The Haas School of Business: A Transfer Student’s Perspective
For many community college business students, like I was, Haas is the ultimate dream, the one school that everyone collectively agreed would be the ticket to a stable and lucrative career. So, opening my acceptance letter on April 21, 2023, it almost felt like my life trajectory was set. Compared to the uncertainty of community college, Haas felt like a safe haven. The idea was: I’ll go to Business school and that will increase my chances of getting an internship and later a job in corporate America, something that community college could not promise at all.
I’ll preface by saying that, for anyone reading this that is thinking of transferring to Haas, the school is incredibly kind to transfers and has many extremely valuable opportunities and resources for transfers. For example, the consulting club that takes the highest number of transfers is a Haas-sponsored organization. Additionally, PreCore allows transfer students to take classes the Summer before Fall semester to give them a leg up, and there are also transfer student mentorship programs. That being said, the job recruiting process still feels especially tough on transfers.
It’s hard to push the imposter syndrome down when so many continuing students around you have already had internships in their Sophomore and even Freshman years, while professional experiences were so hard to earn at community college. This was the source of much of my stress during my first month here, as internship applications and recruiting fairs happen in August and September – when I didn’t even feel like a college student yet. Being a one-year transfer, I felt like a Sophomore trapped in the role of a Junior with the experience of a Freshman, especially since I didn’t decide on pursuing the Business major until after I graduated high school. And, because Haas is a two-year program, the emphasis on knowing what you want in your future career and other prospects was very much daunting.
On the flip side, in many ways, the fast-paced, driven, and some may even say competitive environment at Haas is a blessing in disguise. It is helping me learn so many things about myself that I never would have found out otherwise. My first career fair happened two weeks into starting at Haas, and I remember being so terrified I almost skipped it. I was so worried that my lack of experience would jeopardize my chances at an internship, and I had no experience pitching myself or talking to company representatives. At the same time, it felt like this was an opportunity that wouldn’t present itself again, so I stayed up until 3:00 A.M. to perfect my resume, grit my teeth, and went.
Turns out, I gained so much insight talking to companies and learning about the work they do, and I even found a new career field I was interested in that I previously had no knowledge of. As I kept talking to more companies, I refined my pitch and asked different questions, and eventually the process got easier and easier. Going through the application process (and dealing with many rejections!) for Haas-sponsored organizations and other clubs at UC Berkeley gave me my first exposure to coffee chats and multifaceted interview processes. And, as a member now of both ASUC and HBSA, I enjoy the opportunity to meet and work with so many smart and talented people every day. Everyone says this about college, but I really internalized it when I came here: the school is what you make of it, and opportunities unfortunately don’t present themselves to you on a silver platter. However, a school like Haas does push you to put yourself out there and get those opportunities, and I’m grateful for the environment that continues to nudge me out of my comfort zone.
If you’re a current transfer student, know that you are here for a reason, even if it sometimes doesn’t feel like it. And if you’re an aspiring transfer and Haas is your dream school, it should be! Best of luck on your transfer applications and I’m so excited to meet you soon.