How Culture Comes to Life at Haas


Insights from a Haas Student Ambassador and MBA 2015

One of the biggest reasons I chose Haas over any of the other schools that I applied to was the student body.  Everyone I met was friendly, accomplished, intelligent, and, most importantly, everyone was down to earth.

I think what makes us unique is that the students here embody the Haas Defining Principles: Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself.  In my opinion, these aren’t just marketing messages…they are the criteria we look for in every student, and they guide pretty much everything we do here at Haas. 

I have really amazing classmates here at Haas: professional athletes, astronauts, Navy Seals, and foreign dignitaries.  What’s refreshing about being surrounded by such accomplished people is that they don’t carry themselves as if they’re better, or more deserving, than anyone else at Haas.  It took four months before I found out that one of my classmates had competed in the 2012 London Olympic Games!  People at Haas are just that down to earth.  “Confidence Without Attitude” is my favorite defining principle, and it’s a trait that I think you’ll find in all of my classmates.

The culture here at Haas is also evident in the classroom.  During my first year, I had a classmate volunteer to tutor me when I was struggling in microeconomics.  The crazy thing is that he had already waived out of the course, so he was helping me in a class that he wasn't even enrolled in!  I’ve also had several classmates send out class notes and reading summaries prior to big exams in the hope that the rest of us would find it useful. 

Finally, my classmates go beyond themselves to make Haas a close-knit community that celebrates our diverse backgrounds.  Recently, the international community hosted our annual International Consumption Function in the courtyard.  Students and partners prepared food and drinks that represented their home countries, sharing them with over 300 Haasies at the event.  My favorite was the Peruvian ceviche!  It's contributions like this that help to bring us all together as a cohesive community.

These are traits that I wasn’t expecting to find in the students at any business school. It is refreshing to know that my classmates don’t just want to succeed themselves, but that they want the collective Haas community to succeed.

The students here at Haas push me to work harder, do better, and think in ways that I haven’t previously done.  They play just as much of a role in my success as I do.  As I interact with my classmates on a daily basis, I am constantly reminded that I made the right choice in MBA programs.  I can’t imagine being a part of any other family.



Matt Richards

Haas Student Ambassador

MBA 2015

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