Life in Berkeley Survey

Where were you living immediately before you came to Haas?
San Francisco Bay Area 20%
California (Other) 10%
United States (Northwest) 4%
United States (Southwest) 2%
United States (Midwest) 14%
United States (Southeast) 3%
United States (Mid-Atlantic) 12%
United States (Northeast) 10%
International 25%

Where do you live in the Bay Area?
1- Berkeley / Albany / El Cerrito 90%
1- Oakland 4%
2- San Francisco 3%
3- Peninsula 0%
4- Other East Bay cities 2%
5- South Bay / Silicon Valley 0%
6- North Bay 0%
7- Other 0%

Where do you live in Berkeley (and surrounding areas)?
1- Berkeley Hills 4%
2- Berkeley (Northside) 16%
3- North Berkeley 14%
4- Downtown Berkeley 10%
5- Berkeley (Southside) 15%
6- Elmwood 12%
7- Claremont 4%
8- Rockridge 0%
9- South Berkeley 5%
10- Central Berkeley 7%
11- West Berkeley 0%
12- Southwest Berkeley 1%
13- Marina 0%
14- 4th Street 0%
15- Northwest Berkeley 1%
16- Westbrae 0%
17- Northbrae 1%
18- Thousand Oaks 0%
19- Albany: University Village 9%
20- Albany / El Cerrito / Other 1%

If you live in San Francisco, which neighborhood?
SoMa / Mission / Potrero Hill 33%
Haight Ashbury / Castro / Noe Valley 0%
Richmond / Sunset 0%
Marina / Cow Hollow 0%
Pacific Heights 33%
Russian Hill / Nob Hill 33%
North Beach 0%
Union Square / Financial District / Civic Center 0%
Other 0%

When did you start looking for housing?
May (or earlier) 58%
June 22%
July 15%
August 4%

How long did it take you to find housing?
1 - 6 days 12%
1 - 2 weeks 19%
2 - 3 weeks 32%
4+ weeks 33%
Did not move 3%


Did you have to seek temporary housing before finding permanent housing?
No 80%
Yes 20%

Did you come to Haas with a partner?
Yes 41%
No 59%

Did your partner move to Berkeley?
Yes 76%
No 24%


What impact did your partner have in your decision to choose Haas?
None 16%
Little impact 30%
We had equal say in choosing Haas 54%


Has your partner found a strong support system at Haas?
Yes 67%
No 33%


How many people live with you?
Alone 18%
1 Roommate 40%
2 Roommates 19%
3 Roommates 11%
4 Roommates 7%
More than 4 roommates 7%

How much do you PERSONALLY pay for rent?
<$800 5%
$801-$1200 23%
$1201-$1600 48%
$1601-$2000 14%
$2001-$2400 4%
$2401-$2800 4%
$2801-$3200 0%

How did you find your place?
Walk / Drive-by 9%
CAL Rentals 8%
Craigslist 63%
Real Estate Agent 2%
Haas Referral 21%
Personal Referral 9%
Other 12%

What were large funishings that you purchased for your housing arrangement? (select all that apply)
Furniture 86%
Mattress 63%
Kitchen appliances (e.g. refrigerator, toaster oven, etc.) 28%
Lighting fixtures (e.g. lamps) 44%
Other 8%


How much did you spend to furnish your housing arrangement? (e.g. toiletries, mattres, lighting fixtures, etc.)
$0 - $500 36%
$501 - $1000 23%
$1001 - $1500 16%
$1501 - $2000 15%
> $2000 10%

Where do you do your laundry?
In Home Laundry 64%
Communal Laundry 29%
Self Service Laundromat 7%
Drop-off Laundry Service 0%
Other 1%

How do you get to school? (select all that apply)
Walk 74%
Bike 35%
Bus 42%
Other Public Transport 0%
Drive own vehicle; park with campus parking pass 10%
Drive own vehicle; park off campus 9%
Other 11%

