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Online Student Life Chat September 1, 2015
Olivia Anglade, VP Admissions Kenny Vaughn, Haas Student Ambassador Dale Robinson, Haas Student Ambassador Amanda Ogus, Student Region Representative
Harrison Cheng, Moderator
Harrison_Moderator (P): Welcome to the Berkeley-Haas Full-Time MBA Student Life Chat. We will be starting in about 7 minutes.
Harrison_Moderator (P): Welcome to the Berkeley MBA Admissions chat. My name is Harrison Cheng and I will be moderating the chat today. Joining us will be second year students Dale Robinson, Olivia Anglade, Kenny Vaughn, and Amanda Ogus. Please send us your questions!
Olivia_Berkeley (P): Hi, I'm Olivia a second year here at Haas. Welcome to the chat! I come from a background in construction. I moved to Berkeley from Haiti. I live in a one bedroom cottage in North Berkeley (Gourmet Ghetto) with my cat Mini me.
Dale_Berkeley (P): Hi Everyone, I'm Dale. I come from pharma but switched over to tech once I came to Haas. I'm currently commuting into Berkeley every day from SF and live with my girlfriend who works in South San Francisco.
Kenny_Berkeley (C): Hello everyone and thank you all for joining the chat today. My name is Kenny. I’m an Army Officer returning to West Point to work in admission after graduation. I am married with two children, a member of the Admissions Team here at Haas and I look forward to answering your questions.
Amanda_Berkeley (P):Hi, I'm Amanda! I worked in Marketing in San Francisco prior to Haas, and live in South Berkeley with four other second years.
Lindsay Guthrie (Q): How much interaction do you have with non-MBA students?
Dale_Berkeley (A): It really depends on your interests at Haas. Many students get involved with other degree programs that fit their interests (School of Public Policy, Information School, etc.). Overall, the level of involvement can be as large or small as you'd prefer it to be.
Alicia (Q): The MBA program is clearly very selective. I am interested to learn about the culture once inside the program. Does it tend toward camaraderie or competition?
Olivia_Berkeley (A): Hi Alicia, Haas is extremely collaborative, academically, professionally when it comes to the job search and socially! Students live the defining principles and work together.
Roshan V (Q): What was something that surprised you about Student life at Haas?
Dale_Berkeley (A): I'd say my biggest surprise was the degree of inclusiveness from my classmates. From the start, there are a ton of events planned by classmates and overwhelmingly, students go out of their way to make sure that everyone is invited to different activities. It helped a lot with the transition into a new place and is something that continues on throughout the school year.
anthony (Q): Hi. Thank you all so much for answering our questions. I was wondering how receptive the community is towards significant others/partners of students in the program? Can they be involved with the school's activities?
Kenny_Berkeley (A): The Haas community is extremely receptive to partners! My wife and children love the community and it was one of the selling points that made our family comfortable with choosing this school. Partners can take a very active role in the school and can even take some classes. I would encourage you to reach out to the Haas Partners Club for more info!
deRiveraA12016 (Q): Hi and thanks again for your time today! Could you estimate the number of students that live in SF instead of Berkeley?
Olivia_Berkeley (A): Smaller amounts in the first year unless you lived there before maybe around 10-15% of the class. You spend a lot of time on campus connecting with your classmates. Second year after internships some people move, have more flexible schedules. It's probably 15-20%.
mikeabbene1(Q): Kenny: Can you please elaborate on your experience having a significant other while at Haas? I am getting married this weekend and will be traveling with my fiancé and want to make sure they feel like a part of the community as well.
Kenny_Berkeley (A): Congratulations on the upcoming wedding! The Haas community is extremely receptive to partners! My wife and children love the community and it was one of the selling points that made our family comfortable with choosing this school. Partners can take a very active role in the school and can even take some classes. I would encourage you to reach out to the Haas Partners Club for more info!
Karissa (Q): Does the Full Time program interact with the Night and Weekend MBA Program?
Olivia_Berkeley (A): There is some interaction in elective classes which begin your spring semester of first year and all of second year. Socially too you have events with the program. But, in general it's limited contact.
sjc4v (Q): Hi guys, thanks for hosting this chat. I wanted to ask, when would be the best time to visit campus?
