Gameday in Berkeley

Ok, I’ll be honest here. In the final decision of where I would attend b-school, the alure of once again being able to buy student season tickets came up as a strong plus for coming to Haas. But as great as discounted football tickets are, it’s not really worth it if you can’t enjoy the game with great company. Fortunately enough, Haas students love gamedays. Now, not everyone loves football (and that’s very much ok!) but you would be hard pressed to find someone that would turn down a good tailgate. Before every home football game, Haas students will host a tailgate with proceeds going to Haas for Students, a fund that encourages students to take jobs in the non-profit and public sector. Alumni often come back to reconnect and meet current students. Overall, its a great way to spend a Saturday just hanging out. One last note, the great photos are courtesy of my classmate Rui. Till next time, go bears!

—Matt S.

Cool People and Cool Topics

It’s been a while since I posted but I wanted to share some of the more interesting things I have done over the last few weeks.

Cal football is a good time and I recommend getting season tickets if you enjoy college sports. Haas is kind enough to organize a tailgate for the MBA’s prior to the games. It is very convenient as Haas is right across from the stadium and it is easy to go over as a group and sit/stand together in the student section. I also included a picture of the real live Oski since we were sitting in the first row.

On a more academic note, Tim Brown (left), the CEO of IDEO and Jacqueline Novogratz (right), Founder and CEO of Acumen Fund, came to Berkeley last week to talk about innovative approaches to global development where the people are at the heart of the solution. It was an incredible event that packed a 300+ person auditorium. They spoke about social investing and how creative firms like IDEO have partnered with social funds in order to find creative solutions to poverty issues. Simply amazing to have two such impressive figures on the same stage talking about a topic so relevant at Haas.

More next time…


Facial Hair and Football

It was an interesting weekend to say the least. Friday night we all got together to shave our faces. I realize that was lacking in context…

You see, several of my Haas colleagues with a Y chromosome kept their razors shelved for the month of November as a fundraiser for Haas for Students, a fund that supports classmates who choose nonprofit summer internships. Lucky ladies bid to shave their hairy face of choice (in whatever style they wanted–believe me, there were some good ones!) with the proceeds going to HFS. One guy even (reluctantly though with a smile) sacrificed his chest hair (in the shape of a Superman logo with a “C” for Cal!). It was priceless.

Then Saturday a strong Haas contingent spent a chunk of the day tailgating before the “Big (football) Game” at Stanford, which we unfortunately lost–a fact that may have been lost upon many of my classmates, who opted to stay outside the stadium at the AWESOME tailgate with Stanford GSB (choosing the warmth of the grill and good company over the coldness of defeat–and Palo Alto on a December night). A definite advantage to getting your MBA from a big school is having a major sports program (i.e., opportunities to re-live undergrad!).

The pic above is of my study group member Luke (who was shaved for HFS down to only the classic mustache) and I at the Big Game tailgate.

Despite the Cal faithful (which rivaled if not exceeded the turnout of Stanford fans), we couldn’t rally in the fourth quarter and pull it out. Too bad the ending was nothing like “The Play” 25 years ago…We’ll get ’em next year. Go Bears!



Too… much… going… on….

It’s my fault, don’t get me wrong. I tried to do too much this semester, especially as of late when I realized that I wasn’t participating in many social activities this semester. One TNAG, one Consumption Function, one HaasWeek event, one Football game, one tailgate & after party. So sad.

At the start of the semester we in Corporate Finance asked to move the exam up to December 7th so we could start our break earlier. We all figured we’d have plenty of time to study and complete our other projects. Boy was I wrong. I’m still cranking out my Brand Management Plan and have yet to review Corporate Finance for the final tomorrow, never mind the other assignments due next week.

Had I not taken half a day out of Saturday to attend the alumni tailgate and Big Game, I would have been done. I didn’t even hang for the crazy after-parties. But you need to balance the academics with some social. Folks always seem to remind me that I don’t attend many social events (see my photo on page 4 of the last issue of Haasweek). There’s a lot going on between academics, social, career, and life… and it requires balance.

I guess that’s one of the key lessons you learn at Haas. It isn’t all about work… you need to take time out for yourself. Work-life balance, I think they call it.

