Racial Equity@Haas: 3rd Year Haas Undergraduate – Jose Luis Ramos Mora

Guest Post Written by Alankrita Dayal.

This Racial Equity@Haas blog series written by three Haas students (Charlie James, Alankrita Dayal, and Naayl Kazmi) is providing the space for us to meet our core principles of being Students Always, Beyond Ourselves, and Questioning the Status Quo by opening the conversation on race, how it manifests in business, and its broader implications. We’re asking four questions to members of the Haas community in order to illuminate how racial equity in business and Haas is conceived and to stir an open conversation.

Jose Luis Ramos Mora is a third-year transfer business administration major. During the past year, he has been the treasurer for the Cal Veterans Group and the Homeless Student Union. He is also a fellow in the Fung Fellowship for Wellness and Technology Innovations. He likes to walk the long way to class because it is the most scenic route. Jose likes to watch a lot of Netflix on his free time. Favorite shows consist of How I Met Your Mother, Friday Night Lights, and The Office. After graduation, he hopes to work for nonprofits that focus on higher education for low income communities. He hopes to one day start his own nonprofit organization. This summer he will most likely be taking summer classes and planning a trip to Costa Rica with friends from his time in the Marine Corps.

Q1) What is Racial Equity to You?

Racial equality to me means having the same opportunities as the person next to you without having race come into play, having to act a certain way because that is the way it is seen as professional. I believe there are many great qualities every race brings to the table and they should be accepted in a professional setting. Myself and certain friends act a certain way in professional settings and are overly conscious about everything we say and do because we are afraid of being perceived as the typical Mexican person or typical black person.

Q2) How do you find Racial Equity Important to Business?

I think it is very important because in the business world, it is crucial to have the experience and different perspectives that a diverse racial workforce brings to the table. In business, as in many other situations, it is critical to demonstrate your company or organization takes into consideration all the clients best interests and needs. This can best be achieved by having racial equality all throughout the company.

Q3) In Your Perception, How is Haas on Racial Equity?

Haas does a good job because all the administration and professors I have encountered acknowledge there is a racial discrepancy when it comes to education and race. Many business classes don’t take into consideration this inequality because it doesn’t fit with a lot of the business theories that are studied but nonetheless the professors for the most part acknowledge it exists.

Q4) Please Add a Personal Anecdote on Racial Equity.

Racial equality has a lot to do with the way you look. I remember checking into the USCIS building in Los Angeles, when I was about 18 years old, with my sister. We were standing in line and talking to each other in English. The guard that was doing the security check told me in broken Spanish to please take off my belt and any metal objects I had on me. Then he proceeded to tell my sister the same thing but in English. It is small things like these that make me realize I am stereotyped anywhere I go. I have also been stopped for no reason and asked for my ID while walking down the street and I have also been stopped in my vehicle because I was in a “drug dealing” neighborhood. At that time I did not think anything of these encounters but the more I meet other people, that don’t look like me, the more I realize they have never experienced these situations and the more I realize I look different. I am ok with it because I know I am not only proving something to myself and those people that assume certain things about me based on my looks, but I am also proving something to that 18-year-old Hispanic kid that is going through the same experiences I went through at his age and that is far more important than anything else.

Interview Prep and Job Success


In this blog post, I am going to be talking about the struggles of the “recruiting process”. We aren’t particularly taught how to apply for jobs, nor how to do it successfully. It can be very frustrating and emotional at times. Hopefully, you can relate to some of the thoughts that I’ve had throughout my time applying for internships and take away some helpful tips!

As part of the Haas Business community, I am very fortunate to have been exposed to a world of professionalism and networking. We aren’t explicitly taught what to wear for interviews or how to “recruit”; nevertheless, we are constantly surrounded by professionals influencing our behaviors each and every day. Some may think that as long as you are good at adapting to your surroundings, you will be able to pick up the skills needed in order to become a sufficient “networker”. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Most majors aren’t immersed in such an environment, where recruiting and job search isn’t as highly emphasized. And even if you are part of the Haas community, applying for jobs is a scary and intimidating process.

Networking Events

First, there are all the “events”. Networking here. Recruiting there. After a long and exhausting day of classes, you have to socialize with people you barely know. Oh, and did I mention hundreds of other students are attending as well? Yes, so that leaves you with one, maybe two, minutes to make a good impression on the company representatives, who are taking time out of their day to find exceptional students for potential employment. As such, you have to buck up, drink some coffee, and smile big, because in reality, you’re the host at the recruiting events. You’re the one who has to carry on an engaging conversation, so that you become memorable.


