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Real Humans of the Berkeley Haas MBA Class of 2019

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Erin Casale, Berkeley Haas MBA Class of 2019

Berkeley Haas MBA Class of 2019Age: 26

Hometown: Toledo, OH

Undergraduate Institution and Major: Georgetown University, international health

Pre-MBA Work Experience: Four years of experience split between management consulting and global health consulting

Why business school? Why now? I’m drawn to roles that incorporate data and rely on strong evidence to make decisions; I found I was self-teaching most of these skills on the job but craved a formal education on the basics. I also feel strongly that as the role of technology in the workplace grows exponentially, the need for strong managers will only grow as well. I was excited to learn about evidence-based approaches to management and knew that now was the time to do it before I became tied to old habits.

Why Haas? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend? Haas’s commitment to social impact is unparalleled in the MBA field. I intentionally chose a school where a social consciousness was embedded in the fabric of the program and not a separate or add-on track. The ethos of social impact, coupled with the class size and location in the hotbed of innovation sold me on Haas.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2019? I’m rooting the next two years in a firm sense of self and hope to inspire others to do the same. There are so many things to do and learn; it’s easy to fall into spending time on things you think you “should” do but don’t actually excite you. Our time here is too precious to waste it on the “shoulds.”

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application? Last summer I completed by 200-hour yoga teacher training!

Post-MBA career interests? In the spirit of letting my passions come from my heartbreaks, I’m making a shift over to an environmental-focused career. Right now I’m investigating post-MBA roles at conservation organizations and at outdoor retailers.

Berkeley Haas MBA Class of 2019Advice to current prospective applicants:

 –One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process? Condense my GMAT study period to nine weeks and schedule the test before I started studying. Having a clear finish line is a great motivator.

 –One thing you would change or do differently? I wish I started my essays sooner. I procrastinated a bit because I wasn’t quite sure where to start.

 –Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it? There were moments when I really wanted to just hit send on my essays and be done with it, but having friends provide thoughtful edits motivated me to keep making them better.

Greatest highlight so far at Haas? I can’t pick just one! My favorite thing is meeting new classmates every day who impress and inspire me.

One thing about Haas that you didn’t expect before arriving? Just how many opportunities there are to do interesting, meaningful, and exciting things. I thought I had done a good job scoping out all the things I’d want to spend time on during my application process, but I barely scratched the surface. It’s overwhelming in the best kind of way.

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year? I’m keen on making sure I create time to dedicate to non-Haas activities that matter the most to me, like family, yoga, and getting outside. It’s easy to let school activities—both academic and social—be all-consuming, but healthy balance will help me make the most out of the experience.