Editor's note: This article was written by Rafael Luis Tolosa, a first-year undergraduate Data Science and Economics student at UC Berkeley and a student marketing assistant at UC Berkeley Extension. Rafael sat in on a Berkeley Haas Global Access Program (BHGAP) guest lecture and provided his unique perspective on the experience.
For many undergraduate students at UC Berkeley, The Haas School of Business, or “Haas” for short, represents a part of campus that thrives on social connection, critical thinking and a hunger for success. The BHGAP experience highlights another important characteristic of this world-renowned school: a global perspective.
Hearing and understanding the viewpoints of students from around the world at Berkeley is a unique part of the Haas experience, and one that ties into the Haas principle of “Students Always.”
This past week, I experienced this principle in the classroom, sitting in on a BHGAP guest lecture led by Holly Schroth, a Distinguished Teaching Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Management of Organizations at the Haas School of Business.
Entering the room, a diversity of faces appeared before me, with BHGAP students hailing from almost every single continent and world-renowned universities and representing a variety of ages. This, paired with the expertise Dr. Schroth presented in her introductory statements, made me excited to tune in to the topic of the day: Workspace Mobility and Negotiation.
Entering the room, a diversity of faces appeared before me, with BHGAP students hailing from almost every single continent and world-renowned universities and representing a variety of ages.
The Art of Negotiation
The lecture was part of a series of guest speakers and cohort lunches that are offered to BHGAP students throughout the semester. The talk began with Dr. Schroth explaining the ins and outs of what she called the "art of negotiation," providing insight into her own experience as a woman in a male-dominated field, and how she developed her confidence in these often difficult situations.
Dr. Schroth’s additional emphasis on a humanistic perspective of the business world—with discussions involving the sometimes uncomfortable realities of racism, sexism and prejudice in the workplace—further challenged students to think beyond a salary raise as simply a negotiation for one’s hard work, but a real-life example of advocacy for equality.
Students smiled, nodded and sighed in agreement with her statements, a reminder of the inclusivity and social justice values for which UC Berkeley is known.
Discussions involving the sometimes uncomfortable realities of racism, sexism and prejudice in the workplace further challenged students to think beyond a salary raise as simply a negotiation for one’s hard work, but a real-life example of advocacy for equality.
During the lecture, Dr. Schroth covered the importance of strategy, patience and knowledge in salary negotiations, and BHGAP students were given a comprehensive overview on how they can succeed in gaining proper compensation for their work.
assertiveness without overconfidence
knowledge of the job trajectory
knowing how much more you want and why you deserve it
These were all key points in Dr. Schroth’s quick guide to an ethical means of obtaining a better salary.
Dr. Schroth then challenged students to think beyond salary and consider the additional forms of compensation and benefits such as health insurance, flexible work schedules and work-life balance, as well as finding a good personal fit with company culture.
She stressed that in looking for a stable, well-paying job—let alone negotiating for a salary raise—individuals must do their research on salary and benefits as one entire package. At the end of the day, job benefits beyond salary can be vital in order to thrive financially.
Dr. Schroth's insightful advice surrounding the importance of looking beyond salaries prompted me to devise my own questions and even ponder the potential of a job that has a low-paying salary but higher benefits—and vice versa—and which has the greater overall value.
Dr. Schroth provided insider industry advice, which was extremely valuable. But what resonated with me was the active participation of BHGAP students. Students posed questions ranging from "How did you get your first salary raise?" to more complicated inquiries such as, "How did you vouch for a promotion or a raise in a position with no job trajectory?"
These inquiries showed the breadth of knowledge that BHGAP students possess—a display of intellectual curiosity that I was glad to witness.
The lecture was followed by refreshments and lunch. I met one student from Germany, who comically commented on the pizza provided, remarking, "American pizza is so thick!"
Another student from Paraguay discussed her passion for international marketing and how helpful the BHGAP program was in not only helping fuel her dedication to her field, but also opening her mind to the plethora of other business fields she could pursue.
My final interaction was with a student from China, whose involvement in BHGAP spanned two semesters because she "loved it that much."
All in all, Dr. Schroth’s expertise and the clear passion for business and career development was reciprocated by the BHGAP cohort, and provided an interesting and eye-opening experience during my brief visit to the Haas School of Business.
Special thanks to Rafael Luis Tolosa for contributing this guest post.
The Berkeley Haas Global Access Program is a program that brings international students to UC Berkeley to study business and entrepreneurship. Want to learn more? Visit our website or read more BHGAP blog posts.