Then, you have to apply to the company, which usually involves a resume and cover letter. I don’t remember ever learning how to write either of these in high school, do you? So, here we are…students at one of the most prestigious universities in the world, yet our resumes have the potential to look like they’ve been written by a 12-year-old. And don’t get me started on the cover letter. I had never even heard of the cover letter until I got to Cal.

Even if all that goes well, you still have to do well in the interview. Scratch that. I mean interivewS with a capital “S”.

This Decal Helps!

As a Spring admit, I felt that I was a semester behind everyone in terms of everything I needed to be doing while in college. So, I decided to take a decal called, “Interview Prep and Job Success”, where I was able to develop the necessary skills in order to land the right job for me. You don’t really realize you need these skills until you get to the point in your life where you need to get a job or internship. You find yourself spending every spare moment you have sending out resumes and cover letters, and at the end of the day, that might not even be enough. Maybe you’ve applied to a bunch of companies, but just can’t seem to be able to land an interview. I would recommend going back and revising your resume and cover letter. Or maybe, you keep interviewing with different companies, but you just can’t seem to get the offer. Well then maybe you need more practice developing your interview skills.

I know what you’re thinking, “okay, thanks for pointing out the obvious Emily, but HOW do I actually do that?” The decal that I took really helped me to sharpen my interview and networking skills, so that I could go up to any working professional with confidence and enthusiasm. Since then, I’ve become a co-facilitator for the decal myself, along with Tyler and Cameron Haberman. We help students from all majors, years, and interests, fine-tune their resumes, cover letters, interview and networking skills, so that they can apply to jobs with the same confidence and enthusiasm. Some students have experience in speech and debate, and therefore are very comfortable in an interview setting; whereas, others have never created a resume in their life. Not only does this decal provide the basic tools students need in order to enter the workforce, but it brings me satisfaction to watch students transition from the beginning of the semester to the end. How do I answer that annoying question, “What’s your biggest weakness?” How can I find open job positions within my realm of interest and expertise? How can I take my resume to the next level? All of these questions are answered in this decal, so that students don’t go their entire college experience without a taste of professional realty. Nevertheless, here are some helpful tips to get you started:

  1. It’s about quality, not quantity: Whether it’s the number of jobs you apply to, or the number of positions you include on your resume, it’s important to focus on the quality of your applications and experience, rather than just volume. It’s more effective to spend hours on five to seven applications, rather than ten minutes on each of 50 applications.
  2. Use the STAR method: Each of the positions listed on your resume should include two to three bullets. Each bullet should include the SITUATION at hand, TASK requested, ACTION taken, and most importantly, the ending RESULT or impact you made.
  3. Have stories in mind: Before going into an interview, make sure you have five to seven stories that demonstrate the skills and leadership needed for the position you’re applying for. A story where you were successful at leading a group will be a lot more memorable than just saying, “I’m a great leader.”

In short, it’s overwhelming. But, it doesn’t have to be. Fall 2017 will be my last semester facilitating the decal, but I will do everything in my power to ensure it continues on. I encourage anyone who has never been exposed to professional development to take this decal. So, whether you’re reading this as a business student or have a friend that just wants help applying for jobs, we can help! 

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Racial Equity@Haas: Core Professor – Andy Shogan (UGBA 104)

This Racial Equity@Haas blog series written by three Haas students (Charlie James, Alankrita Dayal, and Naayl Kazmi) is providing the space for us to meet our core principles of being Students Always, Beyond Ourselves, and Questioning the Status Quo by opening the conversation on race, how it manifests in business, and its broader implications. We’re asking Four questions to members of the Haas community in order to illuminate how racial equity in business and Haas is conceived and to stir an open conversation.

ANDREW (Andy) SHOGAN joined the faculty of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley after receiving an A.B. in Mathematics from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in Operations Research from Stanford University. At the Haas School, Andy served several times as chair of the Operations & Information Technology Group, and, during the period 1991-2007, he served as the Haas School’s Associate Dean for Instruction. In 2007, Andy was awarded the Chancellor’s Distinguished Service Award for his long-time service to both Haas and the University. For his teaching, Andy twice received the Haas School’s Cheit Award for Teaching Excellence (once from the Full-Time MBA students and once from the Part-Time MBA students), and he received the campus-wide Distinguished Teaching Award from the University’s faculty. Andy taught a variety of executive education programs in the United States, China, Thailand, Taiwan, Jamaica, Mexico, and Switzerland. Andy and his wife of 44 years are both natives of Pittsburgh, PA, now reside in Orinda, CA, and have 3 sons, 2 daughters-in-law, and 3 grandchildren.

