Month #4 – It’s a wrap!

 It’s a wrap! Four months later now, I arrived back in cold and rainy Germany after spending one semester at Haas School of Business, University of California. I have to admit; I was very skeptical when arriving in Berkeley because I had never made an investment as big as $20k. Looking back, I do not regret any of it and if I were asked, I would do it all over again.

I was skeptical towards the academic experience; will those professors and lectures really be such much better than the ones I was used to in the Cooperative State University of Baden-Württemberg?
I was skeptical towards the whole Silicon Valley hype; can it really be that transformative and unique so you can actually gain valuable insights and learnings to benefit from it on a personal level?
Moreover, I was skeptical towards the people; will my classmates be the ambitious kind with a similar goal set, or possibly even future business partners?
Lastly, I was skeptical towards the Bay Area; will it be what I had dreamed of, this beautiful scenery of a nature emerged in cities where you can do whatever you want at all times?

Being honest, I can say that I have not been disappointed. Instead, I am grateful for what I got to experience and my expectations were satisfied in every aspect. I got to hear lectures from some of the best professors in the United States on topics that were relevant and interesting to me, and with discussions of immense value.
 I don’t think I would have ever written a paper about the Business Strategy of Brain-Machine Interfaces and their potential to change the way of life for one of my classes back in Germany. Further, I participated in many events, workshops and talks that helped me thrive in addition to the regular study schedule.
I moreover got to peak into the greatest companies in the world, gaining insights from employees and asking them questions on what I am curious about. I learned about the work culture and what makes the Valley so exceptional. And I have met a lot of people that had a lasting impact on me, even if it was just a ten minute talk in a rooftop bar.
Talking about people, I had classmates from all over the world, got to know their cultures and learned from how they think and act. But even more important, I made livelong friends – people that I appreciate on a personal but also professional level, and that I want to stay in contact with.
Last but not least, I also got to see some of the beauty of California. With roadtrips to LA, San Diego, or Santa Cruz, I went to beautiful beaches and enjoyed stunning sunsets. I hiked mindboggling Mountains in Yosemite, swam in prosperous pools in Hollywood, and ate in renown restaurants in Malibu.

To sum it up, I had the time of my life with the best people I could have wished for. Of course, there are shadow sides to everything; Berkeley was not always a sunny place; I spent many weekends working for assignments; I lost a ton of money on food and housing, but in the end you have to make the equation and see what you got out of it yourself. For me personally, I can say that it was worth it and that those four months will be remembered for a long time. If you still in doubt; let’s get in contact. Thanks for reading 🙂

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