A Letter to All BWIB Haas Applicants

To all the sophomores in Berkeley Women in Business, who are applying to Haas –
Simply put, you are amazing.

With only 30 days to fill out the Haas application, topped with classes, midterms, clubs, work, family, relationships and life, I can’t possibly know how stressful this time of the year may be for you. The Haas application workshop with Ana revisited my fears of applying next year – Oh no, what if I don’t have enough experience by then to write an essay about, or what if my grades don’t meet the average GPA? And to think that I am only one year away from this application process in the midst of all this craziness, I am actually so scared! I just wanted to take this time to say that I truly applaud all of you for applying and want to wish you the best of luck!

I know for many of us, although we don’t vocalize it, we think that Haas is the ultimate fulfillment and a large part of helping us get to our goals– that most of our worries will be gone if we get into Haas, and life will be figured out. That’s why the stakes are so high. Obviously, this is far from reality – our lives will work out regardless if we get into Haas. It is so, so hard to trust the process. In February, whether we get that letter of acceptance or rejection, take it in as a moment to reflect on how far you’ve grown. If you got in, congrats and we can’t wait to see how you’ll take Haas to fulfill your goals! If you fall in the latter, have some ice cream and we can’t wait to see how you’ll take Berkeley to fulfill your goals! Yes, it is hard to face the defeat in the moment – we think that all our hard work didn’t get us in or that we weren’t good enough.

Quite frankly, that isn’t true, and I think we need to take a step back to realize the bigger picture. We’re here. We’re living. We’re breathing. We’re at Berkeley. We’ve gained so much knowledge in our studies, professional careers, friendships and in all the areas of life that we don’t see – and there’s still so much to learn. We’ve also grown so much in such a short amount of time – just one year. Imagine the amount of growth we’ll experience at the end of our journey here at Berkeley. We may not be able to see the growth within us in that moment of defeat, but we need to realize we have been learning and growing all along. In fact, the BWIB alumni I met at the networking event reminded me that regardless if they got into Haas, they are now working at companies they enjoy. Even then, they’re still learning and growing both personally and professionally. There was a comment one of the alumni made that stuck with me – we asked her, if there was one thing she could have done differently back in her time at Berkeley, what would she do? She told us that while she was satisfied with everything she was involved with, she wished that there was more time to try and do more activities, and to appreciate the multitude, variety and accessibility of opportunities there were. So go, keep trying and exploring! – because that’s how we’ll learn and grow the most.

So as a young freshman myself, you may be thinking – So what? What do I have to know? Why do I care?

I care because I see so many people stuck in this cycle of blindness, that they beat themselves up for not achieving a professional title and aren’t satisfied internally – Sometimes, we confuse ourselves and think that our external, materialistic success defines our personal success. This isn’t true. We must be personally fulfilled before we can be professionally fulfilled. We can look to our alumni, who are all examples of leading women taking pride and enjoying the work they’re doing both professionally and personally.

Don’t forget that you all have incredible stories to tell. So sit back and think about where you stood one year ago, and where you’re at today. How did you grow? What did you learn about yourself and how did you try to make an impact? When did you struggle and how did you make it through?

We all have stories to tell, and you are all talented people who want to make change in the world. We just need to be reminded sometimes – that yeah, we’re pretty amazing! Yes, we’re all #girlboss(es), regardless of Haas! And we will continue to be!

A freshman who really admires all of you and the impact you make,