Q1) What is Racial Equity to You?

“I think it’s almost self-defining; it’s that every race has equal opportunity to everything: education, a path to upward mobility, freedom of movement. There’s an expectation that you won’t be denied anything because of your race, just like religious equity, or any other kind of equity.”

Q2) How do you find Racial Equity Important to Business?

“Most companies are either making a product or providing a service, and from a business perspective, they have to figure out how to market themselves to a variety of racially-diverse market segments. Take a company that – let’s just say – sells milk. You sell milk to Hispanics in a different way than you sell milk to Caucasians. You have to understand that there is a different marketing technique, a different way you structure your ads. Today you see on TV that there are much more diverse people in the ads, and also ads that target a particular race. Similarly on the service side, you still have to understand that the way you reach a particular customer differs by race, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Every culture has a different way of perceiving things and I think a business needs to understand that to prosper. Even if it’s a non-profit or a foundation, it should still recognize that soliciting donations from one culture is different from soliciting donations from another culture. Another basic idea is that businesses need to understand how to best sell their product or service to different cultures, and the only way to understand that is to have a diverse workforce. For example, the Trump administration – there are a lot of ways to criticize it but one of the obvious reasons is that it’s a bunch of old white men sitting around making policies about race and about what women can and can’t do with their bodies and about services to Planned Parenthood and things like that. That’s just the most obvious example, but that example carries down to a business. If I’m Uber, on the service side, or am selling milk, on the product side, I’ve got to have a diverse workforce if I’m going to be a successful business.

Beyond that, there’s the problem of retaining a racially-diverse workforce. A woman I know works for a non-profit that’s struggling with that issue. She’s the HR Director and she’s having trouble retaining minorities. She wants desperately to keep them, but they say, ‘I feel uncomfortable since when I look around, I only see one of me, or I only see two of me, and there are hundreds of other people out there.” You’ve got to retain a critical mass; it’s not enough to hire a racially-diverse workforce. After hiring a racially-diverse workforce, you must create a work environment that fosters the retention of the racially-diverse workforce.”

Q3) In Your Perception, How is Haas on Racial Equity?

“There are at least three levels to that. I see the school both from where I am now and from where I used to be; I was the Associate Dean here for 17 years from the ‘90s to 2007, so I had a lot of administrative responsibilities. I still see the school at the student level, the staff level, and the faculty level. Let’s take those one at a time:
At the student level, Berkeley does good job, but its hands are tied in so many ways by laws that the state must follow, but at least there are students of all races here, but obviously, I’d like to see more with respect to the non-Caucasian races. Going back many years, we were able to admit using race more than we can today to have the diversity that we wanted; the laws passed since then tie our hands a lot. Given that, I think we do as well as we can in generating a group of undergraduate students that are as racially diverse as the laws currently permit.

At the staff level, I think we do an excellent job. If you look at the staff that serves the school at the undergraduate level, the MBA level, the PhD level, supports the faculty and so on, you see a diversity that is excellent.

I think where Haas does worse is at the faculty level. If you look at the faculty, who you see in the classroom, they are not nearly as diverse as it should be. At the undergraduate student level, we’re hamstrung by the laws; at the faculty level, we’re hamstrung by the pipeline, meaning we can only hire what is presented to us, so if there are not enough women getting PhDs, then we can’t hire enough women. Now on the women side I think Haas is doing excellent, but when it comes to persons of color, I think it’s fair to say that our faculty is not as diverse as it SHOULD be, but I think it’s fair to say it’s about as diverse as it CAN be, and the problem there is that we don’t see enough diverse candidates getting PhDs that we can hire from. To be a University like Berkeley, we have to hire excellent faculty; we’re allowed to look everywhere and we cast as broad a net as we can, and if we see a diverse candidate, we will do our best to include that person in the subset of people we interview, but we can only do that if that diverse person is in the system and chooses to apply to our job offers. What we see unfortunately in my field, finance, or accounting as examples is not enough diverse candidates in the applicant pool that we can invite for an interview and who then can survive the interview process and get hired. A nationwide problem for all business schools is to find ways to encourage many more persons of color to enter PhD programs in business and aspire to be faculty members.

