Hello from Spain!

I am no longer Barcelona-bound…   I’ve finally arrived!  Indeed, I’ve been here for 10 days now and have already completed one full week of M-F, 9-6pm class at ESADE Business School.  Another class with the same schedule starts on Monday.  In addition to these two intensive courses, I’ll be taking three during the regular semester that runs from October to the week of Christmas.My transition has been an easy one so far.  Indeed, I’m better prepared with my Spanish skills than I would have thought I’d be.  The advantages growing up in LA and living in California nearly all of my life.  Additionally, I’ve subletted a room with 2 current ESADE students who are originally from the states.  Couple that with class instruction being in English, it is conceivably possible for me to get by speaking minimal Spanish.  Of course, that would kill n absolutely wonderful opportunity for me to develop my language skills.  Thus, I have purposely been out and about attempting to speak to locals, whether it be at restaurants or just on the streets.

I applaud the EWMBA program for having an exchange program, and for providing this opportunity for me to broaden my education experience.  Although only here for a semester, I can tell I will be opening myself to unforgettable experiences that will be invauable.  Additionally, I will be expanding my network to include people from all over the world..

Assuming my travel plans remain unchanged, and I stay outside of the states through the new year, this will be the longest period of time away from the US since I was three years old.  Indeed, I’ve done very limited international travel, and from the start was looking towards this opportunity to rectify that situation.  Prior to arriving in Barcelona, my fiance and I spent about 10 days traveling through France.  The absolutely unforgettable trip took us through several areas including the Bordeaux region, Lyon, as well as Avignon and Provence.

I’m already checking my calendar for an available weekend to head back, specifically to see Paris and Versailles, which we missed.  I also will try to return to Italy, the only European country I’d been to prior to this month.  Other than those locales, I have nothing set.  So if you have suggestions on where I must go, please suggest away!

Please allow me to introduce myself…

I’m Jennifer Caleshu, and I’m one of the new first year EWMBA bloggers.

I’ve spent my entire career working in cultural non-profits, which is a fairly atypical path for an MBA student. I’ve produced live theater, chosen the films for an art-house movie theater, and marketed a children’s museum. I’m passionate about real experiences – the kinds of non-virtual, in-person experiences that are by definition unique – only happening at that particular place and time. I have a degree in Human Biology with a focus on Issues of Adolescence from Stanford (don’t hold it against me!). I always joked that the adolescence part came in handy when working with actors, but in truth, I never really used much of the knowledge gained in the major. Instead, I graduated and took an unpaid artistic internship at American Conservatory Theater, and never looked back!

But a couple of years ago, I started thinking about graduate school. When you don’t have a business background (I’ve never taken any sort of business class before this!), you learn on the job. And to paraphrase the well-known book, “what got you here won’t get you there.” My career goals include being the executive director of a cultural institution, but on-the-job knowledge isn’t always enough to gain the kind of strategic planning, financial acumen, and operational chops to help an institution reach its highest capacity. Many non-profit managers choose masters in arts administration, but I wanted to keep my options open. I’m passionate about the double-bottom-line (mission and profits), and knew the knowledge gained would apply to a wide variety of non-profits, and be transferable should I ever choose to go to the “for-profit” side.

So over the holidays last winter, I decided to take the plunge and apply for an MBA. As the breadwinner in my family (my husband is a stay-at-home dad to our two children, Cole age 5, and Rae, age 2), I knew I wanted to keep working, and I was committed to staying in the Bay Area. So Haas EWMBA was the best choice, and here I am! I’m in the Blue cohort, so I take class on Mondays & Wednesday evenings, and I commute from Sausalito where I work at the Bay Area Discovery Museum.

I look forward to sharing my experiences with the readers of the blog – and hearing the perspectives of my fellow bloggers. Please feel free to email me or comment here with any questions!

Haas Blog Marketing Challenge!

My sister-in-law, who was a Berkeley undergraduate, brought this up a few weeks back, while we were having dinner over Labor Day Weekend. She thought of the following as a possible idea for marketing our beloved business school.

Not just an Avocado

Can you think of a short-blurb, marketing idea for Haas (another slogan, mantra or image)? If so, I’ll open the unofficial gauntlet/challenge and be willing to post the best ones later on to the blog.
Feel free to send them to: tlee328@hotmail.com and I’ll sort through and post some of the best on a later date. Please note that there is no prize and we reserve the right to re-use as we see fit, though I will try to give credit where credit’s due. 🙂
– Tim

Annual Haas Picnic

About a week ago, we had our Annual Summer Haas Picnic. This year it was at Tilden Park, thrown by our Social Events Committee. It was a nice afternoon in our typical, moderate, Bay Area weather.
As always, it’s a nice breather in-between semesters to catch up without having to worry about the joys of homework and class readings. That is, unless you’re in Summer school, in which case you’re out of luck.
People funneled in and out throughout the afternoon. And, with the thought of World Cup in the air (nice work, Team U.S.A.– you did well), there were a few rounds of light soccer. More carefree this time around, though we do have our share of competitive sports here at Haas.
The Summer is full of activities still though. There are the aforementioned Summer school
classes, the Semesters in International Business (China earlier, and upcoming Argentina/Chile
trip), and our Admissions Committee planning for our new students Orientation
(which should be entertaining, as always).
As Tony said, hope our new students are ready for a wild, but fun ride. There’s a lot in store for all of you and we’re glad to share in the experience.
– T

