One day at Berkeley-Haas MBA

Hello World! My name is Andrei Zimin, currently a second-year full-time MBA student at Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley (always wanted a title to be at least one string long!). I study in Berkeley, California and live close by in an adjacent city called Albany. Before coming to the U.S. one year ago with my family – my wife and a currently three-year-old son – I did business development and sales in Moscow, Russia at a major French chemical company.


Every day in a business school is full of various types of activities. That one was Thursday, 3rd of November, 2016.

Woke up: 8:30am, been busy last couple of days with recruitment and extracurricular activities. Time to make some oatmeal for the kid. Time to prepare him for pre-school.

Checking our study team results for the Marketing Strategy class. We have a simulation game that stresses us out each Thursday. Hope that we didn’t fail this one…


Looks like we’re doing okay, switching to slides for the discussion section I’m giving this Friday – I signed up to be a teacher’s assistant for this semester. Business school undergraduates should love tomorrow’s topic – Game Theory.


The oatmeal tried to run away…


My wife has started her 4-week coding boot camp and has to spend all of her days and nights in Fremont, School 42 (the ultimate answer!). Great that her brother is visiting and can help us take care of the little guy. She has to leave early, so it’s on me today to bring him to school. We live in UC Village, a place for University of California students with families and kids. This year the pre-school in a walking distance from our home. Bye-bye, Dima, see you in the evening!


10:30am. Taking the bus to school, waiting in the hallway for our class to start. Cleantech2Market, this time it’s not a lecture, but our study team presenting some preliminary results. Waiting for the other team members to join.


11:30am. The feedback from our instructors is positive, still need to find battery experts to interview (our project is focused on new lithium ion battery technology), but we’re on track.

12:15am. Stopping at the computer lab to print some Marketing Strategy materials, have to be prepared for a team discussion. We have until 4pm to come up with a plan for surviving in a virtual business world – tough challenge.


We have a room reserved in a library for strategic decision making. The team is great, we were rambling around a bit in the first couple of classes, but now everyone seems to be delivering the best result in the field where he/she is most productive: production, R&D, advertising, pricing, etc.


1:05pm. Checking my emails: oh, no! A tech company that I’ve interviewed for intensively for the last couple of days just sent me their regrets about rejecting me. Okay, the show must go on, let’s make sure it doesn’t affect the clarity of my Marketing Strategy decision.


1:30 pm. Getting my water bottle refilled – need to stay hydrated at California:)))


4:05pm. The work is complete. We’ll see the outcome next week. Now let’s see which electives did I get for the next semester. In Haas, you get 1000 bidding points that you can allocate (bid on) to courses that you’d like to take. Some form of an auction where you don’t get the chance to go higher with your initial bid. Looks like I’m getting all the courses I wanted, except for Mergers & Acquisitions, but I only bid 1 point on it… Fair enough. Time to go home and pick the kid from his pre-school.


5:15pm What if we go and watch the sunset? Great idea! The car is in Fremont with my wife, but there’s always Uber, for those who has a baby seat, of course. Racing to the coastline to catch the last rays of light, making a photo for memories.


6:30pm wish that I’ve brought a bigger camera, but iPhone should capture this moment just fine. Time to go home.


The Uber driver is talking about his other job and the flexibility that ride-sharing services provide to his personal schedule. Good to know, nice opportunity to chat.

7:40pm Back home, cooking time. How about I cook some buckwheat noodles with chicken and carrots? Should be okay with all generations))


Midnight. Time to sleep, tomorrow is going to be another great day!

I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have about Berkeley-Haas and living in California – just leave your comments here!

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