Meet BHGAP Graduate Lea Müller

Semester in Berkeley Leads to Entrepreneurial Career Aspirations

Lea Müller’s life motto is “accept or change,” which she defines as, “If I don’t like something, I won’t complain but rather act toward a solution.” This guiding light is mirrored and accentuated by one of the Berkeley Haas four guiding principles, Question the Status Quo:

We lead by championing bold ideas, taking intelligent risks and accepting sensible failures. This means speaking our minds even when it challenges convention. We thrive at the world's epicenter of innovation.

So when it came time for Lea to choose where she would like to attend a visiting-student semester program—a requirement to complete her Business Studies major at EBS University (Germany)—selecting the Berkeley Haas Global Access Program fit neatly into her academic goals.

“We have an obligation to do a semester abroad,” Lea explains. “Due to the fact that everyone wants to go to the best universities, our position to choose is based on a ranking system. A good position is achieved by a good academic standing and volunteering with university clubs and work. I had a fairly good place in the ranking and chose Berkeley immediately.”

What immediately drew her to the BHGAP program? The focus on entrepreneurship and our proximity to the epicenter of all things startup and tech: Silicon Valley. And with the various workshops and guest speakers offered throughout the semester, “you could feel the touch of creativity and innovation everywhere you went,” Lea enthuses.

“I was also drawn to the great academic standing of Berkeley in the world, the internationality of students and professors, the large amount of resources and the chance to grow beyond myself. I really liked the value of Berkeley Haas to always question the status quo and constantly find better solutions for problems or situations to improve the living and working for everyone.”

I recently had the chance to talk with this BHGAP Spring 2022 graduate to learn more about her experience and what’s in store for her bright future.



What differs was the curiosity of sustainable topics in my Climate Change and Business Strategy class. Also, the drive of every student to constantly ask questions, participate and figure out the deeper meaning of issues was different.



What classes did you take during the spring semester and how do they align with your Business Studies major?

I took Thriving at Haas and Beyond, International Marketing, Introduction to Entrepreneurship, Climate Change and Business Strategy, Leading People and Becoming Tech Intentional, a DeCal course.

At the EBS Business School, I’ve taken classes in marketing, leadership, strategy and data management. From these classes, I generated a base knowledge on these topics and then built on them with my BHGAP courses. Especially useful was the international approach of the Berkeley courses.

The teaching style at my home university was quite similar to the one at Berkeley in regards to the class size and group projects. What differs was the curiosity of sustainable topics in my Climate Change and Business Strategy class. Also, the drive of every student to constantly ask questions, participate and figure out the deeper meaning of issues was different.

Did you participate in the career coaching opportunity?

I participated in the coaches circles, which consisted of two group meetings and one individual meeting with our coach, Jennifer Davis. This was also an opportunity provided by the Berkeley Haas Global Access Program that expanded my skills and knowledge in order to increase my networking capabilities. The coaching circles were a nice opportunity to get to know new people and discover individually where our strengths and weaknesses were.

Career Coaching With Berkeley Haas Global Access Program



What was your experience like outside of the classroom?

The best choice I made was housing. I lived in the International House and met some of my closest friends with whom I am still in contact. The International House hosted various events with a different cultural touch. For example, one evening was dedicated to a specific country with their food, games and music.

My friends from the International House and I, together with people from BHGAP, made some short trips in the Bay Area such as visiting the Golden Gate Bridge and eating ice cream afterward in Sausalito. Or we did a road trip down to Santa Cruz and ended the day by watching a phenomenal sunset. During spring break, we had the chance to travel a little bit further and visited Yosemite National Park. We also drove south on Highway 1 to Los Angeles, one of the most beautiful routes in the world.

How are you bringing lessons and experiences in BHGAP to your current studies?

I am currently in my fifth semester and will be finishing my Bachelor studies next summer. After that, I will start my master’s in International Business and would like to study abroad somewhere in Europe—preferably in France.

I will also try to start my own entrepreneurial activities now that I have learned the right approaches from taking the BHGAP Introduction to Entrepreneurship course. This class showed me that my true passion is to not work in a big organization, but rather start something on my own.


Lea Muller wearing a Berkeley sweatshirt while on a hike

What were your top 5 things to do in Berkeley and San Francisco?

  1. Eat pizza and watch the sunset at Baker Beach with a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge
  2. Visit one of the various museums in San Francisco—my favorite one was SFMOMA.
  3. Go to a Berkeley sports event. I really liked watching baseball games.
  4. Walk up to Twin Peaks and see the whole Bay Area, especially San Francisco.
  5. Wander through the University of California Botanical Garden.                                         

What advice would you give to someone who is starting their Berkeley Global program soon?

Although it may seem hard in the beginning, and all the new impressions and people you meet can be exhausting, try to go to all of the introductory events to meet your fellow students and get to know the campus.

Be open and curious: Walk around the town and campus to discover new spots and activities in which you can participate in during your leisure time.

Also, challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone because a semester abroad is a perfect opportunity to find out new things about yourself.

Lastly, do not stay only in the town of Berkeley, but experience San Francisco and the larger California state and the many great sights to visit.