Haas Student-Athlete Profile: Sam Welch | Rugby

Name: Sam WelchSam Welch - Cal Rugby 2014

Major: Business Administration

Sport: Rugby

Graduation Date: May 2015

Continuing or Transfer: Continuing

What sport do you play and what position do you have on the team?

Rugby is generally described as a mix between football and soccer. It is a sport played with 15 players on each team. The goal is to try to score as many points on the other team as possible within two continuous 40-minute halves. The teams score by touching the ball down into the try-zone or by kicking it through the uprights. We can only advance the ball forward by running or kicking it. It cannot be passed forward.

I play inside-center, which is a back player. I touch the ball a lot and my position is usually saved for smaller, quicker guys who have more ball skills. My position is both defense and offense.

Why did you choose to play this sport?

I didn’t start playing rugby until my senior year in high school. Dixon High School started a team when I was in 8th grade and I didn’t really have too much interest at the time because I was playing football and other things. However, football ended my senior year and I wanted to give rugby a try. So I tried it!

Here at Cal, I was a spring admit for my Freshman Year. My coach from Dixon High School had played Rugby for Cal back in the 80s. I ended up emailing the Cal Rugby coaches and told them I had an interest in walking onto the team but I haven’t had a lot of experience in rugby. However, I expressed that I am a hard worker and would love to try out for the team. They allowed me to try out and talked with my previous high school coach to see if I had potential and I guess they saw it. It’s really cool.

Do you see yourself making a career out of this sport? Why or why not?

No. This will be my 6th season playing rugby; however, I don’t have enough experience to play rugby at a higher level. I am not really interested in playing competitive sports after I graduate from Haas. From collegiate rugby, a player can go into a league in Europe, U.S. or even a club team here in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can also go into the Olympics for rugby as well, but only for the seven’s version.

So you go to the Haas School of Business. Do you feel that your sport has not only contributed to you getting accepted into Haas, but also allowed you to be successful in your business academic and professional careers?

Playing rugby has really allowed and forced me to manage my time better. I think the best thing I’ve learned while playing rugby here at Cal is to focus on the most important aspects of what you’re doing first, and not worry about the 10th most important thing. I think this has really helped me improve at the game and it has also helped me do well during my time here at Cal and Haas, specifically. Being an athlete also really showcases that I have good work ethic and organization within my life.

What is it like being a student-athlete at Haas (describe a day in the life of a student-athlete)? What resources do you get for being a student-athlete? Is it easier or harder to dedicate time to your academic career when you have a demanding lifestyle from your sport?

I’ll talk about my Spring schedule. So, I wake up about 7:30 AM and get some breakfast prior to practice in the morning. I get to the locker rooms at 8:00 AM, get dressed, and arrive on the field by 8:30 AM for practice. We practice for about an hour and a half. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we will go down to the weight room to do weight training as well for an hour at the High Performance Center (HPC).

I go to class right after practice from about 11:00 AM until 3:00 PM and then I have the rest of the day to myself to study, do homework or relax. We have games on Saturdays and so we will meet on Sundays to go over film study to see how we did on Saturday’s game day. As far as being a student-athlete, we do get additional resources to help us here at Cal. We get free tutoring if we need help in our classes, priority registration for Tele-Bears so we can coordinate our classes with our practice schedule, and we get to use all of the training facilities at the HPC too. I am very fortunate to have access to all of these amenities as a student-athlete.

I don’t think it’s too hard to dedicate time to my sport while studying at Haas. For football, I could imagine it being very hard. Same thing goes for being a swimmer at Cal. However, for rugby, I don’t think it’s too hard because the most we ever practice is for 2.5-3 hours max every day and I’m done with school by 3:00 PM. So, I have the rest of the day to develop my professional career, dedicate time to my classes or whatever I need. Although, I would say it definitely is a toll on my body, considering I have a black eye right now. However, because we don’t use pads in rugby, we definitely aren’t getting hit as hard as we would if we were actually using pads. In football, you can use your pads as a weapon and hit way harder and it won’t really hurt you. In rugby, you certainly aren’t hitting as hard. But it definitely is a tiring sport and I struggle to make it through entire games, at times.

Do you foresee yourself going into a career that is tied to the sports industry?

I’m not exactly sure what I would like to do; however, I don’t see myself going into a profession that is tied to the sports industry. I think what I might end up doing upon graduation from Haas is to work for this company called Bigge Crane. I’ve worked there the past two summers and they basically buy, sell and rent heavy equipment and cranes. That is what I will start out doing and then explore from there how I would like to develop my professional career.

Having gone to school as a student-athlete, is there anything that you wish to change in your experience here at Cal and Haas? If not, what is the most important thing you have gotten from being a student-athlete at Haas?

It would be nice to know what it feels like to not be training all the time and to just be a student here at Cal. But, I would only like to experience that for maybe half a semester. Otherwise, I would not change anything.

As far as being a student-athlete, what resonated with me the most was being recognized as a scholar-athlete here at Cal. There are certain football or basketball games here at Cal in which they bring in all the students who qualify as a scholar-athlete and they bring us out onto the court or field and announce our team as we walk out. There was one time where they brought out Cal Rugby onto the football field, it was a Thursday night game, and they did academic recognition for us. And when they announced Cal Rugby, there was a huge applause, just because of the history of the team and our successes. It was really cool hearing and feeling that energy from our Cal Rugby supporters.

Sam Welch - Cal Rugby 2014

Cornerstone Research Case Competition comes to Cal!

Personally, I have always found that case competitions are a great way to get hands-on experience to real business problems and develop analytical skills.

Here are some best moment clips taken from our past blogs about students’ experiences with case competitions!

Target Corporate Social Responsibility Case Competition

“We learned a ton about corporate sustainability through the competition. Not only this, but it was interesting to learn about the shifting attitudes in consumer purchasing for sustainable goods. It was definitely a ton of fun working with my team until 5 AM the night before the presentation, and practicing all day the next day. I would definitely suggest anyone interested in doing a case competition to try it out for the amazing experience!”

