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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Shown below is a list of resources that I find helpful and consult all the time if I have a question about anything. In addition, whenever I help people about classes or general advice, most of that information is pulled from these websites. I will be adding on to this if I find more resources, and I hope it helps you as well!

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Haas Pre-Requisites Schedule

One of your most important duties as a pre-Haas freshman is to figure out the best times to take the Haas pre-requisite courses. This is extremely important; for if you don’t take all the pre-reqs by the end of sophomore year, you will automatically be rejected from Haas without a fighting chance. At the same time, you don’t want to take them all at once. You want focus. Here are some suggestions for the times to take your pre-reqs.

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20 Myths about Applying to Haas

There is always a set of assumptions that seem to be pervasive in every applicant’s mind when considering what Haas does and does not accept. Let me tell you something: there’s no set formula. There is no magical amount of internships you need to do, no set GPA, no amount of connections in your non-existent network; nor is there any key position you need to obtain in some business club. There is no perfect candidate. It’s an arbitrary process. In fact, there is literally no key to getting into Haas. Here are some myths, debunked, when you’re thinking about applying to Haas as an undergraduate.

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The Key to Get Into Haas

This article will tell you the key to get into Haas. Well guess what. There’s no key. No magical formula, no perfect applicant. Nothing. Sorry to disappoint you.

In the Haas admissions criteria, it states that successful candidates exhibit:

  • Academic achievement and promise (including grades, course load, consistency of academic performance, and performance in key prerequisites, such as principles of business, math, economics, and statistics)
  • Accomplishments in extracurricular activities
  • Personal attributes and life experience suggesting leadership, maturity, ethical character, teamwork, and goal orientation
  • Communication and analytical skills, as demonstrated by responses to the essay questions
  • Interest in being an active member of the Haas community

In addition,

[…] the goal of the admissions review process is not only to evaluate an applicant’s ability to handle the academic rigor, but also to identify those who demonstrate a solid fit with our program. The Haas Undergraduate Program has a distinct culture and we seek applicants who represent the School’s Four Defining Principles: Question the Status Quo, Confidence without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself. 

That’s easy, right? At least Haas gives you what they’re looking for.

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An Introduction

Hi everyone, and welcome! My name is Tiffany Qi, and I am an upcoming junior undergraduate studying Business Administration at the Haas School of Business in the University of California Berkeley. In addition to Business, I will obtain a double minor in Chinese Studies and Linguistics upon graduation in May 2016.

There are a frightening low number of public resources for undergraduates wishing to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at the Haas School of Business. And I don’t mean the ones that state what happens when you get there, or the general advice you receive when you actually apply to Haas. No, I mean internship advice. Classes to take your first semester. What activities to pursue. How to manage a back-up major when Haas itself is already such a lofty goal. Whether Haas is worth it. There is such a large amount of people who pursue the pre-Haas path, and approximately half of those freshmen ultimately turn away from the curriculum, the culture, and ultimately the competition of Haas before applying. Sometimes, the notion that all Haas people are cutthroat pervade the minds of students and creates a negative impression – because let’s face it. We all know that’s what people think.

I want to change that.

Don’t let one pretentious “Haashole” ruin your perception of Haas. I admit, when I was a freshmen, and even a sophomore, I thought the same way. But as soon as I took some upper division classes with some current Haas students, I realized that the major was just like all the other ones, with its fair share of asses and angels.

The goal for this blog is to provide a down-to-earth, insightful and helpful resource from one student to another about Haas, what to expect, and how to prepare for it. Everyone deserves that chance to succeed, not just those who have better connections than others.

My single biggest passion is simply to help others, and I stand by this philosophy every day. In truth, I have been answering questions thrown my way since June 2013, with the creation of CalAsk. Just this summer, I have received over 30 personal inquiries, and this doesn’t include the many questions I have answered for the public on Facebook or on CalAsk in the past. Everyone asks these questions, everyone deserves to find the answers to their questions without having to be secretive about it.

Stay tuned, and I hope all of your inquiries will be answered by the close of the summer. You, Haas-soon-to-be; I wish you luck on your journey.

I’d like to dedicate this blog to the many incoming freshmen who were brave enough to ask a stranger about her experience at Haas, as well as to my roommate, who told me to consolidate all my answers into a blog for everyone to see.