2022 Best & Brightest MBA: Lucas Seifu, UC-Berkeley (Haas)

Lucas Seifu

University of California-Berkeley, Haas School of Business

“Open-minded and empathetic leader seeking to understand others and improve the world around me.”

Hometown: Fremont, CA

Fun fact about yourself: Before the pandemic, I spent my weekends working part-time for live music organizer Sofar Sounds. I hosted concerts as an MC, handled day-of logistics as a show lead, and was the main point of contact for musicians.

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Southern California, BS in Business Administration

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Product Insights Research Lead at Google.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2021? Bain & Company at their San Francisco office.

Where will you be working after graduation? I’ll be working as a consultant at Bain & Company (SF Office).

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Co-President, Black Business Student Association
  • VP of Alumni, MBA Association (Full-time MBA student government)
  • Housing Lab Graduate Fellow, Terner Housing Innovation Labs: One of five UC Berkeley graduate students working with the Housing Lab to identify and accelerate early-stage ventures that help make housing more affordable and fair.
  • InSITE Fellow: Start-up consulting

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I’m most proud of organizing our Fall Fuego event while I was the Co-President of the Black Business Student Association. In collaboration with the Latinx Business Club (LBC), Fall Fuego is an event that brings together the entire Haas student body and friends to celebrate Black and Latinx culture. Coming out of a virtual year of business school, our affinity clubs didn’t have many opportunities to connect and build community. As minority groups at Haas, it’s easy to feel like afterthoughts in the social scene and there was uncertainty about widespread interest in an event that centered around our culture. Still, I pushed to bring back Fall Fuego and promote the event. Fall Fuego was a huge success! It  brought together hundreds of attendees and more than doubled fundraising efforts from previous years for future BBSA and LBC initiatives.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I led a multi-year brand health tracker for a direct-to-consumer start-up. During that time, the start-up tripled its sales and was acquired for over a billion dollars. Our brand strategy recommendations informed their growth and helped them target their most valuable customer segments. Early in my career, I crafted a market segmentation for them and presented it directly to their CEO and CMO, which was one of my favorite memorable professional experiences.

Why did you choose this business school? The people. I was choosing between several top-ranked schools and I realized that my career results probably wouldn’t differ much no matter which school I chose. Ultimately, I had to decide who I wanted to be in my network and Haas students stood out among the crowd. Haas MBAs are thoughtful, empathetic, and driven to change the world in a way that stood out to me. Life is short and it’s important to surround yourself with good people.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I’m grateful for my entire MBA experience, but I wish that I chose fewer things to get involved in and spent more time on them. Business school is exciting and provides so many opportunities, but I would have been best served by choosing one key focus area and leaving more time to spontaneity. I never would have guessed where my interests would go and I wish I committed to less and gave myself more time to explore.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The greatest myth is that Haas is just a tech and social impact school. Haas may over-index on those sectors, but students are interested in a diverse range of industries. Students will find their place no matter what they’re interested in.

What surprised you the most about business school? How fast it goes by! Two years seemed like a long time, but it flies by. There’s too much to do at Berkeley, so everyone is going to graduate wishing they did more.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? Attend informational sessions and other admissions events. It helped me get an authentic understanding of the school and have genuine conversations with admissions representatives who would be reviewing my application.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I admire my roommate Romeet Sen. He’s a well-rounded person who will accomplish anything he sets his mind to. Since coming to Haas, I’ve seen him put in long hours to lead community service efforts as the VP of Community for Haas’s Consortium, advise classmates on breaking into tech as a peer advisor, and launch his own clothing company! What’s most remarkable is that he still manages to take care of his other priorities like his health and his social life. He manages to dedicate time to all of the issues that he cares about and inspires me every day.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? No single person, but the program Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) most influenced my decision. MLT is a program focused on increasing the representation of Black and Latinx people in business leadership. I had an amazing coach and met inspiring people who helped me understand the value of business school.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? 

* Live and work internationally. Bain offers an international exchange program that I plan to take advantage of by transferring to an international Bain office.

* Start a company. At Haas, it’s hard not to get the bug to start a venture from scratch. I don’t think my career would be complete without giving a shot at founding a company.

How has the pandemic changed your view of a career? It made me appreciate how short life is and recognize what I really value. By going to a top MBA, I no longer have to worry about financial stability. Now, I can focus on living a life that makes me happy and has a purpose that benefits others. I feel less excited by material success and more driven to work on things that matter.

What made Lucase such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?

“Lucas Seifu began his time as a Berkeley Haas student in fall of 2020- during the COVID pandemic.  Many of his classmates had never visited Haas prior to deciding to attend the school, and their first year at Haas was in a Zoom classroom.  Because of these hurdles (as opposed to in spite of them), Lucas ran for and was nominated as the MBAA VP Alumni.

Building alumni connections and alumni engagement for Berkeley Haas students has focused on in person events- large networking events, industry focused events, coffee chats, classroom visits, etc.  During his first year at Haas, and leading into his second year, we were unable to meet in person.  As VP Alumni in this new environment, Lucas led and created new and innovative ways of making connections with alumni so that he and his classmates were able to network and connect.  He wasn’t able to rely on past connection successes, he had to create new methods of building lifelong relationships.

Creativity and success in a time when the networking and education industry were changing was inherent to Lucas. He worked closely with his classmates to launch new networking events that were unique and engaging while being hosted via Zoom. He launched alumni panels to guide students in “virtual onboarding” and “virtual networking within your company” so that his classmates were prepared for the reality of starting their internship or full time role in a virtual environment.  And, he took the scrappy young mentoring program for Berkeley MBA to a new level: initiating training for students and alumni, and creating successful matches with volunteer alumni that are thoughtful and will create lifelong connections.

In a time that the education industry needed fast and innovative changes to continue to build relationships and engagement, Lucas was a leader.  His motivation was always focused on the success of his classmates as they built their greater Berkeley Haas Network, and I am beyond thankful for the changes that he has implemented.  Berkeley Haas needed Lucas, and I cannot wait to celebrate his continued successes as an active alumnus.”

Meg Roundy
Associate Director of Student Alumni Relations for Berkeley Haas


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