BaVenture Capitalist Case Competition

“We learned a tremendous amount from weeks of staying up until 5 a.m. researching and understanding the industry dynamics, RetailNext’s true value proposition, and relevant or even peripheral information. We were able to present our well-thought-out and well-designed presentation in front of some of the most reputable investors and showed the venture capital world what Berkeley students were capable of doing in the heated competition between Berkeley and Stanford in the startup world. We also got support and dress shirts with RetailNext’s logo from the management that we wore to the presentation–dress to impress. The presentation was held on the second to last day of instructions at Berkeley, so we three seniors concluded the college education at Berkeley with a perfect ending, yet it’s also a beginning to a new chapter of career and ventures.”

Below are the details for the upcoming case competition!



UC Berkeley’s Delta Sigma Pi is hosting Cal’s first Cornerstone Research Case Competition. Participating in the competition is a great way for students to explore economic and financial consulting, interact with Cornerstone’s consultants, and compete for prizes. Each team will act as consultants, providing advice to attorneys involved in complex litigation and regulatory proceedings.

Join our Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/610840612351487/

Teams and Eligibility
We encourage teams of four, although the minimum number of members per team is two. Each team must have at least 1 non-business major. We welcome all years, although Berkeley sophomores and juniors are particularly encouraged to participate.

Sign-up Procedure
Register your team at http://goo.gl/nnae4y.

Those who register by Friday, 3/27 at 6 PM will be able to receive the case prompt ahead of time on Friday, 3/27 at 7 PM to review before the Q&A session on Monday, 3/30 from 7 PM – 9 PM.

The last deadline to sign up is 3/30 at 7 PM.

1st Place team: $1,000 Visa gift card and lunch with the Cornerstone Research SF Recruiting Leadership
2nd Place team: $600 Visa gift card
3rd Place team: $200 Visa gift card

Competition Guidelines
Teams will submit analysis in the form of a 3 page written executive summary, including supporting exhibits, tables, and charts. The judges, comprised of Cornerstone Research professionals, will review the presentations and select three finalist teams to present in a final round. Finalist teams will make a 10-minute presentation followed by 10 minutes of Q&A from the judging panel.

Submission must include a cover sheet including the team name, the name of each team member, and their graduation year.

Key Dates
Details about these events will be provided through email to registered teams.

Sign Ups Open: Sunday, March 15
Sign Ups Close (to receive the case ahead of time): Friday, March 27 at 6 PM
Case Distributed: Friday, March 27 at 7 PM (72 hours prior to kickoff)
Sign Ups Close (final deadline): Monday, March 30 at 7 PM
Case Competition Kickoff and Case Q&A: Monday, March 30 from 7 PM – 9 PM at 170 Barrows
Case Submission: Sunday, April 5 at 11:59 PM by email
Finalists Announced: By Tuesday, April 7 at 12 PM
Final Presentations: Thursday, April 9 at 6 PM at 156 Dwinelle

If you have any questions, please send them to Jessica Ou (jessicaou8@gmail.com)

Fullbridge Future Leaders Summit at Google

SoniaLast Saturday, March 7th, I had the opportunity to attend a full-day summit at Google put on by The Fullbridge Program. The Future Leader Summit brought together very talented students from schools like Stanford, Santa Clara, Santa Barbara, and of course, Berkeley. Go Bears! The summit served as a place for great minds to learn, grow, network, and have fun! It was definitely a great time to be “Googlely” and make new friends!

Fullbridge provides students with the real-world experience they need to land a dream job. It also helps fast track new hires in the corporate arena by focusing on key competencies that will deepen their business acumen and accelerate their professional development. It allows students to hear from business giants the secrets for starting out in their respective fields and how to navigate real-world business problems. This was the first event Fullbridge put on in the West Coast. Hopefully there will be more to come!


The panel of speakers (Left to Right): Jason Karsh, Luanne Tierney, Jon Youshaei, Natasha Mooney, and Samorn Selim

The day began with a panel of remarkably successful and inspirational speakers, followed by a catered lunch, and then an afternoon filled with interactive activities. Jason Karsh, Product Manager at Google, led the event and introduced the speakers; Rya Conrad-Bradshaw, Executive Director, College and University Programs at Fullbridge (and former McKinsey & Co consultant), Luanne Tierney, Senior Marketing Executive at Fortinet and Jonathon Youshaei, Product Marketing Manager at YouTube and selected writer for Huffington Post and Forbes. Each had a diverse career path and unique story to share.

winning team

The winning team of the Marshmallow Challenge

One of the highlights of the event was the Marshmallow Challenge. For those who are not familiar with the Marshmallow Challenge, you work in a team with fixed supplies (20 spaghetti sticks, 1 marshmallow, 1 yard tape, and 1 yard string) to try to build the highest standing marshmallow structure in 18 minutes. The exercise was not only a great opportunity to meet new faces, but a chance to demonstrate the importance of effective communication, planning, leadership, and working within time constraints; all crucial skills in the business world today.

There was a lot to be learned from the summit that day, but I have summarized the day into 5 key takeaways:

Develop your brand

Make sure you understand yourself more than anyone else. In the real world today, no one is going to help you think about you but you. To get started, write down 3 things you want to be known for. They can be goals, aspirations, interests, or really anything that makes you, you! Be sure to communicate them effectively and clearly (they can help you answer the famous Tell Me About Yourself question).

Be a great communicator

Communication is the language of business. Make sure you can connect and be personable. Moreover, make sure you are communicating effectively; know and understand what the best method of communication is with the person you are corresponding with.

Get outside your comfort zone

Go beyond yourself, really. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone who is at the very top of the ladder. Simply put yourself out there and be confident with who you are!

Don’t turn down a good opportunity because it doesn’t fit with your plan

We all have goals and ideas of where we want to be, but life is full of surprises, challenges, and opportunities. Be open to changing your path. You never know what might cross your path, so be willing to take that risk and accept the challenge.

Know when to wear it

Be proud of where you go to school and show that school pride! It is a great way to meet new people, spark a conversation, and of course, network. Next time you hit the gym or head to the airport, be sure to rock that school gear. You never know who you might run into!

