Humans of Haas: Justin Oh
Can you introduce yourself? Where are you from?
My name is Justin Oh. I’m a junior at UC Berkeley studying Business Administration and Molecular & Cell Biology through the Robinson Life Science, Business, and Entrepreneurship (LSBE) Program. Hailing from northern New Jersey, I have strong professional interests in the intersection of cancer biology, health economics, and entrepreneurship. Outside of academics, I enjoy photography, spontaneous traveling, and trying out new restaurants with friends and family!
I committed to UC Berkeley because I wanted to attend Haas, specifically the Robinson Life Science, Business, and Entrepreneurship (LSBE) Program. I grew interested in tying together the business world with the healthcare sector after pursuing research in cancer biology before coming to Berkeley. After noticing how many Americans are hesitant to seek medical care due to its costliness, I felt convicted to resolve this ubiquitous problem. With its prime location in the biotechnology capital of the world, Haas and LSBE offered me the opportunity to pursue this goal.
Haas is a special college in that it allows students to become well-versed in every aspect of business, from finance and accounting to negotiating and business ethics. As an aspiring physician and professor, I feel better prepared and driven to chase after my passions because of Haas and its commitment to making students question the status quo.
What do you want to do after you graduate?
If you told me 5 years ago that I would be pursuing investment banking after I graduate college, I simply would not believe you.
Here I am, however, planning to pursue investment banking this upcoming summer in New York City. Finance appeared on my radar when I came to Haas after seeing several of my fellow classmates and upperclassmen friends pursue investment banking, private equity, and venture capital. I eventually came to learn how investment banks facilitate and advise companies in all industries with mergers and acquisitions, equity capital markets, and more. Many of today’s effective drugs that combat cancer and neurological diseases exist because of these mergers and acquisitions, where different biotechnology and biopharmaceutical companies come together to synergize their efforts in advancing human health. As an incoming biopharma investment banking summer analyst, I strive to create this synergy.
In the long term, I hope to pursue a career in academia because I have a passion for teaching. I aim to combine my interests in the life sciences and business as a professor and hope to teach subjects, such as health economics or healthcare management, to our future generation . I cannot wait to give back to my community when I grow older and see more breakthroughs in healthcare during my lifetime.
What’s an interesting fact about you that most people wouldn’t guess by looking at you?
I have perfect handwriting and can handwrite in any font! I have enjoyed arts and crafts since I was a kid and still do today. In fact, during class, I am that one student who likes projects because I can be creative with them.
If you could go back and time and tell your younger self anything, what would you say?
I would tell my younger self that time certainly flies and to live in the moment. It feels surreal to say that I am currently a junior in college when last year it felt like I was a freshman in high school. I know high school and college students, myself included, generally work and study on a daily basis to pursue their goal of attending a dream college or profession. In doing so, we tend to forget to have fun sometimes, from spending precious time with our friends to going on spontaneous adventures over the weekend. Several years from now, we will only remember and cherish these memories and be forgetful of whatever our GPA or SAT score was.
What do you do outside of class?
I am currently the President of Phi Beta Lambda (PBL), an undergraduate business organization on campus. I joined PBL during my freshman year to be immersed in a tight-knit community and also to develop my professional and personal skills. After my first semester in the club, I created the Biotech Committee, where members can learn about the intersection between the life sciences and business to develop their knowledge and skillset to pursue a career in healthcare, business, or both.
I also pursue research in cancer biology and computational biology at UCSF. From my freshman year to the beginning of my junior year, I was in the Betancur Lab at UCSF where I conducted research on breast cancer and studied super-enhancer-regulated genes that could be a root cause of the proliferation of breast cancer. My project culminated with my professor, mentor, and I publishing our paper in a renowned cancer journal. This semester, I joined a new lab at UCSF under Professor Sohn to pursue lung cancer and bioinformatics research. Technology and data are becoming integral in advancing human health, so I aim to gain and further enhance my technical skills through the Sohn Lab.