How do we do at Haas? At the undergraduate student level, I think we do the best we can under the law. How do we do at the staff level? I think we do an excellent job at the staff level. How do we do at the faculty level? I think we do as well as we can given the lack of diversity in the pipeline of candidates.”

Q4) Please Add a Personal Anecdote on Racial Equity.

“On a personal level, I’ve noticed in my own teaching that I always tend to use Caucasian names when I’m writing examples. I’ve become sensitive to men versus women, so I’ll have just as many women if I’m inventing a problem as men, or I’ll try to say ‘she’ as often as I say ‘he’ when I’m talking about a manager, but when I go back to look at my notes, it’s always John and Michael and Sarah and Ashley or whatever, the names you typically associate with Caucasians. One of the things I’ve started to do is to go back and change my notes so that I have just as many Asian names and Hispanic names and so on. I find myself actually looking up what are some common names – obviously I see the names in my list of students and so on, but I find myself going to Google and saying, for example, ‘Okay, here are a list of Hispanic male names and Hispanic female names,” and trying to go back, while it’s a slow process, and change my notes so that hopefully two or three years from now when you look at my notes you’ll see just as many person-of-color names instead of my old notes that were dominated by Caucasian names.”

Feature on Patrick Sutton (Director of Ireland’s National Theater School)

Patrick Sutton serves as a perfect example of how business can be used in unsuspecting ways. If you are interested in how your degree and your communication skills can serve you post-Haas, in a number of different fields, then this feature is for you!

Patrick Sutton is the Director of The Gaiety School of Acting-The National Theater School of Ireland. He is also the Director of the newly established Smock Alley Theater from 1662. Moreover, he owns a communications company called, “Communicate with Confidence” and has worked with Ireland’s former prime minister and professionals at companies like Accenture and Twitter.

The responses below have been abridged for clarity:

Can you please speak a bit about the positions you hold in the Business and Theater communities?

“My first job is as the Director of the National Theater School of Ireland, The Gaiety School of Acting. My second job is as the Director of the Smock Alley Theater.” [Smock Alley Theater is a historic theater in the heart of Dublin. Patrick alongside colleague Kristian Marken, restored the original theater of 1662]. We decided to bring it back to life as a resource for Dublin, for Ireland, and for the World. It is the most historic thing I have ever done. I also own a communications company called “Communicate with Confidence.”

How did you decide to start “Communicate with Confidence”?

“About 15 years ago, I was asked by an Irish politician, Bertie Ahern, to coach him in speech delivery and speech writing. We met once a week to prepare him for every speech he ever did. This included speeches to the joint houses of the U.S. Congress and to the joint houses of the British Parliament. [In 1994, Ahern was elected as prime minister of Ireland. He served for about 12 years as prime minister]. He was a huge part of the Northern Ireland Peace process. I have also coached clients in companies like Accenture and Twitter. This afternoon, I am coaching the Managing Director of Twitter for an interview with the BBC.

With your work in political and business realms, has your experience with Theater been helpful?

“I was an actor. Everything I do and always have done has come from that perspective.” The perspective of being able to stand and to be confident in my body and how it operates, in my voice and how it operates, in my gestures as to how they work.” “Ultimately, you’ve got to be able to stand or sit and deliver and own this thing [body] and there is no apology for the performance in the communications work I do.”

Specifically in business and in communications, “ I use a communications model to provide a context, to talk coherently and concisely. I also use this model to present visions. I believe that every presentation is about the future. My vision, as a presenter, is always the future, my vision is never the past.”

Can you speak more about how performing as an actor has helped you as a business man?

“Good acting has a sense of embodiment and ownership. Good acting means that you were there and you were whole and you were full and you were engaged. If you’re not full and engaged with your body, and your voice, and your gestures, and your emotions then you’re at the wrong game, absolutely the wrong game and it is exactly the same with business.”

In a business setting as a company or an employee, it is imperative to “ take ownership of what [you] stand for.” I am a “big believer in the communications game that, if you do not stand for something with a strong spine, strong voice, and clear gesture…there is a danger that you’ll actually stand for nothing. And if you stand for nothing then you are disadvantaged, you are disabled in some sense that you can’t articulate who you are and what you stand for.”

