The Berkeley-Haas Defining Principles catch on
Carlos Prieto, dean of Escuela Bancaria y Comercial, and Haas Dean Rich Lyons
When we unveiled our Defining Principles in fall 2010, I never imagined the tremendous feedback we would receive. Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself have truly resonated with people, inspiring everything from band names to life lessons for newborns to culture initiatives by business schools in other nations.
As a musician, I appreciate that our principles struck a note with a new full-time MBA band: David Haaselhoff and the Four Chord Principles. Guitarist Michael Nurick, MBA 14, says the name is a look at the ways the band embodies the Haas Defining Principles. "We want to serve the Haas community, shatter the stereotype that top business school students can't also be artists, learn to work as a team in an artistic context, and not take ourselves too seriously, while making this band the best it can be," he explains.
As the father of two children, I also was heartened by an email I received from Ajay Kshatriya, MBA 11, who realized that the values he hopes to instill in his son coincided with our Defining Principles. (See page 40 for Ajay's story.)
More recently, I discussed the importance of culture with Dr. Carlos Prieto, dean of Escuela Bancaria y Comercial (EBC), Mexico's oldest private institution of higher education. I first met Dr. Prieto at MBA commencement in 2012, when his son, Diego, graduated. Dr. Prieto was revisiting the mission of EBC at the time.
When Dr. Prieto visited in November, he and his team had developed "características distintivas" for the school. We talked about the importance of codifying such cultural elements and then reinforcing them. (Dr. Prieto noted that he had been given a Haas culture card in almost every interaction he'd had with people at Haas.)
This outreach from a business school over 2,000 miles away is one of many examples of how Haas culture is catching on. As Diego Prieto, MBA 12, put it, "It is much more powerful to stand by a flag based on shared values. I felt a strong pull to Haas because I believe in what is here." I am very proud to stand by Berkeley-Haas. Sometimes we forget that among all the world's institutions of public higher ed, Berkeley is in so many ways without peer, a beacon serving not just our own students but also as an inspiration elsewhere. There is great purpose in that, a purpose we all share.
Rich Lyons, BS 82
Follow Dean Rich Lyons on Twitter @richlyons.
Lindsay Miller, PhD 12, and Chris Tan, MBA 13, teamed up as part of Cleantech to Market.
Mechanical engineer Lindsay Miller, PhD 12, knew there was a market for her doctoral thesis project--a device the size of a stick of gum that harvests energy from machinery vibrations to run wireless sensors.
The potential is huge because the sensors are expected to gain widespread adoption for such uses as measuring the temperature in data centers. Miller's prototype featured several key innovations, but how long would it take for the market to develop? Who were the potential customers? What price points would she have to hit? Those were questions the busy post-doc had neither the time--nor the expertise--to answer.
Enter Cleantech to Market (C2M). Started in 2008, C2M is now a course that pairs UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists with three MBA students and two Cal graduate students from engineering, science, law, or policy, who produce a detailed report on market potential. The class satisfies the MBA experiential learning requirement and attracts several dozen scientist applications for 8 to 12 slots.
"C2M is the reason a lot of my energy peers are here," says Chris Tan, MBA 13, who worked with Miller on her energy harvester. "It's the capstone class for us."
I was very interested to read "The I in CIO" in the fall issue and fully agree that never has the role been so focused on innovation and so integral to the company's objectives and strategy. As the first U.S. airline to provide pilots with iPads and flight attendants with mobile technology, we recognize innovation is key to success.
Maya Leibman, MBA 94
CIO, American Airlines
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Undergrads advise new firms
When a group of Haas undergrads wanted more hands-on experience in the startup world, they did what any enterprising entrepreneur would do: created their own startup to provide consulting services to new and growth-phase companies.
Venture Strategy Solutions (VSS) was founded last spring by Jamie Core, Francisco Grisolia, and Andrew Lim, all BS 12; and Paulina Ramos and Carolyn Kao, both BS 14.
One of the club's first clients was Zaarly, a marketplace for services such as decorating, whose funders include Ashton Kutcher and Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers. Asked to advise Zaarly on gaining share in the college market, a VSS team concluded that students' limited income made them less-than-ideal customers. Indeed, Zaarly eventually exited the college market to focus on time-strapped consumers.
"The VSS team did a lot of user testing and provided great insight into how students feel about peer-to-peer marketplaces," says Angela Meyer of Zaarly. "It was an amazing experience. I love hearing students' fresh ideas and voices."
The benefits of alumni relationships
"We were just catching up over some beers," says Newton Cheng, MBA 08, about his former Haas classmate Clayton Schloss, also MBA 08. "I didn't know he was looking for a job. He didn't know about the position at Google, where I work."
It's the scenario job hunters dream about. But as more companies place increasing emphasis on employee referrals, it's a dream that's coming true for many Haas alumni.
"Haas did a good job with our class of building community and emphasizing the importance of our relationships," says Cheng, fitness programs manager at Google. "I had developed a strong personal relationship with Clayton after meeting through Haas. That's how I knew he would be a good fit and a high performer for Google." Google agreed: Schloss is now the tech giant's workplace services program manager.
To rekindle relationships and leverage the strength of the Haas Alumni Network, alumni can first reconnect online through the growing 13,500+ member Haas alumni group in LinkedIn and the new @cal Alumni Directory.
For more assistance, contact the Alumni Relations Office at email@example.com or 510-642-7790.
Giants, Mets Execs Talk Sports Biz with Undergrads
Expansion overseas and fierce competition were among the big issues that Giants President Larry Baer, BA 80, and Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson tossed around with undergraduates during visits to Haas last fall.
"Our competition isn't the [Oakland] A's; it is anything in the vicinity that can attract leisure time for three or four hours," Baer told students in NBC news anchor and Haas alumna Diane Dwyer's Media Consulting course about a week after the Giants' World Series victory.
Alderson, a speaker in a Sports Marketing class he previously co-taught with Lecturer Mike Reilly, said Major League Baseball's top priority in the next decade should be growing the game beyond the United States. "The best way to expand the international base is to develop international players," said Alderson. "The person who did the most to develop basketball in China wasn't the commissioner; it was Yao Ming."