadors have put together a similarly fantastic program for all the newly admitted students.

I was eagerly waiting to meet the class of 2010 and I can tell you that the admissions committe has done a great job once again to bring in a class that is incredibly accomplished, diverse, and fun! I know some of you are still waiting to hear back from Haas and others are still deciding where to go this summer, so of course I only saw a part of this year’s incoming class, but I can already say that the MBA class of 2010 is going to be a great class – and I envy every single one of the students who will be part of the class of 2010.

If you are an admitted student and didn’t have the chance to come to Days at Haas this weekend, I would highly recommend that you try to come to Berkeley for Days at Haas II in May. Deciding to go to business school and deciding which school to go to is a big step. Days at Haas will provide you with a very good impression of life at Haas, making your decision to come here much easier. It is also one of the best ways to get to know your future classmates.

If you are an admitted student and made it to Days at Haas, I hope you enjoyed your time here at Haas and I recommend that you stay in touch with all the people you met this weekend. Some of them will turn out to be your best friends in a year’s time.


I want to be… an elephant seal

Wouldn’t it be nice to lie on the beach all day, turning your back into the sun and just get up from time to time to get food and drinks?

I just got back from a three-day trip down on State Route 1. While it was not my first time driving on that legendary scenic drive, it was the first time I was there in time to see elephant seals from just a few feet away about an hour south of Monterey.

As it turns out, elephant seals actually spend half the year swimming all the way from California to Alaska and back. But when they are in California, all they do is hang out on the beach, cuddle up in the sand (the baby seals) and mate (the older once). What a life!

On a slightly less interesting note: Our Littlefield factory simulation is over. We haven’t received the final results yet. The last 100 days were run without us having access to our factory, but my team was doing pretty well and we are looking forward to getting our results in class tomorrow.

On another side-note: If you have been admitted to Haas, I would definitely recommend coming to Days at Haas in April or May. The organizers are putting together a fantastic program and my house mates and I have just decided to host a student dinner during days at Haas. We actually met during Days at Haas II last year – as you might be able to tell, Days at Haas is not just a good way to experience life in Berkeley, but also a great opportunity to get to know your future class mates and to have a lot of fun.


Tricycles and New Admits

I am about a week late in posting a recap of the Days at Haas I goings-on, but better now than never. I am a member of the Haas Triathlon Club, which is a student-interest group under the Redwoods @ Haas umbrella. We train together several times per week, and a bunch of us are preparing for the Napa Vally Triathlon in a few weeks.

We successfully finagled our way into the Days at Haas scavenger hunt, because we want to build the group’s presence at Haas and because we wanted to meet the new admits. During the scavenger hunt, the new admits are broken into groups of about 6-8 people, and they travel around campus performing various tasks and searching for various items. At our station, we set up a tricycle relay around a circular path right by North Gate on Cal’s campus. (Tricycles are related to triathlons, but only if you use your imagination a little bit.) The rules of the game included dressing up in triathlon gear (helmets, swim caps, goggle, one-piece spandex suits, etc) and having four members of each group ride around the circular path. The team with the fastest time won a bottle of Clif Bar wine. The comedy obviously came from watching fully-grown people riding very small tricycles. Also? Triathlon gear is inherently funny.

The first team to show up at our station had a guy named Tony who played water polo at Navy (see photo at right). Before we even finished describing the rules, he had already put on Ken’s racing onesie, my cap and goggles, and was ready to ride. We didn’t actually expect the teams to wear ALL of the gear that we brought to the “race site,” but the new admits were awesome and completely committed to the task. My photos capture only a small portion of the hilarity, which included multiple faceplants, wardrobe malfunctions, and good racing strategies whose execution went terribly, horribly wrong.

DAH II is fast approaching, and we’ve already come up with a new and exciting “course” for the new admits, which will incorporate (creatively) all three triathlon sports. I’ll post more photos when the time comes.

—Lindsay G.