Dale_Berkeley (A): Our campus visitation program starts next week but my advice would generally be that it depends on when you're aiming to apply. Any time before you submit your application to shortly after helps to really have a strong understanding of the campus and know for certain whether or not Haas is for you. Weather wise, it's pretty amazing year around. We are off of classes in December and the first half of January so I’d steer clear of those times. Hope that helps!
wipawee (Q): How do you balance your life? Is it the same as undergrad?
Amanda_Berkeley (A): The balance between undergrad and Haas is different mostly because most students are older. I try to figure out week to week and month to month what is important to prioritize between social/extra-curricular/career, in addition to academics, but it is usually a moving target!
Charlie Cox (Q): How active are the student clubs? Do you find that you're able to participate in several or is that too much of a commitment?
Amanda_Berkeley (A): The student clubs vary by how active they are, but I am able to participate in many at varying degrees. For example, I am president of the Marketing Club, which takes a lot of time and effort, but I am a member of DMEC and Culinary Club and just casually attend events.
Anil Jain (C): How would you rate the level of interaction with professors? Are they usually quite approachable?
deRiveraA12016 (Q): Hi! Thanks for your time today. I would like to understand if there is any kind of financial aid / special accommodation prices available for students that live at Berkeley?
Dale_Berkeley (A): For graduate students, the largest difference in financial aid/prices comes from whether or not you are a California resident (most students at Haas are not for their first year). Other than that, things are generally standard independent of living in Berkeley. One thing to note is that cost of living in Berkeley is lower than SF.
dlmarquez (Q): Knowing that Berkeley offers a competitive and shorter program than most, assuming that one would want to be involved in other degree programs, how are you able to manage, at the same time explore, your interests?
Olivia_Berkeley (A): Berkeley's Full Time MBA program is on par with the other top 10 programs. 2 years. Most don't do dual degree programs. There is the MBA/MPH which is about 5% of the class, we have 1 JD/MBA and a few who will stay a third year and do an engineering degree. In general, students know before they come to Haas their interests in other schools as well. You will have time to explore at the beginning but core classes are in full swing.
Amrinder (Q): Hi Admissions Team. Thanks for organizing this event....I was wondering if the students can talk about the clubs they are engaged in and the typical activities they partake in as part of those clubs?
Amanda_Berkeley (A): My biggest commitments come from President of Marketing Club, which requires me to lead the board and set the strategy for the club. I am a member of the board for Wine Club, which means I plan an event in the fall (Napa Wine Trip!). I am a member of probably 5-6 clubs additionally, but not being on the board means I can just casually attend events as a participant, like speakers, career treks, and happy hours.
Federico (Q): How feasible is it for significant others to study at Berkeley? Are there one year diplomas available they could pursue? How difficult are they to get into?
Kenny_Berkeley (A): I know that spouses are allowed to take several of the course offerings here on campus. I don’t however know of certificates or diplomas that they are able to pursue. My recommendation would be to contact the Haas Partners Club. They will be able to put you in contact with a partner who is undertaking that experience.
Charlie Cox (Q): How much do you as students take advantage of being so close to SF?
Dale_Berkeley (A): The ride to SF from Berkeley is a 20 minute ride on the BART and as a result, students can head in fairly easily. Olivia and I went into the city probably two to three times a month during our first year however there are always more events taking place than you can make it to.
KIMH42016 (Q): Hi. First, thanks for this event. I heard that MBA students are very busy with the course. How much time Haas students spend for club activities in average?
Olivia_Berkeley (A): Thank you for joining us! It depends on what you want to get out of your club experience. Your time is your limited resource. Academics, social/club and professional are always competing. Some take leadership roles and that takes more time, others just pay dues (not a lot of money) and show up to events.
Lindsay Guthrie (Q): How did you expect to spend time outside of class going into the program, and how did that change once you started?
Amanda_Berkeley (A): Before the program, I thought I would be focused on career, involved in one or two clubs and attend a few social events. While you can pick and choose which events, I found that I wanted to say yes to many more events than I expected. I chose to be more active with my MBA community socially and extra curriculars than I expected. However, this was aided by the fact that I secured a job offer early in October so had a little more time on my hands from that arena, but everyone balances differently!
