Markus Bendele is a graduate of the Berkeley Haas Global Access Program, which brings international students from diverse backgrounds to study business and entrepreneurship at UC Berkeley. His post originally appeared on his blog and has been edited for clarity and length.
Month #3: Making Decisions and Consulting in Puerto Rico
In this post I'm focusing on academics at the Haas School of Business, especially as it makes up about 95% of what I spend my time on here in Berkeley.
I am enrolled in a series of really interesting and mind boggling classes:
- Innovation Strategies for Emerging Technologies
- Introduction to Management Consulting
- Fundamentals of Design Thinking
- Introduction to Entrepreneurship
- Thriving at Haas and Beyond
- Navigating Life Financially
- Decision Making
"The class definitely had an impact on me, questioning my decision-making processes and the way I think."
My Favorite Courses, and Why
I won't write in detail about each subject, but I want to evaluate those which I favor the most.
Innovation Strategies for Emerging Technologies: This course is taught by Andrew Isaacs, one of the most well-known and also best paid professors in the United States and who is a favorite of many students. A broad range of topics are covered in this course, ranging from artificial intelligence and autonomous driving to cybersecurity and even climate change solutions. Occasionally, Professor Isaacs brings guest speakers to the lecture, such as Dr. Imura, who invented the Mu-Chip.
Decision Making: My favorite class by far. Barry Schwartz is a charismatic and humorous genius who knows very well how to convey complex matters in an understandable way. Go check out his TED talks! At the beginning of the class we were asked to do a survey with tons of psychological questions. Professor Schwartz then uses those results in his lectures and shows how biased we as humans are and why our most rational decisions might not necessarily be the best ones concerning our overall well-being. The class definitely had an impact on me, questioning my decision-making processes and the way I think.
You get to pursue your own startup idea, do customer interviews, create a landing page and lastly, pitch in front of real Silicon Valley Venture Capitalists.
Introduction to Management Consulting. Chris Burry was long-term Partner at Accenture. He is now a CEO and just an overall bad-ass consultant with a travel history of over 2 million Airplane-miles. The whole class is on a real-life project that we in small teams have to tackle. This semester, we are advising the country of Puerto Rico on how to establish a new educational system after a big hurricane left a mess in the country. The winning team even gets to fly to Puerto Rico and present in front of the Secretary of Education! In class, Chris Burry has his students do many presentations and discussions; he also gives you a series of books to read and do work on.
Introduction to Entrepreneurship: As I am really passionate about entrepreneurship in general and heard good things about this class, I decided to join it mid-semester and have not regretted it. Aaron McDaniel is serial entrepreneur, having founded many companies. He also appeared on TV for SharkTank. In class, he walks you through the process of successfully building a startup and getting funded. In small groups, you get to pursue your own startup idea, do customer interviews, create a landing page and lastly, pitch in front of real Silicon Valley Venture Capitalists. I am already more than hyped for that!
The Berkeley Haas Global Access Program brings international students to UC Berkeley to study business and entrepreneurship. It also offers plenty to do and see outside of class.