Choosing Your First Semester Classes

Welcome incoming freshmen! Good to see that you’ve chosen UC Berkeley as the school of your choice, and good to see you’re interested in Haas.

A very common question I’ve received from students lately is how to choose your first semester schedule at Cal, and it’s amazing I haven’t written about it before; so here goes!

In a nutshell, I suggest you take these classes your first semester:

  • Math
  • R&C or fun / breadth / pre-req
  • fun / breadth / pre-req
  • fun / breadth / pre-req

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Beginning of Another Semester – Regrets and Learnings

In a couple of days, one more semester will start, leading to another semester of accomplishments and mistakes, happiness and sorrows, love and heartbreak. I know I’m looking forward to it! (Not being sarcastic here, I swear)

When the semester ended, I had talked with a couple of freshmen who were anxious and disappointed of how their first semester at Cal turned out. Some didn’t get the grades they wanted. Some decided to switch majors halfway through. Some didn’t find where they belonged.

When I completed my first semester, I pretty much embodied all of these problems. I didn’t meet what I thought would be a “core” group of friends. I thought getting anything below a 4.0 was a terrible GPA (that high school mentality showing). I didn’t really like business or linguistics. I stayed in my dorm a lot, my floor wasn’t social, I didn’t get along with my roommate, and didn’t enjoy my extracurriculars of that semester. I didn’t like what I was doing, didn’t have direction, and didn’t feel like I belonged.

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My Application

Hey everyone! I am sure many of you are out diligently working on those Haas apps right now. As a reminder, they are due on December 1 at 4pm. Make sure you get them in before then, or else they will NOT be considered. More info on Application and Selection for Haas Undergraduates.

As promised, I wanted to talk about my own application as a successful applicant of the Haas School of Business. As a reminder, it consists of 50% grades and coursework, 35% essays, and 15% resume.

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Tips for Internships

Internships is somewhat of a craze nowadays. It seems like you need to have an internship to get even an entry-level job after graduation. While it’s not necessary to get one to apply to Haas, I believe it’s still important to think about even as an underclassmen.

Interning is one of the only ways you can receive direct exposure in a particular field. Putting it another way, it’s the only way you can determine whether a particular career is right for you. Classes give you the background behind it; internships give you the application of that knowledge. If you already have a career path in mind, internships can either solidify or question your intentions, which in my mind, are both important inquiries to have. Think about applying for them when you have that direction. Only when you have obtained job experience will you be able to determine whether you should pursue the field or change pursuits.

I’ve held many internships throughout my lifetime. I was a Fashion Marketing Intern at Shop.Share.Love! in Summer 2012. In Spring 2013, I was a Music Management Intern at Ineffable Music Group. I went to Shanghai, China and was an Intern at the Shanghai Academic Services Center in Summer 2013. That fall, I stayed local and interned in Internet Marketing for Go Overseas within Berkeley’s own start-up incubator at Skydeck. Finally, in Summer 2014, I worked (intern is what they like to call it colloquially since I’m the only college student, but I am indeed an employee) at Intera Growth Partners as a technical recruiter and office manager, where I will continue to be in Fall 2014.

As such, I have a lot of experience with how to find them. And what you should get out of them.

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UC Berkeley Business Activities

At Berkeley, we have a ton of business related clubs to choose from, and sometimes it’s hard to find a comprehensive list of organizations and their activities! I’m going to try and consolidate all Berkeley organizations by type and emphasis. Beside the club, I will give a general description if it’s not inherently shown, and link them to their website, which will show you an idea of their club culture and what they’ve been up to. Italics are those that are Haas sponsored. Keep in mind that some of these groups may fit into more than one category. Most of these groups also have various committees that provide a chance to work with group promotions, finance, event planning, consulting, leadership and professional development, etc. Check these websites for their events, group culture, and connections if you’re interested! I tried to include as many organizations as I possibly could, I apologize if I forgot a couple. Remember that you don’t have to participate in any one of these clubs if you’d like to apply to Haas; remember your passion!

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