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dlmarquez (Q): Hi all! How much work experience did you get before applying to HAAS and how were you able to adjust to the fast, intense pace of grad school?
Olivia_Berkeley (A): I had 7 years work experience. I thought I was a very organized person before Haas. But was I wrong! It's an entire new level of busy here. Technology is a great help and all of your classmates are in the same boat. It is a change but you get used to it.
Pimolpong (Q): Are there a lot of student clubs and organizations at Haas where you can connect?
Amanda_Berkeley (A): Yes - there are over 30 clubs at Haas ranging from affinity groups (like Women in Leadership) to Career (Marketing Club, Consulting Club) and Social clubs (Wine Club). There are many opportunities to get involved and socialize with your fellow students.
psoma27 (Q): Kenny, would you mind elaborating on what you do as an Army officer? I am currently active duty Army enlisted.
Kenny_Berkeley (A): Awesome and thank you for your service! I spent the past seven years as an Air Defense Officer (14A) working with the Patriot weapons system. We have strong Veteran’s presence here on campus and I would encourage you to check out the Haas Vet’s Club webpage.
Akash (Q): Hi, I wanted to know how much does Haas's location contribute to the MBA experience for someone wanting to pursue a career in venture capital with regards to interaction with startups in the Bay area.
Dale_Berkeley (A): It's a pretty strong contributor. Most professors at Haas have strong connections to the city and as a result, are able to constantly bring in top professionals in their fields to speak. Outside of the classroom, being so close to the bay allows for students to meet with companies and have coffee chats on a whim. For venture capital specifically, you'd find multiple opportunities to interact with leaders in this space.
mikeabbene1(Q): All: Hello! In your personal experience what is a good balance of clubs to join in order to not over commit yourself but also to ensure you are getting the most out of your extracurricular experience. Also which clubs have you been a part of?
Olivia_Berkeley (A): I've been a part of professional clubs like consulting club which helps a lot with interview prep and networking, net impact - which is our social impact class. Social clubs wine club and beer club. Affinity groups such as veterans club, black business students association, Q@Haas our LGBTQ club.
Andrea Fernandez (Q): Hello. Amanda, are you a member of the Marketing Club? If so, could you tell me a little more about what they do and the benefits you get from being a member of the club?
Amanda_Berkeley (A): Yes! I am a President of the Marketing Club. We are focused on showing students what it means to be in Marketing in different industries to help them get the job they want, learn skills about marketing to succeed in those jobs, and socialize with fellow marketers. I have connected a lot with other students that have helped me prep for career activities and network better, in addition to having a great community to support me!
Minseo Kim (Q): Nice to meet you. My name is Minseo Kim and I'm research engineer of South Korea. I want to move with my family to Berkeley and I'm concerned about living with my future young baby. Is there safe relatively? And are there good hospitals to young children and women?
Kenny_Berkeley (A): Hello Minseo! I actually lived in Korea for four years with my family (Daegu, Osan, Suwon) and loved it! Berkeley is a pretty safe place and our family has had no problems with the quality of the medical facilities. I think your family would be happy with the decision to move to the West Coast.
Yang (Q): Hi guys, thanks for hosting this chat. Could you describe a typical day of the MBA year one student?
Dale_Berkeley (A): It really depends. On any given day, you may have some combination of 1-2 classes, a company presentation, a club function, and a social event in the evening (in Berkeley or SF). It oscillated from day to day with some days feeling predominantly academic while others allowing you more time to focus on your career development, club involvement, or social life.
Olivia_Berkeley (P): I hit enter too quick Mike! Clubs are a great way to get involved. Attend the events you are available for a most interested. Understand you won’t be able to do it all. I have about 1 event a week, maybe two.
Anil Jain (Q): Does Haas offer any settling in support for international students? How was your experience when you first moved to Berkeley?
Amanda_Berkeley (A): I believe Haas offers support, both at the administrative levels for Haas and Cal but also from fellow students. I know a lot of my international friends from support from all of these networks but probably worth following up with those offices directly to confirm!
