Written by Tia Chen-Wong.

What’s your story?

I was born and raised in Myanmar, and my whole family moved to America in 2011. As a first generation immigrant with a low-income background, I never thought I’d be where I am today. Getting into Haas and being at the business school has shaped me into a whole new person, and I really appreciate all the opportunities it has given me and the experiences I was able to have at Haas!

When did you know that you wanted to apply to Haas?

In high school, I was part of Future Business Leaders of America, and that experience really shaped my interest from the start. Going to those leadership and business conferences showed me how business is interconnected with so many other industries, like medical care and transportation. I realized that the principles of business are closely entwined with the core part of society, so coming to college I knew it was the path I wanted to go down. The only other major I considered was computer science because it was very popular at a time (and still is), so I tried a coding program over the summer but didn’t enjoy it much. So I’ve been set on Haas ever since!

How has your experience been as HBSA president?

It’s been so awesome. I love my team! They’re the best. We’ve had a lot of ups and downs but some of the successes and initiatives I really would like to highlight is the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives as well as the Cultural Events! There’s this quote I remember, “Behind every success is a great team,” and I am honestly so proud of what my team has put in. I’ve been in HBSA since freshman year, and I think our exec team this year is especially diverse. We have so many different interests (ie. philanthropy, marketing, finance, sustainability), passions, and backgrounds, which allowed each of us to bring something different to the table. This semester we’ve been discussing a lot of complex topics, like how to make the club recruiting process more holistic and how to help transfer students transition to a new campus, and it was really eye-opening to hear everyone’s thoughts. I want to give a huge shout out to my team members like Steven Pham for emphasizing more initiatives on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion–I’m really proud of all of them! Every one of them inspires me to work harder in their own unique ways. I know there are a lot of things HBSA can do to improve the community, but I think we’re getting there step-by-step.

How did Haas/Haas resources shape you or help you find your path / career?

I think there’s 2 aspects of my career path: my immediate goal is going into finance, and then later down the road I want to pursue entrepreneurship. In terms of finance, I think Haas has done a great job offering classes like Corporate Finance and the Intro to Investment Banking Decal. There are also a lot of recruiting resources and events like the IB Forum, so there are a lot of opportunities to take advantage of.

As far as entrepreneurship goes, Berkeley’s location in the Bay Area really lends itself well to tech and innovation. Obviously there’s a much bigger focus on tech within the CS department, and I think there are ways that tech and business can be integrated even more, but overall I think Haas has done a great job.

As a graduating senior, what are some things you will miss (or already miss) about Berkeley?

I was already telling my HBSA team that I really miss seeing them in person! I miss being at the Haas campus–walking between buildings on my way to class, seeing friends randomly on the way and saying hi to them. Stopping by the undergraduate office from time to time and saying hi to the staff. Even going to Cafe Think and getting a quick order of fries. And of course taking grad pictures at Haas! Also, another thing I’m going to miss about college is the opportunity to make new friends. When you’re on campus, you can constantly meet new people in classes, social groups, or random events, and I think that’s really special.

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