Meet The Berkeley Haas MBA Class Of 2024

The members of UC-Berkeley Haas’ team at the inaugural John Martin Mental Health Care Challenge, along with Martin’s son , Michael Martin, at left. Courtesy photo

P&Q: What have your employers told you are the two biggest strengths of your graduates and how does your programming bolster these differentiators?

Breen: “Your students have confidence without attitude”…. was a direct quote from a recruiter years ago when we were codifying our Defining Leadership Principles, and this rings true today as much as it ever did. There is just something about our students that allows them to shine through making evidence-based decisions, asserting themselves tactfully and with humility, and having the confidence to say what they believe in a difficult situation. The second strength that comes up often is their ability to be nimble and flexible. Haasies are known for jumping in to help get a job done, or for looking out on the horizon for something that needs tackling.  They are growth-mindset leaders.”

P&Q: Who is a standout in your faculty or administration – the kind of person who graduates talk about a decade after they leave? How does he or she personify your school culture and the best of your MBA program?

Breen: “We have an outstanding faculty and administration and we’re so proud of all of them. Two of our faculty members, Professors Jenny Chatman and Don Moore, who are also our Associate Deans for Academic Affairs, have done an outstanding job of bringing diverse new faculty to our  school. This fall, we welcomed nine new faculty members, adding both breadth and depth to the ground-breaking research of our ladder faculty. In addition to adding to the diversity of our faculty, this new cohort brings us a big step closer to our goal of increasing our ladder faculty by 30% by 2023. Moore researches implicit bias and teaches Leading People in our core curriculum. Chatman, with Professor Sameer Srivastava, heads the Haas Culture Initiative. She has also written two culture cases on the school’s culture and the history of our Defining Leadership Principles with former Dean Rich Lyons.

Haas School of Business


1)  Great Traditions: “My favorite Haas tradition is the “trifecta” of events at the beginning of fall. The three events – Haasemite, Haas Boats, and Haas Vegas – are a staple of the Haas experience and offer three very different experiences for full-time and part-time MBAs. Haasemite, a camping trip to Yosemite, is perfect for outdoor explorers or those who are curious of the sights that Northern California offers. Haas Boats is an incredibly memorable and unique weekend on house boats at Lake Shasta with hundreds of classmates. Finally, Haas Vegas is a nightlife-centered trip to Las Vegas. Students are not pressured to attend all (or any) of the events, but it’s a great introduction to Haas and a great way to get to know classmates at the beginning of the school year. Best of all, Haasemite and Haas Boats are local and more affordable/accessible than traditional MBA trips.”
Lucas Seifu (’22)

“My favorite tradition at Haas is Story Salon. Every month, a few student speakers prepare stories about their lived experiences and share them with the Haas community. Attending Story Salon is a beautiful experience. Everyone in the community comes out and the stories are incredible pieces filled with humor, grief, and wisdom. You feel the connection, support, love, and shared understanding in the room at every Story Salon.”
London Swift (’22)

“I am really excited about Haasmite, an MBA tradition where students go to Yosemite for a weekend. I have heard great bonding stories from students who participated in previous years and I cannot wait to spend time getting to know my classmates better.”
Anupama Tej (’24)

2) Diversity and Inclusion: “I knew I wanted an MBA that prioritized personal and leadership development, especially in relation to the most pressing issues facing our world today. Sustainability, ESG (environmental, social, and governance) and DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging) are increasingly salient for business and public leaders alike. At Haas, they are increasingly part of academic and professional programming. To name a few, there is the new Michaels Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Business, the Sustainable and Impact Finance initiative, and an academic area of emphasis in Equity Fluent Leadership.”
Jayson Wang  (’24)

“I am deeply passionate about building products and solutions that enable equal access to opportunities for all. One of the key reasons why I chose Berkeley is because it is the only MBA school that has a Center for Equity, Gender and Leadership (EGAL). EGAL focuses on creating equity fluent leaders who can build a more inclusive and equitable world. I am looking forward to taking courses like Equity Fluent Leadership: The Value of Inclusion & Diversity from Professor Kellie McElhaney and taking part in consulting projects to assist global companies in solving their most challenging diversity, equity and inclusion challenges.”
Anupama Tej (’24)