House of Alva Founder Inspires Entrepreneurship and Service at Berkeley

This past Tuesday Berkeley Women in Business hosted entrepreneur Mudita Tiwari, founder of the House of Alva. This unique female leader came to share her story and inspire entrepreneurship, service, and philanthropy in a new generation of women. Tiwari, an alumnus of the Goldman School of Public Policy, quit her high profile corporate consulting job to find a deeper meaning in life and search for a way to help others.

During Tiwari’s travels to India, she was inspired to help financially dependent women in the community discover ways to support themselves by teaching practical skills such as making a craft or performing a service they could sell. These women became the first members of The Sewing Project which eventually grew into the House of Alva Foundation.


Tiwari faced many social challenges on her mission to get these women integrated into the workforce, but she never waivered from her goal because she knew investing in women was an investment in society. Statistics show that women are more likely than men to invest their money in education, household improvement, and food for their children. By investing in career training for these women, Tiwari was helping everyone in the community.

When choosing what trade to focus on teaching these women, Tiwari chose scarf making because she knew how much improvement was needed in the textile industry. The textile industry falls at the forefront of pollution, and is known for its child labor problems and its hazardous working environments. Tiwari knew there was a better way, which led her to teach the local female artisans age-old, ecofriendly techniques of scarf making. The House of Alva focuses on natural, organic textiles, and emphasizes sustainability alongside quality and design. Tiwari encouraged the college students listening to buy with purpose, and to use their consumer power for good.

Screenshot 2015-03-09 17.09.50

As The Sewing Project grew into the House of Alva, and production of high quality scarves increased, these core values were kept close at heart. The women crafting the scarves were allowed to dictate their own terms of employment by planning their own working schedules. This allowed these busy mothers and wives enough flexibility to still take care of their many other responsibilities.

In addition to career training Tiwari brought other programs on women’s health and financial literacy to the Indian communities she worked with. She loves being able to see the impact she is making on the lives of others and feels her work is extremely rewarding.

You could see the pride on Tiwari’s face as she pulled brightly colored scarves from an overflowing suitcase propped on a desk at the front of the classroom. She passed the scarves around letting students feel the fabric that had brought so many women a small step closer to financial freedom.

I encourage you to check out the website HouseOfAlva.com and help support a fellow golden bear on her mission to change the world! Please leave a comment sharing what you are doing to change the world, or if you have any advice or encouragement for current entrepreneurs.

HBSA Election: Candidates Platform (2015-2016)

HBSA Election – 2015 Voter Guide

 hbsa logo

Please note candidates are listed in alphabetical order by position.

*Voting for HBSA Elections will take place next Monday, March 16th, 2015 – March 20th, 2015 via Campus Groups. Until then, please take a few minutes and carefully read though the HBSA 2015 Voter Guide bellow.* 

Jessica Mersten



Hello! My name is Jess Mersten and I would love to be your next HBSA President. As the current External Cohort Liaison for the Class of 2016, I work with the Cohort Program and HBSA to organize events that connect students outside of the classroom. This year, I was the driving force behind both social and professional events, including the LinkedIn Photoshoot, Haas Happy Hours, and the Ha-Ha-Haas Comedy Show. My leadership experience includes being a UC Berkeley Campus Ambassador, International Peer Mentor, and Cal Student Orientation Leader. My experience highlights my ability to manage teams and serve diverse student communities. As President of HBSA, I envision an even greater opportunity to engage and strengthen our undergraduate community. If elected, I will (1) work with HBSA Executives to create a Business Week to bolster the Haas reputation and celebrate our community, (2) assist in restructuring the Cohort Program to better serve students, (3) develop opportunities to network with MBAs and (4) promote collaboration between HBSA sponsored student organizations. These changes will create more resources, strengthen our campus culture, and enhance the undergraduate experience. I promise to be accessible, enthusiastic, and strive to make your Haas undergraduate experience unforgettable. Go Bears!

Amy He


Executive Vice President

My name is Amy He, and I am running to be your HBSA Executive Vice President. As EVP, I will be leading HBSA to tangible changes to better our premier business education at Haas. My top three goals include creating a Haas Business Week, a complementary electronic accessory rental program, and an annual Haas-exclusive alumni and company career conference. First, Haas Business Week will not only bring public awareness to Haas from corporate sponsors, but also create an opportunity for Haas Organizations to showcase their successes to the entire campus and participate in building a closer business community. Next, running home for a phone or laptop charger will be a problem of the past with a free charger rental program at the Haas library. Lastly, I will utilize the Haas Alumni Network and Haas Career Counselors to create an exclusive Haas-only annual networking career fair to promote professional development and career opportunities. As the current External Vice President of Berkeley Women in Business and past Director in Office of the President of HBSA, I look forward to using my experiences to work with HBSA and serving our Haas community!

Isabelle Lee


Executive Vice President

Haas Undergraduate Community, It is an honor and a privilege to announce that I am running for the office of Executive Vice President of the Haas Business School Association (HBSA) for the 2015 – 2016 academic year. My vision as the next Executive Vice President will emphasize three major objective: 1) Organizing a mentorship program that connects Pre-Haas students with current Haas students, 2) revamping the cohort system, and 3) bringing in more companies and networking events to our campus. I have a strong background in student government, both before and after I came to Haas. Before I came to Cal, I served as Class President of my high school for all four years and during my two years at community college I served as Senator for Educational Master Planning. Upon arriving at Haas last semester, I joined HBSA and served in the presidential committee making substantial strides such as the extension of Haas library hours during finals week. These strong qualifications allow me to be very confident in my ability to fulfill the numerous significant roles of the Executive Vice President. Please vote for Isabelle Lee!