What would you say for students studying Business or Theater?

“At the National Theater School I have designed a course that addresses this question [what do you stand for?] for my students.”

[One of the courses at the National Theater School is called “Manifesto.” It encourages students to create and design their own work. They are in control of the process, presentation and art forms used.] The “Manifesto program is predicated around that concept of figure out who you are and what you stand for.”

“So to students in any realm, I would say figure out what kind of work you want to make and what kind of context you want to make it in. If you can answer those questions, it is incredible what can happen.”

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HBSA 2017 Election Voter Guide

Hey, Haas! Here’s the official 2017 HBSA Election Voter’s Guider. Please take a moment to check out the platforms that our peers are running with, this year! Voting will officially take place from April 10th-13th on CampusGroups.

You can vote at this link: http://tinyurl.com/hbsaelections17

Elyse Weissberger


Hey Haas! I’m very excited to be running for HBSA President for the 2017-2018 academic year. I view this as an opportunity to expand on the incredible programming implemented this year and to create new, exciting events for the Haas community. One area I am especially passionate about developing is Haas’ connection with the wider UC Berkeley campus. We have the opportunity to make a substantial impact both within and beyond the walls of Haas. From our professional development workshops to social events, I think it is important to invite non-Haas majors to teach, learn from, and interact with our wonderful student body. As a transfer student, it is especially important to me to work with the rest of the board to develop outreach programs that help transfers make their transition to UC Berkeley. I would like to start this summer by creating events for Pre-Core students introducing them to life at Haas and in Berkeley. I am also excited to work with the Cohort Leaders to create smaller cohort programs, such as movie nights or hikes that entice students to attend. I plan to revamp the program so that students from across the different cohorts can design events specific to their interests. I would like each cohort to be themed, so that students can be a part of a cohort that they identify with and feel a sense of belonging to. I can’t wait to work with everyone to create a memorable, enriching year!

Michael Wong

Executive Vice President

Hello fellow Haas students! My name is Michael Wong and it is my honor to announce that I am running to be the Executive Vice President for your Haas Business School Association. This past year I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to work in the Technology and Communications committee and it has been one of the best experiences of my life. HBSA has enabled me to step outside of my comfort zone each and every day and has really allowed me to become the best version of myself. From working closely with various committees on events like the Haas Talent Show to facilitating online communications efforts to the undergraduate population, I have always felt like I am a part of an impactful group and I am eager to become even more involved. If selected as the EVP, my main goal is to promote a student-oriented vision. I plan to work closely with the President to reach out to both student organizations as well as individual undergraduates for consistent feedback on what HBSA can do for them. Based on the feedback we receive, I will communicate these messages to our individual committees so that we can tailor our events to the needs of the student population. Additionally, I hope to create cohesive community events like the Winter Formal that will bring various cohorts together. I have very high aspirations for what HBSA can accomplish, and it would be my honor to serve as your Executive Vice President for the 2017- 2018 academic year!

Kayla Lee

Vice President of Finance

Haas has been beyond my expectations in so many different ways. I still remember my accounting class last semester that I was collecting in-class feedbacks from. Not knowing most of the people in class and also being one out of the two juniors, I was more nervous than ever. However, this changed the minute I started speaking. I was welcomed with a warm round of applause, and some friends came to me afterwards and willingly offered to help me as mentors. Not only in that class, but I have also met so many great friends, professors and mentors at Haas, who made me who I am today. This is why I want to run for VP of Finance, to contribute better to the community that has given me so much already. As the VP of Finance, first of all, I want to make more people feel welcomed, and more connected. In order to do so, I want continue to build on the current events for the Haas community. I’ll be more than excited to bring the 2nd Winter Formal, Charity Talent Show, or even more ‘first ever’s. Also, I want to revamp the locker rental system. I want to make the rental system more accessible by actively publicizing and taking feedbacks from current users on how to better the rentals. This will let more people have a place to put books and blazers. I can’t wait to see how much difference we can make together for our community and beyond!