Devin (Q): Which clubs/organizations do you think are the "hidden gems" of Haas?
Olivia_Berkeley (A): Improv club is a small group of great folks!
dlmarquez (Q): I would love to get involved! Should we schedule a time and place for a tour and admissions process? I am aware that most people in HAAS did not come straight from college and was required to earn job experience prior to applying.
Kenny_Berkeley (A): Registration for our class visitation program will soon be available, and you will be able to sign-up on the website. The visitation program is a great opportunity to learn more about Haas and our unique culture so if are able to make it I think it will provide you with some invaluable insight into the program. Thanks for reaching out and we hope you are able to make it out.
dlmarquez (Q): Amanda, you sound really busy, but you are able to manage it all! Thank you everyone for hosting this. My question pertains to what is your biggest advice about what to expect once entered in HAAS?
Amanda_Berkeley (A): Thanks! :) My biggest advice is to try to go out of your comfort zone, whatever that means to you, whether that's joining an affinity club that you do not identify with or taking a harder quant class you don't have the background in. Business school is a great two years to stretch yourself and Haas gives you a lot of support to do so!
Roshan V (Q): What was something that surprised you about Student life at Haas?
Olivia_Berkeley (A): I think Dale answered this earlier as well but from my perspective, how busy you are. It's super busy! But all in a great way and you don't spend more than 2 hours in a day doing the same thing same subject same topic.
Amanda_Berkeley(P): Patrick_M.: Hi Good Morning! What would you say is the strongest quality about the Haas student culture (with the exception of student led) and what's a small but growing quality if you can identify one? Thanks in advance!
Jen (Q): Besides the numerous clubs and extracurricular activities that Berkeley has to offer, are there other formalized social events/activities to build community/relationships among students?
Dale_Berkeley (A): I'm not sure I fully understand the question. The majority of the events at Haas are planned by students which allows for a large diverse set of types of events. One example I can think of would be C4C (Challenge For Charity), which is a series of formalized events throughout the year largely focused around competitions and social events with a charitable impact and is incredibly popular at Haas.
Roshan V (Q): What was something that surprised you about Student life at Haas?
Kenny_Berkeley (A): I think the biggest surprise I had about student life at Haas is how overwhelming it can be. There are so many options, so many clubs, activities, treks that forces you to take a step back and evaluate what you really want to do. It’s definitely a good problem to have though.
Amanda_Berkeley(P): Answer: I think the strongest quality is the supportive community, being competitive with yourself but having lots of other resources to help. I think the growing trend is non-traditional career tracks - I have lots of classmates going in interesting directions I hadn't heard of before starting!
HGooge (Q): Do you find that you have time for other activities outside of Haas? For example: sports, exercise, outdoor activities
Dale_Berkeley (A): Definitely! A large number of students at Haas participate in intramural sports with undergraduates and other graduate students. There is a gym a short walk away from Haas and also a weekly hike led by our Redwoods club that gives students a chance to get out and explore the bay.
anthony (Q): how is the LGBTQ community at Haas, and at Berkeley in general?
Olivia_Berkeley (A): Q@Haas is a great club that I am a member. They have an incredible ally network which creates a space for everyone at Haas to join and advocate for our classmates. Greater Berkeley is also an environment that is pretty accepting of who you are. It's the beauty of being here at Berkeley. Come as you are.
Tyler Macnee (Q): Beyond the focus on a collaborative group of students who share similar values, what sets the Haas student life apart from other schools?
Amanda_Berkeley (A): Student-led culture, but I know that's been reiterated here before :). In addition, I'd say the location within the greater Berkeley community and the opportunities that offers you, from lectures to professors to classes. Additionally, being in the Bay Area and able to take advantage of San Francisco and South Bay activities, like career treks and workshops and conferences (in addition to networking and social!)
Alok(Q): Thanks for taking the time and hosting this chat. I wanted to know if one can attend courses offered by other schools at the university not mentioned on the list of courses here http://mba.haas.berkeley.edu/academics/elective.html
Amanda_Berkeley (A): Yes, you can take courses at other programs as long as you fulfill your Haas course credit requirements!
