This article was written by William Vasseti (BS ’18)
Here are the logistics of orientation in case you weren’t there or fell asleep:
Overall, orientation consisted of good information about our cohorts, recruiting and careers, the alumni network, HBSA and a talk by the inspirational alumnus Lucky Sandhu (he is awesome!). There were also several opportunities to network with recruiters as well as a chance to hear from an employer panel consisting of firms like PwC, Accenture and Pandora. There was also ice cream.
What it felt like to be there:
On Monday morning, I checked in and entered the auditorium after my first of surely many rushed FIFO café breakfasts and found my assigned cohort group in the middle of the room. As a transfer student, I felt a bit out of place at first, but my initial anxiety about orientation went away just a tad after I recognized a few familiar faces sitting in the massive auditorium. I found a seat and just as I struck up small talk with the people next to me, orientation started at 9:30am. After a brief welcome and overview of Haas history, Dean Lyons took the stage. It was cool to see him speak about the four defining principles in person. He reminded us that we were meant to be in Haas and that it wasn’t a mistake (whew!). Seeing him in real life felt like meeting a celebrity, especially after having watched him on YouTube back when admission into Haas was still a hope. That’s right people, don’t forget how badly you wanted to get into Haas and how excitedly nervous you were to hear back about your application.
But, when the stress builds up and you’re in it, it’s easy to forget the anticipation of getting accepted to Haas that we all once held. Try not to beat yourself up if you feel stressed because my personal experience and preliminary research indicates that everyone at Haas, if not all of Cal, has at least one moment where stress seems to become unbearable. Please remember that we’re here to support each other and that it’s okay to talk about how you feel.
In my first week, I already felt a bit stressed. Before you know it there are assignments due, class schedules to sort out, info sessions to attend, the feeling that you “have” to network or you’ll miss out, clubs to join, resumes to finalize and on and on…
Back to orientation. After the speakers in the auditorium, we took a break to enjoy a Top Dog lunch and spent time socializing with other students. There were several companies with booths and a nice little pop-up market that sold shirts, jackets and other Haas gear. After hanging out for a while, we went back inside to listen to practical career advice about internships and resumes before Mr. Lucky Sandhu took the stage and reminded us that we are fortunate to be at Haas and that we have a purpose. It was an engaging presentation that really made orientation feel good. We then had a Q&A with recruiters, and by around 3:30pm orientation was officially wrapping up. Hopefully you collected your much anticipated Haas branded backpack and set off into the horizon. Two weeks later, I still use my backpack with a hint of insecurity about looking like a Haashole – but, hey! I made it in!
My main takeaways from orientation and the first two weeks are that 1) Others are here to support you and it’s okay to talk about your feelings. Many others are going through the same things 2) I can’t do everything at once, and 3) I am grateful to be here.