Andrew Cai-Li


Vice President of Finance

As the prospective VP of Finance, I will create more resources by effectively reallocating funds into opportunities for our Haas community. For example, I will ensure increasing the budget for Professional Development Workshops for students such as finance teach-in’s by corporate leaders, case interview workshops led by top consulting firms, and ensuring the computer lab has enough funds to keep the binder clips stocked (which it usually isn’t). I promise to work with the HBSA leadership team in order to identify what the Haas community needs. The first step is sourcing the funds for these endeavors— an initiative that I will actively spearhead. Lastly, I will ensure the best HAAS HAPPY HOURS. These are phenomenal opportunities to connect the Haas community. I want to capitalize on these opportunities by alternating happy hours between Pappy’s and TRIPLE ROCK or FREEHOUSE. If elected, I promise to give back and truly improve the experience of each Haas student by increasing access to resources and improving networking opportunities.

Rupinder Grewal


Vice President of Finance

Hello my fellow Haasome people! My name is Rupinder Grewal and with great passion I am running for HBSA’s Vice President of Finance position. My overarching aim as the VP of Finance will be to secure the maximum funding possible for organizing events to enhance our undergraduate experience at Berkeley-Haas. I would like to continue offering personal and professional development events such as Happy Hours, Training the Street workshop series, and case competitions. My previous experience as Finance Director and President of the Phi Theta Kappa chapter at the College of San Mateo has equipped me with the skills necessary to allocate yearly funds to enrich student life. We only get two years at Berkeley-Haas; lets make the best of them, together!

Victor Umunze


Vice President of Finance

I want to use my position as VP of finance to bring more accountability and efficiency to HBSA. Considering the important role HBSA plays in the everyday life of business students at Berkeley it is important to have excellent finances to cater to all the programs and events that we have every semester. My goal is to work closely with the President and other members of the board to raise funds and also be the perfect liaison between the administration and students. Vote for me and let us together take HBSA to the next level!

Anastasiya Zarko


Vice President of Marketing

It is my pleasure to announce my candidacy for Vice President of Marketing at the Haas Business Student Association. As VP of Marketing, I will work to improve the HBSA branding, contribute to Haas Blog, increase and market HBSA and Cohort Events and set HBSA’s social media presence across all platforms right. Given my previous marketing experience and strong intention to put HBSA to a new level, I guarantee to bring out the best to HBSA this coming year!

Jenna Hardenbrook


Vice President of Marketing

As the VP of Marketing I will work to increase HBSA’s presence, streamline branding, and increase attendance to events through creative campaigns. I will revamp HBSA’s social media presence across all platforms with the goal of fostering community at Haas. I have experience managing the social media presence of both BUILD Pizzeria and the Cal Dance Team and believe I will be able to achieve great things for HBSA this coming year!

Chuong (Jimmy) Le


Vice President of MBA & Alumni Relations

Networking connection is one of the most important assets in Business. As an undergraduate student at Haas, we could utilize the Haas Alumni Network to built up and strengthen our network. Running for the VP of MBA and Alumni Relations, I would like to achieve several goals: 1. Organize one event every semester to provide the opportunity to connect with Haas Alumni and MBA students. 2. Organize one workshop every semester about utilizing the Haas Alumni Network and LinkedIn to find a full-time job and a summer internship. 3. Help member utilize many opportunity at Haas to network and connect with Haas Alumni and MBA students. We need to put a lot of work in order to achieve those goals. However, with your help and support, I believe that I could succeed.

Daniel Phan


Vice President of MBA & Alumni Relations

I currently serve as one of the Cohort Leaders for the Class of 2016 as well as Alumni Relations Coordinator for the Student Gift Campaign (SGC). Both of these positions have given me the experience and knowledge to be your next Vice President of MBA/Alumni Relations. From planning and executing events for over 350 Haas Undergrads, to engaging alumni who play a crucial role in supporting Haas and our student programs, I understand what it takes to leverage pivotal aspects of Haas, such as our alumni and MBA, to benefit undergrads. My goal as Vice President of MBA/Alumni Relations is to build relationships. I want to connect you with MBA students and alumni so that you can turn to these industry leaders when you need a mentor, a job, or just some advice. One of the greatest advantages of being a Haas student is the ability to meet and connect with the amazing people who study here or have graduated from here. I want to make that connection possible.

Alex Quan


Vice President of Student Affairs

I want to run for the VP of Student Affairs because I want to provide resources for students, address student’s concerns, and be a liaison between the Haas Undergraduate Program and the student body. My goal is to help people achieve their goals. I want to continue to host essay and application workshops for students who are interested in applying to Hass. I also would like to implement a program that provides tutoring services for students taking undergraduate business courses. I will also send out surveys during the semester to get a better understanding of the students needs. Overall, I hope to be someone who can represent the students and give them many opportunities to succeed.

Arehta Fortune


Vice President of Student Affairs

As Vice President of Student Affairs, I will go beyond myself to support Haas students in all stages of their educational experience. I look forward to furthering our defining principles of Haas culture by a) providing outreach programs and workshops for incoming Haas students, b) connecting students’ voices and needs with our resources in Student Services, CTE, and Undergraduate Administration to continually improve the program, and c) hosting more professional development and career workshops for fields beyond the ABCs.

Elsie Cheang


Vice President of Student Affairs

One of my primary goals as VP of Student Affairs is to create a collaborative, accessible, and transparent process in connecting and providing Haas resources to lowerclassmen. There are amazing testimonies amongst Haas students—from applying to be a business major to freaking out over a final-round interview—and I want to create resources for students who want to help and for students who seek the help. It could be that those resources are not available right now or that those resources are not known and easily accessible. With that said, I hope to further develop a mentor-mentee program between Haas students and prospective business majors so students can be paired up, meet on a need basis, and share in testimonies and experiences. In addition, I seek to better the undergraduate experiences for current Haas students. I want to work on inviting corporate representatives to host Q&A sessions about various industries and business development workshops such as interview prep, resume workshops, and case interview skills. From recruiting for the ABC’s or being interested in the industries beyond, I hope to create an accessible and weekly newsletter about industry statistics, current job opportunities, and other resources that would ease students’ pursue of professional and academic passions here at Haas.

