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.

Haasies Head to Ross for the Net Impact 2010 Conference

The following post is authored by Patrick Schneider (FTMBA 2012), the incoming co-president of Net Impact.

Last weekend was a great one for the Haas Net Impact Chapter, as we all bundled up for the annual Net Impact Conference at the Ross School of Business in Michigan (it’s colder there!) We had a contingent of about 25 students, which I was really impressed with, considering the distance that we had to travel and our small class size of 240 per class! Everyone flew out at different times, and I think my group had one of the toughest itineraries. Our flight left at 5:30 . . . . am! Which meant that we woke up (if we went to sleep at all!) around 2:30am in order to make it to the airport on time. Of course, the flight went quickly because we were all asleep. This got us into Ann Arbor in time for the kick-off, which was great, and then we spent a relaxing evening hanging out with each other, meeting some alums who had come to the conference as members of professional chapters, and then getting some rest for the days ahead!

The next couple of days were a blur of enlightening sessions, networking with students from other schools and professionals, and some social time with all of these people who had come from around the world to celebrate the fact that never before has the gap between doing good and doing well been so small (thank you for that gem, Dean Lyons!) Several sessions really had an impact, but my favorite was a panel with the Executive Directors of First Book and KaBOOM! on how to scale nonprofits to maximize social good. Really had some insightful things to say, and got me interested in their organizations!

We had drinks Friday evening with the Net Impact chapter from MIT, and it was great to get to know these individuals from across the country! Obviously the social impact sector (in light of the larger business world) is a bit smaller, so I think it’s really important for everyone in this field to pull together, share ideas, and work with each other to maximize the impact we’re having in the world. I’m excited about continuing these connections beyond the conference! Also at this event, Patrick Schneider (that’s me!) and Dana Ledyard were announced as the Net Impact Co-Presidents for next year, and we’re so excited about continuing the great work that’s been done with Net Impact at Haas.

Unfortunately, it was time to return on Sunday, and we were all sad to leave, partly because of the great connections we’d made, but also because of the piles of Finance and Accounting homework waiting for us at home (and on the plane!) But it was a great experience, and we can’t wait to renew those ties at the 2011 Net Impact conference in Portland, OR!

—Eve A.

Peruvian Llamas Love Haasies

Winter break serves as a time recharge and relax. Having four weeks off also serves as an incredible opportunity to travel. Right now, there are groups of Haas students travelling together around the world. Locations include China, Brazil, Ecuador, Thailand just to name a few. As for me, I chose to trek down to Peru. We traveled to the floating islands of Lake Titicaca, Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and of course Machu Picchu. The trip was simply incredible. One big shout out to Alvaro who played tour guide and showed us a great time in Lima. That’s all for now. Oh and yes, further proof that llamas are Cal fans.

—Matt S.

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.


January in Berkeley

While most of my classmates are traveling around the world, I decided to return to Berkeley early this year to enjoy everything the Bay Area has to offer before the beginning of my last semester. This picture says it all… But I figured I would leave you with a few more impressions of Berkeley and the many attractions close by. Yesterday, I went down to the Berkeley Marina mostly to just enjoy the sun, but ended up admiring pelicans and almost stepping onto a snake. Today I climbed (or rather walked) Mount Diablo for some exercise and for spectacular views from the top (everything from the Golden Gate Bridge to the snow covered mountains of the Sierra Nevada).