This summer saw the second year in which the Haas Undergraduate Office offered the PreCore Program. This program is designed to offer Business transfer students a chance to refresh skills they will need during their two years of classes at Haas, while also giving them an opportunity to develop a community with fellow transfers. The two classes covered Quantitative Business Skills, taught by Professor Todd Fitch, and Professional Communications, taught by Professor Ryan Sloan. By the end of the six-week summer session this year, the nineteen students felt prepared to tackle the more rigorous coursework of the fall semester along with recruiting season, supported by the lifelong friendships developed during this time.
Three of this year’s PreCore students offered their personal experiences from this summer’s program:
I first heard about PreCore through an email that Barbara Felkins sent out to all Haas transfer applicants. The two classes sounded extremely useful and helpful, so I planned my summer around the possibility that I would get into Berkeley and take summer classes. This was one of the best decisions that I have made while planning my academic career. Despite having to cut an extremely attractive internship shorter in order to fit in PreCore, I would make the same decision again in a heartbeat. There were so many useful things that I gained from this course, such as interview skills, business writing, excel practice, and public speaking. So I’ll narrow it down to two of the things I appreciated the most.
First, in Professor Sloan’s class we developed resume portfolios, in which we went through the entire process of researching an internship, writing a cover letter and targeted resume, as well as practicing mock interviews for the company we chose. This gave me a great chance to hone practical skills, which I will be utilizing for the rest of my life.
Secondly, the sense of community I developed with my classmates is invaluable. Spending over seventeen hours a week for six weeks with these bright, motivated leaders was a privilege. I know that the friendships I have with my PreCore family will last throughout college and into our careers after graduation.
When I first found out about PreCore Program, its hefty price tag made it difficult for me to justify enrolling in the program. However I figured, “Hey, it’s Haas. I’m sure these people probably know something about running a program.”
I could not have been more right. In the span of six weeks, I gained a wealth of invaluable information applicable to my academic, professional, and social life, and formed strong relationships within the PreCore cohort. In addition to the technical materials covered in class, Professor Fitch and Professor Sloan provided numerous nuggets of advice that enriched my overall perspective on leadership and community.
I enrolled in this program hoping to gain some level of preparation for the upcoming school year at Haas—and I did. However, I also gained much more than I could have ever imagined. I am thoroughly grateful for my experiences as a member of the PreCore Program and I strongly encourage future students to take full advantage of such a unique and worthwhile opportunity.
Htet Yi Linn
This summer, I had to choose between going back to my home country and taking the PreCore classes. I eventually chose to enroll in the summer PreCore Program but I wasn’t sure whether I made the right choice until the first day of class. I mean, you know a class would be amazing if the professor promises to teach karate and self-defense skills. The program was indeed an amazing experience. Throughout the course, we polished up our resumes, practiced mock interviews and refreshed our rusty quantitative skills. But that was not all. I gained much more than the communication and quantitative skills that I was expecting to get. The workshops introduced the many student services and resources at Cal to us. We also got a chance to talk to Haas alumni and current Haas students. And most importantly, we established strong bonds with our classmates. All 19 of us came out of the course feeling much more prepared for fall semester. Being in class for five hours straight is long but amazing professors and classmates made six weeks fly by.
Katherine, Edgar, and Htet, along with Michael Dunn and Yifan Gong, will be hosting a “PreCore 2015 Workshop,” in order to provide a quick overview of the topics to fellow Haas transfer students who were unable to take the two classes this summer. They are excited to welcome David Woodward, from the Career Center, and Alessandra Demmons, from the Haas Alumni Network office, as guest speakers. The PreCore Program was a fantastic way for transfer students to begin the transition into UC Berkeley, and these student facilitators are hoping to help other business transfer students prepare for the fall while also encouraging prospective students to enroll in PreCore next year!
More information on the PreCore Workshop can be found at the event page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1446090102385179/