Emily Benjamin


Vice President of Student Affairs

As your Vice President of Student Affairs, I promise your feedback will be heard and have an impact. I will work with the administration to improve mid-semester evaluations to ensure our professors and GSI’s respond to our feedback and make real and reasonable efforts to adjust accordingly. As a mature-aged, international student, I understand the broader needs of our diverse student body. I have the passion, the real-world experience, and the mediation skills to strongly and fairly advocate for your needs. I have been a Haas Class Representative for two semesters, and I know how frustrating it can be to give feedback on problems that never get fixed. I have been there in meetings when Professors freely admit that they speak too fast, too quietly, or move through material too quickly; yet then they quickly argue that it is too late to change it at this stage in the semester. I want to rectify this. Our feedback should be heard, and should be implemented. I will work together with the Undergraduate Administration to find a solution; a solution that holds professors accountable for implementing the feedback they receive. Our requests are reasonable, and they are fair. Implementation of our feedback can improve the student experience for all of us, and push Haas to even greater heights in the academic community. I will be your voice for all Student Affairs.

Cassarie Soungpanya


Vice President of Professional Development

My name is Cassarie Soungpanya, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to further develop the relationship between Haas Students and the Career Center. As the Vice President of Professional Development, I will strive to improve upon resources that are available to my peers by ensuring that more information and opportunities for those who are interested in careers beyond Accounting, Banking, and Consulting are more easily accessible. I have always enjoyed helping and supporting my peers, so feel free to reach out to me if you have any further questions or feedback regarding my project plans for the next academic year.

Raymond Dang


Vice President of Professional Development

My name is Raymond Dang, and I’m running to be your Vice President of Professional Development. As your VP of Professional Development, I will work to promote and improve the resources available to students in order to cultivate both personal and professional skills. I plan to accomplish this by expanding resources outside of the traditional ABC’s, establishing more case competitions and workshops, and finally building a more collaborative atmosphere. My vision for this position includes: 1) Coordinating both workshops that span a variety of industries and workshops that teach valuable skills such as Photoshop or public speaking, 2) Hosting more case competitions through finding potential companies interested in partnering with Haas and more Finance/Management Consulting Teach-ins that have in the past filled up, and 3) Creating a collaborative atmosphere through establishment of a MBA-Undergraduate mentorship program within Haas where students can leverage each other’s’ skills and foster a closer community.

Haas Student-Athlete Profile: Andrea Earle | Field Hockey

Andrea Earle

Name: Andrea Earle

Major: Business Administration

Sport: Field Hockey

Graduation Date: May 2015

Continuing or Transfer: Continuing

What sport do you play and what position do you have on the team?

I play field hockey. Position-wise on the field, I was a forward and a midfielder, depending on the season and what we needed. For the team, I was more of an off-the-record captain, doing more behind the scene stuff. It was awesome. I contributed a lot to the team in that way.

Why did you choose to play this sport?

I started in high school. I picked up a stick and it was really similar to soccer, which I was into at the time. My mom got me into the sport randomly and we thought it would be a great way to be recruited. And I just fell in love with the sport. It’s fun to have a new challenge; once you master a sport in school, it could get boring after you play it for a number of years and field hockey was that new challenge for me, so I put everything I had into it. And so far it has led me down a really good path!

While I love my sport, academics have always been my number one priority. Picking a great academic school, which had a Division 1 Field Hockey team, was the perfect combination for me in the end.

Do you see yourself making a career out of this sport? Why or why not?

No, I don’t. I definitely want to implement some of the tools I’ve learned in field hockey to my professional career. Although you can definitely go to the Olympics for Field Hockey, I don’t want to make a career out of it.

So you go to the Haas School of Business. Do you feel that your sport has not only contributed to you getting accepted into Haas, but also allowed you to be successful in your business academic and professional careers?

As far as applying to Haas, Field Hockey was definitely a huge extra-curricular activity that I could reference in my application. I have used a lot of the tools that I have learned from Field Hockey. For instance, team chemistry and being able to openly communicate with people, my interpersonal skills, have been two big tools that I have been able to utilize while studying at the Haas School of Business.

I believe that I already came into Haas with a really strong work ethic; so while Field Hockey has allowed me to perfect time management and perseverance, I believe that my own inherent strong work ethic has truly allowed me to be successful in balancing my sport and academics while studying at Cal.

What is it like being a student-athlete at Haas (describe a day in the life of a student-athlete)? What resources do you get for being a student-athlete? Is it easier or harder to dedicate time to your academic career when you have a demanding lifestyle from your sport?

I definitely think that academics have always been a priority in my eyes, so trying to balance that with my sport is always my focus day in and day out. We do get a lot of resources to help us along the way, such as the tutors and the High Performance Center, however, I only use those when I really need it. They are great resources and I’m fortunate to have them. I don’t know if those have led me to my success at Haas, but I do know that being a student-athlete, while having the opportunity to go to Haas and Cal, has been the best experience of my life and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Okay, so the day in the life of a student-athlete. Here is what my busiest day would look like during last semester. We have practice in the morning and then class after. Sometimes after class, we would have a team meeting as well. Typically, I would get up at 5:30AM if we have a 5:45AM practice. Last semester we were commuting to Stanford University for practice because our field was under construction. So I would get on the bus at 5:45AM and we would get to Stanford around 7:30AM and make it back in time for class by 11:00AM. I know it is a lot of travelling in the morning, but I’m fortunate to be able to eat, be social with my teammates and study while commuting every morning. As athletes, we make it work and we adjust our lifestyle to be able to find time to balance studying and training well for our sport.

When I get home from practice, I try to change out of my Cal athletic attire, sometimes to no avail because I stick out like a sore thumb, so I can look presentable for class. Other than that, I go to class until 2:00PM or 3:00PM, try to finish my chunk of my homework right after, maybe relax a bit after that, grab something to eat, sometimes go to a team meeting or event if it’s during meet season, and then go to bed at a reasonable hour. Then it starts all over again. It’s very routine; but as a 5th year and as a student-athlete, I know what my body needs and rest is very important.