Michael Saucedo

Vice President of Professional Development


As the VP of Professional Development, I want to maximize the individual success of all Haas students during the recruiting process and provide more resources for continuing and transfer students who may be new to the recruiting process. As a transfer student myself, it was incredibly difficult recruiting for internships without the knowledge or experience that comes from participating in previous years. I consider myself lucky for the resources and network that come with being a student veteran, but not all students have access to those resources, making recruiting that much more difficult. Moving forward I want to pay back what I’ve learned and help as many Haas students as possible achieve My intention is to build a more collaborative and transparent recruiting process for incoming juniors and rising seniors, as well as create greater camaraderie within the Haas community! Some of my plans to accomplish these goals include: 1. Increasing the amount of resources available to Haas students, such as establishing a resume book for Haas undergraduates, mirroring the resource available to Haas MBA students. 2. Creating a more inclusive environment by improving outreach and establishing forums for juniors and seniors to share recruiting strategies and career opportunities. 3. Providing more frequent and more diverse workshops that will familiarize students with industry standards and recruiting deadlines. Please feel free to reach out and share your concerns, experiences, or suggestions regarding professional development at Haas. Thank you for your time!

Joshua Ahazie

Vice President of Student Affairs

As Vice President of Student Affairs, my focus will be ensuring all Haas students, both continuing and transfers have a great experience prior to, and while at Haas. In comparison to continuing students, transfers have little or no resources to aid their transition into the Haas program. Through transfer specific info sessions and mentorship programs, we can ensure a smoother transition for transfers and a stronger relationship between community colleges – all which enriches the Haas community at large. Our community is only as precious as the people in it. Success for me as VP of Student Affairs, will be to see more initiatives and events showcase the very students that make Haas great. I hope to build on what we have: our existing ideas, talents, cultures to ensure school remains fun. We have an opportunity to harness the collective impact of this group [Haas], and do something really special.

Serena Wang

Vice President of Student Affairs

Hi! My name is Serena Wang, and I am running to be your next VP of Student Affairs. My first day as an official Haas undergraduate was exciting. I felt like a freshman again, wandering the halls of Cheit and stepping foot into the large Andersen Auditorium. From being classmates with such brilliant students, to engaging with top professors, I was falling in love with everything that Haas had to offer. Now, as a HBSA mentor, HBSA essay reader, and Haas MBA extern, I am proud to be a Haas student. But there’s still so much left to experience. I want Haas to truly become a community in which we get to know each other – the diverse, ambitious, and passionate individuals that make up the Haas student body. I’m driven by potential, and I want to encourage, challenge, and provide our students with all the resources needed to be the best. My platforms are: 1) Expanding the HBSA mentorship program to provide MBA mentors to our Haas students. I wish to encourage a culture of reciprocation, to make sure that we are also investing into our upperclassmen as they give back. 2) Improving outreach to Pre-Haas students, by making the application workshops and panels more accessible and available to students. As an individual who has benefitted from these programs, I wish to drive greater student engagement so that underclassmen are well equipped for success and feel welcomed into the Haas community.

Emily Luna 

Vice President of Marketing

Lessening the communication gap amongst the student body and HBSA is my priority. Many of my peers are far too disconnected and uninformed about HBSA, thus making them indifferent towards the organization’s sponsored events and services. This can be accomplished through leveraging the HBSA social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) and their unique features like Twitter Polls and Facebook Live. Although emails can be effective, great brands use social media quite often to humanize themselves and create relationships with their audiences. HBSA can do the same by directly connecting with the Haas student body through responding to their comments, questions and concerns on social media. In addition, I seek to ensure efficiency and consistency in sharing HBSA’s story by managing the website.

Anushree Bhimani

Vice President of MBA & Alumni Relations

As the VP of MBA & Alumni Relations, I hope to increase integration between the MBA and undergraduate community. One of my most impactful experiences at Haas has been my involvement as a mentee in the MBA-Undergrad mentorship program. In fact, it is thanks to my mentor that I was recently able to achieve a big milestone in my career path. Through this VP position, I wish to share the same resources and opportunities I had with the entire Haas community. Below are the main goals I strive to achieve in this role: 1. Continue and expand the MBA-Undergrad mentorship program. 2. Increase the frequency of MBA-undergrad networking events. 3. Generate awareness about different possible pathways before and after MBA. 4. Provide a platform for undergraduates to learn from real life experiences of MBA students. 5. Create a professional network of MBA students and undergraduates.

