Going the Extracurricular Mile at Berkeley-Haas Means Extra Value

By Julia Sprague

Evening and weekend students here at Berkeley-Haas are either over-achievers or gluttons for punishment. On top of a strenuous academic schedule, demanding full-time jobs, and busy personal lives, many are up to their elbows in extracurricular activities—and loving it.

Take second-year student Ennis Olson for instance. He participated in six business case competitions before being on the winning team for the PG&E Net Impact energy ideation competition. Why did he keep trying? Because “each competition was an opportunity to collaborate with team members who brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to everything we did,” he explains.


Case Competitions
There are plenty of business case competitions right here on campus, like the UC Berkeley Startup competition and the Global Social Venture competition, sponsored by the Haas School’s Lester Center for Entrepreneurship. Or you can go farther afield, to something like the Kellogg Biotech & Healthcare Case competition, in which two teams from Berkeley-Haas placed in 2013. The first-place team included then-EWMBA student Yelena Bushman.

Want to engage with entrepreneurs? Find out more about finance? Berkeley-Haas has clubs for all of those interests, and a lot more. Many clubs sponsor exciting conferences like > play , the largest student-run technology and digital media conference in the U.S., and the thought-provoking Women in Leadership Conference

jack_song_for_EWMBA_extracurricularJoining a club can be mind changing, as student Jack Song found out. “Getting involved with the Marketing Club changed my preconceptions about the consumer-product-goods industry. I enjoyed getting to know all of its facets through speakers and on Career Treks to companies like Clif Bar, Clorox, and Levi Strauss & Co.”

 You can find a club that meshes with what you do on the job. “I work with a lot of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, so being part of the Entrepreneurship Club was a natural step,” says Arvind Ravishunkar, MBA16, a corporate strategy manager at Fairchild Semiconductor. “I’m particularly excited to partner with the brilliant engineering minds at Berkeley.”Katie Pease, MBA 16

 Or you can explore a sector far from your day-to-day. Second-year student Katie Pease, a facilities risk engineer at Lockheed Martin, worked on a research project for BERC (the Berkeley Energy & Resources Collaborative) on fracking. “That’s one of the reasons I’m here: to explore things I don’t know anything about," Katie says.

Plenty of students tell us they learn as much outside the classroom as in. One reason for that is the amazing roster of name-brand speakers who come to campus, like Bill Hambrecht, Reed Hastings, Biz Stone, and Alice Waters. The Dean’s Speaker Series are streamed live, so you can watch even if you can’t make it to campus. Many other presentations are videotaped and can be watched later, including talks by Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez, MBA84, and Khan Academy founder Salman Khan.

 You’re also welcome at presentations sponsored by Haas research centers and think tanks. The Peterson Series at the Center for Responsible Business is just one example.

Sound like too much fun? There’s actually even more going on. Take a look at life in our dynamic Evening & Weekend MBA community.

Take a Look



Julia Sprague
Julia is Associate Director of Admissions for the Berkeley MBA Programs for Working Professionals. She hopes these blog posts provide you with more personal insight into the Berkeley-Haas and Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA program experience.