Do you have your own vehicle?
Had one prior to coming to Haas 52%
Bought one upon arrival at Haas 14%
I use a car-share service (ex. Zipcar, Enterprise, etc.) 4%
Don't have a vehicle 30%

What type of motor vehicle do you own?
Car 98%
Motorcycle / Motorized Scooter 2%


What is your preferred method of transportation in Berkeley?
Driving 19%
Walking 45%
Biking 16%
Public Transportation 12%
Taxi / Ride-service (ex. Uber, Lyft, etc.) 8%

If you came here from outside the Bay Area, how did you move your stuff?
Moving Company 23%
Fedex / UPS / USPS 5%
Drove cross-country 24%
Sold everything 21%
Other 27%

Are you happy with the housing you found?
Yes 89%
No 11%


Are you planning on moving or did you move/change your housing in your second year?
Yes 31%
No 69%

Are there any stores for furniture or household items that you would recommend?

  • Ikea
  • Craigslist
  • Target
  • Marshall's
  • Pier 1
  • Pottery Barn
  • CB2
  • Walmart
  • Costco
  • West Elm
  • Bed, Bath & Beyond
  • Goodwill
Please name a few of your favorite restaurants.
  • Manpuku
  • Osmanthus
  • Southie
  • A Cote
  • Gather
  • Freehouse
  • Wood Tavern
  • Royal Rangoon
  • Marica
  • Great China
  • Ramen Shop
  • Gordo's
  • Comal
  • Juper
  • Pathos
  • Cholita Linda
  • Adesso
  • Oliveto
  • Sabuy Sabuy
  • Crepevine
  • China Village
  • Gregoire
  • Plantano
  • Imm Thai
  • Kiraku
  • Tacos Sinaloa
  • Angeline's Louisiana Kitchen
  • Eureka!
  • Koja Kitchen
  • Cheeseboard
  • Venus
  • Joshu-Ya
  • White Lotus
  • Top Dog
Please list grocery stores that you use in your area.
  • Berkeley Bowl
  • Whole Foods
  • Yasai Market
  • Trader Joe's
  • Costco
  • Safeway
  • Andronico's
  • Monterey Market
  • Farmigo (online farmer's market that delivers to Haas)
  • Ver Brugge
  • La Farine
  • Walgreens
  • Star Grocery
Which cell phone provider do you have?
AT&T 36%
Sprint 3%
Verizon 36%
Metro PCS 1%
T-Mobile 17%
Cricket Mobile 6%
Other 2%

Do you have a home phone?
AT&T 0%
Vonage 0%
Comcast 0%
Other 1%
No Home Phone 99%

How do you make international calls?
Home phone (landline) 0%
Calling Card 0%
Skype 60%
Other VOIP 10%
Cell Phone 10%
Other 19%

Do you have cable television service?
Comcast 21%
Direct TV 0%
AT&T Uverse 1%
Other 8%
Don't Have Cable 70%

What brand of laptop do you have?
IBM / Lenovo 23%
Dell 18%
Apple 44%
Gateway 0%
Acer 2%
Toshiba 2%
HP 6%
Sony 0%
Other 4%

Who is your internet service provider?
AT&T 8%
Comcast 77%
Verizon 1%
Other 13%
I do not have internet at home. 0%

Did you have CAL Bears football season tickets?
Yes 9%
No 91%

What academic or social advice would you offer to the incoming class?
  • Academic Advice

