Dean’s Undergraduate Reception – Fall 2013

Dean Rich Lyons
Dean Rich Lyons

This year’s Dean’s Undergraduate Reception was held on October 7, 2013. The hour-long event was hosted by the Haas School of Business as an attempt for the dean to connect with the Haas student body.

Dean Lyons kicked off the reception by first announcing the current rankings of Haas’s three most renowned degree programs, namely the Haas Undergraduate Program, the part-time MBA program, and full-time MBAs.

The undergraduate program is currently tied with M.I.T. and University of Michigan-Ann Arbor for top 2 in best undergraduate business programs in the America by U.S. News, the highest it has ever reached in Haas UG history. The part-time MBA program, on the other hand, has been ranked first in the nation, and the full-time MBA program, seventh, for the year 2013.

The Haas Undergraduate Program is also currently progressing in more concentrated fields: US news presently ranked Haas third in Real Estate, fourth in Management, fifth in Finance, Marketing, and Quantitative Analysis, sixth in Production/Operations Management, seventh in International Business, and eighth in Entrepreneurship.

Haas Undergraduate Program Ranking
Haas Undergraduate Program Ranking

The dean also proudly announced Janet Yellen, a macroeconomics professor at the Haas School of Business for over twenty years, as a possible nominee to head the Federal Reserve. This was a few days before news of Yellen’s nomination by President Barack Obama was officially made public.

Janet Yellen
Janet Yellen

Student satisfaction was discussed as well. According to Dean Lyons, newly offered Haas courses such as UGBA195T – VC and Private Equity Hedge Funds and UGBA167 Pricing Strategy, were actually developed as a response to student satisfaction survey results. Students expressed interest in having more experiential learning classes at Haas, which led to the program’s continued partnership with “Training the Streets” as an exclusive workshop available only to Haas undergraduates, the recently built Haas Innovation Lab at the top floor of the Memorial Stadium, and a travel study course to India called UGBA193I hosted by Professor Solomon Darwin, a two week trip just before Spring 2014 instruction.

Haas Courtyard
Haas Courtyard

Additionally, students also sought for more networking opportunities with colleagues and Haas MBAs. Dean Lyons recommended that students take advantage of the Haas Courtyard, as he believes the newly renovated courtyard is the perfect location for mixing and connect with other students.

The next topic on the agenda was Beta Gamma Sigma. Dean Lyons reported that the Haas undergraduate program has decided to re-enter the prestigious business society as a means of empowering the academically achieved students at Haas. Beta Gamma Sigma only invites the top 10% of the class. 33 students from the Haas Class of 2014 were recognized at the event.

Dean Lyons wanted to congratulate the Haas Class of 2015 for their acceptance into the business school. There had been an increase of 25% in Haas applications received compared to last year, which made the admissions decisions much more complicated and difficult to make.

Career Center
Career Center

Tom Devlin from the Career Center then took the stage to give a talk on today’s job market. Based on Devlin’s findings, 90% of employers have confirmed that they will be hiring the same number of interns and entry level positions for this school year. Moreover, Devlin also proudly informed the reception attendees of the white boards, air conditioning, and bigger interview rooms that are now available at the career center. He hopes these all will help create a more pleasant recruiting experience for both employers and prospective employees.

He also acknowledged the need to ensure students could make fair decisions and had ample time to think through a job offer. There is intense competition among employers to acquire the best of the best. Hence, it is not surprising that employers would want to hold hirees down by having them secure an offer as soon as possible. Devlin strongly advises students who encounter such a circumstance to contact career center counselors immediately, so they can quickly respond and alleviate the student’s situation. Moreover, Devlin is also working to create more career events that focus beyond the ABC (Accounting, Banking, Consulting) industry, in order to provide students with more diverse options.

Meg Roundy
Meg Roundy

Meg Roundy, Associate Director, Student-Alumni Relations at Haas, was up next. The alumni committee wants to make sure the Cal Alumni Directory is updated for the current student body. Consequently, they have started downloading data from LinkedIn to merge into Haas’s internal records. Once this project is complete, they anticipate students will be able to better utilize the alumni-relations resources and be able to connect with Haas alum who are working at reputable corporations more conveniently. She closed her talk by reminding students to go beyond themselves for Haas through the Senior Gift Campaign upon graduation. It would be the students’ way of giving back to the campus and reciprocating the Haas experience they have received at the business school.

Overall, the reception had a great turn out. Fourth year Haas student, Stephanie Tran, even tweeted her sentiments  about the program shortly after the event.

Screen Shot 2013-10-15 at 6.55.01 PM

Dean Lyons wrapped up the reception by emphasizing the school’s efforts to improve the Haas brand. He urged students to continue excelling in whatever careers or ventures we end up in, as we are Haas product. And ultimately, the value of the Berkeley-Haas brand depends on us.

Denice Sy
Class of 2014

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