$113 million

In case you haven’t heard about it already, UC Berkeley has received a gift over $113 million from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation this week. Through a challenge grant, the foundation will fund up to 100 endowed chairs. Matching other private donations dollar-for-dollar the grant will result in up to $220 million in new endowments and an additional $3 million will go into improved management of the endowed funds.

While the direct impact of this gift on Haas is unclear at the moment, this largest gift in the history of UC Berkeley will undoubtedly benefit the fantastic intellectual environment on campus. Haas students in the past have tremendously benefited from being on a campus that hosts top-ranked departments in almost all academic disciplines. By further strengthening UC Berkeley as a top research institution, this gift will help even more Entrepreneurs at Haas to connect to top researchers in all academic fields.

You can find more information on this record-breaking gift on the Hewlett Challenge Website at http://hewlettchallenge.berkeley.edu/

On a totally unrelated note, my study group has just finished the first midterm exam, analyzing corporate culture and culture fit at Cypress Semiconductors.

Also, social activities are continuing on a high level with Tuesday Nights at the Graduate and the MBA bar of the week on Thursdays as permanent cornerstones, and club activities are picking up with kick-off meetings for most of the professional clubs this week.


Midterms are over!

Previously learned lessons that were re-learned, yet again, this past week.

1. The expected value of academic reading time on the beaches of Santa Barbara can be determined using a decision tree with two outcomes: 1) 0% completed with a probability of 99.9% and 2) 50% completed with a probability of 0.1%. Don’t forget to discount.

2. The expected value of academic reading on 101 from Santa Barbara can similarly be determined using a decision tree with two outcomes: 1) an 85% of 6 hours reading time and 2) a 15% chance of an accident which delays traffic and gives you 8 hours reading time. Unless you’re driving.

3. Open bars at wedding receptions are fun. Open bars at wedding receptions with a plush lawn and croquet are dangerous.

4. The odds of my Chargers disappointing me at some point during the season: 100%. The odds of my hoping I won’t be disappointed in my Chargers when the season starts: 100%.

5. Do yourself a favor: leave Thursday afternoon for a three-day, no-work weekend in Santa Barbara, you deserve it. You’ll arrive in time to hit State Street and party with some Gauchos. You can still prep for that in-class mid-term, complete that 10-page research paper, and finish that 5-page take-home midterm case, all of which are due the Tuesday after you return. Sure, you’ll regret the decision while you’re pulling two all-nighters, but you’ll thank yourself when you submit the last assignment.

6. On average, Gaucho undergrads are hotter than Bear undergrads. One of the many reasons you’ll thank yourself for going down.

7. And when you submit that last assignment on Tuesday night, treat yourself to dinner on College Avenue, write your blog, and then head over to The Graduate to celebrate. Because nothing feels better after 36 sleepless hours than a pitcher of PBR. See you in a few minutes; drinks are on me.

—Colin C.


It’s mid-term time for second years, and finals for first years.

The BofA forum this morning was absolutely empty; the usual buzz of first year study groups conspicuously absent once the undergrads departed for class. Once I turned off the volume of the ever-present CNN plasma, there was absolute silence as well. The first years finish up finals and focus on career this week (as noted below).

For second years, this is a busy week as well. Mid-terms are next week, so this week is prep and project completion. Brand Management brand audit is due on the 24th; finish Corporate Finance problem sets and sample mid-term in preparation for the real mid-term on the 24th and complete a case due the 19th; Service Strategy take-home mid-term case given tonight and due on, yup, the 24th; and incremental individual assignments in New Product Development due on various days.

To top it off, I’m headed to yet another wedding in Santa Barbara this weekend (is it number 4 or 6 this semester? I’ve lost track), so my weekend is shot.

It’s at times like this when I’m glad I’m a sponsored student and don’t have to worry about the career hunt. I have more time for class work.

On the flip-side, countless companies are again on campus and interviews are in full-swing. For some, the summer test-drive (a.k.a. internship) was successful and yielded a job offer. For others, it was successful by showing the absence of person-job/career path/company/culture fit; these lucky ones get a second shot. To have that opportunity… Hopefully when I retire from the Coast Guard they’ll hook me up with a job.

As for now, I better get to work. There’s a lot to do.

—Colin C.