Every month the Haas Undergraduate Blog and Haas Sponsored organizations will bring you new insights about the social atmosphere at the Haas School. You’ll hear about what it’s like to be part of the many organizations on campus and what great events they host.
This week’s article is brought to you by Amy Chung, Executive Vice President of the Ascend.
“I’m so scared!” I cried nervously, pacing up and down the floor. “Amy, you’re being silly. Think about how hard you’ve worked. You’ve got this.” My friend and fellow officer, who I had met the previous semester in Ascend, had told me exactly what I needed to hear. As we walked up the stairs of MLK toward one of the biggest networking events of the Fall 2012 semester, I began to remember just how prepared I really was for this moment.
I first joined Ascend as a sophomore, attracted not only by the flyer boldly claiming Ascend as “the premier business organization,” but by the friendly energy of the stranger flyering to me. Here is what I’ve learned ever since. Ascend is a close-knit business organization with a particularly strong network in the accounting and finance industry. Ascend grooms members into top-notch professionals to help not only land the job, but excel when you get there. We do this through one-on-one mentoring, weekly professional development training sessions, and more. Every semester, ambitious students apply to join one of our six committees. Once selected as a committee member, they are individually mentored by the chairs of their committee, while also collaborating with 5-6 other committee members throughout the semester. Our members grow professionally through development trainings such as Successful Behavioral Interviewing Workshops, Finance Technical Interview Workshops, Networking 101, and more. Committee members also grow to become efficient organizers and team players by working with their fellow members to host networking events such as Investment Banking panels, Career Exploration forums, cocktail dinners with professionals, and many more. Most importantly, we don’t just strive to fulfill individual ambitions – we help each other grow. We are here to transform students into future business leaders.
Beyond being a business organization, Ascend is a community of friends who strive to form lasting bonds and to learn about each other on a personal level. In fact, 60 of us current members, joined by Ascend alumni, traveled to Bodega Bay this past February to do just that. We played charades, “never have I ever”, and discussed our favorite childhood show late into the night. And the bonding continues throughout our daily lives at Cal. We go out on late boba runs, get dinner after professional events, and go over to each others’ places to play video games or watch movies. And even when life isn’t as fun – when midterms weigh us down, when personal difficulties come our way – we still turn to each other. Ascend is an amazing support network, here to help us not only grow as professionals, but also as young adults struggling with new challenges.
“You’re right, I’ve got this,” I tell my fellow Ascend officer, just before taking that final step into Pauley Ballroom. I walk up to a professional and put into action everything Ascend has taught me. And I’ve got to admit, I kicked a**.
Ascend Executive Vice President