Hello all! Hope everyone is having an excellent and restful Spring Break!

As the semester is almost halfway over, I wanted to take the chance to reflect on my experiences as Operations Director for CalSol this year and how it has affected my experience at Haas. 

CalSol is UC Berkeley’s Solar Vehicle team — we design, build, test, and race fully solar-powered vehicles. More information can be found here if you are interested!

As a business major in CalSol, I was part of the operations subteam, which involved getting money through donations and sponsorships, as well as essentially “handling the business side” of the organization. I was able to work on club marketing, recruitment, and sponsor relations as well, all very critical to continue learning and developing. Here are the other things I have learned throughout being a part of the team!

  1. What’s so special about CalSol is that we are essentially running a small business. If you follow Big Give over the course of the years, you can see that CalSol is oftentimes the top contender (and for good reason!). Each and every one of our cars takes over $450,000 to build, so obtaining the funding is key to our success as a team. As an operations subteam member and officer, it is really interesting to learn more about the technical aspects of building a car; from buying molds to parts to interacting with different businesses that could provide their services for developing our car, it has definitely been an experience that has taught me so much.
  2. CalSol has definitely given me a chance to step outside of the business community and meet people from different parts of UC Berkeley. There were all types of engineering majors, and even biology majors! Within Haas, it is so easy to get caught up in all the business organizations and forget that there are many other organizations offered and would provide for great experiences! I joined freshman spring, and since CalSol has no application required, I felt no pressure in having to interview. 
  3. As the only business major on the team, I have oftentimes felt as if I was not qualified, as I didn’t know any of the technical aspects there was to building the car. However, by being open to learning what it takes to build the car, staying at the RFS to work on it over the weekends, and asking questions, I was actually able to learn a lot not only about the car, but also about sustainable energy and what businesses can do to prevent further pollution.

Overall, CalSol has been an amazing experience, and I urge everyone to consider joining an org that is outside of your comfort zone — by combining my experiences there with all my experiences at Haas, I am definitely able to learn more about how my Haas education can be applied directly into the professional world.

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