Humans of Haas: Danny Ha
Danny Ha is a junior from Gainesville, Florida studying Business Administration and Data Science with a concentration in Urban Science. On campus, he’s the Head Course Facilitator at Build the Future (UGBA 198), a student-run entrepreneurship course bringing together entrepreneurs and students in an intimate space. Danny is also an Advisor at Innovative Design and the VP of Projects at imagiCal. Professionally, he is interested in brand strategy and organizational change. In his free time, he can be found hiking, going on road trips, and at coffee shops.
- Where have you found community at Haas?
imagiCal is definitely one of my very close communities. It has business students, but it also has a lot of students in other majors. Working with club members on projects with clients, I really understood the value of having people of different studies and different perspectives working on the same project. It took our work to a level that it couldn’t have reached without a diverse team. The people at imagiCal have also shown me that creativity is important in business. It’s not all about the numbers. The underlying stuff, whether it’s the people at the company, the culture, or the customers, is really important.
- Where do you find creative inspiration?
I’m a pretty people-driven person, so I would say a lot of my creative ideas don’t necessarily come from a “eureka!” moment. It’s more so that when I’m talking with someone, I really try to play the part of the observer, and listen to their experiences and the story they have to tell. That usually inspires me to do something to solve their problem. I like identifying opportunities and then executing on making sure change does happen, so that those people are getting the attention they need. I think that’s my version of creativity: finding opportunities amongst those around me.
- What’s your favorite project you’ve worked on at Berkeley?
It’s still a work in progress, but I’m trying to start my own brand agency. It was something that came out of quarantine. It’s been really fun for me because it combines the experiences I’ve had working with my clients at imagiCal with some of the things we’re learning in the classroom at Haas. It’s been really fulfilling to try to make something of my own. I still have two more years left in college, so I’m really excited to see where I can take it.
- What have you learned from teaching a Haas DeCal?
I’ve learned that I have a lot to learn from my peers. Every semester, I’m always excited to see what kinds of students Build the Future brings in. Getting to know them and seeing their interactions with our guest speakers and fellow students always helps me learn something new. I don’t think that comes from professor-led courses in the same way. The fact that Build the Future is student-led levels the playing field. It makes our class more of a flat structure, which enables an environment where students feel more comfortable and open to absorbing each other’s perspectives. I think that’s super powerful given how smart people here are at Berkeley. I don’t think there’s any other outlet where that happens organically other than DeCals. I would encourage other students to take the extra effort to really listen to what those around them have to say and be just as much of a listener as a communicator—you will truly be amazed and inspired.
By Vedika Dayal