    • Decide how important grades are you to and spend your time accordingly. Each semester select which classes you really want to prioritize and invest time there, and be OK deprioritizing some of the others.
    • Keep up to speed at the start of classes to avoid panic at the end
    • If you think that you could/should waive a class, then it's worth studying for and taking the waiver exam.
    • Go for at least 1-2 classes you think you don't need - you might be surprised at how much you like/will learn from a new topic (e.g. finance if you're not a quant person, power & politics if you don't believe in soft skills)
    • Take at least one class outside of Haas
    • Make sure you don't overload yourself. Project-based classes are more intense, so be thoughtful about how many you take.
    • Prioritize the classes you really enjoy and focus in learning.
    • You're going to have some classes in which the professor assigns more readings than s/he expects you to get through - that's okay. They expect that you won't do all of them. What they do expect that you'll figure out which readings are most important or relevant to you, or that you'll figure out how to get through the readings efficiently. What works for one student doesn't work for another, and vice versa.
    • Classes are what you make of them. Investing time in reading and assignments will make the class more rewarding.
    • Take it relatively seriously from the start so you don't fall behind
    • Focus on learning and less on grades. Pick courses where you have identified knowledge gaps or opportunty gaps.
    • Take both classes you have an interest/background in and also classes that stretch you to consider different types of skills.
    • Figure out what you need to learn and what you don't need to learn! Work smarter, not harder. Align that w/ your academic learning interests.
    • Take waiver exams.
    • Try to focus more on overall learning than stressing out about the individual grades you get. Decide what key pieces you want to get out of each class and prioritize those; don't get too worried if the rest doesn't stick!
    • It's hard for everyone.
    • Raise your hand and try to engage in class! If you think it's a stupid question, chances are that 10 other people in the class are also too afraid to ask it. Pro tip: For super shy people, sit in the front so you focus on the professor and not on how (you think) everyone else is smarter and more eloquent than you are.
    • Lean on your peers a lot.
    • You have to study to do well. Focus on the classes most important to you. Don't be afraid to take challenging courses that are relevant to you. Grades don't have to be the primary focus.
    • Buckle down and study/work hard for the first semester. From there you will get an appropriate sense of the effort required to achieve a certain GPA or result. Do not stress out but work hard during the first semester to get a sense of the environment.
    • The sooner you are able to figure out how much effort you need to put into academics to achieve your personal goals (and everyone's are different), the easier it will be to prioritize and balance your time.
    • Do get some sleep and try to stay on top of your readings and lecture material - exams creep up!
    • Don't over commit to school/work. There are so many fun and amazing things to do in the Bay Area that you may miss out on by being buried in commitments.
    • Focus on learning, less on grades; Focus on building good team dynamics early on
    • Study groups are useful for learning through discussion
    • Don't be afraid to rely on your classmates for tutoring in subjects that are unfamiliar to you!
  • Social Advice

    • Don't feel like you have to go to everything. If it's more stressful to be at the event than to actually get some work done, don't go. I went to HaasBoats but skipped HaasVegas. It was ok!
    • If you live alone (or with a partner), try to find a buddy that is in a similar situation to be your social pal. A lot of people in big houses will tend to be "in the know" with social events, or they will go to things more often because their roommates will be going. If you find another friend that lives alone (or with their partner), you can serve this purpose for each other.
    • Some people are very social, while others aren't (which is ok!) There is a sense that the more events and gatherings you go to, the more people you'll meet and know quickly. That being said, you get out what you put in.
    • Be social in a way that is meaningful to you. You can still create meaningful friendships even if you don't go to all the big parties and events.
    • Only do as much as you want to do
    • Have fun! Attend social events and make friends but you absolutely do not have to attend everything. Only do the things that you think you'll actually enjoy. Time and energy are too valuable!
    • Find the activities that you like and commit to going to those specifically. On the first part: you won't like all types of activities. I found I didn't really like Bar of the Week even though "everyone" goes to them because it was overwhelming to have meaningful conversation in such a loud setting (also, you just want to say hi to everyone so you're constantly interrupted). But I love consumption functions and small group dinners, so I made every opportunity to go to those. On the second part: Commit! There are times when you will feel like canceling last minute, but if you are selective about which events you go to and go even if you don't feel like going, you'll have fun. I sometimes wanted to bail on small dinners / hangouts at people's houses, but I was always glad I went.
    • Be ok with saying no - quality over quantity
    • Put yourself in uncomfortable situations, and go to events you might not normally otherwise. Even if you don't enjoy the particular event, you might meet people you stay friends with later on.
    • Learn to say no! There will be a lot going on, especially during the first year. Do as much as you can and meet as many people as possible!
    • Take risks and do things you would not have considered before. At the same, time resist #FOMO. Think about what is meaningful and rewarding for you
    • Try to find opportunities to get to know people 1-on-1, the default is doing everything in giant groups, kind of like middle school. Join a lot of clubs, but only make commitments to a few of the ones that matter most to you.
    • Take it upon yourself to get to know people. Be proactive about setting up dinner dates, coffee chats, and group social outings. Every one else is just as anxious as you are about "fitting in" and finding a group of friends.
    • Don't worry about making every event. Choose the ones that sound really interesting to you.
    • Don't try too hard to be cool - everyone is an adult but back at school people stop acting like it for some reason
    • Take advantage of everything the school has to offer but within your energy levels and financial means. Don't feel overly pressured to be everywhere and everything to everyone. Build deep connections with people but large social events are not the only way to do it.
    • Networking is key, get outside of Haas bubble, search for UC Berkeley events
    • Attend as many social activities as you can.
    • Get to know your classmates and the second years. First year goes by so fast!
    • Be very open to all different types of people.  It can be very easy for people to clump with the people who are the most similar to them, but try to resist this urge and get to know people outside of your normal comfort zone.
    • Don't forget you're an adult and know what works for you. Of course be open and enjoy transforming yourself, but don't change yourself to be a part of some social group. There will be others like you.
    • For the introverts or introverted-extroverts or extroverted-introverts: The large group events are a lot of fun, but they can also be a bit overwhelming. There are plenty of other introverts or people who prefer a balance of smaller-group activities and large-group activities. It's okay to put your interests out there, as you never know who else may be craving a good dose of karaoke or a classical ballet performance or a Euro-strategy game night.

