Berkeley Haas - 2020/2021 FTMBA Commencement

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(upbeat music)

(orchestral music playing)

  • So, we have waited longer than we ever thought possible

to say the following words;

distinguish guests, members of the faculty and staff

and friends of the graduates

and members of the graduating classes of 2020

and 2021, on behalf of our esteemed faculty and staff,

I welcome you to Berkeley Haas

full-time MBA commencement ceremony.

(audience cheering)

I’m Ann Harrison, Dean of the Haas School,

it is my duty and great pleasure

to officiate at today’s ceremony.

To our full-time MBA graduates of the classes of 2020

and 2021, I welcome you to the Paramount Theater,

a landmark treasure that provides a stage

only for the most accomplished and celebrated creative minds

from around the world,

no wonder we are here.

I congratulate you on your remarkable achievement,

against the turbulence of the past two years,

you managed to complete

your Master of Business Administration

at one of the best business schools in the world,

and we are incredibly proud of you.

(audience cheering)

I would like to take this moment to recognize spouses,

significant others, parents, children,

extended family members and friends

who supported our graduates during what I imagine

were the most challenging few years of their lives.

All of you are true partners in the achievements

of our graduates, who we celebrate today.

Would the graduating students please join me

in a round of applause to honor these very special people.

(audience clapping)

When you join Berkeley Haas,

you joined a world class institution

at the epicenter of innovation.

You were already accomplished professionals

before coming to Haas,

but you decided to invest in yourselves

to become indispensable business leaders.

You did all of this while balancing your careers,

family responsibilities and personal lives.

And suddenly, your world was upended.

The global pandemic disrupted your MBA experience

in the middle of your programs

and it disrupted everything else.

You were unable to family members or friends.

You worried about elderly relatives.

And if you had children of your own,

you added homeschooling to your already long, long list.

I know that this was not the experience you had expected.

It’s not what we wanted for you either.

We could see the heartbreak on your faces, even on Zoom.

We really missed seeing you in person, getting to know you.

We all missed out on a lot of things

over the last two years,

but through everything, you showed a grit and a resilience

that was unparalleled,

you showed courage and conscience,

simply put you showed leadership.

If you ever doubted whether you could lead through a crisis,

overcome impossible odds, breakthrough barriers,

you have your answer.

Through the crucible of these years,

you were tested with your fierce intelligence, compassion,

strength, you have demonstrated to the world

just how much you can do in the most difficult of times.

I could not be more proud.

You have graduated with a degree in business

from the number one public university in the world.

(audience clapping)

You will make an impact on that world.

And over the course of your careers,

you will find yourselves among the very top of wage earners

among your peers, from the other leading business schools.

And wherever you go,

you will always have the power of Haas behind you.

What you have been through together

is unlike anything Haasies have experienced before,

but through it, you have forged a bond unlike any other.

And now you join a dynamic network of over 42,000 Haas alums

and over 500,000 Berkeley alumni around the world.

They are there for you.

They will open doors for you.

All you need to do is reach out.

So, lean on your Haas community and contribute to it.

Answer calls from perspective and current students

who need your advice.

Hire Haas, come to the Haas reunion celebrations,

the very first one starts this weekend.

Our alumni teams work to make the timing happen.

We hope to see you there, you are our newest alumni.

The more you connect, the stronger the Haas network becomes.

Now, it is my great honor to introduce you

to one of those alums.

One of the great traditions at the Haas School

is the selection of our commencement speaker.

Every year, we call upon an individual

of uncommon distinction to address

the MBA graduating classes.

Someone who personifies our defining leadership principles.

This year, we are delighted

that the Berkeley Haas MBA commencement speaker

is such a leader, a role model whose career

shows the power and the impact of what we mean

when we say students always.

Laura Clayton McDonnell is the sr. vice president of sales

for digital workflow company ServiceNow,

responsible for the East, Canada and Latin American regions.

After earning a joint MBA and JD at Berkeley,

Laura worked in private practice,

and then as an in-house corporate securities lawyer

for Apple, Cisco, and Sun Microsystems.

it was not long before the value she placed on learning

and growth brought her to executive leadership roles

on the business side,

from VP of strategic services at IBM to VP at Microsoft.

Laura was recently appointed to the corporate board

of directors of Zora.

She serves on the board of directors

in the Membership Committee of the Women’s Forum

in New York.

She is a past recipient

of the YWCA Silicon Valley Tribute to Women Award,

and is an advisory member of the 92nd Streetwise

Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact.

Whether it is helping women progress in their careers

or helping communities thrive,

you will find Laura at the center.

Please join me in giving a warm welcome

to your fellow alumni, Laura Clayton McDonnell.

(audience clapping)

  • Well, good afternoon.

Thank you so much, and thank you Dean Harrison

for such a kind and generous introduction,

and for the opportunity to speak at this ceremony.

