"Best & Brightest" in FTMBA Class of 2016

By Laura Counts

Leading changes in MBA culture to make it more inclusive for women and minorities; launching the Nairobi office for a mobile micro-lending startup; serving as student government president; creating a "Hot Topics" discussion series focused on hard-to-talk-about issues; and piloting a new leadership program for 1st-year students.

Those are just a few of the accomplishments of four students in the full-time MBA Class of 2016 recently featured by Poets & Quants in their lists of The Best & Brightest MBAs in the Class of 2016 and 2016 MBAs to Watch

During their two years at Haas, these students—Sarah TaitDan Fishman, Angela Steele, and Jen Fisher (pictured clockwise from top left)—racked up a long list of leadership accomplishments while successfully completing the rigorous program. All of them were nominated by the program for their stand-out contributions.

Poets & Quants described the students on their "Best & Brightest" list like this: 

"They were leaders, volunteers and problem-solvers, who started conversations, challenged conventions, rallied peers, and inspired change. Lauded for their passion, ingenuity, and humility, they were tagged with labels like the 'cream of the crop' and the 'total package.'"

Haas faculty members and senior staff also sang their praises in nominating them for the list. Adj. Assoc. Prof. Kellie McElhaney had this to say about Tait: 

"Here is why Sarah is such a powerful leader: She asks smart, great, clear, concise questions and there is no way you cannot answer. She collects data, presents it clearly, analyzes, and develops the best strategy mdireoving forward. She understands the problem, but spends far longer on developing a fleet of solutions. She presents these solutions with so much gravitas, data, and logic- and mixes it with emotional intelligence, grace, charm and persuasive communication acumen. We will see her on a national ballot some day.”

Amy Hornstein, director of student affairs for the full-time MBA program, said Steele impressed her from Day One—a feeling that only increased as she moved through the program. Steele was 

"I have worked with many bright and accomplished student leaders for over a decade and Angela stands out for her exceptional creativity and vision accompanied by the tenacity, organizational and project management skills to accomplish the ambitious goals she set for the year. From my very first meeting with Angela in early 2015, I was impressed by her thoughtfulness and the breadth of her strategic vision for expanding diversity programming and enabling students from all backgrounds to learn from each other and develop as people and as leaders."

Steele and Fisher were also honored by classmates at commencement with The Berkeley Leader Award, given to a student who embodies the four Haas Defining Principles: Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself; Fischer won the award for Confidence Without Attitude, and Tait won for Students Always. 

Read their full profiles, including their favorite professors, biggest lessons and biggest surprises, and why they chose Haas:

Sarah Tait

Dan Fishman

Angela Steele

Jen Fischer


Posted on July 1, 2016
Themes: MBA Benefits
Laura Counts
Laura is a senior marketing and communications manager at Berkeley-Haas. As a former journalist, she finds no shortage of interesting stories to tell at Haas. As a Cal alum, she loves being able to walk to work through redwood groves along Strawberry Creek.