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Real Humans of the UC Berkeley Haas MBA Class of 2022

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Samrawit (Sami) Tamyalew, Haas MBA Class of 2022

Age: 30
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
Undergraduate Institution and Major: United States Military Academy (West Point), Mathematical Sciences
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 5 years in the U.S. Army and 3 years primarily in public sector work

Why business school? Why now?
I worked primarily in the public sector post-Army and realized I was heading towards a public sector career, which I am not interested in at this time. I pursued business school to pivot industries and gain fundamental business knowledge.

Why Berkeley Haas? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Service is a large part of who I am, and I sought schools with a similar ethos. Haas was initially appealing because one of the leadership principles is “Beyond Yourself.” It was apparent it was a large part of the culture when I talked to current students during the application process who were so generous with their time. The Vets Club also played a large part in my decision: they provided incredible support whether it was with resume review or interview preparation and made me feel like a part of the Haasie community even before admission. I envisioned myself at Haas because of their support.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2022?
I have a lot of direct global leadership experience due to my time in the Army and working in Ethiopia. I can speak to leadership across different sectors, the ability to led cross-functionally, and perform under pressure. And I’m a Las Vegas native so I know what’s good on The Strip.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application?
I have a cat named Walter White, but he is not white.

Post-MBA career interests?
I am interested in consulting post-MBA.

Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?

I reached out to students about two months prior to the application deadline. I made sure to talk to people in different clubs who had different experiences to gain a holistic understanding of Haas. Starting two months early gave me enough time to get a feel for the culture and not feel rushed during the application process while constricting myself to a feasible timeline. I knew if I would lose focus and momentum if I started the process any earlier.

–One thing you would change or do differently?
I would have applied in an earlier round (either round 1 or 2) because most scholarships run out by round 2.

What is your initial impression of Berkeley Haas’s students/culture/community?
I learned early on how transparent and open my classmates were. I lived and worked in environments where sharing your feelings was not encouraged and it was great to see people feel comfortable sharing and being vulnerable in front of large groups.

One thing you have learned about Berkeley Haas that has surprised you?
I was surprised by how truly diverse my classmates’ professional backgrounds are. There is someone who plays professional basketball, another a teacher, and even the veteran backgrounds are unique. It is great to be surrounded by Haasies who can speak to diverse leadership experiences.

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Nothing; these are strange times, so I stay ready for whatever surprise is around the corner.

Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I am most excited to continue to get to know my fellow Haasies.

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.