Student Perspectives

Student Perspective

Sandeep Pahuja

Sandeep Pahuja

MBA 15

Director
IDEO

Finding the right problems to solve

Berkeley creates leaders who recognize the right problems to be solved, on their own terms. We are leaders who find own own paths, even when those paths may require taking a step back or to the side before going forward.

My Berkeley Haas experiences have helped me find the right way to lead. Being Confident Without Attitude allows everyone to be heard and to make decisions for the right reasons.

On allyship and leading equity

When members of my class started 40x20, our goal was to enroll 40 percent women by the class of 2020. When we reached 43 percent in the class of 2016, we kept on pushing. Our idea became the Gender Equity Initiative, an ongoing commitment to reach and sustain 50/50 male and female enrollment in the Full-time Berkeley MBA Program.

From the start, the administration took our desire for gender equity seriously. Thanks to student leadership and the administration’s openness to collaboration, Berkeley Haas has helped lead other business schools to greater equity.

Leading the Q@Haas Ally program was a way for me to help make sure Berkeley Haas remains an environment that fosters honesty and where we all can bring our complete, whole selves to our studies and to everything else we do. I am carrying that concept into the workplace.

Thinking differently with design thinking

The Fundamentals of Design Thinking course and the applied innovation courses are invaluable opportunities to practice the principles of design thinking, from start to finish. I gained a new vocabulary and a number of frameworks.

I became a peer career coach in my second year to help create more of a pathway for students, like me, who want to go into design consulting. Haas alumni working in the field were eager to help with that project.

As part of the design process at IDEO, we constantly share concepts with users and prototype rapidly. By pushing ourselves into odd or uncomfortable places, we fail faster to succeed sooner. Adopting this approach keeps me a Student Always in every project.

Building community from the Bay Area to Asia

I went on the Asia Trek in my first year. The highlight had to be when all 60 of us had dinner at the family home of Celine Tran, our classmate who organized the Trek. I couldn’t believe her parents, sister, and husband welcomed 60 people into their home.

The community bonds you form at Berkeley Haas are always there to call on when needed.

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