Meet The Berkeley Haas MBA Class of 2018


Sahinaz Safari

Haas School of Business, University of California-Berkeley

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

Hometown: Tehran, Iran

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m happiest when I’m dancing!

Undergraduate School and Major:

Undergraduate: University of Waterloo, Electrical Engineering

Graduate (MS): Stanford University, Electrical Engineering with focus in Medical Imaging

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

ZS Associates: Business Associate Consultant

Innovation Team (Intrapreneurial Startup within ZS Associates): Key Account Executive

iSono Health: Business Development

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I was an integral part of an intrapreneurial team within ZS Associates to lead a new innovation from ideation to pilot, within 1.5 years.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants?

Starting the Process: My first advice is to start early! Look at the process as managing a project and build buffers to avoid stressing out too much (stress is inevitable in the process, but anything that can reduce it helps!).

Recommendations: Choose your recommenders early and start having conversations with them. It helps to have a bulleted list of the most important accomplishments or related experiences you want to remind them of for your recommendation. You can even write the list and then have an in-person conversation with the recommender if you can. Also, as a rule of thumb, if a recommender sounds hesitant, choose someone else!

Writing essays: You often hear the advice of having many people read your essays, and it’s true. However, one thing I want to add is to stay true to who you are. People have many different opinions and advice. Hear the advice, but don’t try to incorporate it all. Ask yourself if the essay is truly YOU.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? As an aspiring entrepreneur, I knew Silicon Valley would be the place for me to be, and that Haas has one of the richest entrepreneurial environments in the nation. However, what ultimately led to my decision was the overall culture and environment. Self-awareness is the most important factor in personal and professional growth, and Haas is the safest, most supportive environment for the process of self-exploration. I felt instantly comfortable and at home when I visited Haas for the first time, but the feeling I have now, one week into the orientation, is 10x more!

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life. I want to be an entrepreneur in healthtech/medtech. I want to wake up everyday and feel like I’m making a difference in the world. That has always been my biggest motivation factor. I’m excited to dig deeper into ideas I have, to collaborate with other students and departments, and to explore global opportunities for entrepreneurship.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I want them to know me … the real me. The rest just sorts itself out. I want to make a positive contribution to the Berkeley Haas community and to have my classmates remember me by that.

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