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Real Humans of the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business MBA Class of 2025

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haas business schoolSukanya Mukherjee, Berkeley Haas MBA Class of 2025

Age: 26
Hometown: Arcadia, California
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Babson College – Business Administration
Pre-MBA Work Experience (role, company, years): I spent the last four years at Deloitte Consulting’s Federal Health practice in Washington DC.    

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
Through my engagements at Deloitte, I had incredible opportunities to interact with industry leaders from drug manufacturing and hospital systems spaces. These interactions were eye-opening for me and helped me realize that I had so much to learn about how the U.S. healthcare system operates. My goal now is to utilize the tools I will gain from pursuing my dual degree in public health and business to both better understand the U.S. healthcare system and advance health equity in future endeavors.

Beyond developing my technical expertise in healthcare, I also came to business school to grow as a leader. As someone who is empathetic and a strong listener, leading small teams has come naturally to me but I want to be able to know how to harness this power when working with larger groups. Where do you begin when you want to influence a room? In situations when you lack the time to get to know everyone on a deeper level, how do you make individuals feel heard? Through my experiences in business school, I want to stretch my leadership skills and learn how to effectively lead large organizations.

Lastly, I decided to attend business school now to give myself a moment to pause. I had reached a point in my career where I could envision what the next five to ten years could be had I stayed on the course I was on. I knew, however, that this course was only one of the many paths I had the option to take. Business school gives me an opportunity to now explore paths I may have never considered.

Why did you choose Berkeley Haas? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Haas has always stood out to me because of their defining leadership principles: question the status quo, confidence without attitude, student always, and beyond yourself. The one principle that most resonates with me is beyond yourself, and I’ve seen this principle shine through time and time again through the countless interactions I’ve had with students at Haas. Whether it was alumni who were always ready to jump on the phone with me to share their honest perspectives, my interviewer who made me feel incredibly welcome and at ease, the second-years who are so invested in cultivating a positive experience for first-years, or my classmates who authentically show up for one another, the people at Haas drew me in. Having the opportunity to be a part of the Haas Consortium community further reaffirmed my decision to attend. The support I’ve received and the people I have met through Consortium have been phenomenal. I can sense that Haas’ Consortium team – staff and students – are so invested in creating a space where people can come as they are, become who they want to be, and cultivate deep relationships. From the start, I knew that the Haas consortium community and Haas’ wider community was who I wanted to surround myself with for the next two and a half years.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Berkeley Haas School of Business Class of 2025?
Growing up with an older sister who is deaf and developmentally delayed has given me a unique perspective on the world and shaped the way I empathize, listen, and care for others. I plan to apply this perspective to positively impact my interactions and experiences at Haas. 

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that didn’t get included on your application
Ever since I was little, I’ve loved reading and writing. Long term, I aspire to be a published author.

Post-MBA career interests:
My career hypotheses span between working for a foundation in global health to improve access to care for infectious diseases, working in impact investing, and working as a consultant in healthcare/social impact spaces to improve access to care for underserved populations.

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Reaching out and talking to current and former students for each program I applied to is something I would absolutely do again as a part of my application process. Hearing their perspectives was invaluable because they not only shared information that went beyond anything I could find through forums or school websites, but also demystified the application process.

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?haas berkeley 2025
One thing I would do differently is give myself more time to envision what I wanted my graduate school experience to look like before starting my first semester. Once you’re on campus, there are so many opportunities that are just thrown at you. One second-year student aptly described the MBA experience as everything, everywhere, all at once. Having a roadmap and vision of what your non-negotiables are, the hypotheses you want to test, and the experiences you want to have can give you some invaluable guiderails for this journey!

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
The most challenging aspect of my application process was taking the GMAT. If you’re struggling, you are not alone, and what helped me get through this part of the application journey was rebuilding my confidence, self-esteem, and faith in myself. During this time, journaling, meditation, yoga, long walks, and talking to friends and family were tools that helped me center myself and not feel overwhelmed.

What is your initial impression of the Berkeley Haas students/culture/community?
My initial impression of the Berkeley Haas community was a community that is warm, compassionate, and dedicated. People have shown their kindness in spades, but something that has stuck out to me is how dedicated people are to their fields of interest. I have personally seen this ring true for me in Haas’ social impact and healthcare communities. People are eager to teach others what they know about their field of interest, share opportunities, connect you with others to learn more, and share advice that you didn’t realize you needed.

What is one thing you have learned about Berkeley Haas that has surprised you?
Following up on my initial impression, I have been impressed at how committed Haasies are to each other’s success. Whether people are sharing tips and tricks for academics, advice on how to shape career opportunities, or how to navigate the myriad of Haas’ experiential learning experiences, people are willing to make the time to invest in others.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
I love to invest time in getting to know people, but working remotely for the past three years has definitely shortened my social battery. I’m a bit anxious about balancing the MBA social life (which can feel all-encompassing) with balancing the time I need to be alone and recharge. When large gatherings feel overwhelming, spending time with people in one-on-one conversations or smaller groups has been a great way for me to connect with others.

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I am most excited about discovering new ideas and paths that I  may not otherwise have had the chance to consider before. It’s rare that you have an opportunity to take risks and spend time diving into areas that fascinate you but that you know little about or have little experience in. I want to use my graduate school experience to capitalize on these moments and encourage myself to explore as much as possible. 

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.