  • Have you found a strong support system at Haas? Please describe.

    • Yes -- but it took some time. I didn't find my closest friends until spring semester first year. In fact, I made some really great friends second year as well.
    • People are extremely helpful if you allow them to be.
    • My roommates are wonderful, and all of my classmates will go out of their way to help me with anything I need.
    • I've found them through different groups of friends so don't worry if you don't necessarily find that "one" group to hang out with all the time.
    • My study group was amazing. I also found friends and support through the recruiting process.
    • Proximity tends to breed a strong support system, so you are likely going to lean on your roommates for social and academic advice.
    • It took me a while, but I feel like I have people who I can turn to for anything now.  Whether it's to celebrate or to share that I'm feeling homesick, I have found a strong support system among classmates.
    • Haas Christian Fellowship has been a great support system. It's good for me to know there are others who share my faith. Likewise, Consortium and non-Consortium folks for whom social justice and racial reconciliation are important. I've really appreciated getting to hear such different perspectives and know that we all share a common desire to address racial issues (and find solutions) at Haas and in business.
    • Absolutely. That's has been the best part of the experience by far.
    • Yes, through non-Haas community (my roommates, my church) as well as through Haas. But it took a lot of time and a lot of patience and a lot of being honest with myself about my personality and what really refuels me.
    • Roommates, affinity club, touchy feely classes, process group facilitated by the school therapist Dr. Capone.
    • Yes. My cohort and study team have been amazing for me during tough times. Whether it is dealing with difficult groups, tough interviews, or just the stress of finding a job/internship, my close group of friends has always provided an outlet.
    • Smaller but strong.

  • What is the one thing that a student must do in the Bay Area?

