Month #3 – Making decisions and consulting Puerto Rico

In the last two blog posts, I was talking more about the activities aside of University and not about the actual time at Haas School of Business. Thus, I assume it would be a good thing to focus more on the academical aspect in this blog entry, especially as it makes up about 95 % of what I spend my time with here in Berkeley.

I am enrolled in a series of really interesting and mindboggeling classes:

  • Innovation Strategies for Emerging Technologies
  • Introduction to Management Consulting
  • Fundamentals of Design Thinking
  • Introduction to Entrepreneurship
  • Thriving at Haas and Beyond
  • Navigating Life Financially
  • Decision Making
  • FinTech

As I cannot write in detail about each subject, I still want to evaluate on those which I favor the most.
To start off with, Innovation Strategies for Emerging Technologies: This course is taught by Andrew Isaacs, one of the most well-known and also best payed Professors in the United States, who is a favorite of many students. A broad range of topics are getting covered in this course, ranging from Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Driving to Cybersecurity and even Climate Change Solutions. Occationally, Prof. Isaacs brings Guest-Speakers to the lecture, such as for instance Dr. Imura, who invented the Mu-Chip.
My favorite class by far is Decision Making: Barry Schwartz is a charismatic and humerous genious that knows very well how to convey complex matters in an understandable way. Go check out his ted-talks! At the beginning of the class we were asked to do a survey with tons of psycho-questions. Prof. Schwartz then picks up those results in his lectures and shows, how biased we as humans are and why our most rational decisions, might not neccessarily be the best ones concerning our overall well-being. The class definitely had an impact on me, questioning my decision-making processes and the way I think.
Another class that I really enjoy is Introduction to Management Consulting. Chris Burry was long-term Partner of Accenture, now a CEO and just an overall bad-ass consultant with a travel-history of over 2 mio Airplane-miles. The whole class is on a real-life project that we in small teams have to tackle. This semester, we are advising the Country of Puerto-Rico on how to establish a new educational system, after the big Hurricane left a mess in the Country. The winner-team even gets to fly to Puerto-Rico and present in front of the secretary of education there! In the classes, Chris Burry lets his students do many presentations and discussions, also he gives you a series of books to read and do work on.
Last, I want to talk about Introduction to Entrepreneurship: As I am really passionate about Entrepreneurship in general and heard good things about this class, I decided to join it mid-semester and have not regretted it. Aaron McDaniel is serial Entrepreneur, having founded many companies and also being on TV for SharkTank. In class, he walks you through the process of successfully building a startup and getting funded. In small groups, you get to pursue your own Startup-idea, do costumer interviews, create a landingpage and finally; pitch in front of real Silicon Valley Venture Capitalists. I am already more than hyped for that!

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