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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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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Back Up Majors

Back-up and prospective majors are imperative when it comes to Haas. Since nothing is finite, it’s always good to have other disciplines to pursue, especially if you have other interests. Here are some examples of choices for either a simultaneous degree or a Haas replacement that many people have pursued.

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Challenges and Computer Science

I write this tonight as I take a break from writing code for Computer Science 61A, or Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, taught through the programming language of Python. This course is the first class for computer science majors, and known for being a notoriously difficult class. As I’m interested in technical recruiting, I wanted to give it a shot this summer, while simultaneously taking on a part-time job (I think of it as a paid internship) in San Francisco, updating the blog, and figuring out a better way to represent my personal website. And boy is this tough. (This relates to Haas! Keep reading!)

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