Today’s guest post comes from Aaron Schwartz. Aaron is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Upon graduating he co-founded Modify Watches (www.modifywatches.com), a place where you can mix and match fun and customizable watches. Aaron previously worked for Deloitte Consulting both in NY and London as a Strategy and Operations Consultant.
After finishing my undergraduate studies, I joined Deloitte Consulting in New York City. After a few great (and, well, one or two painful) projects I transferred to the London office. I was incredibly happy living overseas, but started to get the itch to go back to school. As an undergraduate history major but someone with a goal of being in – or starting – businesses, I decided to explore the idea of going to business school.
I was in no rush to attend. I was having a great time in London and had a job offer with a hedge fund in New York as well as another with a start-up in San Francisco. I started looking into different schools, just to get a feel for the process. During my due diligence, a few things stood out to me about Haas.
Coincidentally, my brother’s ex-girlfriend was a Haas student. I called her out of the blue, and she gave me an hour of her time to walk me through the school. I had done zero research, yet this woman was so giving of her time – and sounded so positive about the place!
I then did a bunch of research and reached-out to the admissions team. Same thing – lots of feedback, lots of engagement, and every interaction was nice. I don’t say that as if it’s a simple thing – how many people must have been bugging the administration, and yet each interaction left me feeling happy. The folks clearly loved the place.
So I decided to fly to San Francisco and spend a weekend at Haas. The campus was beautiful. And though it was the middle of the summer and no one was around, there was still a buzz in the air.
I’m gushing about the culture and the people because I deeply believe that this is the number one indicator if the school is for you. If you’re looking top-ten or top-twenty, the academics will be great, the resources will be plentiful, and the alumni will be in every industry. But do you like the people?
I attended Haas because I was excited about its entrepreneurial culture. I read the course guide and found myself excited about the core curriculum. And having lived in Cleveland, New York and London, I really wanted the adventure of living in the Bay Area. But it was the cultural fit that helped me choose the school in the first place, and my classmates, professor and community that help me always discuss the school with a smile on my face.
For more advice on getting into Haas, download our Essential Guide to Haas, one of our 15 guides to the world’s top business schools. If you’re ready to start building your own application for Berkeley and other top business schools, call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. And, as always, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!