Written by Mira Celly.

Describe the moment you got into Haas.

I was elated when I got into Berkeley Haas. There was nothing else that was more exciting (maybe besides getting married over this summer). It was such an important moment for me because It was based off of a lot of people telling me that I wouldn’t get in. I have a very non-traditional background. I took 10 years away from high school to go back to school. I remember vividly talking to the transfer counselor at Diablo Valley College. I told them I was looking to transfer and that my top choice was Berkeley and I wanted to study business there and they laughed at me. It’s common for community college counselors to discourage you from applying if they don’t think you’re the right candidate. But, I did it, and it was a good wake-up call that if I can do it, anyone can.

What is the most valuable thing you learned?

The most valuable thing I’ve learned is empathy. I’ve struggled with it because in the past I’ve been on my own and had to do things on my own. Now, I take the time to listen to people and see what I can learn from another person and learn from somebody else. I used to make assumptions of what I did and what I didn’t know. Now, it’s what can I learn? It’s helped me build long-lasting relationships here. It’s helped me with my education and career. I make sure I meet as many people as I can to learn about their story and background. It gives me more of an appreciation of what they are accomplishing and what they are doing.

At the end of the day, I want to be a part of something bigger than just myself. I’ve been participating in Envision Haas and want to inspire others to apply. I didn’t consider myself the typical Berkeley Haas candidate, but Berkeley Haas is a diverse place. I want to help show other transfer students that it is not only possible to be here, but that we bring a wealth of experience and knowledge along with us.

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