Anil Jain (Q): What % of students do you think usually live at campus?
Kenny_Berkeley (A): If I had to take a rough estimate of my MBA Class, I would say about 10% of us live in University Village. That’s the name of the student housing for people who are married or have children. The rest of my classmates are sprinkled throughout the East Bay with a small handful living in SF.
Akash (Q): Is there any limit to the number of courses one can take outside of MBA, MFE program mostly.
Dale_Berkeley (A): The current limit is set at 6 units (a typical course at Haas is 2-3 units). You can take more than this however they won't count towards the Haas degree requirements.
dlmarquez (Q): Hello! I am currently a senior at UC Davis. It seems to me that most people who apply are much older and have more experience in the business field. I have done a few internships and have been highly involved on campus. What is your suggestion in order to get the best out of student life? Should I wait until later to apply?
Olivia_Berkeley (A): There is no minimum amount of work experience required to apply. The average work experience is about 5 years. Student life is what you make of it. Having a little work experience allows you to contribute personal experience to classroom discussions.
Paul Khoa Nguyen (Q): I have a family including 2 little ones and interested in learning more about the “family” aspects of the school. Can you share with me what your perception of the experience at the school for those who are in the same boat as me? Or can you think of a classmate with family and in your opinion is very successful? Can you elaborate as to why they are successful or what enabled them to be successful?
Kenny_Berkeley (A): Hey Paul, coming from a person who is currently going through the program with a family I can tell you it is a fine balancing act for every family. Balancing the needs of family with school is tough however it can be done and done well! What has worked best for me has been maintaining the ability to be selective with my social activity with school, coupled with ensuring I include my family in the activities that I do partake in. It’s challenging but extremely rewarding at the same time.
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KimonaC (Q): How easy to find/affordable is housing by the school?
Dale_Berkeley (A): It is a more difficult process than most people expect primarily due to the overall housing situation in SF and the Bay. That being said, current students are a great resource with regards to performing the housing search process and knowing what reasonable rates/accommodations are possible.
PappasC22016 (Q): Hello! My name is Christina. I'm wondering if someone can talk a bit about the Nonprofit Board Fellows program. What's the application/matching process like, is it something that's relatively popular at Haas, and does it tend to be relatively hands-on or lower engagement (e.g., working regularly with a committee versus attending quarterly BOD meetings)? Thanks!
Olivia_Berkeley (A): Berkeley Board Fellows is a great program that many students take part in I think about 15-25% of the class. This year the info session is next week and the application is shortly afterward. There will be 30 non-profits selected and it depends on each nonprofit the level of engagement you get. It's more weekly/bi-weekly meetings with committee vs quarterly (there's too much time in between.)
HGooge (Q): Would you recommend taking waiver exams for courses that you may have covered in undergrad? Or do you think that it's more beneficial to review the information and keep a balanced course load?
Amanda_Berkeley (A): In evaluating taking waiver exams, I would look at the material for that class and think about whether you (1) have taken it before or (2) would get anything out of taking it again (i.e. going into a career in that specific area). If not, being able to take waiver exams frees up space in your schedule for other electives and makes first year a little easier, so I would recommend trying for waiver exams if you feel you have already learned the material.
Tyler Macnee (Q): Can one of you speak to the time commitment of sports clubs at Haas?
Kenny_Berkeley (A): Hey Tyler, much like the other activities here on campus the time commitment for sports can be as much or as little as you want it to be. You don’t have to be involved at all if you don’t want to but there are several opportunities for you to get involved in sports from the intramural level all the way to the D-1 level if you are that talented. It really just depends on what you want to put into.
wipawee (Q): Do you have a trip going outside of US to explore different countries and culture?
Dale_Berkeley (A): There isn't one official Haas organized trip. However, many of our classmates organize and lead trips to their home countries over both Winter break and Spring break. These trips range in size from 5-60 people and give students and their partners a chance to explore international locations. There is also a course titled International Business Development at Haas which does include an international travel component. More details on this class can be found on our website.
KIMH42016 (Q): How is the Haas student life in weekend?