While Fall semester is our competitive season, I would say that the Spring semester (season) is much more difficult, not only in terms of training but also in terms of classes. Typically, during my off-season, I take more difficult courses and I am training a lot harder. In addition to practice, I have weight training.

Do you foresee yourself going into a career that is tied to the sports industry?

I did intern for Nike last summer up in Beaverton in Sports Marketing. It fit with my lifestyle perfectly because I was able to train while having an internship. I was having a great time. At Nike, I did Sports Marketing for the NFL and college football.

However, I am actually pursuing a full-time offer with Hershey in outside sales once I graduate. I was against sales, initially. However, I really liked the company and program that they were offering me. There’s definitely room for growth with this company and that is what I am looking forward to.

Having gone to school as a student-athlete, is there anything that you wish to change in your experience here at Cal and Haas? If not, what is the most important thing you have gotten from being a student-athlete at Haas?

It took me a while to figure out time management and being constantly aware of my health. So, I wish I could have implemented some of the health tactics that I know now back then so that I wouldn’t have gotten injured in my sport. I also wish I could have joined a sorority. I love all my teammates and the sports community; however, I would have loved to have the opportunity to branch out and meet people outside of the sports community.

One memorable experience I have had as a student athlete … I think just being able to get accepted into the Haas School of Business has been such a great experience so far.   I have loved all the classes that I have taken here and I am so glad that I decided to take all the hard prerequisites, in addition to working hard in all other aspects at Cal, so that I could get into Haas. It’s very prestigious and I don’t take it for granted.

What I have really learned form being a student athlete is time-management. Being able to balance everything. I’ve learned to deal with anything that comes my way and make it work in my favor. I was working at the RSF and now I’m a tutor at the SLC (Student Learning Center), I was competing in my sport and studying at Haas. Yet, I was still able to have a life! You definitely can make it work and time-management has been key to my success in doing so.

Andrea Earle

Career Profile: Monica Diliberto, Retail Management

Career Profiles is a series of posts that will feature Haas students who have accepted an internship or full time job offer across various industries. 

Monica Diliberto is currently a 4th year Business Administration student who transferred from Skyline College in San Bruno,monica CA.  Known as the “Retailing Girl”, Monica not only teaches a Retailing DeCal, but also is involved with the Cohort Program as the Shattuck Cohort Leader for the Class of 2015 and is a writer for the Haas Undergraduate’s Blog.  Outside of Haas, Monica is the Executive Administrator for Fashion and Student Trends (FAST), UC Berkeley’s student-run fashion organization which hosts bi-annual fashion shows on campus, and was a host for last semester’s fashion show, Legacy.  During her time at Haas, Monica had acquired an internship with Macy’s for their Store Management Development Program and, after graduation, will be joining Bloomingdale’s for a full time offer, starting August 2015, for their Executive Development Program in San Francisco.

Why Retail Management? What made you join Bloomingdale’s Executive Development Manager Program?

In high school, I was very much into fashion.  I made all of my Homecoming, Winter Formal and Prom dresses; however, I never really though of a career in fashion.  It was not until community college, where I was presented with the opportunity to work for Nordstrom in Palo Alto as a sales associate that I began to think of a potential career in the retail industry.  At the time, I was pursuing business with the intent of going into Forensic Accounting, like my dad.  But then I though to myself, “Can I honestly go to work every single day in the same boring business suit and sit in a cubicle crunching numbers all day?”  While I enjoyed the satisfaction of balancing my books in my accounting courses, I found myself more excited to develop and grow as a leader in the retail industry—and that began at Nordstrom.

While going to community college as a full time student, I was able to work part time at Nordstrom and gain tremendous experience in the fields of sales, product knowledge, and management.  I found that I could not only apply what I was learning in the classroom on the job, but vice versa as well.  And then it hit me: everyone needs and will always need clothing.  That was when I decided to pursue an academic degree in business, with an emphasis in retail management, so that I could become a leader in the retail industry.  And that has led me to Haas.

I’ve learned to never apologize for having high expectations.  Therefore, throughout my experience at Haas, I set the bar high and wanted to see myself end up at a premiere retail company that had a management program which would allow me to grow throughout the company as quickly as possible.  I met two college recruiters at the career fair during my Junior year and was very impressed not only by the program itself, but also by the people with whom I was conversing.  They made my feel as though I were already part of their executive team and showed me the endless career paths that I could pursue with Bloomindale’s.  With the retail experience that I had, in addition to the goals I had laid out for myself, I could definitely see myself exceling with a company like Bloomingdale’s and the recruiters believed the same to be true.

How did you avoid the pressures of ABC recruitment?

Prior to applying to potential business schools while I was at community college, I made a very conscious effort to decide what I wanted to do with my business degree.  Obviously, deciding ahead of time made it easier to write my personal statements, but it would also allow me to stay focused while studying such a broad major.  Therefore, when I decided that I wanted to go into retail management while studying at the Haas School of Business, I knew that I would be going into a program that was renowned for its emphasis and career opportunities within the ABCs.  And while I certainly felt the pressure to become a consultant, investment banker or accountant, I knew that I would never be happy in those careers.  Retail makes me happy and is an industry that can combine my creative and analytical side through a fashion focus.

We all know, by heart, the Four Defining Principles here at Haas; but I really do believe they all resonate with the person that I have become.  I like to question the status quo here at Haas and be that “retail girl”. I like to be confident in my abilities, of course without attitude, while I study retail management.  I am always yearning to learn more about the industry that I’m going into, and the way I can give back is by teaching others, through my Retailing DeCal, how to be successful in retail.  And I am always going beyond myself by trying to make a name for myself as a leader in the retail industry, and that starts with my career at Bloomingdale’s.

How did you land your offer at Bloomingdale? What was the process like?

During my first semester at Haas, I went to the career fair and made a beeline for the Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s recruiting tables.  Bloomingdale’s did not have a management summer internship, so I decided to get industry and management experience through the Macy’s Store Management Internship Program.  I made sure to introduce myself and establish a relationship with the Bloomingdale’s recruiter so that I could keep updating him on my interest in pursuing a career with Bloomingdale’s.  In the end, I figured that if I loved working for Macy’s I could acquire a full time offer after the summer or I could use this experience as leverage if I ever decided to switch companies.

