My name is Shreya Nemani and I’m an exchange student from the University of Melbourne in Australia. I consider myself very fortunate to pursue a semester in the Berkeley Haas Global Access Program (BHGAP). The experience has transformed my perspective on business and has introduced me to the world of innovation and entrepreneurship. Not only that but I would also say Berkeley is one of the best cities I have ever been to—there’s no way one couldn't fall in love with this place. Through this blog I would like to take you all along my journey here studying at the Haas School of Business and share a few of my best moments.
On day one of our orientation week, we explored the city of San Francisco. Thanks to our lovely BHGAP staff members, we had an organized scavenger hunt that took us all over the city to discover the classic tourist attractions as well as the special local places. The day was packed with fun and excitement—we visited the Golden Gate Bridge, rode a cable car, went to Chinatown, enjoyed the top view of San Francisco and the list goes on. This hunt was a great introduction for Berkeley Global students.
On day two, we had a campus scavenger hunt. We explored famous landmarks on the UC Berkeley campus and learned a lot of fascinating facts about our university. Did you know that the UC Berkeley Extension was founded in 1891? Well, I did not! It was wonderful to see, learn and explore the heritage of Berkeley. This day boosted my confidence and I feel proud to be a part of UC Berkeley.
Classroom and Teaching
We all have a perception that lectures are boring with the same old content repeated differently. But trust me, you’ll experience something absolutely different here at Berkeley.
Lectures are interactive and learning is fun. Everyone learns by doing and participating. We have case-study discussions, strategy simulations, venture challenges, real-life negotiation exercises, weekly guest speakers and many interesting activities to complement classroom learning.
The photo to the right is a glimpse of the Venture Challenge. Students were given the challenge to create a venture of their own and report back the success within three days. After the exercise, we were taught the concept of idea generation and common hurdles faced by entrepreneurs. We all had so much to contribute to the class—the struggle with our ideas, finding customers and implementing them. This experience is just one of my many practical learnings.
I would also like to add that faculty at Berkeley are highly experienced and at the same time the friendliest professors you'll come across. The classroom and teaching here at Haas is par excellence and is incomparable with any other institution across the world.
UC Berkeley has 1,000+ student clubs that are open to all students. I was really inspired by the work done by California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) and decided to join them as an intern. They are a student-run, nonprofit organization at UC Berkeley who work to protect the environment, tackle food insecurity and register voters. CALPIRG helped UC’s switch to 100% clean energy in order to lead the way on fighting climate change. I’m learning many interesting things about climate change and impact on the environment. There are many other clubs out there that are working on many different interests, so it is a great opportunity to connect and expand our knowledge.
StEP Entrepreneurship Program
I was fortunate enough to be admitted to Berkeley StEP (Student Entrepreneurship Program). This is a 10-week startup incubator program that connects students with complementary skills and helps bring their ideas into the world. This program gave me the opportunity to meet many founders, learn from their experiences and work alongside them. I have learned so much from the program—idea development, customer discovery, go-to-market strategy, branding and growth hacking and sales. It is a great opportunity for anyone looking to start their own business. The program helps you develop all the skills you need.
Last but not the least the Berkeley student community is awesome. Students are from diverse backgrounds and bring along fun, creativity and a “can do” attitude. Even just a short time in Berkeley inspires you to think beyond limits and challenge yourself. For me, the experience has been phenomenal and I personally recommend all the business enthusiasts to definitely experience Haas at least once in their lifetime.
Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions; Linkedin Profile.