May we Live in Interesting Times…

This has been one heck of week. The current editors (including yours truly) of the eZine, the Haas EWMBA Magazine, bowed out and the new team of Shadab Nazar (1st year) and Amber Ulrich (2nd year) took charge. We wish them all the best! Incidentally Anlei (our fellow blogger) was one of the editors last year before she ran for office 🙂

eZine is a collection of events/news/announcements of perceived interest to the EWMBA community and a great source (biased opinion) to keep abreast of what’s happening in and around Haas. It was a thrill-ride editing it last year, and I’m gonna miss those tens of hours spent pouring over articles every week 😦

Another event of note that’s happening this Sunday is the kick-off meeting for the incoming EWMBA Association. The Executive team has been busy planning the event with a tonne of help from the Program Office (a big shout out for Beth, our Director of Student Affairs and Dave, our Executive Director for the EWMBA program). The kick-off represents a unique opportunity where all the EWMBAA Committees get together and formalize the annual goals to improve our overall experience at Haas. More on this next week with hopefully some pictures from the kick-off!

With so many things going on it’s easy to forget that I’m enrolled in 11 credits worth of classes this semester. Yeah, unbelievably I’ve made my most intense Academic Semester at Haas till date. With the eZine work ramping down, hopefully I’ll be able to pull it off. It’s good to see Tim every week in the FIA class and I couldn’t agree more with his take on it. I don’t really have a soft-skill class this semester with Competitive Strategy, LBO, Business Law, Risk Modelling rounding off my course-load. But each of the classes has so far provided some cherished memories. One of ’em which bubbles up is our quiz from Business Law from two weeks ago. Each of us had to pick up a question out of a hat and then answer it in front of the class (I think last time I took an exam like this was in high school). Anyway, I got to babble about the landmark case on Brown vs Board of Education, hahaha.

Before I sign off, can’t help but blurb on the Haas@Work engagement, the details of which are perhaps best left for another post. It culminated a few weeks ago with a team presentation in front of the CTO for a $100B HealthCare Conglomerate! That’s the access you get as a Haas student.


Life in the Fast Lane

Well classes at Haas are well and truly off to a flying start. Other students gave us advice that the first year is hectic, but I’m not sure we believed them until we actually started classes for ourselves.

I’m Deanne, and I’ve just started my first year in the EWMBA Program at Haas. I work at Chevron in natural gas Strategy & Planning, and relocated from Australia to the Bay Area in February this year. So as well as readjusting to life as a part-time MBA student, I’ve also been adjusting to a new job (fortunately not a new company), as well as life in the Bay Area generally.

After the intense application process, gruelling wait to hear if I was accepted, the elation of the good news about acceptance, and then making the most of the end of summer and free time – classes seemed to start suddenly. Before I knew it I was carrying around my Haas backpack heavy with my new laptop, sitting in Microeconomics and Organizational Behavior lectures on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, working on group projects and now studying for exams. The first set of classes are almost over and I can’t believe how fast time has flown by. While past students told us we would be busy and time would rush by, I suddenly realized what they meant.

Even though things are busy, you somehow get into a groove or rhythm of classes, work, study and fitting in a life too. So far the classes have been really relevant and interesting. My Microeconomics group is working on an evaluation of the pricing strategies used by Cirque Du Soleil, my Organizational Behavior team has conducted a study into the career impacts of taking family leave between men and women, and we’ve generally studied some fascinating cases – such as the Challenger disaster, SouthWest Airlines and Apple. Even though things are hectic – I’ve really enjoyed the classes, readings, meeting new people, attending extra-curricular events on campus and life at Haas in the EWMBA program generally.

Welcome to Life@Haas

Another year of classes, clubs, firm nights and social events has started. Last year (my first year), I was amazed by the plethora of activities that I could do at Haas. Somehow, I never knew about this amazing dimension when I started the EWMBA Program. After becoming the Co-Chair for the EWMBAA( Evening Weekend MBA Association) Admissions committee, we discussed the possibility of having a blog by current students from all years so that everyone can a glimpse into the exciting life at Haas.

Before I get into details, let me give a brief introduction – I am Dutta. I work at HP Software in Product Management. I also serve on the Board of Hemophilia Foundation of Northern California and love travelling and visiting art museums. I have had an very interesting journey at Haas so far- I have travelled on student led trips (Israel) and class trips (Washington DC, South Africa and Lesotho). There is an upcoming trip in November to meet Mr.Warren Buffet. This trip is being organized by the finance club and watch out for the coverage of that trip. In future posts, I plan to write a little bit more on some of my extra curricular activities as well as lessons learned in and outside classrooms.

With this brief introduction in place, I hope that prospective students, current students and friends get a feel about life of a part time student.

Cheers… Dutta:)