Stephanie Huang

Vice President of Corporate Relations

Every Haas student wants two things – internships and free food. Both of them happen to be goals I want to help you achieve as your VP of Corporate Relations. I have partnered with companies like A.T. Kearney, KPMG, and FTI Consulting and worked on events from info sessions, case competitions, to Bay Area-wide events. With my extensive experiences, I am confident that they have equipped me with the skills to achieve the following objectives: 1. Continue to strengthen existing corporate sponsorships. 2. Target industries Haas students typically pursue to expand partnerships. 3. Bring in companies from diverse industries to showcase the abundant opportunities available to Haas students. Networking is the key to recruitment, and I aim to create more opportunities for you to interact with recruiters and professionals firsthand. In addition to the typical accounting, banking, and consulting firms, I plan to bring in companies, such as tech startups, VC firms, and multinational consumer goods companies. There are so many different opportunities open to Haas students. By connecting Haas with diverse corporate sponsors, I hope to empower you to pursue your passion with confidence.


Racial Equity@Haas: 4th Year Haas Undergraduate – Abigail Balingit

This Racial Equity@Haas blog series written by three Haas students (Charlie James, Alankrita Dayal, and Naayl Kazmi) is providing the space for us to meet our core principles of being Students Always, Beyond Ourselves, and Questioning the Status Quo by opening the conversation on race, how it manifests in business, and its broader implications. We’re asking Four questions to members of the Haas community in order to illuminate how racial equity in business and Haas is conceived and to stir an open conversation.

Abigail Balingit is a fourth year Business Administration and Media Studies double major. During this past year, she was an Arts & Entertainment Reporter for the Daily Californian. Balingit enjoys long walks to FIFO and also listening to Drake on the way to class. After graduation, She will hopefully be employed somewhere in marketing and advertising, and she will be going to New York during the summer with her family.

Q1) What is Racial Equity to You?

“Racial equity is kind of seeing people of all different walks of life and different communities, whether that be African American, Asian American, or international communities. I think that it’s important to see that America is not really a melting pot, but a salad bowl made up of different people represented in a community. I could say racial equity is racial equality in a sense; that’s what I think it means.”

Q2) How do you find Racial Equity Important to Business?

“I think it’s super important right off the bat. If a company or organization doesn’t have the best diversity or if you don’t see other people besides one certain race, what other or different perspectives will you gain? – especially in business where I feel it affects so many other people besides just the direct consumers, direct suppliers, or employers. I think it’s important to know that in surveying a community or even – in a profit sense – trying to increase profits, a business should not exclude entire different groups of people from that whole process.

Q3) In Your Perception, How is Haas on Racial Equity?

“I would say I feel like there are efforts to increase people of different backgrounds in the community, which I feel personally that I am part of – I used to be in Partnership for Pre-Professional Philipinxs. There are also other groups on campus like HUBBA, LBSA, which I think do a great job in trying to integrate people within the business community. But I definitely do think it would be nice to see more diversity. I definitely think there could be a lot more representation at Haas.

With the immigration ban that happened earlier this past semester, it would be great in the business community, within Haas especially, to shed more light on the different experiences of people from different backgrounds that do come to study at Haas and to actually highlight and stand in solidarity with that cause of resisting the immigration ban. I think it’s important to do more; I mean they’re doing stuff, but I want to see more personally.”

Additional question) What would “doing more” look like to you?

“Even in my own personal experience, there aren’t many other people who are Filipino American – I literally know two other people at Haas that are. It’s really difficult not seeing more people of color being represented as they could be because there are a lot of different kinds of people at Haas – there are athletes, people in all different kinds of organizations. It would be nice just to see more people that can understand where you’re coming from to be in that space too. Not just for me, but for other communities as well that are underrepresented minorities, it’s tough when you feel like you’re having your community on your back almost, like you have to hold that weight on your own. For me it’s kind of difficult when I don’t have a lot of people from the Filipino community to talk to.”

Q4) Please Add a Personal Anecdote on Racial Equity.

“I took UGBA 105 Leading People and we talked about how it’s hard when we face different conflicts in the workplace, especially harassment – those are the really touchy topics as well as how to deal with those scenarios in real life. But I remember vividly in class asking something along the lines, ‘if someone is putting you down because of the color of your skin or where you come from but it’s not an outward slap in the face, how do you address that?’ It was a question I posed to the Professor, which I identified to the class as microaggressions. It was difficult to talk about these things, especially in Haas where we talk about stuff like accounting and how to increase profits, but she asked if I could explain that to the class, but it’s almost so hard – I think microaggressions are one of the hardest things to explain especially.

