Originally from the Czech Republic, Sara Kopunova is a current junior at Haas, double majoring in Business and Industrial Engineering. She is interested in entrepreneurship, conservation, and sustainability. On campus, Sara is the External Vice President of Venture Strategy Solutions, a consulting club that works exclusively with startups, and is a fellow in the Fung Fellowship, a technology entrepreneurship training program.
Why did you decide to double major in Business and Industrial Engineering?
The business major isn’t technical enough for me, and industrial engineering is all about math and statistics, which I love.
In my industrial engineering classes, I learn a lot of technical skills about coding, data analysis, and understanding data, which are all really interesting to me. The business major focuses more on the practical aspects, and a lot of what we’re learning is relatively big picture. Both majors complement each other really well.
What have you learned as a member of Venture Strategy Solutions?
I’ve been a part of Venture for 6 semesters. I started with consulting, then became a project manager, and now am on the executive team. It has been a transformative experience.
Every semester, we get to work on real life projects with real life clients. Working on projects for startups is so exciting because you learn so much about entrepreneurship, the company itself, and your own capabilities as a student.
In addition to gaining consulting skills, I’ve also become a much better manager and have learned so much in my roles as project manager and Executive Vice President. I have to motivate people to work, encourage people to be active at meetings, and manage tasks considering the capabilities of our consultants.
On the personal side, the community is amazing. The people at Venture are my closest friends on campus and have been incredibly supportive throughout my time at Berkeley.
When I was applying to Haas, they were the people who read my essays, gave me recommendations, and gave me tips for interviewing. When I was recruiting last Fall, there was no way I would have been as successful if it wasn’t for the people at Venture and their support. Everyone in Venture really wants you to succeed.
What are your career goals?
I’m doing consulting at my internship this summer and will most likely pursue consulting for my full-time job after I graduate. Eventually, I hope to transition into entrepreneurship. It’s a long term goal of mine, but if not entrepreneurship, I would want to work for a small company, because I think I could make more of an impact and feel rewarded by more tangible outcomes.
By Sara Cheung