In two days, I and my fellow transfer students will be celebrating the one-year anniversary of our acceptance into UC Berkeley and the Haas School of Business. Many of us (or quite possibly all of us) vividly remember the moment that we received the good news.
I was sitting in front of the computer screen, trying to decide if I was ready to log-in to the application portal. A few hours earlier, I had received the message that the system was being “updated.” Nothing can quite describe the heart-stopping feeling that I experienced as I stared at my laptop, not knowing whether my name was being added to the list of those accepted or not. So finally I took a breath, input my log-in information, and pressed enter. The first thing I saw was the face of our director of undergraduate admissions, Amy Jarich–also fondly known as “that beautiful blond woman,” to recent Cal admits. The second thing that I saw was, “Congratulations!” written in large yellow letters across the screen. I definitely screamed, hugged my mom, called my sister, and burst into tears on the phone.
Receiving the acceptance into Haas represented all of the energy, determination, effort, and time that we put in as transfer students. It represented the two part-time jobs and the night classes, the social lives we sacrificed, and the loved ones that we pushed ourselves for. Being a part of this community of incredibly diverse and talented students, I have been inspired again and again by the stories that my peers have to share.
So, as the date approaches for the reveal of the Haas Transfer Class of 2018, I and my fellow transfers would like to welcome you with a few pieces of advice born out of our experiences over this past year at Cal.
Advice for Incoming Haas Transfers from the Transfer Class of ‘17
- Do the PreCore program
- Have resume and cover letters written prior to beginning of semester — Polish up your professional profile (resume, cover letter, Linkedin), recruiting season starts before it begins!
- Get the Felkins stamp of approval on everything
- Have a valuable internship before coming in (whether that is defined as a brand-name company or valuable learning experience)
- Recruiting starts on the first day of school, be ready to hit the ground running by taking advantage of Haas resources over the summer!
- Figure out what you want to do before you get to Haas (by doing a lot of research and networking) because it could be very challenging to find an internship when you don’t know what you want
- Remember that you got in and you deserve to be here; it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, especially during the initial rush of info-sessions/recruiting/clubs
- Don’t stress about internships. Remember that it is just a summer job because while you are in recruiting it can feel like the most important thing in the world
- Follow your own pace in preparing for recruiting, and don’t stress when you see your peers receiving interviews or internship offers
- The Career Center is an awesome resource that I discovered very late so be sure to use it from the beginning of your time here at Berkeley
- There’s more to Berkeley than Haas. Explore around, take the day off, read a book, take BART
- Events put on by the school might have cheesy names and themes, but they are a great way of meeting people!
- As a transfer student, you may struggle with the challenge of trying to fit a 4 year experience into 2 short years. Make sure to take advantage of the fact that you attend one of the best universities in the world. Whether it is to take elective courses outside of Haas, pick up an additional degree, join or start a club, or attend the multitude of events the greater campus has to offer, invest in getting the most out of your time at Cal
- Find your people. Don’t be afraid to reach out to have coffee with fellow juniors or seniors
- Put yourself out there – your peers at Haas are extremely valuable resources.
- Try to create study groups from the beginning because studying together with people makes your life way easier
- Be around different types of people. Create a diverse and extensive network, you’ll never know who will be helpful in the future
- Get involved in an organization. Whether it be ASUC, HBSA, finance or consulting clubs, or even volunteering with Project Smile. Find friends outside of the business school to give you a better Cal experience
- Don’t overload yourself and do pace yourself–Haas is a marathon, not a sprint
- Your classes will be hard. You are now just one fish in a gigantic lake, and succeeding academically will be significantly harder than it was before in your little tide pools
- Work hard in your classes. But don’t place grades as your most important goal. Appreciate your education, spend time learning what you like. Go learn it in the real world. Read extra books, do research. It is supposed to be challenging, but it is also supposed to be enjoyable, and induce growth on a personal level. Worrying solely about grades steals that opportunity from you
- Although school is stressful, try to enjoy and find the beauty in the process. Take classes that are going to be interesting to you, take advantage of the great faculty, and try to absorb as much knowledge as you can
- You’ll make your time at Haas what you want it to be. Adjusting will be hard, but don’t try and do what everyone else is doing. If you have your own path, push forward and follow it!
- You’re here. Let yourself enjoy the fact that you’re at one of the best business schools in the world, and with that, comes a level of excellence you must demand of yourself—as these next two years will represent your greatest challenges to date
We’re looking forward to meeting you!
– Haas Transfer Class of 2017
*Many thanks to Yifan Gong, Nathan McWilliams, Michael David Dunn, Jiwen Zheng, Hank Sze, Sasha Tetera, Edgar Okorie, Silvia Ricchiardi, Nabil Hamade, Brianna Bottle, Ramzy Azar, Saim Ali, and John Prawira Aten for their contributions to this post.