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.

Haas for Students

I just made my pledge and donated one day of my summer income to Haas for Students. Haas for Students is our matching fund for students with internships in the non-profit sector. It is mostly funded by students (pledges and fund-raisers) and matching donations from employers.

This year’s pledge drive started a few days ago and within just 4 days, our chief fund raiser and MBAA VP of Community Service, Omar, has already collected more than $20,000 to support our fellow students over the summer.

Over the course of the fund raising drive, I also had a chance to see some of the projects my class mates will be working on. I have never really considered a career in the non-profit sector, but I must say that some of the internships my class mates have secured for the summer look really tempting. Interested in setting up a WiMax network in Ghana? Come to Haas.


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!


Optimal Pricing…for a Good Cause

A major theme in the Microeconomics class we just wrapped up was how to optimally price goods and services. Now that we’re (kinda) experts in sophisticated pricing strategies, our first-year cohort (Axe–the BEST cohort, in case you hadn’t heard) recently got the chance to apply our learning while supporting a cause we can all get behind.

Prior to kickoff of the Cal vs. Arizona football game (the Bears emerged victorious, of course), my fellow Axers sold hot dogs outside the business school to benefit Haas for Students. HFS is a matching fund for nonprofit student internships–students donate a full day’s pay to support their classmates who decide to spend the summer working for nonprofits (i.e., as a general rule, getting paid less). During 2006-2007, Haas for Students raised over $60,000 in Fellowship Awards to support twelve of their classmates!

Employing analyses we learned in the classroom to maximize profits (I kid you not), my classmates raised almost $1,400 (profit, not revenues!) to support the do-gooders among us. This despite a steady rain that turned out fewer customers than anticipated. The hot dog costume certainly helped generate interest (who says MBAs are too old and professional to make a fool out of themselves?!), but it was a true team effort.

As someone passionate about social change, and given that the bulk of my professional experience pre-Haas was in the nonprofit sector, programs like HFS and our fantastic loan repayment program leave zero doubt in my mind that I chose the right school.