After my summer internship at Macy’s, I really fell in love with the company; however, I wanted a taste of management with a company that focused on designer fashion and haute couture.   Therefore, I reached out to the Bloomingdale’s recruiter and submitted my application for the Bloomingdale’s Executive Development Program.  Since I had been working for Macy’s, I had to be referred to the Bloomingdale’s EDP through my Macy’s College Recruiter and, from there, be given the opportunity to interview for this management program.  Needless to say, I had a very positive experience during the recruiting process because I earned myself a full-time offer with Bloomingdale’s.  The final round interview consisted of a one-on-one interview with the Store Manager, who is also the founder of the Bloomingdale’s flagship store, Alan Svensen along with an interview with the Bloomingdale’s head college recruiter and a final interview with a manager who is currently in the Executive Development Program, all at the Bloomingdale’s San Francisco store.  The experience in-itself was very rewarding.

Do you have any advice you would give other Haas and Cal students in general, who are also interested in working in retail versus traditional ABC industries?

Dare to be different.  Don’t look back at your experience at Haas and wish you could have gone into another field.  This time is about finding out what you want to do with the rest of your life.  Don’t feel as though you have to go into the ABCs just because everyone else is doing it.  You get one chance to go to Haas, and Cal for that matter, and it is such an amazing opportunity to go to one of the most prestigious undergraduate schools in the country, so make it count.

My favorite quote from Coco Chanel: “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”

Business Club Profiles: The Berkeley Group

The Berkeley Group (TBG) is one of Berkeley’s student organizations that offers pro-bono consulting services for non-profits and social enterprises in the Bay Area. TBG aims to help create a better world while encouraging its member to grow professionally and personally through hands-on experience on high-impact projects.


Josephine Kao, a current TBGer, reflects about her experiences. Here is what she shared about TBG:

Before I joined TBG, I looked upon the club with an odd blend of aspiration, curiosity, and reverence. I attended an info session and scrolled through its website to try and gain a sense for TBG’s core qualities, but didn’t truly arrive at an understanding beyond the slick navy blue logo and the phrase “pro-bono consulting for non-profits” until I went through two semesters of meaningful work and relationship building in the club.

In two semesters of consulting for TBG, I was graced with the opportunity to work on a corporate sponsorship strategy for the urban, classy arts organization SFJAZZ and a marketing project for the passionate and more homegrown Aspire Education. By engaging with two very different clients, I gained exposure to everything from the shiny corporate realm to the specific struggles of local non-profits. Though I enjoyed the experience of interviewing key stakeholders, crunching numbers, and engaging in rapid discussions with my teammates, the beauty of each project was not simply the work itself. As I learned about Bay Area industries and communities, I also developed a passion for others’ stories and dreams. SFJAZZ helped shape my views of the human capacity for expression through music and art. Working for Aspire reaffirmed my personal commitment to furthering equitable, high quality education for students from all backgrounds.

This type of personal growth has stemmed not only from my project experiences, but from the relationships I have built in TBG. We are bound together by more than a mutual interest in consulting or business (in fact, the club is known to have a good deal of non-business majors, ranging from Media Studies to MCB), but rather, a commitment to causes outside of ourselves. Some of my fondest memories include cooking a meal for Project Open Hand and volunteering to teach a financial literacy class for students in Oakland with friends and alumni from TBG. Over many ice cream, coffee, and foodie outings, I realized that these people were not just “my TBG friends”, but genuinely concerned peers and mentors. I have become confident in expressing myself on things related and unrelated to TBG: my faith and my future, my highs and my lows.

Digging deep into the club’s familial culture, resources, and network helped me to sift through preconceived notions of “legitness” and pre-professional buzzwords throughout my first year at Cal. As a result, I have developed a strong grasp for both TBG’s mission and my personal trajectory in college. The personal impact I have encountered from aligning myself with a social impact oriented community is more than I could have asked for. I have realized that the very essence of the TBG experience is not meant to be self-elevating, but empowering to selflessly driven communities—both in and outside the club.


Josephine Kao is a sophomore at Cal majoring in English and Economics. She has been a member of The Berkeley Group since Fall 2013 of her freshman year, when her backpack was too large for her. Outside of TBG, she works for Student Affairs-Information Technology as a Residential Computing Consultant and is involved in Klesis, a Christian fellowship on campus. When she’s not drinking coffee or scribbling down random things in her small notebook, she enjoys playing the harp and exploring the Bay Area with friends. 

URAP: Open Innovation In The Wine Industry

*The Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program (URAP) is designed to involve Berkeley undergraduates more deeply in the research life of the University. The Program provides opportunities for you to work with faculty on various research topics.*

This article was contributed by current students, Isabelle Lee (’16) and Brandon Pearl (’17). Information about China’s Counterfeiting Wine Industry was contributed by exchange student, Kang Liu.


Picture Courtesy by Google Images

Last semester, I had the opportunity to research the wine industry with a fellow student, Brandon Pearl. Together we conducted research for areas in need of improvement, namely, open innovation. Open innovation is a term coined and popularized by resident UC Berkeley professor, Henry Chesbrough, and encourages seemingly unrelated businesses to share technologies which could lead to overall industry growth. With the guidance of Dr. Sohyeong Kim, our research project consisted of answering theses, among other, fundamental questions: what is the business model of the wine industry and what are some ways open innovation can disrupt the wine industry? We broke our research into three parts: The consumer base, industry outlook, and a case study featuring China’s counterfeiting wine predicaments.

The Consumer Base

The wine industry’s lividity hinges on the loyalty of its consumer base. Unlike products such as baby formula and elderly-care, wine currently finds its way to consumers who hold onto the tradition of wine-drinking/tasting. However, as more wineries are opening up, each offering quality wine at a fraction of the vintage price, the opportunity to involve a greater variety of consumers in the wine market beckons the innovators.

