Karin Szu is a business administration and computer science student from the Technical University of Munich, and a graduate of the Berkeley Haas Global Access Program (BHGAP), which brings international students from diverse backgrounds to study business and entrepreneurship at UC Berkeley. Her post originally appeared on her blog and has been edited for clarity and length.
I can’t believe Spring 2019 is already over. It’s been a mind-enriching semester full of new experiences, new friendships, and of course, challenges.
Thoughts on the Berkeley Curriculum
The Berkeley Haas Global Access Program is unique in a lot of ways. The courses at Haas offer you new insights into emerging technologies, fintech, high-tech marketing and managerial decision-making, all within the context of Silicon Valley. Most of the time, you will be busy writing essays, reports and reflections.
I recommend you get into the habit of writing, as you will be doing lots of it, but rest assured, BHGAP professors are always more than willing to help you.
The best part of classes are the guest lectures. It’s a great way to get a deeper understanding of the current technology landscape. Also, the guest speaker series are a great way to network with industry experts who bring knowledge and years of work experience in Silicon Valley.
"I recommend you get into the habit of writing, as you will be doing lots of it, but rest assured, professors are always more than willing to help you."
Silicon Valley Highlights
Next, the Silicon Valley company visits!
We visited quite a lot of different businesses, from well-recognized tech giants like Google and Facebook, to new firms like Ripple. Other companies include LinkedIn, Bloomberg Beta and PayPal. Site visits are a great opportunity to directly connect with industry experts from Silicon Valley. I highly recommend you talk to them and learn about their background. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Curiosity sparks the most interesting conversations.
Finding a Community
Lastly, the people!
BHGAP is not just about academics and the Bay Area culture. To me BHGAP is also about the wonderful people you’ll meet from across the globe who are passionate about leaving a legacy in this world. I have met some of the kindest, smartest and funniest people. We grew closer through weekend getaways, dinners, late night study sessions and deep conversations.
"To me BHGAP is also about the wonderful people you’ll meet from across the globe who are passionate about leaving a legacy in this world."
We might be different in a lot of ways, but we all bonded over our common interest to learn more about the innovative culture here in the Bay Area and our desire to expand our cultural horizons. It was hard saying goodbye to them at the closing ceremony…
"Thinking back to how the past few months unfolded, I can say that I’ve become more open, more proactive, more comfortable in the unknown and more curious about the world around me."
BHGAP was truly a transformative experience, just as our program coordinators mentioned at orientation. Thinking back to how the past few months unfolded, I can say that I’ve become more open, more proactive, more comfortable in the unknown and more curious about the world around me. I will miss Berkeley, the people, the food, the challenges and the daily dose of happiness.
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.