They say more than 90% of Haas grads get a job in finance, banking, investment, or consulting. It’s a fact that Haas alumni work for many of the top companies in the world, even running some of them. Therefore, I think it’s fairly safe to say most Haas applicants indicate in their application essays their desire to go into one of these fields, and perhaps back it up with extracurricular activities, internships, or work experience accordingly. So I knew I was taking a big risk when I said in my applications that I wasn’t here for finance, nor investment, nor consulting – but rather to succeed in the music business, and hopefully make some positive changes along the way. I would dare to say that’s an essay they don’t see many times, which could be why it paid off. Well that AND the hard work and many grueling hours I put in getting here.
My name is Mike Teez and I am an electronic dance music (EDM) producer and performer. I came to Haas to learn the skills essential to starting and running my own international EDM record label and artist management agency. I’m very proud to say I transferred into Haas from Moorpark Junior College in Southern California. I’m from LA but spent a few years in Lake Tahoe after high school so Northern California has always had a special place in my heart.
It wasn’t too long ago that I first came to the Berkeley campus on a quick stop to clarify I was on the right path to transfer up from my JC. I was instantly touched by the beautiful campus with its rolling hills and spectacular buildings – some of the grandest looking I had ever seen at a school. It definitely made an impression and when the time came to choose, I decided to leave my friends and family in LA for a few years and shoot for the stars at Haas and beyond.
The CalSo and Haas orientation were both amazing and very informative. I met members of the Haas staff and faculty and some of my fellow classmates. I found myself very eager to network and introduce myself to everyone, knowing that our class is going to be the decision-makers of the future, and some of the relationships we forge in these next two years will last a lifetime. In just a few weeks, I’m sure I’ve already made lifelong friends.
Now that the semester is in full swing, I can say it was a bit hard transferring into UCB from my Junior College. Even more difficult adjusting to the highly competitive Haas program. I had never been in a classroom of more than 40 people and here I was in a classroom of hundreds! Although I had tried to prepare myself, the magnitude of it all still didn’t sink in for me until I got here and started the semester: I am in the Haas program at UC Berkeley. Now those “rolling hills” from before sometimes seem like an endless mountain to climb to get to class on time. Now there are Case Competitions and internships for Google on the line. Consulting groups, Business clubs to join, maybe even a fraternity. It can all be so overwhelming. And let’s not talk about the infamous UGBA 104! But it’s at this point that I remember what my dean said in orientation. “Don’t worry. We know this will be tough, but we would not have chosen you if we didn’t think you could do it.” Those words have gone a long way for me and I will look back to them whenever I question myself or think I’m falling short. I would encourage my fellow students do the same.
So although it has been quite a mission to get up here, find a place, and get started – as anyone who has driven up here with a car-load of life and no place to put it can attest to – it is also a very exciting time for me. Many things I’ve worked extremely hard to be able to do are now finally beginning to come to fruition. It seems I may finally be able to make music my career through school and hard work. I came here to learn the skills to build my dream and further my passion for the music business and I am already finding lots of fellow music-lovers. I recently joined Electonic ( http://www.facebook.com/groups/electonic/ ), an on-campus EDM club with very cool members who love music just like me. I’ve met some cool fraternities like Zeta Psi and Sigma Nu, and checked out some of the Co-ops. The music scene is alive everywhere here and I’ve found the Bay area, and especially Berkeley, very open to the new sounds of emerging musical artists such as myself. This openness is a great thing. It creates a sense of belonging and ultimately leads to inspirational breakthroughs.
I guess what I’ve found these first few weeks, as a student, an artist, and as a human, is inspiration everywhere I go. Whether it be the strums of guitars on Telegraph, the natural sounds of wind and water through the grass and trees, or the melody of the Campanile clock-tower at noon. Every hallway on campus resonates with the hopes and dreams of those who passed through before us. You may not be able to hear them, but if you listen close, and open your heart, you can feel the reverberations.
I can’t wait to share more of my music with others, and find ways to merge the business aspect of my schooling with my passion for producing music. My plan is to launch a record label and artist management agency and take it international in the next two years. I know it’s a lofty goal, but with the help of the networks I build at Cal, and the tools I learn through my studies, I know I’m going to make it happen. The future is very bright for each and every one of us and I can’t help but smile everywhere I go. I’m very proud to call Berkeley my home for the next few years, and the people I meet, my friends. Go Bears!