For me, my background was like – I came from a low-income background; in high school, it was like the minority-was-the-majority kind of experience for when I was growing up in Stockton. It was really weird because I kind of put a halo on Berkeley – I think of the halo effect – like it would have the most diverse people from everywhere and that everyone would be woke. That’s what I always thought, but going in, it was a little different because I totally saw that – where I come from is like a bubble – and then here it’s like, while there is so much diversity and that so many people come from different countries, I definitely saw more of what America looks like – you know – a majority white, and less people of color. I did for the first time feel like a minority, especially in times of snide remarks and light things that made me feel kind of ignored, which is really hard since I didn’t even know how to say these things. For instance, when we were looking at scenarios in Leading People; it’s just like what do you say when your co-worker kind of makes fun of your food or something. There are definitely degrees of racial inequity but sometimes it’s to the extent where sometimes it just feels like you’re getting put down. It’s kind of an insidious feeling where you don’t even realize it for a long time until you think about it for a while.”


Who You Gonna Call? Noor Gaith: The iPhone Guy

From Center: Nuurglass founder and CEO Noor Gaith surrounded by his team of expert technicians.

 ​“I became the Napa Valley iPhone guy,” joked Noor Gaith as he told me about his path to becoming an expert tech and go-to electronic wizard on the UC Berkeley campus. Gaith’s company, Nuurglass, offers uber-like on demand, cost-effective, and student-run cell phone and computer repair. His eager, helpful, can-do attitude is part of the company culture and extends to his technicians whose efficiency and friendliness virtually erase the angst, stress, and disaster of damaging one of your electronics.

​Nuurglass, which began as father-son bonding back in 2007, inspired in part by his father’s Mechanical Engineering background, nurtured into Gaith’s electronic and entrepreneurial expertise. After successfully repairing his brother’s iPhone, he became Napa student’s go-to for tech. Encouraged by promotion from his brother and his father’s enthusiasm for hands-on learning, Nuurglass took off. While in community College, Gaith balanced 20 unit course loads, daily repairs, building his business and technical skills, and preparing his transfer application to Haas. UC Berkeley and Haas provides the education and student base necessary to grow his company.

​Gaith is grateful for the support, confidence, and ‘push’ his family gave him to pursue expanding his hobby into a company. He realized the necessity to take smart risks when the correct opportunities presented themselves. At Haas, Gaith was inspired to grow his company from a solo-operation to a multi-employee and platform endeavor. With a team of student-professional technicians available, on-demand, Gaith is making a name for himself at Cal. The Nuurglass facebook page (see link at the end of this article), where services can be ordered and paid for, is filled with positive student and faculty reviews praising the price, efficiency, high quality parts, and helpfulness of Gaith’s service.

Healing Tools: The parts that bring your iPhone back to life

​His drive to expand Nuurglass was reenergized in Kurt Beyer’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation course which acted as an incubation space for students to work on their startups. The course’s encouragement and lessons helped Gaith get past the business school’s sometimes consuming competitive spirit. Rather than getting “overworked and worked up”, as Gaith has noticed some students do, he allowed the competitive energy to “drive him”. Gaith reminds himself and his peers interested in entrepreneurial career pursuits that, “college is a microcosm of the world…now is the time to give something a shot,” because while it might be “scary, it’s [also] very exciting”. His passion and positive attitude have helped Gaith push through setbacks and continue building his company and team.
​His enterprise faces competition from larger companies but what makes Nuurglass unique is its place on the Cal campus and its creation, maintenance, and employment of Cal students. While the app is in beta, at launch, it will further expedite the already efficient and convenient on-demand process. Gaith has selected employees carefully considering not only their advanced mechanical, technical skills, but also their ability to immediately inspire trust between strangers. Gaith hopes to expand Nuurglass to the other UC campuses within the next five years. He’s a perfectionist, committed to ensuring all technicians and future college ambassadors operations are streamlined and error-free, creating the same trust and student connection he created on the Cal campus.

​In addition to campus expansion, Gaith wants to make a dent in e-waste. His research and training taught him that roughly “70% of a phone can be recycled” but the industry typically recycles “only about 14%” is. Gaith repairs electronics more efficiently. Nuurglass will help reduce e-waste, solve your tech emergencies, and provide mechanical training and employment to undergraduate students. It’s a classic Berkeley entrepreneurial story- improving life for customers, helping the planet, and achieving economic and personal success. The next time you have an incident with one of your smart devices, don’t stress. Let a Nuurglass technician come to you and bring your device “back to life”.


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