Happy Holidays!

The end of the first semester and the three week long school vacation has brought some well deserved free time for us all. As I was driving on the gorgeous 17 mile drive a couple of days ago, my thoughts went back to the semester starting with orientation weekend in August and all the fun we’ve had over the last few months getting to know each other. Now this being the holiday season and all, I had to pull over by the scenic road-side and break into a song, which, from what I can recollect, had a carol-like ring to it and went something like this:

As an exciting first semester is drawn to a close,
You feel the passage of time, as it dramatically slows.
And you remember the day, not so very long ago,
You said yes to Haas, and then downed a Bordeaux,
Not knowing how you’d manage your precious time,
As you said your vows, to the MBA part-time.

The memories of the orientation weekend play in your head,
Those new faces you smiled at, the accents you misread.
Shooting the tennis-balls at your team’s architectural wonder,
Heaving a sigh of relief, as the Chateau refused to go under.
The Coors case analysis, right after that delectable dinner,
You knew right then, in Haas, you’d chosen a winner.

For your first group assignment, in the “Leading People” class,
You interviewed accomplished leaders, without a safety glass.
Studying supply demand and game theory in Economics course,
Made the engineer in you, love the dark side of the force.
Accounting made you delve closer into your investments-stocks
Those financial statements, after all, weren’t a complete black-box.
And you loved Marketing, in all its great glory,
For it taught you there was a method, to selling a story.

As you look forward to a year, brand new,
You know you’ve bid that initial fear adieu.
And you catch yourself smiling in your clairvoyant mirror,
For you know that the destination is so much nearer.

Happy Holidays everyone and see you all next semester!

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

Orientation – from a 3rd Year’s Perspective

Attending my third orientation (as a new student the first year and as a volunteer in following years) and listening to the buzz, I was reminded of my orientation all over again – the anxieties of the unexpected, the opportunity to meet a lot of new people, the twinge of guilt as you ask someone’s name again because you’ve already forgotten since your head is stuffed with all the new names that you’re learning.
Here are some of the members of the Class of 2012 as they file in to listen to Shantanu Narayen, Haas EWMBA 1993, CEO of Adobe Systems, and the recipient of the 2008 Haas Business Leader award. Shantanu gave a candid perspective of what life has been like for him after Haas and how to make the best of the EWMBA student experience.

The previous night, the first years attended a student life panel where they had the chance to hear from 2nd and 3rd years talk about work-life-school balance, joining clubs, and how to “survive” the first year. Hearing honest accounts of how exhausted we were, but how more than 240 make it through this ordeal every year made for some fun storytelling opportunities. Afterwards, they were welcomed at a reception and had a chance to mingle with one another.

After participating as a volunteer, I’ve come to appreciate the behind the scenes work that goes into making a successful orientation, from staff members like Tim Gaherty, Elisabeth Merkel, and Shelby Chin shown below, to the EWMBA student Admissions Committee, they help make this a fun and spectacular way to begin your time at Haas.

Welcome Class of 2011

It was great meeting many of the new admits at the recent Class of 2011 Round 2 Admit Reception. Congratulations to you and Welcome to Haas!

So a number of new admits asked me the same questions, so I thought I would post the FAQ here and the respective responses I had for each.

Here are the top three:

1. What do I need to do to prepare for the fall?
– You need to go have fun NOW! Go see your friends. Spend time with your spouse/partner. Take your kids on a vacation. Do everything you can now to have as much fun as you can. Come fall, you won’t have the same flexibility, and though you’re going to have a blast at Haas and still see your family, there is no time like the present to take full advantage of not having homework/deliverables/group projects etc.

2. What was the hardest class last year?
– IMHO, there was not a single hardest class – that’s all relative and depends on your background and experiences. Students from past years said the third term (out of the four) is the hardest. However, this past year, Leadership was added into the fourth term and being that you’ve already got three classes going the fourth term, adding one more is almost enough to break the camel’s back. However, knowing 240 of your peers are in the same boat means that you are not alone and considering we’re still standing, well, you get it done and look forward to the summer ahead. (Hence another reason to go have fun fun fun now).

3. What happens at Orientation?
– What happens at Orientation stays at Orientation! You’re going to have fun and you’re going to mingle mingle mingle. My best advice for you is to go and meet as many people that are not in your cohort as you can. You’ll see the people in your cohort all of the time. You’ll have fewer opportunities to meet those outside your cohort. It’s one of the few times where everyone needs to be in one place, so take advantage of the situation.