Amanda_Berkeley (A): Great! And extremely varied! For example, this weekend about 300 of us are renting houseboats on Lake Shasta to boat around. Another weekend we are going to Las Vegas. Then there are more low key weekends in the Bay Area, enjoying Lake Merritt or Dolores Park in San Francisco, or spending time outside of Haas. The Bay Area is full of many different activities to enjoy and Haas students take advantage of many of them!
Amrinder (Q): Hi Team, another quick question...Haas has a substantial part-time MBA program. I was wondering to what level do the full time MBA students interact/collaborate with the part-time MBA students? Also, do the full time MBA students leverage the industry connections of the part time MBA students in terms of looking for internships/full-time jobs with particular companies?
Olivia_Berkeley (A): I answered a similar question earlier, so scroll up to see that response as well. But in general, there is limited interaction. Within your full time class you can leverage their industry connections. In elective courses after fall semester first year you can take courses with the Evening and Weekend students and have interaction in the classroom.
Abhinav (Q): Hi, is there anything that you would change about Haas?
Kenny_Berkeley (A): I wish I would have had a more streamlined way to digest all of the opportunities that are here on campus. There are so many events and activities that take place on a daily basis that sometimes it can be hard to keep up with everything. I would like to see that change.
Charlie Cox (Q): For those who were in need of financial aid, did you find that Haas was able to provide enough aid to allow for an active social life on top of the price of tuition, etc.?
Dale_Berkeley (A): When you combine grants/scholarships/loans, students are able to have a fairly active social life at Haas. The mix of the three options and in general, the level of loans you pursue is dependent highly on your own personal preferences on how much you want to travel, lifestyle you want to live while at Haas, etc.
Tyler Macnee (Q): What was your experience with HaasVegas?
Olivia_Berkeley (A): I went last year and will go back this year. Over 200 students go. We have block hotel rooms, pool party and clubs both Friday and Saturday. I didn't do the club the first night and went to a show (blue man group) instead. I enjoyed hanging out with classmates. The pool party was my favorite part. I'll be going back again this year.
Bora (Q): Do most students have part-time or full-time jobs around campus?
Amanda_Berkeley (A): After the first semester, about 30-50% of students take advantage of either part-time internship opportunities or Graduate Student Instructorships with classes to supplement income, but it is not required.
Devin (Q): Other than guest lectures, what types of opportunities are there to connect with Haas alumni?
Dale_Berkeley (A): The Haas Alumni association will generally hold a couple of events over the course of each semester that gives students the opportunity to interact and engage. Outside of this, during the job and internship search process, most students reach out to alumni for informational interviews (remote or face to face) as well.
HGooge (Q): For Kenny mainly - You mentioned that the class visit registration recently opened. Do you know where we can register? I haven't been able to find the link.
Kenny_Berkeley (A): I just checked http://mba.haas.berkeley.edu/admissions/visit.html and it looks like the link for registration might not be active yet. I would continue to check this link over the next several days because this is the page where you will sign up for the campus visits.
Aravind (Q): Do we have opportunities to learn new languages on campus?
Olivia_Berkeley (A): Yes beginning languages 8am 5 days a week! Usually students take languages your second year.
dlmarquez (Q): Kenny, where is the link, I would love to learn more about HAAS. I am from Davis, so not too far away.
Kenny_Berkeley (A): Hello Marquez! I just checked http://mba.haas.berkeley.edu/admissions/visit.html and it looks like the link for registration is not active yet. I would continue to check this link over the next several days because this is the page where you will sign up for the campus visits. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Tim (Q): On social life--Do students ever feel that spending lots of money is inherently tied to the social life at Berkeley? It's probably specific to every individual but wondering if there's a general temperature level of social networking with spending (I've heard this being more salient at some schools).
Dale_Berkeley (A): I would say that the opportunity is there however it isn't required. There are opportunities to take once in a lifetime trips to international destinations or local social events that come with a higher price tag yet not partaking in these isn't a be all end all. Many students come to Haas with families or other considerations and choose not to engage as heavily in some of the more cost intensive activities yet are still able to have a more than full social life. It's an option but by no means a must.