    • Get outside!
    • Definitely need to attend one of the many lectures on campus!
    • Go to Tahoe in the summer and the winter!
    • Go to Golden Gate Bridge and take photos.;)
    • Napa and Carmel
    • Weekend and day trips! Big Sur, Napa/Sonoma, Monterrey, Carmel, etc.
    • Sign up for events calendar and take advantage of all the awesome (and often free!) festivals, markets, shows, concerts, etc
    • Grizzly Peak - Bike or hike. Drive if you have to, but the view from there is awesome.
    • Get out of the Berkeley bubble and visit places around the Bay.
    • Hiking!
    • Picnic at Dolores Park with bread, wine and cheese from Bi-Rite.
    • Depends what they like to do. Go to Alcatraz, Cal Academy of Science, Fairyland if you have kids.
    • Visit the rose garden in the Berkeley Botanic Gardens! Free with your student ID :).
    • Take advantage of all the amazing National Parks in California (Yosemite, Sequoia, Joshua Tree and others which are still on my wishlist)
    • Hike Tilden/Marin, Bike/walk Golden Gate, night Alcatraz tour,
    • Visit the North Bay and do a hike near Stinson Beach (or go kayaking/surfing!), then get some oysters at Tomales Bay Oyster Company.
    • Get involved in the thriving entrepreneurship environment. Definitely, enjoy the many outdoor activities in the surroundings.
    • Tour the Berkeley Botanical Garden
    • Enjoy the weather. It's ridiculous. Sunglasses and hiking shoes will take you far.
    • Explore Golden Gate park and go to Baker Beach.

  • What is one thing you wish you had known before coming to Haas?

    • It would have been helpful to spend some time over the summer reflecting on career options. As soon as you get to campus you are expected to start networking and thinking about summer internships. I wish I had a better idea of what I wanted to pursue before arriving in August.
    • Business school can be like high school at times-- be prepared for some cliques, but be comfortable with knowing who you are.
    • The housing situation here is challenging. It is expensive and the demand is so high, you often have to fill out an application to apply for a rental unit.
    • How hard and competitive the job search would be, very intensive process even though I started preparing in the Fall
    • How suburban Berkeley really is. I definitely miss my big city!
    • It is cold during nights (6-8 degrees C). It is not 20 degrees C round the year.
    • Career stuff can drain your battery! Network, network, network.
    • As much as we have a ton of fun, there is still lots of work to get done on the class and recruiting front.
    • How hard it would be to figure out how to allocate my time!
    • Change is always hard, no matter how many times you've been forced to adapt to it. Be prepared for it to be more challenging than you expected it to adapt to a new location and set of peers.
    • You will be super crazy the first semester but just enjoy the ride and warn your significant others/friends/family that you will be a little hard to get in touch with!
    • How much harder the transition would be to school. It was a shock to my system to be in class again, and I didn't know how to put everything in perspective first semester.
    • That the first year is really really hard, not just academically but socially and emotionally. It gets better and better the sooner you realize why you came to Haas and what your priorities are. But that process takes time, and until then, it's uncomfortable.
    • Relationships/friendships are formed differently from undergrad -- we're not all coming to school fresh from high school with little life experience, all the same age. Given the short amount of time (2 year MBA vs a 4 year college), you have to be intentional about getting to know people on a more authentic, deeper level.
    • It's okay to feel sad, alone, confused, and lost. But don't stay there; let others love you and help you through it.
    • It's not as liberal/progressive as you think.
    • How difficult and frustrating it is to find housing; Being a public school really does influence available resources for the MBA program
    • How busy first semester would be. I wish I had set expectations with my other friends and family that I'd be less available for a bit.
    • Some of the difficulties that the international students face regarding the visa issues. For example, the stats on the percentage of offers available to internationals and the difficulties around getting a green card.
    • Everyone of my classmates has at least one special talent. Begin a quest to find out what those talents are for your classmates.
    • Don't procrastinate
    • The entire spectrum of opportunity/commitments that previous year's students had done. And their comfort level with having chose the route they did.
    • That you were going to be really really busy and it's not as relaxing of an experience as one may think - learn how to prioritize and say NO (which is really really hard)
    • Don't neglect self-care -- that is important, too!
    • Don't stress. You'll figure out career things, you'll meet great people. You're here because very smart people saw a fit and your potential to do great things at Haas.
    • It's very easy to meet a lot of people, and somewhat difficult to really get to know people unless you put in a bit of effort to do so, but if you do it's SO worth it
    • I wish I had been more assertive in what I wanted to do professionally post MBA
    • I wish I had learned how to say no...there's so much opportunity that it's really easy to say yes to everything.

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