Of course, such numbers detract from what truly makes a class great: The students themselves. By that measure, the Class of 2017 is well on its way to being stellar. Indeed, this class features a number of standouts, says Stephanie Fujii, assistant dean of the full-time MBA program and admissions. “The class includes a student awarded the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellowship as one of Africa’s 20 most promising young leaders; a student who led Special Forces team through Nepal and trained with Nepalese Army Rangers to improve country’s stability and internal security, and a class member who led the rollout of Malawi’s Human Resources for Health program.”
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. After earning his JD from the Georgetown University Law Center and passing the New York bar, Jean-Marc Chanoine served in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps in the United States Navy. Carrie Gladstone, a 2007 Georgetown alum, rose to being an assistant vice president of strategic initiatives at her alma mater. Here, she worked alongside top school administrators to build a development team and execute fund-raising programs that launched several school initiatives. And Joanna Shujman, who earned her BA in anthropology and cinema studies at Penn, has spent the past seven years at Deloitte Consulting, where she has developed solutions for clients in industries ranging from life sciences to energy to consumer products.
“We select our students based on their impressive accomplishments and the values that they share with our community,” Fujii adds. “We had an outstanding pool of applicants this year and this class is among the strongest we’ve seen. What continues to distinguish our students is their commitment to our Defining Principles, and the acts of leadership that embody this.”
A CULTURE GUIDED BY FOUR CORE PRINCIPLES
Indeed, these principles guide the entire Haas curriculum and experience. They include: Question the Status Quo (“Champion bold ideas”); Confidence Without Attitude (“Make decisions based on evidence and analysis”); Students Always (“Lifelong pursuit of personal and intellectual growth”); and Beyond Yourself (“Put larger interests above our own”). In fact, this framework – and what it embodies – attracted many members of the incoming class.
“One of the core principles at Haas is Beyond Yourself and it resonated with me, given my background in international development and interest in social entrepreneurship,” writes Hadiatou Barry, a Guineau native – and another Georgetown alum – who most recently managed economic growth projects in six African nations for the CARANA Corporation. ”My post-graduation goal is to start a venture that will tap into opportunities to increase affordable access to quality education in Francophone Africa and I couldn’t think of a better place to incubate that idea than at Haas.”
Berkeley’s location – an hour drive from Silicon Valley and cutting edge employers like Google and Tesla – was another plus. Alvaro Silberstein, a Chilean by birth and an engineer by trade, touted the “vast opportunities” in the Bay Area tech ecosystem (the biggest consumer of Haas graduates). And Jay Obaze, a New York City native who was previously a business analyst at American Express, was sold on the network. “I’m interested in exploring the technology and start-up space. Berkeley Haas will provide an unparalleled amount of exposure to it through its connections to Silicon Valley.”
‘I FELL IN LOVE WITH THE SCHOOL’S CULTURE’
For Shujman, Haas’ allure was rooted in more than the Bay Area’s dreamy weather and infinite amenities. In her view, the school presents the total package. “As I continued researching, I fell in love with the school’s culture. I felt extremely comfortable with each person I met from Haas. With each conversation I had with students and alumni, two key themes emerged: An extremely supportive culture and an emphasis on exploration. I wanted a program that would challenge me to think differently about how I view the world, and I loved that Haas’s small yet incredibly diverse student body would expose me to a wide range of career paths. I wanted my MBA experience to be transformational, and Haas represented the perfect fit.”
Haas is known for its eclectic alumni, whose ranks include Dilbert creator Scott Adams and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen. The Class of 2017 will now follow their path, beginning a two-year journey that will be marked by epiphanies, bonding, and ultimately celebration. During that time, Barry plans to grow the number of women on campus, as well as build on the program’s first African Business Forum. Silberstein hopes to launch a company that serves the disabled. And Shujman, like many of her peers, wants to grow personally.
“I want to challenge myself to take greater risks and push myself to uncover passions that may not be obvious. I want to build a foundation of knowledge that I can draw upon in any situation going forward, and I want to make lifelong friends from all walks of life who will continue to challenge and inspire each other throughout our careers.”
To read profiles of incoming Haas students – along with their advice on tackling GMAT, applications, and interviews – click on the student links below.
Hadiatou Barry / Conakry, Guinea
Jean-Marc Chanoine / Miami, Florida
Carrie Gladstone / Cleveland, Ohio
Jay Obaze / New York City, NY
Joanna Shujman / Altamonte Springs, FL