Emily Nguyen is a freshman from the Bay Area studying Business Administration through the Global Management Program (GMP). Currently, her interests lie in Product Management and Finance, particularly quantitative analysis or hedge funds. Emily is a good friend and is one of the funniest, most hard-working people I have ever met. In this interview, I chat with her about all things GMP, her career goals, and what she is up to outside of class.

Why Haas? What led you to apply for GMP?

I actually didn’t have much exposure to business schools while in high school, but my dad went to Berkeley back in the 90s, so it was always my dream to follow in his footsteps. As for Haas and GMP, I knew I wanted to apply as a business major but didn’t want to go through a second application process during my sophomore year of college, which is why I decided to apply directly as a freshman through GMP (the study abroad factor definitely helped with my decision though).

Haas is a powerhouse and offers opportunities that I wouldn’t be able to get elsewhere, especially with its proximity to Silicon Valley and the SF Financial District. Proximity is key to me, so being able to stay close to my family while still having access to great opportunities is what pushed me to apply to Haas and GMP.

What was the most memorable experience you had while abroad first semester?

This is a hard question. I had a ton of memorable experiences during my time abroad, but if I had to choose just one, it would be my trip to Porto, Portugal. It was my first weekend trip and it was planned on a whim just 4 days prior. I actually was super against traveling during my time in London, but my roommate convinced me to travel and I am super grateful to her for doing so (shoutout Cindy <3)!

Porto was my first time planning a trip, but it was an amazing experience. I landed in Porto and checked into my accommodation with my friends before heading out to dinner. It was almost 12 am at this point, but the streets were still pretty lively and the restaurant we had was delicious. I tried a Francesinha for the first time and for the rest of our 4-day trip, my friends and I ate a Francesinha at least once a day. Throughout the weekend, lots of food was consumed and I enjoyed beautiful views from the Crystal Palace. My trip to Porto set the tone for the rest of my time abroad and its memory continues to live on within my travel group as our group chat is affectionately named “prego pão.”

Any challenges you are facing with your return to Berkeley Campus this semester? How do you remedy them?

My return to Berkeley Campus has been pretty smooth, but this is mainly due to the fact that I had made friends during the summer prior to London. I didn’t feel too isolated or lonely because of this and my dorm floor is super social which is another plus. I have a strong support system outside of GMP which helped me ease into campus life.

Socially, I’m doing alright, but there still are some challenges like the abrupt change in accommodations. I was able to cook or eat at 12 AM in London if I wanted to, but on campus, this is a lot less feasible since the kitchen isn’t in my dorm room and the dining halls close at 9 PM. It’s not that serious of a challenge, but I’ve been adjusting by sleeping earlier and maintaining my sleep schedule.

What are your career interests? 

I’m still exploring my interests, but as of now, I’m most interested in finance, consulting, and product management. My interests are pretty generic, but I hope to narrow them down to one industry within the next year. I’m about to start working as an Internal Audit IT Intern, so I’m open to exploring different fields while I can.

I’m also interested in getting my master’s (this is a very premature interest) and plan on applying to Berkeley’s MFE in the future. I guess my interest towards finance is a bit stronger than other industries, but financial engineering is very stimulating and is more technical than what I’m used to. Regardless of my current interests/preferences, I hope to find myself in a career that constantly challenges me and keeps me stimulated.

How have your activities on campus contributed to furthering your career goals?

I’ve only been on campus for half a semester, but my activities on campus have allowed me to gain hands-on experience through projects. I definitely recommend joining campus organizations if you’re unsure of what type of career you want to pursue or if you already know what you want to pursue as a career because these clubs/organizations offer strong networks in different fields and exclusive opportunities to their members.

I’ve learned a lot about quant and finance as a whole from my fellow club members and they offer invaluable advice. They’ve been through the recruitment process and are always willing to help others. My activities have also given me the opportunity to work on projects with actual companies to build up my skills in fields such as finance and consulting.

Quick Q’s:

Early bird or night owl?

Night owl 1000%

Favorite meal?

KBBQ or Sushi, it’s hard to choose

Guilty pleasure?

Sleeping through my classes

Fav song at the moment?

Saw You In A Dream – The Japanese House

Go to study spot?

MLK (when tables are available…)

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