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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Community Events: EBC Fall Mixer & No Shave November

Just a couple of quick examples of events that have happened in the past few weeks, are already tradition here at Haas, and showcase the openness and values of our community.

The European Business Club recently held its Fall mixer in which students and partners from numerous European countries brought typical local food, drinks and trivia to share with all the other students and faculty. I think I have never seen the Wells Fargo room as full as I saw it during this event, which was a great opportunity to show the richness of Europe, in terms of cultures and flavors, to our non-European friends.

The second event I want to quickly mention is the reason why I have a beard in the picture above: No Shave November! During the whole 30 days, students agree to ignore the razor and we fundraise among friends and family to support Challenge for Charity (C4C),  a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that draws on the talents of MBAs from nine West Coast business schools to support local charities and develop business leaders with a lifelong commitment to community involvement and social responsibility.  On the final day of the month, the rights to be shaved are auctioned and the highest bidder, while donating all the money to C4C, decides how to shave the subject, who commits to stay in whatever facial situation the winner has decided for 24 hours. Yes, that includes going to class the following morning…Pictured below are the auction stage and the shaving area, which was busy until the late hours of the day. The result: 123 MBAs donated the rights to shave their beards/head/chest/legs raising in excess of $12,000!

So much to start with…

Dear World, here starts my blogging life as a Berkeley MBA student! It has been already almost 4 weeks since I arrived in the Bay, and in this time there have been countless “wows!” escaping from my mouth. The most important activity has been Orientation Week, which took place between August 15th and 19th. O-week was packed with presentations, games and other tasks to ensure we got to know the school, our cohorts and our study groups. It was tons of fun, too! We had scavenger hunts, happy hours, cohort olympics and a Community Impact day in which we all did volunteer job at a local community. Not to mention the epic, 80’s-themed finale party…

However, my favorite picks from O-week have to be the amazing speakers that we had the privilege to hear from, in particular Biz Stone (co-founder of Tweeter) and Tom Kelley (IDEO GM). I think their presentations truly embodied the fascinating ocean of innovation, entrepreneurship and brilliant ideas that the Haas School of Business swims in…A combined 3 hours of wisdom in a nutshell: you can manufacture opportunity if you think like a traveller, cross-pollinate from everywhere and ask the right questions.

Like Ben, I also went to Outside Lands, I saw my first ever MLB game at the Oakland Coliseum, and literally ended up crawling in San Francisco’s mission district after a great afternoon of discovering local food and drink spots with classmates. Socially speaking, there have been an incredible amount of activities going on…

Another one of my favorite recent activities! After discovering a local Spanish produce shop and buying a 12-servings paella pan, I had a big group of fellow Spaniards over today to enjoy some jamón, tortilla, vino tinto and, of course, paella! First of many for sure…

I was gladly surprised to see how many of my classmates know/are interested in Spanish language, so I started a skills-exchange group in which I teach conversational Spanish and our classmate Abby teaches us the principles of yoga. Talking about win-win situations! Hopefully in the future some of the other participants will teach us some of their amazing skills: karate, juggling, salsa dancing, slacklining…

And we’re off!

Today marks the day for more than 100 first-years participating in Haas’ International Business Development (IBD) program to set off for our posts around the world. IBD is a global consulting program that sends first years all over the world to work with local organizations (read more about the program). And it’s actually one of the reasons I chose to come to Haas!

I’m on an all-female team going to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. We’re working with a women’s college, Dar Al-Hekma, to deliver and recommend programs that promote the personal development and advancement of women in Saudi Arabia. My team and I have spent the past 4 months researching and compiling information that will help with our projects, but most of our work is yet to come. Dar Al-Hekma wants to launch a “women’s center for excellence” so we’ll be interviewing key stakeholders to figure out which services would most benefit them, and then writing and presenting a proposal to our client. We’ll also be conducting a 4-day workshop on “business principles” for women entrepreneurs. I can’t wait to get there and get started!
If you’re interested in finding out what other IBD teams are up to, check out the IBD blog: Students are going everywhere: Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, Mexico and New Zealand and they’ll be posting throughout their trips.

A Source Inspiration

Here is a picture of the view from my apartment on the University Village. Such a beautiful sunset in the Bay!! I was so lucky to have this source of inspiration while working on the essay of my application for the IBD Program.

I am really looking forward to working on IBD Program during the first weeks of the summer. It will certainly be very good to put in practice the business tools learned in class. What makes it even more exciting is the fact that it will be also a good opportunity to visit a new country, experience a new culture, work together with my classmates and especially, be able to make social impact. Several projects at many different countries are on offer, but what I really want is to help an organization that brings development to Africa.

Now I have to get back to work because dead-line is close!

—Ricardo de Paula

The power of the network

Hello again and of course welcome to the class of 2011! I have been back at work for a few months now and actually shouldn’t be posting on this student blog anymore, but I wanted to share an episode that really proved to me just how incredibly powerful the Haas network can be.

About a week ago I was researching a new topic for a consulting project and sent out a brief note through my class email list asking for any ideas or hints about the topic. I was hoping to maybe get one or two contacts or a helpful article (it wasn’t the most mainstream topic), but within just a few hours I received a total of 10 responses, all of which were extremely helpful and insightful.

As you can see, the network is alive and working. And it also serves as a hub for meetings and visits: Being in Berlin I have already had the pleasure to meet or host several of my traveling classmates and I look forward to an Oktoberfest meet-up in Munich soon.