KimonaC (Q): Have either of you taken advantage of the study abroad trips? If so, how was the experience?
Olivia_Berkeley (A): Students typically lead non-school sponsored treks typically to their home countries. I went to Ireland for spring break and it was one of the best trips of my life. (I've been to over 40 countries) Good friends (13 in total), good food, great drink and great scenery. International Business Development (IBD) is a class where you consult for an international enterprise and then travel for 3 weeks to their country. Many students take advantage of that as well.
Akash (Q): Can you please talk a bit about the Alumni network in terms of the responsiveness and reach.
Dale_Berkeley (A): One of the hallmarks to the Haas network is that it extends out beyond just the business school itself and actually encompasses UC Berkeley as well. Prior to starting my internship, I reached out to several alumni and received responses from each alum I reached out to independent of whether they could help me or not. The responsiveness is incredibly high. With regards to reach, the network is concentrated heavily in the bay area; however, alums outside the bay area are then disproportionally willing to help out. I had the chance to speak with two alums while on a trip in South Africa and they were willing to connect us and aid in any way they could. Hope that answers your question!
wipawee (Q): I would like to know that all of the students in first year have to learn together or the students can choose which comes first and take different classes.
Amanda_Berkeley (A): When you arrive on campus, first years are assigned into four cohorts who all take classes together. Unless you waive out of a class, you will have all of your classes during first semester with this group. Starting second semester, you will be able to take electives with different people.
KimonaC (Q): Is it necessary to have a car to get around?
Kenny_Berkeley (A): Hey Kimona! Absolutely not…several of my classmates utilize public transportation here in the Berkeley area. Several of my classmates ride the bus to school, others bike, some use the BART train system which will get you pretty close to campus as well. I personally drive to school because I have to drop my son off to elementary school before I head in for the day. I park the Underhill parking garage which is a 7-8 minute walk from the business school.
Minseo Kim (Q): Is it easily possible to participate in of sit it on classes of other department?
Dale_Berkeley (A): It depends a little bit on the department. Some courses are more popular and as a result more difficult to attend. With that, most professors are willing to try to at least find a way for you to participate in their class in as much of a way as is possible.
Tim (Q): I'm particularly interested in Berkeley's MBA/MPH dual program. Not sure whether any of the students present in this discussion are involved (5% of class), but as it pertains to student life--do you find your classmates in this cohort have time to socialize? Do you know them well? Or are they quite busy with other degree requisites and obligations?
Amanda_Berkeley (A): While I am not in the MBA/MPH program, I am close friends with many of them. They are very involved with the program, and have a great sub-program within. I think the hardest part of the MPH program is the first semester, when they have an extra class, but many are able to still stay involved with social and extra-curricular opportunities. And they get an extra semester on campus, so I am now getting to know the "third year" MBA/MPH'ers better in their last semester!
Ccallahan (Q): Thank you for answering our questions! Can you please shed light on your experience moving from the East coast to the West coast? Was there anything that surprised you about living in the Bay area (good or bad)?
Dale_Berkeley (A): Sure! I moved from PA to CA and shipped most of my belongings via U-Haul U-boxes and then drove with my girlfriend from coast to coast. I personally preferred to go about it this way as it allowed us to take our time on the drive without worrying about our belongings at each stop. Some students this past year coordinated group moves to cut down on costs so that is also an option. Biggest surprise on the negative side was how costly certain aspects to living in the bay have become (rent primarily). Biggest surprise on the plus side was probably realizing the incredible amount of things to do just outside of the area (Napa, Tahoe, Pacifica, Santa Cruz, Marin, etc.)
HGooge (Q): What kind of access do students have to professors within Haas? Are you able to have 1:1 time with many of them?
Olivia_Berkeley (A): Professors are always available to you. It depends on how much you want to be engaged. I attended office hours for support on problem sets or after mid-terms to review answers. I also just dropped in to ask about their research. I had lunch with my professor after I returned from winter break to catch up as well. Some students do independent studies usually research for a professor to get access as well.
SakowskiM12016 (Q): Is it common for students to get together across Berkeley's campus, or do most students stick close to Haas? Do you feel connected to the broader UC Berkeley community?
