One Semester Done Already!

I can’t believe how quickly this semester has flown by! As of last Monday I was on holiday, and have actually spent the last week up at Lake Tahoe with about 30 Haasies. We had a huge house just a few minutes from both Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, the 2 resorts where our season passes worked. Unfortunately there wasn’t a lot of snow yet, but we had a great time. We generally spent the morning on the slopes, before relaxing at our house around the bonfire or in one of our 2 hot tubs! It was an excellent way to kick start the holidays.

Now everyone is heading off on treks all around the world (South East Asia, Brazil, Columbia … the list goes on), and I’m off to explore California – Christmas in LA with family, followed by surfing in San Diego, and snowboarding at Mammoth for New Year’s. What an amazing place!

Prior to the holidays beginning, it was a busy few weeks for all of us. On top of working hard in our classes and studying for exams, other aspects of campus life did not slow down. Our ‘Golden Egg’ cohort competition came to an end, with my cohort (Go Gold!!) winning the competiti0n thanks to an extremely strong win in No-Shave November and the total number of service hours, and second place in the Walkoff – the final event that involved putting together skits in the theme of Haasily Ever After. Company and club events also continued – in just the final week of class I attended the GigaOm Net:Work Conference in the city as a volunteer (and got to meet all of the speakers from Bay Area tech companies such as Google and, and went to visit Facebook HQ in Palo Alto.

Semester then wrapped up with a masquerade ball in the city where everyone had an amazing night. It has been a wonderful first semester – I’ve learnt a lot, had heaps of fun and made lots of great friends. I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone again in January.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year


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.

Spring Classes

Winter break is almost over. And while I really enjoy having some time off in Berkeley, I am also eagerly waiting for my classmates to return to start our last semester in style.

This might be the last time in quite a quite for me to go to school, so I took extra care in the fall to select my spring classes (while also trying to optimize my spring schedule to be able to enjoy long weekends in Tahoe).

The class that went for the most bid points this semester was “Power and Politics”. Fortunately I already took that class last spring, so I was able to get into all the Haas classes I wanted. So without further ado, here is my list of classes for the spring:

  • Risk Management via Optimization and Simulation
  • Global Management Skills
  • Marketing in Web 2.0
  • Media & Entertainment
  • Energy and Environmental Markets
  • Hal Varian‘s Technology Strategy

I am also waitlisted for Robert Reich’s “Poverty and Wealth” class at the Goldman School and considering going to PEIS 100 (Classical Theories of Political Economy).

I took mostly functional classes over the last semesters, so I felt that this semester I should take a few more industry focused classes.


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).


Spring is here

Well, not really: It is pretty cold in Berkeley, but after a long winter break (including a fantastic week in DC where I took part in the Washington Campus Business and Public Policy program) we are all back at Haas for the spring semester and I have a pretty busy schedule for the next few months.

In addition to the core classes in Spring A (Macro-Economics and Operations) I am taking Consumer Behavior (taught by Professor Andrade), Power and Politics (Professor Freeman) and International Business Development (IBD). I also signed up for an introductory Italian class which meets daily and a Private Equity Speakers’ Series, so it looks like academically this semester is going to be rather intense. So far, my spring classes have been great. We are still in the add/drop period, so some of my friends are still switching classes, but I am happy with my choices and the professors and looking forward to an interesting semester. To add to the excitement, I will soon find out which organization I will be working with for IBD – we have an early morning kickoff for that class this Sunday and will likely get our project assignments next week.

First-year students here at Haas is also getting ready for internship interviewing (and consulting and banking interviews are already underway). Thankfully, I already have my job for summer lined up already, but I am really proud of my fellow students when I see how they manage the extra workload from recruiting activities. While it looks like the US economy is heading for a r***, recruiting is still going strong, the career center is doing a great job coordinating activities and helping students get ready for their interviews, and the first students already got their offers for summer internships. .


Winter break

Wow… That was fun. After last-week’s holiday party at the San Francisco wax museum, and finals this week, Fall-B is now officially over and we are 25% through our MBA program already.

I still have one class tomorrow in preparation for Haas’ public policy seminar in Washington next January, but like my fellow students, I am now officially in winter-break mood and was more than ready for the Haas-Fall-B-Walk-off last night.

What a show: Haas students filled the catwalk with more or less every fashion crime of the last 30 years (I will spare my fellow students the embarrassment of posting pictures of their 1980’s aerobic outfits here), performed great stand-up comedy, demonstrated their dancing skills and made sure we all had a great night. After the end of the official walk-off, the catwalk and surrounding areas were turned into a giant dance-floor and Jeff Ford, last-year’s VP of Finance showed that he cannot only write checks for MBAA activities and also spin some nice tunes.

No more accounting, finance, leadership or marketing for the next few weeks – now is the time for our well-deserved break.

Just a reminder: If you want to attend one of the Coffee-Chats hosted in Europe over winter break, please sign-up as soon as possible, to allow the organizers to plan accordingly!