It begins!

Well, I’ve landed in Berkeley!

After enjoying my first summer vacation since undergrad (sleeping in! traveling in Australia! catching up on Mad Men!), I’ve been eagerly anticipating my move to California and the beginning of business school. Granted, school hasn’t technically started yet. A hundred and fifty or so of us have just finished our first week of “Math Camp.” And you know, it feels a lot like drinking from a fire hose. My background is in marketing and communications, so a lot of the material is pretty new to me. But it seems like even the people with more of a quantitative background have been getting something out of our morning sessions. Plus, it’s been a great opportunity to start working with my new, incredibly helpful classmates. Just reaffirms one of the big reasons I chose Haas: its collaborative and supportive culture.

Not to mention, it’s already been a heck of a lot of fun! In fact, I don’t think there’s been a night yet when someone hasn’t organized an activity. Dinners at Biryani, beers at Triple Rock, and of course there was the alumni welcome party in the City (which later involved a visit to one of the best pizza joints in San Francisco—Golden Boy). All I can say is, make sure you set your Google Group membership to receive posts as they arrive, because there’s always someone doing something and inviting everyone to join, whether it’s trip after class to the DMV or an outing to AT&T Park for a Giant’s game.

I can’t wait to see what the next few weeks hold. Especially O-Week, which I hear is pretty epic.

—Eve A.

Reverse Polish, or What I’ve Learned at Math Camp

As a new first-year, it’s great to be on campus early to take part in the most fun camp of all: Math Camp! Technically, it’s called the Quantitative Methods-Finance-Accounting Workshop, but that sure is a mouthful. No matter what you call it, it’s been a fun (and useful!) experience so far.
As an ex-History major, I don’t have a super traditional business background. I didn’t take practical classes like accounting or finance in college, and have spent the years since in government consulting, focused on geo-strategic issues. I hadn’t really touched math since high school! My most recent reacquaintance with it was studying for the GMAT. (To those of you out there studying for it right now, my thoughts are with you!) So, I was a little worried about getting in over my head in the MBA program.
The good news is: if you were a humanities/social sciences person, Haas’ math camp is a real boon. The first year curriculum at Haas is designed to provide a solid foundation in stats, finance, accounting — all of those quantitative methods that you’ll need in your post-MBA life, but may never have touched before. Math camp ensures that you are ready to enter the core classes feeling completely at home with the terminology and concepts your professors are referencing. The professors are working hard to familiarize us with all the necessary concepts, and I’ve learned a lot in the last 7 days! For instance, I had never before seen this great invention that our Finance section is using: the financial calculator.
As you can see, the design on these doesn’t seem to have advanced since 1981. Luckily, it means you feel more like you’re in that Oliver Stone classic, Wall Street, when you start plugging numbers in. And if you have never used one of these, you are in for a treat. You might think that 1+2=3, but in fact: 1 2 + is 3. These are the wonders of Reverse Polish Notation!
This pre-term workshop has been pretty invaluable in helping me to feel much more at home in the world of numbers and functions again. I definitely recommend it if you have never had exposure to stats, finance, or accounting, or even just want some brushing-up. Being on campus early has also been a great way to meet some of my classmates before the real term starts! I know that some of my fellow math campers are mostly here for the social aspects, and the already-busy calendar is giving us all a taste for our jam-packed fall semester to come. I can only imagine how many activities we’ll have to choose from in September!
You can expect posts on a flood of events in the coming weeks – Orientation Week, our fall classes, the beginning of football season, and much more! I’ll look forward to keeping up with you all, and I’ll definitely get better photos up (better than a calculator pic, anyhow!) as the semester progresses.


End of Pre-Term (and pictures, as promised)

Wow! Two weeks just went by like that! Pre-term officially ended today with the final Math Camp class (Comm Camp ended yesterday), and boy are we all busy already. The 2-3 minute speech in the final Comm Camp class was invaluable. It gave us the chance to try some extemporaneous (yeah, I had to look up that word too) speeches. I was quite impressed by how good everyone’s speeches were, even though we only had 1 day to think about them!

I must say, taking the Pre-term Workshops was definitely the right decision, and I will strongly encourage all future Haas students to take them if your schedule allows. I’ve probably met over 60 people (25% of the class) in the last 2 weeks, and have hung out with between 10-20 of them regularly (lunch, events, “study groups”). Now we’re all eagerly awaiting our cohort assignments (we find out next Monday) and hoping that many of our newfound “best friends” will be in the same cohort.

Planned a tennis get-together this afternoon, and got 11 Haas-ians (is that the right term?) to come out an enjoy the California sunshine. The weather was PERFECT today. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, so you’ll just have to trust me on this; the weather does NOT change at all until October. Boy I’m glad I decided to come here! =)

The long awaited/dreaded Ropes Course is tomorrow at the crack of dawn (6:45am meeting time, meaning I have to leave my place around 6:15am and wake up before 6am!). I’m sure you’ll get lots of blog entries about that after this weekend. I’m definitely psyched (even though I’m fighting off a cold right now). If you don’t see my blogs in the future, then I’ve probably fallen off some tree…

As promised, some pictures from Math Camp, Comm Camp, and Karaoke Night.

Some Haas-ians singing Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” at Karaoke Night.

Top: Communications Camp in Dwinelle Hall
Bottom: Math Camp in the Haas Anderson Auditorium


Hello World!

Ahh, and the cycle begins anew with the class of 2010 joining in the blogging “action.” I can’t believe just one year ago I began to work on my Haas essays, and now I’m getting ready for the school year to start! This is my first blog, so I’ll keep it short. More pictures to come in future blogs (let me dust off my camera and start snapping some cool photos!).

Math and Communications Camp have started for 1.5 weeks now, and a record number of us (I heard it was 70% of the class taking Math camp and 40% taking Comm Camp!) have survived Quantitative Methods, Finance, writing our papers on our awesome “NaviLife” group invention (a class project to come up with some cool product or service), first impressions, and talking about R.E.S.P.E.C.T Aretha Franklin style. =) While Math Camp and Comm Camp may be pretty easy and straightforward, it is a PERFECT way to get back into the “student mode”, getting to class at 9:30am and sitting through 6 hours of lectures on most days. The best part, of course, is meeting my fellow Haas classmates a couple weeks early and get to know each other in a relaxed environment, before the craziness of the semester begins.

So far, there have been BBQs, drinking nights, Karaoke (tonight), Hoops, Badminton, University Village parties, and a whole bunch of activities going on. I can’t imagine what life will be like in the Fall when you throw in homework, group projects, recruiting, 2 more classes, club activities, and conferences! I guess the 2nd years somehow survived, therefore we will too.

With that, I’m off to Karaoke and revising my “constructive criticized” paper for tomorrow’s Communications class, and prepare for more great stories from our “Professor Bill”. =)