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How These Haasies Landed Jobs at McKinsey, BCG, Apple, Facebook and Google

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UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business hasn’t yet released employment statistics on its Class of 2016 graduates, which makes sense since barely a week has passed since they walked across the stage to collect their diplomas. Like most peer schools, Haas’s Career Management Group will share those details in the fall when they have complete data.

Haas careers
Source: UC Berkeley Haas, Class of 2015 Employment Statistics

In the meantime, we’ve got something perhaps even more valuable than a long list of statistics. Namely, personal stories from actual Haas students who have landed jobs at some of the hottest hiring firms around—and how they did it.

We connected one on one with five Haas grads who are headed to a handful of the companies most coveted by today’s graduating MBAs. In the mix are newly-minted MBAs headed off to consulting giants McKinsey and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), as well as grads destined for top tech firms Google, Apple and Facebook. While this small sample clearly doesn’t represent the full spectrum of career paths Haasies follow upon graduation, it seemed a suitable selection given the school’s recent placement statistics. For the Class of 2015, a whopping 37.8 percent of graduates headed into the technology industry, followed by another 25 percent who headed into consulting.

In terms of the five grads we’re spotlighting, some went through rigorous first-year recruiting to snag high-demand internship positions, which they then were able to convert into full-time offers. Others, though, shifted gears midway, turning down tempting offers from internship employers to forge alternative paths. Read on to learn where they ended up, the steps that helped them get there, how Haas’s culture played a part and what they learned along the way.

Stacey Eryn Chin’s Path to McKinsey

Haas careers
Stacey Eryn Chin, Haas MBA ’16

The first Haasie we spoke to was Stacey Eryn Chin, who will be heading off to work as a consultant for McKinsey in its San Francisco office. Prior to business school, Chin held roles that ranged from education and youth leadership development to venture philanthropy and social enterprise. “I loved the work I was doing before business school,” she recalls, noting that she managed lots of teams and got to tackle ambiguous problems, all of which she found really energizing. What she lacked was exposure to the private sector. “That, in a nutshell, is what made me excited to come to business school—to get a great understanding of how the private sector works.”

Looking at a number of top business schools, she came to the conclusion that most could probably provide this. “But Haas was where I felt like I could feel at home,” she says, adding that she was really struck by the school’s defining principles, especially “confidence without attitude.” “These principles really are something that is lived and breathed within the campus culture.”

Having come from a social sector background, Chin didn’t necessarily expect to go somewhere and feel so at home, she says. “I have been really impressed and pleased with the openness of the student body, how excited everyone is to get to know each other and how supportive everyone is of one another,” she says. “We are a really collaborative culture—not competitive—and that makes all the difference when you are recruiting for something that by nature is so competitive.”

For Chin, that was consulting. Haas, she says, helped her both secure and excel in her internship with McKinsey in a number of ways. For starters, she credits the values-based approach to career services and coaching. “They don’t just ask you what sector you want to work in and look at a list and help you do a resumé and cover letter,” she says. “They started several steps earlier, helping me think about what things in the past have given me energy, what do I really care about, how might I map that to a career?”

Club leadership and peer support were also really valuable, Chin says. The Consulting Club on campus is quite robust, and it offers a course in the first semester that helps those going into consulting know where they need to be along a specific recruiting timeline, how to prepare for a case interview, how to practice behavioral interviews. “For me, that was invaluable,” Chin says. “I’m not sure I would have gotten the internship I did if I hadn’t received so much support. Because we are so small and intimate as a community, I really felt comfortable reaching out to people both in my class and above me.”

Chin also credits specific courses she took while at Haas for her success. One, called “International Business Development,” she took right before her summer internship. The class involved working as a team with an actual client based internationally, culminating in a real consulting deliverable. “It was a terrific warm-up for the consulting world—how you work in teams, structure processes, how to work with a client and answer the questions they care about and encourage them to consider other questions as well.”

A second class, “Leadership Communication,” which is required of all Haas first-year students, also more than paid off. “The course is really around building your authentic leadership presence and understanding what stories you have to share and how to authentically share them,” Chin says. When she found herself having to present to a group of 200 on her second week into her internship, she drew on the skillsets she’d honed in that class. “Because I came to Haas, I was able to get up and do that.”

Her strong performance during the summer internship resulted in a competitive full-time offer that Chin accepted happily. She’ll start in September after some travel and time spent with family. Looking back, there’s not a lot about the job search process she would have done differently, though she does wish she had taken advantage of the values-based coaching available through Career Management a little earlier.

“The joke is that everyone writes applications with something specific and targeted that they want to do post-MBA and then throws that out the door as soon as they arrive on campus,” she says. “I wish I had done a little more work over the summer in terms of figuring out which of a few options I really wanted to pursue.”

