Meet The Berkeley Haas MBA Class Of 2020

Tiffany Tran

University of California Berkeley, Haas School of Business

Environmental educator inspiring others to become advocates for the earth.”

Hometown: Long Beach, California

Fun Fact About Yourself: I spent a week in the Stanislaus National Forest with 16 other volunteers planting 2,470 trees across 18 acres of burned forestland.

Undergraduate School and Major: UC Berkeley, Environmental Science and Environmental Economics and Policy

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Annie’s (division of General Mills), Senior Sustainability Analyst

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Being honored as one of Greenbiz’s 30 Under 30 Sustainability Leaders is one of the biggest accomplishments of my career. Every year, the award is given to 30 under 30-year-old professionals from around the world who are creating a more sustainable future. My efforts at Annie’s—in significantly reducing the carbon footprint of our headquarters, bringing environmental education to our employees, and elevating our brand’s sustainability story through our marketing communication channels—were recognized with this award.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? What I appreciate the most about my classmates is that they are genuinely kind. Everyone has come to Haas with an open mind and is eager to listen to each other’s stories and support each other’s career goals. I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of a community filled with caring people.

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? Berkeley Haas has an array of programs and centers focused on gender equality, sustainability, and social impact, all topics that are very important to me. Specifically, Haas’s Center for Responsible Business (CRB), which focuses on integrating environmentally and socially responsible practices into company business strategies and models, was a big part of my decision. As a sustainability professional, I wanted to attend a business school that had sustainability integrated into the student experience so that I could grow my expertise. The CRB does an amazing job building sustainability into the MBA curriculum and connecting students to mission-driven companies and professionals.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I look forward to organizing a group of MBAs to run the Berkeley Half Marathon together. In addition, I’m excited to play soccer at Berkeley through our MBA Soccer Club and intramural team.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I aspire to hold a leadership role where I can make direct business decisions and drive larger impact. To do this, I need to build my business acumen and build stronger management skills. Since I had no formal business education or training, I saw an MBA as the perfect opportunity for me to achieve my goals.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? I’ve had a number of conversations with MBA alumni and students about their MBA experience. Every person that I spoke to regarded the MBA as a huge stepping stone to their career. The MBA brought forth new job and growth opportunities that were hard to come by without an MBA. In addition, I knew that the knowledge and the lasting friendships that I would gain would be invaluable parts to getting my MBA.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Stanford

How did you determine your fit at various schools? The best way that I was able to determine fit was through campus visits and conversations with the students and alumni. When I visited campuses, I relied on my gut to determine whether I could see myself at the school. When I reached out to students and alumni, I wanted to see whether they responded and were willing to chat with me. Every Haas student and alumni was excited to share their experiences, which allowed me to gauge the culture of the school.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? Truly understanding my identity as a child of immigrants and as a first-generation high school and college student was a defining moment of my life. When I grew up, these aspects weighed heavily on me, in terms of embarrassment. I was afraid of what my peers would think of me when they learned that my parents were not from America and did not go to school. It wasn’t until college when I realized how these aspects actually positively shaped my life. My identity encouraged me to set high goals for myself and pursue opportunities that my parents did not have.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? After graduation, I’m hoping to travel for a few weeks. I have a list of countries, including Iceland, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, and Switzerland that I would like to visit. In addition, I would love to go on a volunteer trip focused on environmental restoration in the tropics.

Where do you see yourself in five years? In five years, I will hopefully be holding a senior management role at a company dedicated to driving positive impact.

Meet the Class of 2020 Series

London Business School

University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School

University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business

MIT Sloan School of Management

Columbia Business School

UC-Berkeley Haas School of Business

Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business

Yale School of Mnnagement

University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business

Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

New York University’s Stern School of Business

Emory’s Goizueta School of Business

Washington University’s Olin Business School

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