Amanda_Berkeley (A): The connections vary across my classmates. There are a multitude of opportunities to get involved, between cross-Berkeley communities, sporting events, and academics (for example, the Clean Tech to Market course puts Haas students on teams with other Engineering/Grad School program students). I wouldn't say it's extremely common but I do know many classmates who are connected in one way or another.
BlanchardC12016 (Q): Hi everyone, I just arrived and the screen does not show the entire conversation history so you might have answered my question already... :S but anyways : I believe the alumni network is quite amazing, but have a question regarding the teachers : Do you feel that the teachers are actually invested? Can you actually have a chat with them after class? Ask for advice? Or help you in your career choice? Do you feel that they can understand your personality and goals quickly?
Dale_Berkeley (A): My experience with professors at Haas has been phenomenal. They are incredibly passionate about the subjects they teach and able to convey their excitement into the material they use and way they deliver content. Outside of class, I've been able to have lunch with professors, drop in and discuss my interests in companies they likely have connections (even though I personally hadn’t taken their class), and just chat in general with my professors about what sort of work they do. It's been a highlight in my time at Haas and not something that I've seen in my other educational experiences to date.
Harrison_Moderator (P): Hi all! Thank you for joining us. The chat will be wrapping up in a few minutes. We greatly appreciate your questions. We apologize if we didn’t get to all of them. Please check back on our website for transcripts of today’s chat and for future chat dates. The speakers will continue to address some questions already in their queue, but we will not be forwarding additional questions.
psoma27 (Q): Kenny, earlier you mentioned you try to select club activities that your family can participate in with you. Could you highlight a few of those?
Kenny_Berkeley (A): One of my favorite activities here on campus are the social mixers affectional called Consumption Functions. Once a month, usually on a Friday evening, the entire student body gets together and has a mixer centered on a particular theme. I brought my family to the international consumption function where my classmate from countries all around the world shared homemade foods (and beverages) with the rest of the student body. It was a great experience and families, partners and friends are always welcome to come! We also all went to the Veteran's Welcome Back BBQ and it was a great time as well!
Tim (Q): Guys, this has been really helpful. My last question is on discerning cultural fit at Berkeley. When one considers size of class, kumbaya spirit, and location in the Bay area, these factors converge at Berkeley for pretty favorable student quality of life marks. I wonder if there are other dimensions of this "culture fit" that you have experienced since you've been at Berkeley. How has, for example, career diversity affect or not affected this equation for you? What other elements do you think are worth considering when it comes down to finding "fit”?
Dale_Berkeley (A): I think one of the hallmarks to the culture fit at Haas is that no matter what you're interested in, classmates, professors, career services, etc. care that you're really going after what will bring fulfillment into your life (both from a career perspective but also any other motivators). It sounds a bit hokey but by and large, people here want you to do well, be happy, etc. I think that when you consider fit, the best recommendation I can give is to come and see the interactions first hand. Sitting in on a class helps to really see how students interact academically while being on campus in general will show the ways that students help one another. Hope that helps!
Harrison_Moderator (P): Hi all! Thank you for joining us. The chat is wrapping up and shutting down. We appreciate your questions and we apologize if we didn’t get to all of them. Please check back on our website within the next couple weeks for a transcript of today’s chat and don't forget to join us later this week for chats with our Career Management Group and Student Affairs Team. Go Bears!
Olivia_Berkeley (P): Thanks for joining! It's been great answering your questions!
Dale_Berkeley (P): Thanks for taking the time to join! It was great to have a chance to answer questions. Hope to see you visiting the campus soon!
wipawee (Q): What make you think that Haas is the right choice for you? Is there uniqueness that only Hass can provide?
Amanda_Berkeley (A): Haas is the right choice for me because of the supportive community. I feel like I have found a group of people, not only intelligent and accomplished in their field but helpful and a great community to live with and study with.
Amanda_Berkeley(P): Thanks for attending! Hope we were able to answer your questions! Good luck!
Kenny_Berkeley (C): Thanks everybody and I hope we were able to help with your decision! Wish you all the best and hope to see you on campus soon!
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