In the meanwhile, today (and the early morning hours of tomorrow) will be a busy day.

—Colin C.

Haas Gala

This last weekend was the 5th annual Haas Gala. Held at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco, the Gala recognized the 2006 Haas Leadership Society Members, HAN Chapter of the Year, Class Gift Committee Awards, and Raymond E. Miles Alumni Service Award Winner. The Gala also recognized Paul Otellini (MBA ’74, President & CEO of Intel Corp) as Haas School’s Business Leader of the Year.

Having heard great things about last year’s event, I was eager to attend. Fortunately, there were a few sponsored tables for students, allowing MBAA officers, Cohort Reps, and a few others to join in on the festivities. (Our table of 12 was sponsored by Mary and Howard Lester.) We had a crowd of about 500 who showed up plenty early to mix and mingle beforehand. I arrived maybe a half hour before dinner and quickly found myself bumping into good friends and making a few new ones.

As the Ritz crew began to open the ballroom for dinner and finish setting up the tables, our bartender was called away. With a small crowd gathering in search of a wine refill from the open bar, I seized the initiative and jumped behind the bar to pour a few drinks for my friends and myself. (See photo above.)

During the evening, I ran into my old boss, Norman Minetta (’53 Business Undergrad, 2001 Cal Alumnus of the Year, and previous Secretary of Transportation), and lucky for me, I happen to me in my Dinner Dress Blues every time I see him. I also got to say “fair winds and following seas” to Rich Lyons, who was Acting Dean when the class of ’07 arrived and is taking a leave of absence to work with Goldman Sachs for a couple of years. He’s done some great things for Haas and we’ll miss him.

I had a great time with a wonderful meal and an evening directed by Dean Campbell (no relation) with an appearance by Chancellor Birgeneau and an excellent speech by Paul Otellini.

Afterwards, a group of us headed over to Sip for a friend’s 28th birthday. Despite the competition with the USC-Cal football game caravan, we had a great showing and I caught up with some friends of friends that I haven’t seen in a few weeks. Sadly, still fighting a cold, I left early and returned to the Ritz where I had a room for the evening.

The next day, it was just beautiful outside, so I took advantage of the moment and wandered around Chinatown, with a stop for some dim sum at New Asia and some goodies at Golden Gate Bakery, before returning back to the East Bay to watch our Bears lose their shot at the Pac10 championship. Oh well, can’t win them all.

—Colin C.

Go Bears!

Despite my 33 years of age, it’s still a great time to catch a Cal football game in the student section.

I met up with some friends at the joint Haas/Boalt tailgate in the courtyard before the game. A few enterprising First Years set up a well-run fund-raising assortment of pre-game snacks by the Stadium (to support Haas students engaging in non-profit internships this summer). The tailgate was also well-run. BBQ chicken, dogs, burgers, and some veggie alternatives for those into tofu served with ice-cold sodas, water, and beer (apparently there wasn’t any wine for the tofu crowd).

Even students without tickets show up to mingle before heading to Henry’s to watch the game on TV.

A few minutes before the game, we made the walk up to the stadium and quickly passed through the electronic ticket stand (much faster than last time). A group of us found our home along the 50-yard line, nestled in amongst the undergrads, for a great view. (Just forget that the stadium is on a major fault line.)

Despite the alcohol-free nature of the stadium, or perhaps because of it, the crowd was eager to cheer on the Bears as they beat the Bruins. Card tricks, surfing-students, hangin’ with the kids… a good time.

This may not be new to most people, but coming from a small military academy with a student body of 1200 and a tradition of push-ups in the end-zone following a touchdown, it’s a different experience to enjoy a game with 75,662 of your closest friends.

One tradition you should know of is Henry’s. Get to Henry’s early on Saturday to secure your wristband, it allows you enjoy more of the post-game activities by skipping the long line headed into Henry’s following the game.

After pre-game celebrations, a tailgate, the game, and post-game celebrations at Henry’s, head over to Blondie’s Pizza, Top Dog, or La Burrita for a quick boost of energy, then head over to Kip’s or into the city for more fun. If you can.

—Colin C.