3) Sustainability: “Haas is at the forefront of the sustainable business movement, both from a cleantech and startup perspective, but also at the traditional brick-and-mortar level. As someone who believes that the largest companies in existence today will play the greatest role in addressing our climate crisis, it’s important to me that our business leaders develop not only soft skills, but concrete strategies to address this problem head on. From classes in climate change in corporate strategy to sustainable supply chains (and even human rights in business), Haas is teaching the technical science of addressing this challenge at all levels of business.”
Andrew Packer (’24)

4) Experiential Learning: “All full-time MBA students are required to take an Applied Innovation course to fulfill degree requirements. These courses are experiential learning courses where students consult with local or global companies to make a real world impact. In particular, I am most interested in the International Business Development (IBD) course where student teams partner with an organization around the world, travel to that location and offer consulting services to them.”
DJ Prahladka (’24)

5) Venture Ecosystem: “Proximity matters in the venture game! It behooves me to share that despite COVID accelerating the adoption of doing everything digitally, in-person meetings with founders, prospective investors, and impressive operators blew my mind about the Berkeley Haas community and the wealth of resources to pursue entrepreneurial aspirations sealed the deal for me (e.g. applied innovation courses, Skydeck, BHEP, and more). If you’re remotely curious about technology, social impact, innovation, and entrepreneurship, Berkeley Haas has this unique values-aligned community of people ideating and thinking deeply about (and building) the future.”
Nadia Abbasi (’24)

Haas School Exterior


“If I can give one piece of advice to prospective students, it would be don’t be afraid to be vulnerable.

Berkeley Haas reviews applications holistically rather than just looking at a data point in the application to make admission decisions. The Haas application is unique in a way that the school really wants to know you as a person beyond your resume and test score. I recommend that prospective students be authentic, vulnerable, and share their genuine story. I recommend that prospective applicants review our Defining Leadership Principles and assess if his/her values align with those principles. Our values are not just words written on our website, but are the values that the community embodies, those are the values that drive how students show up, those are the values that drive how professors show up to class, and those are the values that drive how the school makes decisions.

The essay, ‘What makes you feel alive when you are doing it, and why?’ isn’t a trick question. The school genuinely wants to know you. If you approach this question as a way to share your success story in your career or extracurricular activity, it might not be the right approach. Reflect on your life and find moments where you felt happiest and share that story. During Week Zero (orientation), the dean of Admission read excerpts from students’ essays. The stories varied from making cocktails to running marathons to exploring the wild.”
Anupama Tej (’24)

“On the strategic piece, the greatest advice would be to value your work, identity, and life experience and believe that you deserve a seat in the classroom. This process of applying to the MBA requires deep introspection and valuing and honoring the life you’ve lived and the choices you’ve made. You have to own your story and narrative (especially if you’re a reapplicant like I was). When you own who you are, professionally and personally, the essence of who you are will shine through in your essays, recommendations, and informational calls you join with admissions.”
Nadia Abbasi (’24)

MBA Student Hometown Undergrad Alma Mater Last Employer
Nadia Abbasi Hicksville, NY City University of New York Necessary Ventures
Nabilla Ariffin Penang, Malaysia University of Pennsylvania SquashSmarts
Jillian Geary Cupertino, CA Northwestern University Inflammatix
Jake Justice Decatur, IL Boston University sparks & honey
Brian Khan Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic University of Windsor Full Spectrum Features
Kristina Martinez San Jose, CA University of California, Davis The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Andrew Packer Santa Clara, CA University of California, Santa Barbara PwC
DJ Prahladka Kanpur, India University of Wisconsin Deloitte Consulting
Anupama Tej Bangalore, India Bangalore University Apna
Jayson Wang Columbia, MD University of California-Berkeley IDinsight
Doris Yuan New York City, NY University of Virginia Point Avenue

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