Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Tomás Campos, U.C. Berkeley (Haas)

Tomás Campos

University of California Berkeley, Haas School of Business

“Impact-driven, passionate engineer, and team player. I approach life with excitement and energy. Huge soccer fan.”

Hometown: Santiago, Chile

Fun Fact About Yourself: When I was an undergraduate, I decided to pause my studies and travel abroad. My first stop was New Zealand, where I worked several jobs to save money for traveling. I started working for a moving company and thereafter worked in distribution centers, gardening, farms, fisheries, and finally I ended up trying door-to-door sales. I have many funny stories and I learned a ton. One example: not many things smell worse than fresh fish at 4:30 a.m.

Undergraduate School and Major: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Electrical Engineering.

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: BESS Project Manager at AES Gener in Santiago, Chile (South American subsidiary of the AES Corporation).

Berkeley Haas is founded on four Defining Leadership Principles: Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself. Which pillar resonates most with you and why? Question the Status Quo all the way. I believe that if we want to make a change, we need to step up and challenge the “normal” way of doing things. This principle was key in my professional life while leading energy storage business development in South America.

Aside from the four pillars and your classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose Haas and why was it so important to you? Besides Haas’ location in the San Francisco Bay Area, I would say that what brought me here was the entrepreneurship ecosystem and focus on creativity. Since enrolling at Haas, I have been exposed to so many resources, including accelerators, incubators, education programs, VC’s, clubs, etc. I’ve also had the opportunity to learn and talk with many Haas entrepreneurs.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Open-minded, fun, and really smart people. I am impressed by their achievements and enthusiasm to contribute to our class and global community.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I would say successfully transforming Latin America’s largest coal generator into a renewable energy company and contributing to building a Rockstar Business Development team. Another achievement is being selected to join an amazing business school.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? After five years of working, I felt that it was a good time to take a break and evaluate my personal and professional goals. There is no way to look at the whole picture while working full time and I wanted to be sure that I was on the right path. It’s also an excellent time for my wife, my future son, and me to travel abroad and consolidate our family.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? UCLA Anderson and USC Marshall.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? For me, it was the “What makes you feel alive?” essay. When I read it, I realized that it was a powerful question and it took many drafts to complete. I enjoyed the process and ended up writing about soccer and how it has impacted my personal life and goals.

What was the biggest factor in choosing a particular business school and why was it so important to you? One of the most important factors in choosing a business school was to be part of a collaborative school instead of a competitive one. Before applying, I had the opportunity to meet many Haas students who well represented the Beyond Yourself principle. Even before the application process, I felt really supported by them and the whole Haas community.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? To be honest, I don’t think that I have one specific defining moment, but rather a series of defining experiences and decisions that brought me here. One of those defining experiences was when I was a part-time entrepreneur during undergrad and I secured my first customer. I felt I could conquer the world! The excitement I had was something that I have never felt professionally again and it helped me realize that in the long term, I wanted to become a full-time entrepreneur.

What is your favorite company and why? I would say Tesla because it questions the status quo. It drastically changed a mature industry led by giants. Twenty years ago, few people would have bet that we would have a 100% electric, “commercial” car that could be driven autonomously. Moreover, few people would have guessed that very same company would be the world’s most valuable automaker by market capitalization.

Look ahead two years and picture graduation. How will you know that your business school experience has been successful?  I’ll know that my business school experience has been successful when I have a clear idea of which path I want to follow in the future, both in my professional and personal life. Also, after these two years, I want to have about 300 new friends with whom I learned and shared experiences that I will remember for life.


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