Veteran Olivia Anglade Heads to BCG

Haas careers
Olivia Anglade, Haas MBA ’16

A self-professed “Navy brat,” Olivia Anglade grew up in Seoul, Korea, went to Stanford as an undergrad with an Army ROTC scholarship, picked up a master’s degree in engineering while at Stanford, and then set off to serve her country in exchange for the education she’d received. “I can do this,” thought Anglade. “Serve my country, have school taken care of, have a guaranteed job when I’m done and apply the skills I learned at school.” And so she did—commissioning in the Army as a project manager for construction units mostly in Hawaii. “My soldiers were carpenters, electricians and plumbers, and we built stuff,” she recalls.

When a 2010 earthquake struck in Haiti, where Anglade’s family is from, it was a pivotal moment, she says. “That’s when my professional expertise as a builder and my personal background collided. I had always thought I would work in Haiti, and there was now no excuse—I could actually apply my skills to helping the country.” She transitioned out of the Army and worked as a contractor for USAID in construction for two years in the disaster-ravaged island nation. “It was an incredible opportunity for me to understand the history of Haiti and the infrastructure and to apply my own expertise in rebuilding the country,” she says.

She found the work enormously rewarding and frustrating at the same time. “There are huge swings of optimism and despair,” she says. As she began to consider options for her next step, she landed on an MBA as a natural progression for her career. To date, her entire career had been in public infrastructure. “I didn’t know what the private sector looked like, period.”

Because she’d already been working for seven years, the general age of students, compounded with class size, were her most important considerations in choosing a business school. “I knew I wanted to go to a school where I would get to know my classmates very intimately and they will get to know me—I did not want to just be a body walking around.”

She confesses that an element of weather also came into play. “Having lived in islands that begin with ‘H’ for the past seven years, I was not ready for a harsh climate.” Finally, Haas’s defining principles also resonated—particularly “confidence without attitude.” As a veteran who had lived in one of the poorest countries in the world, Anglade has seen a lot of things many students haven’t. “But at Haas, it’s not having to prove that thing, it’s just being who you are surrounded by people who are curious about that.”

Like Chin, Anglade was struck by the “soul searching” element she encountered in her work with the Haas Career Management Group. With this guidance, she was able to identify that she gets greatest fulfilment through service. Client service as a consultant promised to give her exposure to many different industries and functions she had never experienced. “Within a month, I landed on the idea that consulting would be a great path for me,” she says. Longer term, she has her eye on something in the social impact or nonprofit world, but she recognizes that to truly have an impact on a small organization, she would benefit from greater exposure and broader breadth first.

Also like Chin, she credits the resources of the Consulting Club and Career Management with helping her prepare for intern recruiting. She also praises the Haas alumni network. “Alums from the Bay area would always reach out,” she says. “The commonality I found with them was great. They greet you with open arms. ‘I’ve never even met you before. This is great!’” she remembers thinking during such encounters.

In terms of classes that most prepared her for full-time work at BCG, two immediately come to mind. The first is an Excel modeling class taught by Professor Sarah Tasker, which helped her understand how to design financial models with a focus on usability—specifically how to create models that the client can use, that are clear and concise and that limit the potential for mistake. “I am going to walk into BCG with what I learned in that class in my back pocket, and that is going to be incredibly valuable,” she says. Another, “Negotiation” taught by Juliana Schroeder, already came in handy when she sublet her apartment to a classmate.

Anglade was a Consortium for Graduate Study in Management Fellow coming into Haas, which meant she got to take part in a Consortium Orientation Program (OP) even before classes started. At OP, she connected with Starbucks, who actively tried to recruit her for a construction role. If she had just been returning to the United States to work in a construction role, it probably would have been perfect, she says. But because she knew she wanted to branch out and take a risk, she persevered through the official first-year recruiting process. That said, having an offer from Starbucks really enabled her to narrow down the number of consulting firms she targeted. “I told myself, ‘I am only going to apply to consulting firms I can really see myself at, because if not, I will go to Starbucks.’” This positioned her to really evaluate consulting firms in terms of culture and take her time in making a decision. Her summer at BCG made her know she wanted to return. “The people and the culture I found aligned really closely with Haas,” she says. “Honestly, clients will change, but what is steadfast is the people.”

“Haas helped me figure that out, too,” she says. “What is important to you? You can have the best job in the world but if the company culture isn’t good, you are going to leave.”

And so she’ll start at BCG, but not until January 2017. “This is also a reflection of my experience at Haas,” says Anglade, who describes herself as a go-go- go person with zero white space on her calendar. “Thinking about taking seven months off before work terrified me,” she says. But Haas has enabled her to be more reflective. BCG offers five options for start dates rather than receive all full-time consultants at once. “If you choose the January start date, BCG provide a fellowship to do a language immersion program anywhere in the world in any language of your choice,” she says. So she will travel to Morocco to learn French as part of her time between now and January. She’ll also devote a month to spending time with her 86-year-old grandmother, work with classmates on some startups, maybe do some nonprofit strategy-type work and also visit family in Belgium, Abu Dhabi and Montreal.