Dear Freshman Me: An Open-Letter to My Freshman Self

Dear my freshman self, 

Well, this is going to be a wild ride! Your first year at Cal is full of things you didn’t expect. I know we came in with this idea about college and what it was going to be like. Let me tell you, as your now second-year self, nothing you thought about college is true… well not entirely. Here are the four things you should know coming into your first year here:

  1. Going random with your roommates was a good idea. (I know right!)
Left to Right: Aarav Shah, Ethan Collier, Michael Zheng
Left to Right: Aarav Shah, Ethan Collier, Michael Zheng

You are the only one coming from your high school and are not really active in the countless groupchats you added yourself. Everyone seems to have found roommates so you decided to go random. You were so nervous about the two dudes you got suddenly put with in a triple. You texted them and from there… the rest is history. You will meet the two nicest and chillest dudes who will be a big part of your freshman year. From the many late nights of grinding through classes together to the first week and GBO adventures, these dudes are going to be your closest friends.  read more

Top 5 Places to Sing in Berkeley

Enjoy singing in the shower and want to upgrade your singing experience? One of my favorite pastimes is finding places on campus that are great for singing, whether it be with your favorite a cappella group or just on your own for fun. After some extensive research and surveying, I’ve compiled a list of the top five places to sing on Berkeley’s campus. Go bears and happy music making!

5: Under Sather Gate

Coming in at number 5 is the beautiful Sather Gate. This is every a cappella group’s home once a week, where performances happen for the public eye. While I love that this is a nice public space for groups to perform and it’s in the heart of student happenings, I’m not a huge fan of the outdoorsy acoustics. If you’re looking for a place to showcase your talents to an audience, this is the spot for you. However, if your goal is to make a cool musical cover with nice sound quality, I’d recommend going indoors.  read more

Savoring the Moment Through Selfies

Some of my friends tell me I have a great eye for aesthetics – a compliment I take with honor. Since I was a little kid, I’ve loved taking amateur photos, whether with a point-and-shoot, my iPod touch, or my phone, and making seemingly mundane things more exciting. I feel as though photos can make pretty things uglier and ugly things prettier. This may seem like a hot take, but hear me out. When you take a picture of the sky, specifically the moon and stars, it never comes out as beautiful as your eyes behold it in real life. Conversely, you can take a picture of something like trash on the side of the street in New York – yes, something as simple and brash as trash – and romanticize it. There is beauty in everything! read more

How I Got Into Haas Without Joining a Business Club

Totally not clickbait! No, but seriously. My name is Mikayla, and I am a Business Administration major at the Haas School of Business. After hearing that, most people assume I’ve climbed the ladder through a Haas-sponsored consulting club or competed in finance case competitions for years when, in fact, none of that is true. I’m here to tell you about how I got into the Haas School of Business without joining a single business club.

To begin, I want to touch on a passion of mine: music. (I promise this all ties together in the end). I’ve been inspired by music from an early age, and I feel like that passion has only grown as I’ve gotten older and attended college. From middle school, I was consistently involved in music-related organizations, from orchestra to choir to just forming my own little bands and making covers together. It not only filled the time outside of academics for me but also allowed me to harbor feelings of security and confidence that I didn’t always feel in other organizations.  read more

Breaking Through Into Business Clubs

Besides the incredible academic and research opportunities, a diverse student population, and an impressive faculty roster, one thing that I will always rave about at UC Berkeley is the variety and professionalism of student extracurricular clubs. While what we learn in the classroom is vitally important to our futures, taking advantage of our Bay Area location and career oriented resources is what truly ensures that Berkeley will set us on an ideal post-grad path.

Berkeley has dozens of business clubs, some of which are notoriously difficult to join. From consulting to finance to technology, the popularity of startups and business centered careers for students has been on the rise, and joining these types of clubs has allowed students to gain valuable first hand experience of what business industries look, while also building student community and networking with professionals in their interest fields. This spring semester, in my third year here, I decided to branch out and try something I had never tried before: joining a business club. read more

How I Became the President of 3 Organizations at Cal

What is the process of going from a member of an organization into leading it as the President? Is there some kind of secret way on getting to the top? These were all questions I wondered in my first year at UC Berkeley. Before I begin elaborating on my experiences on how I became the president of multiple organizations (the Omniscient Tutor, See the Lord, Student Pre-Medical Advising Network), I would like to mention that you should only commit your time to organizations that you truly care about and would want to make a difference in, specifically within the field that they are operating in. It would be a complete waste of time if you were just solely doing it to slap that title onto your resume. I’m only saying this because I had that same mindset before. In high school, I made the mistake of becoming a President of 3 organizations merely to add to my list of extracurriculars. Although it worked out in the end (since I got into UC Berkeley), I did not truly believe that I made a significant impact in the fields that my organizations were working in. The most important thing that I learned throughout my 4 years at Cal is that being a President of an organization holds a lot of responsibility (not just being a leader that can inspire the team that you work with, but also uphold your organization’s mission and values in any type of scenario). You might be the President of an organization, but this does not mean that your team members have to respect you. It’s only earned through your actions and leadership style. This was the greatest takeaway that I got from the organizations that I lead now. read more

How I founded an Organization at UC Berkeley

Ever imagine building your own organization on a prestigious campus like UC Berkeley? Attending a school with 40,000 students is a great opportunity to start your own project or business. Not only is there a wide client base, but you also have access to a large audience and a ton of experimental room as well as opportunities for learning and growth.

During my junior year of high school, I told myself that I wanted to concentrate all my energy into making a positive impact in these three fields: medicine/healthcare, education, and business. Thus, as a current pre-medical student at Berkeley, I began my journey towards medical school. On the other hand, I also had a strong ambition to create an organization that can provide free education to low income students. I wanted to establish a type of educational platform that is unique—one that offers various services tailored for different types of middle and high school students (visual, audio, and kinesthetic learners). However, when I was in high school, I had a lack of resources and connections to make this happen. Getting admitted into UC Berkeley not only opened up a variety of options for my idea, but it also provided the environment that was necessary to get my organization, the Omniscient Tutor, to launch. The great thing about college campuses is that it’s the perfect place for recruiting and getting acquainted with individuals that have the same passion as yourself. read more