People Are People

It’s triple Tuesday… a real treat as people catch up with blogs. With that, this entry is for those with an open mind, still evaluating schools. If you’re super-set on a school, skip this and play computer solitaire for 5 minutes instead.

Application deadlines are right around the corner. The admissions department of every major MBA is out selling their differentiated vision of business school and promoting their brand, and it’s time to narrow your focus.

A good friend of mine told me to go to the best B-school I was accepted to, but I ignored him. For me, it was Haas or bust. I knew for as long as I knew I wanted to go to Business school that Haas was the right fit for me.

People always remind me to examine the culture of the company/school I want to attend. I did that for undergrad and haven’t done it since. I saw Haas as the right school for me based on a variety of factors. I knew “how great” the people were at Haas, but I never attended a class or had lunch with students. I had done so much research, I thought I knew everything they’d tell me. What an idiotic assumption.

When I arrived at Haas, I found out how great the people really are and how lucky I am to be with my classmates. I got lucky, really lucky. I could just have easily chosen another school and gone someplace where I didn’t fit.

Is there more to business school than people? Absolutely. But if you research a bit, you can find out what makes a school tick by looking at their published material and the various rankings like Princeton Review or Wall Street Journal (subscription). You’ll notice that top business schools follow similar core courses and use similar cases, they attract top recruiters, they have great professors and facilities, and they offer great international trips. The formats may vary, the specialties may change, there may be a geographical bias with firms you’re interested in, certain recruiters may pass over a school, or there might be some other intangible factor that captures your interest. So take all that into consideration, identify your top choices, then do something I didn’t: visit schools.

Your application may be perfect and you may think you’ve found the greatest school. You can interview school ambassadors and send e-mails to admissions all day long and you’ll learn a lot. And then you’ll visit and learn more in one afternoon than all your other work combined. Sure, it’s expensive, but you have a job, so support America’s negative saving rate and put that money to use.

I am making a lot of strong life-long friendships at Haas, more so than at any other point in my life (and I’m in the military- where people get close). Surprisingly, my new friends come from backgrounds and walks of life that I never would have foreseen.

Will they be your best friends? Who knows… but you should find out. Visit Haas and the other schools and find the right fit for you. Meet us, see what makes us tick, look for your niche. Hopefully you’ll like it here, but if not, hopefully you’ll find the right fit somewhere else.

Go visit your top schools, see what MBA life is like for a day, meet a few current students and get their perspectives, eat the food, smell the air, sit at a desk. Are the students competitive enough? Are they relaxed enough? Do they laugh enough? Are they introverted? Are there enough international students? Not enough women? Do they surf? Do they have tricycle races? Do they live on campus? What’s it like to me married? What’s it like to be single? Do the ladies fantasize about their professors? Do the evening-weekend folks prank the first years? (see pajama photo below)

Maybe you’ll laugh with me at all the first years running around in their PJs carrying their stuffed-animals with them. Maybe you’ll think it’s stupid. Maybe you’ll realize that you’re a better fit at another school. But you won’t really know unless you visit.

Once you’re accepted to various schools, go back and attend their event weekends to get a sense of what your class would look like and meet the ones you’ll be making a strong and lasting connection with.

At my Days At Haas, a group of folks that had previously met at Duke’s admit weekend got-reacquainted and began to form a bond. For me, Days At Haas was when I knew I was at the right place, which is good, because I only applied to Haas.

And when you start your program, I hope you’ll continue to explore. I hope you reach out beyond your comfort zone and become great friends with someone unexpected. Maybe go to Japan for a classmate’s wedding, join the folks re-living their college years at Tuesday Nights at The Graduate, join a case competition with evening-weekenders, or even find love.

If Haas isn’t the school for you, I hope you find the right school. Get the most value from your MBA program and really enjoy your time at business school.

While I’m learning a lot, I’m having an awesome time. You should too, whether here or elsewhere.

—Colin C.