Meet The Berkeley Haas MBA Class Of 2020

Oriol Pi Miloro  

University of California Berkeley, Haas School of Business

A social activist in a finance suit, feet on the ground, head in the sky.”

Hometown: Barcelona, Spain

Fun Fact About Yourself: Four years ago, I woke up after a copious Christmas’ dinner with a sudden, intense and totally unexpected need to draw. I have been regularly drawing portraits ever since.

Undergraduate School and Major: Unversitat Pompeu Fabra, Bachelor in Business Administration.

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: PhD Roland Umlauft, Investment Associate.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Launching the Spanish affiliate of the It Gets Better Project, the largest non-profit fighting against LGBT bullying in schools. Since 2015, I planned the fundraising and treasury needs of the organization. I passed on my knowledge to new volunteers by explaining our guidelines at dozens of workshops, ensuring we spread hope to Spanish LGBT teenagers for many years to come. Working with the It Gets Better Project has been a life-changing experience. When I reflect upon the strength we have brought to the life of so many teenagers, it motivates me to keep changing lives on a larger, global scale, ideally through my work and my professional expertise.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Awareness. Every single classmate I have met demonstrated a genuine interest on the most pressing issues of our society. And they came to Haas to tackle this issues.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? What made me choose Haas was the commitment that the school shows in forging ethical and responsible leaders. Before applying to the Full-Time MBA program, I had completed the Certificate in Social Sector Leadership offered by the Philanthropy University and the Haas School of Business. This program gave me very strong hints about my fit with Haas. Haas has been historically known for teaching business with a social perspective, for demonstrating that doing business, generating returns and working towards social good all at once is possible. Very few programs are founded on such strong and clear statements and this was decisive in my MBA decision.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I cannot pick a single club, but I am definitely joining the Finance Club, the Haas Impact Investing Network and Q@Haas, the LGBT+ club at Haas.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career?  For me it was a matter of timing. An MBA was the right step in my career: I already had a few years of professional experience and I wanted to take some “active time” to learn more about myself and the career path I wanted to take. I wanted to attend a program in one of the best business schools in the world, somewhere where I could relate to the mission of the school and its community. This place was Haas.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? The “simple” part was the financial one, as it is fairly easy to come to an accurate amount regarding the expected expenses of an MBA. Most numbers have already been crunched and published online. The information about loans and scholarships is readily available, and the universities regularly update the cost of attendance for each program. The returns side is different for each person, but it is also easy to get insights in salary data depending on the industries, roles, and locations desired. Doing a two-year full-time MBA became worth it when I realized that doing my MBA at Berkeley was the logical next step in my career. Berkeley gathered the program’s quality, the network and the proximity to the industry that I demanded from my MBA program, and this experience was impossible to replicate in any other way.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? When I evaluated my fit with each program, I carefully balanced three factors: location, post-MBA opportunities, and the school’s values. In my case, it came down to being in the Bay Area, joining a program with strong ties with both the tech and finance industries, and  being surrounded by a community with whom I share the same vision about how business should be made.

For the potential applicants, identifying with the Haas’ defining principles is an incredible “acid test” for their fit. If you have a sudden feeling of excitement and joy when going through the Haas’ defining principles… you are off to a good start in your application!

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I have had a few defining moments that I can identify in my life, but living in Seoul, South Korea, when I was 21 years old is one of the strongest. Moving away from Spain, to a place with a completely different culture and language, enabled me to get away from my normal routine. It also gave me a unique opportunity to self-reflect.  Being far from home taught me to treasure the small details in my everyday life and to appreciate the things that I was taking for granted, like living close to my loved ones. At the same time, it was an adventure that empowered me. Living in Seoul on my own gave me a new sense of confidence and strength. I feel like nowadays, at Berkeley, I am gathering the fruits of this experience.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? I am still thinking about the type of job I want to have right after graduation, but I know I want to stay in a finance-related position, ideally one that would be involved with M&A, deal sourcing or corporate development. I am very interested in technology and during the last few months I have deepened my knowledge in the healthcare / biotech industries, sectors that I have always been learning about, but never had the time to properly dive in. Blending my experience in finance and my interest in these branches of tech would be an awesome post MBA path that I will try to start in my summer internship.

Where do you see yourself in five years? I see myself in a managerial role that involves slightly less hard skills and more sales or people abilities. In terms of location, I am flexible and I would be willing to live somewhere where I could grow as a professional and eventually settle down with my family. The US  or Europe are likely destinations, but I have no preference towards any coast or city. I wish that my job is meaningful not only to me but to the people I work with and for. The details of it is something that I will clarify along the way.

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