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.

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.


Holiday Bowl

While the company during the Super Bowl was great, the game was not, and I longed for the day when I thought my Chargers were Miami-bound. I’ll take some solace in knowing that Vegas has them them favored to win in 2008, but that’s another story.

I did, however, have a great time watching our Golden Bears play at the 2006 Holiday Bowl, even the Schutte TD at the end.

The pre-game warm ups, I mean tailgating, provided some great entertainment as well. My father (’63 UGBA, at left in photo) re-lived his frat days and joined me in some flip-cup action along with my brother (sadly an Aztec undergrad & current Aztec grad student, at right), Mike Schindler (Cal undergrad & MBA ’07), and some of Mike’s friends. While I appreciate Mike’s loyalty to the class, I lost Mike some cash over a brother-to-brother flipcup bet. (At least the family gained money.)

Among the countless Cal alumni, I bumped into Associate Director of Admissions Stehpanie Fujii (MBA ’04) as well as a few other classmates who made it down for the game. Andrew Exnicios (MBA ’07), experiencing the LA – San Diego drive for perhaps the first time, missed the first half of the game, but can now attest to the miserable traffic conditions that frequently arise along I-5.

While I love to see the Bears at the Holiday Bowl, I can’t wait to see them return to the Rose Bowl. I wonder what those odds are for 2008…

—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.