It’s a very interesting time to be a new MBA student. We just passed the one-year anniversary of the date Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. The effects of the events surrounding that day are still reverberating through the world’s economies, and many fingers have been pointed at the MBA creation process as part of the problem.
I just started the Evening and Weekend MBA program in August, and I’m halfway through my first two core courses (out of the eight we’ll take in the first year). So far, it’s been a great experience – with a pervasive sense of integrity and quality coloring all the classes and events I’ve attended so far.
My classmates in particular are a great bunch. It’s been a pleasure getting to know them over orientation, in my classes, and particularly through the group projects that are a central part of the curriculum. My background is slightly different from most of my cohort – but I have found everyone to be extremely open and excited by the various types of diversity present at Haas.
I applied to Haas in “Round Two” this winter and was accepted over the summer, which now seems like a world away. To anyone who is reading this blog looking for tips regarding the application process, I can only say: just be yourself. Sure, make sure your GMAT numbers are in the right range and all that other jazz. But beyond that, focus on making your application a true reflection on what makes you special and interesting.
As a first year student, I am often asked: Why an MBA? I am a bit of an outlier in my cohort. I am Executive Chef of The Sunny Side Café, overseeing our location in Albany on Solano Ave. and now opening a second location in Berkeley on the edge of campus. Previously, I worked as a research ecologist specializing in tropical ecology – during which time I studied for a Masters in Ecology at San Francisco State. The focus of my MBA is to bring these experiences together with an emphasis on sustainable business.
Everyone in my program appears to have a busy home and work life. For me, that means caring for my new daughter Pearl (11 mos old), working on my first book about sustainable food, and making time to spend with my wife Jenny.
OK, it’s back to work for me. Tonight is dedicated to the group projects I mentioned (while my daughter plays at my feet).
Come back next week, and I’ll let you know how it’s going.