With the opening of Chou Hall, the full-time MBA class grew from about 250 to 284 students and will expand to 300 next fall. Graduate and undergraduate students are enjoying tech-enhanced classrooms and abundant meeting spaces.
More than a decade in the works, state-of- the-art Connie & Kevin Chou Hall has opened to students—and is on track to be the country’s greenest academic building. Features such as efficient heating, cooling, and lighting systems; rainwater cisterns; and 24,300 square feet of exterior windows make it the first academic building in the U.S. designed for both LEED Platinum certification and WELL certification, a distinction given to buildings that promote user health and well-being.
Chou Hall will also lead the way on waste reduction. Students were given reusable water bottles to replenish at filling stations. Compost and recycling bins replace landfill bins. The goal is to divert 90 percent of waste and achieve zero-waste certification by summer 2018, becoming the first business school in the country to do so.
In the era of big data, analytics skills are crucial. But rare are the business leaders who can both translate statistics into strategy and lead teams using this knowledge. Enter the Fisher Center for Business Analytics at Berkeley-Haas. Formerly known as the Fisher Center for IT, it will explore how data science creates business value and train students to be fluent in both analytics and management. The Center, funded by the Fisher family, also supports faculty research.
Unicorns thrive at Berkeley-Haas. We’re one of 10 schools globally that can claim three or more founders of startups valued at a billion dollars or more, aka “unicorns.” The data were compiled by UK software research firm Sage. Berkeley-Haas, with three unicorns, tied for sixth on the list. Harvard Business School topped the list with 23.
Revolution Foods Co-Founders Kristin Groos Richmond and Kirsten Saenz Tobey, MBA 06s
When NBC’s Today show aired a back-to-school segment in September on how school food is being disrupted by healthier—and affordable—options, producers turned exclusively to two Berkeley-Haas startups: Revolution Foods and Back to the Roots.
Rev Foods, founded by Kristin Groos Richmond and Kirsten Saenz Tobey, MBA 06s, each week ferries two million fresh lunches, made with whole grains, veggies, and lean proteins, to 2,000 schools in three dozen cities.
Back to the Roots, founded by Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez, BS 09s, started with mushroom- growing kits. Their organic, low-sugar cereals provide breakfast to all of New York City’s public schools, the world’s largest public education system.
Starting in 2018, a select group of undergrads will embark on a new international program that will have them spending their first full semester abroad. The Global Management Program will be the second Haas program offered to high school seniors applying to UC Berkeley (along with M.E.T., see #8). First-year students will spend eight weeks on campus in the summer completing preparatory coursework then travel as a group to the UC London Center. The four-year program awards a BS in business administration and prepares students as leaders in the multinational workplace.
If you’re a successful female entrepreneur, chances are good you went to UC Berkeley. The university ranked #2 in the number of companies founded by undergrad women— 115—since 2006, according to PitchBook’s 2017 Universities Report. Harvard tied with Berkeley; Stanford topped the list with 146 companies. For MBA alumnae, PitchBook ranked Berkeley at #9, but a Financial Times global ranking that surveyed full-time alumni from the Class of 2013 put Berkeley-Haas as the #2 program with 35 percent female founders. Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, at 37 percent, ranked first.
Intern Ramah Awad, Jerry Philip, MBA 19, and Sarrah Nomanbhoy, MBA 18, at the Ritsona refugee camp on mainland Greece.
One hardship facing Syrian refugees is a challenging and uncertain asylum process. Many do not know they can legally replace a translator or review interview transcripts for inaccuracies, and some 70 percent receive negative decisions, leaving them in limbo pending the appeal process outcome.
Four Berkeley MBA students—Sarrah Nomanbhoy, Jerry Philip, Peter Wasserman, and Srinivas Vaidyanathan—are working on a crowdsourced information platform, called MarHub, which provides answers via Facebook messenger related to the asylum process. MarHub team members visited the Greek mainland in June, interviewing refugees and testing a prototype of the chatbot, which also enables refugees to connect to legal aid volunteers for additional assistance. The MarHub team expects to pilot service in the fall.
Want to know who the tech leaders of tomorrow are going to be? Look no further than the inaugural class of Berkeley’s new Management, Entrepreneurship, & Technology (M.E.T.) program. These first-year students will earn bachelors’ degrees from both Berkeley-Haas and the College of Engineering that will provide the business and technology skills that entrepreneurs, CEOs, and Silicon Valley leaders need to succeed. Less than 3 percent of some 2,500 applicants made it into the program, and enrolled students are already accomplished. Arvind Sridhar used high-level computer code to analyze tissue- regeneration projects for organ replacement and founded a nonprofit promoting geographic literacy in schools. Abhi Samantapudi served as state president of Michigan’s DECA business club for high school students, worked as a business analyst at startup Hindsight, and founded a tutoring nonprofit for Detroit public school kids.
Prof. Emeritus Oliver Williamson
Members of the Berkeley community are well aware of the plum parking spots reserved on campus for Nobel Laureates. Turns out they get their own day, too. Dean Rich Lyons, BS 82, declared July 12, 2017, as Oliver E. Williamson Day at Berkeley-Haas. Lyons presented the Nobelist and professor emeritus with a certificate commemorating the event and facilitated a Q&A with the Haas academic star.