A big problem on the consumer side lies in the branding of wine as a product. The current product design, all class and greater than a single serving, targets adults in their late-20’s to late-50’s. A large portion, however, of potential and active adults of drinking age lie in the 21-27 year old range. The current product design, however, loses to that of canned beer or other homemade beverages. Union Wine Co. (http://unionwinecompany.com/) and Barokes Wine (http://wineinacan.com/) each take their own approach to the “wine-in-a-can” idea to reach a broader demographic. The first provides a personal, 2 serving can while the second keeps the traditional wine bottle’s shape but reduces it to a single serving. Each has the potential to draw in new customers, but the choice to shift packaging lies on the production side.

Industry: Production and DistributionP1011329-960x600

The wine industry has been growing over the years (especially with the jump in 1994 from the Boomers), but is starting to suffer with the now rapid rate of Boomers leaving the age where wine is a relevant commodity. Now, because there isn’t the same type of jump to carry the wine industry from the declining Boomers to the rising Busters and Millennials. One of the most critical questions to be answered by wine companies/makers, as we learned through hour research is how to arrange external ties with other companies and research organizations – potentially leading to a successful innovation system – without compromising unique and highly specific assets. Based upon the consumer revenue model, a given producer should be able to tailor marketing efforts to target largely affluent customers. While there are middle and lower class consumers, the producers generally focus on selling wholesale to larger distributors, therefore needing the targeted marketing effort towards these larger figures in wine industry. The wine industry overall, needs means for cheaper/more effective marketing, making harvests more consistent with one another, reducing production costs (water/labelling) and bringing wine to consumers at a more reasonable cost with lower turn-around time.

China’s Counterfeit Wine Predicament

Moving abroad, we encountered the problem of counterfeit wine production in China. This counterfeit wine can be broken into three distinct categories: wine with a fake brand, genuine wine with fake label information and overall production counterfeiting. To clarify, production counterfeiting can be anything from fake corks to bottling *non-wine* liquids.

In 2009, Oak Ridge Winery noticed that Guangzhou Red Blue Trading Co. labeled their products with fraudulent information and stated that these products were produced by Oak Ridge Winery. According to a wine dealer, this type of counterfeiting is not rare in the Chinese wine market (http://info.tjkx.com/detail/774243.htm).

Unlike Europe or the US, China has a very limited culture of drinking wine. It’s fairly common for a European family to have their own wine grape vineyard, but generally rare for Chinese families. Most Chinese people cannot tell the difference between genuine and fake wines, let alone that manufacturers go to great lengths to spot the counterfeits. This explains why a non-technical Chinese counterfeiter can easily sell millions of bottles of fake wine, which is unheard of in Europe or the US.

Buyers and sellers are facing information asymmetry in the Chinese wine market. No matter how much effort European or American wine sellers put into their bottles, the Chinese market will remain relatively unaffected. If wine producers want to change this trend, they need to make this information accessible to consumers and also, cultivate China’s wine culture.

As our research concluded at the end of December, we were blessed to have the opportunity to meet some of the most dedicated people in the industry. Having encountered a breadth of information through this research project, one could say our critical analysis and organizational skills have improved tremendously. We now know how to conduct scholarly research, as well as how to sift through the myriad of data that is available. This research project was definitely one of the most valuable experiences a student could receive at a world class institution like UC Berkeley-Haas. Anyone that has a desire for independent research, please visit, http://research.berkeley.edu/urap/, to find out more about the URAP program and how you can get involved next semester.

Stress-less Semester

Welcome back undergads!

As the second week of classes comes to an end we have finally been introduced to all of our new courses and professors, plunged head first into our various clubs and extracurricular activities, and began our hunt for employment.

Coming from four blissful weeks of vacation, with days of nothing but Netflix and home cooking, all of this may seem overwhelming. Which info session should I attend? How do I prepare for the job fair? How do I prepare for the interview? Wait, I have a quiz tomorrow?!

You all know how stressful being a student can be, and as juniors and seniors I am sure you have all come up with a variety of different ways to cope with your stress. Though you may know what you should do, applying these practices to our lives, especially when they seem to be spiraling out of control, is not always that easy. Today I want to share with you a couple of my easy go-to strategies for keeping my worries in perspective and dealing with stress. Though simple, don’t underestimate how effective they can be.


Image courtesy of tryenerc.com

  1. Drink lots of water: All of your organs needs water to function properly, by keeping them well hydrated you help make sure your body is running well leading to decreased stress levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone whose levels increase when you are dehydrated. Keep your cortisol levels in check by drinking up!

Image courtesy of dietdoctor.com

  1. Get more sleep: I’m not saying 8 hours a night is always possible, but by consciously making an effort to get to bed earlier you will be less vulnerable to stress. Tips to improve sleep quality include creating a dark, quiet, comfortable sleep environment, establishing a calming routine right before going to bed, and maintaining a consistent sleep-wake schedule.

Image courtesy of drleonardcoldwell.com

  1. Exercise regularly: Physically activity produces endorphins, your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, making you feel happier and less stressed. Focusing on your body’s movement while exercising helps you forget and let go of the day’s frustrations. Plus if you are exhausted from a good workout you will sleep more soundly at night, lowering stress levels.

Image courtesy of jsparkblog.com

  1. Be grateful: We often forget how fortunate we are just to be alive. Gratitude research shows that feelings of thankfulness are extremely beneficial in helping people cope with stress. Some ways you can practice gratitude in your everyday life are by saying thank you to people that make your life better, keeping a journal of things you’re grateful for, or remembering times when you felt exceptionally happy.

As easy as this advice is to give, it is not always that easy to apply to our own lives. Given that you are all driven Berkeley students who don’t back away from hard work and who love a good challenge, I challenge you to pick one of these stress-reducing tips to apply to your lives for the next month. I will be working on getting to sleep at a decent hour, drinking more water, and letting my loved ones know how grateful I am for their impact on my life.

I would love to hear all of your tips for reducing stress! Please leave a comment sharing a tip of your own, a success story, or one goal you will be working on to reduce your stress over the next month.

Kendal Madden

Class of 2016