What a great couple of days...


Wow. What a great couple of days already in Orientation Week. The O-Week chairs (three current second-year students--Brad, Jacob and Melanie) have done such a phenomenal job that whoever has that job next year will have an uphill battle to match their success!

Up to this point all the first year students have had a number of social events--either of our own design or as part of O-Week. This will no doubt continue during our time here. But the speakers, team workshops and case studies that we just completed over these first few days are a supreme validation of all of our hopes and initial "gut feelings" about the school--namely that the Haas culture marries intellectual rigor with professionalism, emotional maturity, and risk taking.

We've been lucky enough already to attend presentations by three Haas alumni: Bob Haas (Chairman of Levi Strauss), Tom Kelley (General Manager at IDEO), and Bill Jasper (CEO of Dolby Laboratories). Haas talked about the importance of business as an agent for community well being. Tom Kelley demonstrated his ideas about the key ingredients necessary to foster innovation in a firm; Jasper illuminated us about how Dolby built its powerful brand by focusing on long-term success over short term gain.

We also met our cohorts yesterday--the 59 other people with whom we would take all of our core courses this semester. Within those cohorts, we were paired up with four other people to form a study group with whom we will navigate course material and complete group projects. I'm very happy with my study group--they're a diverse group from New Hampshire, California, Italy, and Indonesia) who have worked in real estate, insurance, apparel, consulting, and IT industries. Hopefully they'll be able to learn something from me???

We spent part of today in a team building exercise (sorry, don't want to spoil the surprise if you're lucky enough to do it next year!) that was really instructive about how to recognize the dynamics of the group to maximize its effectiveness. Afterwords we spent some time sitting together to construct a mission statement for our group that would guide our work--from the strategic to the tactical--for the rest of the semester.

Okay, enough from me. This was just a long-winded way of saying how unbelieveably happy, fortunate, and grateful I am to be here. More later!

—Sean Simplicio

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