Going all in at Full-time MBA orientation

By Laura Counts

Full-time MBA Week Zero is a no-holds-barred introduction to life at Haas. Part MBA-essentials boot camp, part immersion into Haas academic and student culture, and part bonding experience, the week is fast-paced, intense, and sometimes wacky.

Week Zero is organized by 2nd-year student leaders who—working closely with the program office and specialists throughout Haas—are able to pass on insights from their first year. This year's orientation was structured around the four Haas Defining Principles, with a different theme each day: Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always and Beyond Yourself.  

It's a culture that many incoming students already relate to. A recent admissions survey found that the school's culture and defining principles are the No. 1 reason full-time MBA students choose Haas. 

“While the students at Haas are diverse on many fronts, I find that all of them share a concern for positively impacting others,” said Nahry Tak, who is returning to Berkeley after earning her bachelor’s in art history here and then working at the Trust for Public Land.

In addition to guest speakers, social mixers, and nuts-and-bolts orientation sessions, the week's activities included: 

  • A session with the Haas Career Management Group that covered not only how to make the most of career services, but how to find sources of fulfillment
  • An introduction to the Teams@Haas curriculum, which is woven throughout the curriculum and gives students a toolkit to lead teams
  • An afternoon of sprucing up the grounds at the Alameda Point Collaborative, which services homeless and at-risk families
  • The Cohort Olympics, where students compete in traditional games like volleyball and soccer (inside giant inflated bubbles), as well some less traditional contests (like partner-assisted cake eating)
  • A diversity panel, where 2nd-year students talked about building an inclusive culture at Haas. Students shared perspectives on being from a "third culture" (growing up in an immigrant family, but identifying as American), growing up gay in Texas, using a wheelchair, and other aspects of their identities.

The week ended with a mixer with students in the evening & weekend MBA program

“This program does an unbelievable job focusing on a student development from a personal and professional perspective,” said Reggie Davis, MBA 18. “You can go to any top business school to find a good job, but you come to Haas to find yourself and what drives you. Also, the students that I’ve met are the most talented, bright and self-aware people that I have ever come across.”

Sound like something  you'd like to be a part of?


Posted on September 23, 2016
Themes: Haas culture
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.