Reality? Nothing happens. Nothing happens when you get in, either.
Yesterday, hundreds of people received a congratulatory message from the Haas School of Business, yet other hundreds received a not so encouraging one. Some celebrated, others were disappointed.
Whatever was the result of that outcome, or the outcome that is to come, remember that your major does not dictate your career nor your life. If everyone had to be a business major to do consulting or accounting, the corporate world wouldn’t be as diverse as it is today.
If you will soon enter the Haas Class of 2017; congratulations! If you did not, that’s okay. Both of your journeys do not end at this point. Instead, you have to work even harder in order to do what you love.
Before you say anything: it’s okay to have opinions. It’s okay to change direction. You have four years to ponder the life that you will be living.
When I finally thought about college, it was the summer right before my senior year of high school. I had many interests, but I had to write down a list of all the majors I was going to consider; and boy was it a hefty one! Things like foreign language, design, neuroscience, and pharmacy were on all that list. Eventually, it came down to business and translation; the latter of which was my primary interest at the time. I thought about business primarily because my mother suggested it. I know, I should follow my own dreams and not my parents’. But I wanted to remain open to all possible paths, so I considered the idea. I eventually applied and chose Berkeley because of their business program in addition to its strengths in nearly every other program. I figured that if I changed my mind, Cal would have something else for me.
While Haas only has one major, Business Administration, students can still choose to specialize in their own time. According to Haas Employment information in the Berkeley Career Center, students go into consulting, investment banking, accounting, marketing, and financial and business analysis. If you check out the employment reports on that page, it gives you a consolidated view of the career paths of the Haas respondees.
With any career path, it is best to do three different things: obtain knowledge, get involved, and gain experience. You’ll need to know the rhetoric and jargon, and the best way to do that is to take classes (and focus) in that particular field. To get involved, there are plenty of other students who have paved that way for you in the form of organizations, so all you have to do is join and obtain hands-on experience. Obtaining internships is also another way have direct experience in employment.
Below, I have outlined different career paths, and show some classes and organizations that provide more knowledge and experience about the different areas.
Just now, I released a comprehensive list of most Berkeley business organizations I could find on the interwebs. It’s quite a long list! Do not feel compelled to participate in all of them. In fact, I would discourage you from doing so. Here are some suggestions in regards to how to pick your battles and make the most out of your extracurriculars.
1. I suggest choosing one or two clubs to be actively involved in, whether it’s in a committee or as a general member. Find a way to participate as much as possible, go to their events, and make connections (both personal and professional) within your sphere. Great things will come to those who are open to others! In addition, I say one or two clubs because anything more than that will tire you out. Feel free to participate in the many events such extracurriculars host, however! There is often very little pressure, and no one really knows you’re not presently a member in that club. It’s always good to keep your options open and hear what others have to say.