To the members of the faculty and staff, alumni, family,

friends, loved ones, and most importantly,

the illustrious members of the full-time Haas MBA classes

of 2020 and 2021, congratulations to you.

This is a wonderful time to rejoice and celebrate.

This is your day.

I hope you can indulge me for a moment

and pause to acknowledge challenging social economic

and civic events to we have experienced.

Our hearts go out to those who have been adversely affected

and we stand with and for them.

Let’s appreciate how seriously fortunate we are

to be here together and to be associated

with this world renowned institution.

It is indeed an incredible honor for me to return

to my Alma mater as your commencement speaker.

And it’s a true privilege to personally congratulate

all of you on earning your MBA from Haas.

While this is a commencement, let’s be real,

we are beyond commencement, the journey has already begun.

You are now pursuing postgraduate studies

about how to learn, live and lead in this new world,

addressing inequity and injustice,

providing care for yourself and your families

and communities and working in a hybrid environment,

and through incredible reservoirs of resilience

and resolve making a difference.

If there is anything that we’ve learned

since your graduation, it is how we as leaders,

each have a critical role to play

in changing the world for the better.

And we play that role with purpose,

and in the tradition of Haas.

Four leadership principles are at the core

of this tradition beyond yourself,

question the status quo, confidence without attitude

and students always.

These four principles represent a process for investigating,

understanding and changing the world.

But let me begin with purpose.

If you’re like me, you love “Ted Talks”

and Simon Sinek did a talk on “Start with why.”

And his talk has had millions and millions upon views

and the premises that people won’t buy a product

or a service or embrace a movement or idea

unless they understand the why behind it.

Every organization has its why, its mission statement,

and Simon Sinek encourages us to find our own personal why.

When I was a vice president at Microsoft,

our goal was to build teams that could accomplish

any challenge and take on any kind of issue.

So, we collaborated with an organization

called Compete to Create,

and they designed a training program

to help us develop those high performing teams

and creating your own personal philosophy statement

was absolutely critical to it.

So, we completed this exercise, we developed this statement,

it’s your purpose, it’s your set of guiding principles.

And we were creating it using words that we selected

from a sheet of paper to craft the statement.

So, I’m gonna share my personal

philosophy statement with you.

It is to live life in an exemplary manner,

in all that matters with courage, curiosity, compassion,

humility, integrity, and optimism.

And each one of those words has a story behind it.

Each member of my team created

their own personal philosophy statement,

and you could come up to them anytime and ask them

what theirs were and they would share it with you.

When we needed to mobilize or activate the team,

all we need to do is leverage those statements.

One day, Dean Richard Lyons visited with me

when I was at Microsoft.

He was doing a listening tour, visiting with alumni

and prospective students.

And he and I both noted how closely aligned

my personal philosophy statement was

with the Haas’ leadership principles.

We both believe it was evidence about how you can gain more

than just a classic from the business school here at Haas,

we realize how deeply impactful the curriculum is,

and it really helped to shape our purpose

and also the values as an expression of our leadership.

So, let me share with you just a few examples

of that alignment.

The word exemplary for me, has two meanings,

and one is about being your very best,

and the other is about being a role model for others.

And the story behind exemplary for me begins with my parents

who were born and raised and Colon, Panama.

My mother is here today, Barbara Joan Clayton,

(speaks foreign language)

(audience clapping)

And my father, Sylvester Valentine Clayton, Jr,

unfortunately could not be here,

he had passed away, sadly, may he rest in peace.

But my parents, like many others,

wanted to come to the United States

because they wanted to pursue the American Dream.

And one of the ways to do it is to join the military,

which is what my father did,

and the first place he was stationed was Bermuda,

and that’s where I was born.

My parents sacrificed a lot to come to the United States,

many things they left behind,

their native language, Spanish,

their culture, family, friends,

and they placed the wellbeing of their children

ahead of themselves.

As a result, I’ve always felt that I need to honor

that sacrifice by being my very best

and through the teaching of my parents,

they gave us the belief

that we needed to be responsible for others,

and that is how it informs the Haas leadership principle

for be beyond yourself.

And as you heard, I have volunteered

and worked with the Belfer Center of 92 Y

in helping in a program called Women in Power,

and that is a program for training and networking with women

to help them become leaders.

As leaders in the Haas tradition,

when we are doing our very best work,

we are shaping the world for others to be better.

The next leadership principle

is about questioning the status quo.

And there are many stories about what happens

to a company when they do if you resist that change,

if you maintain the status quo,

well, you’re not gonna go very far.

But questioning the status quo often requires a willingness

to take a risk, which brings me to my next story

about the word courage in my personal philosophy statement.

After Bermuda, my father was stationed

at Travis Air Force Base in Northern California.

And because my family was growing,

my brother Sylvester Valentine Clayton III,

my sister who is here, Jennifer Florence Clayton,

we were running out of room, we needed a new place to stay.

My mother called around

and learned of several potential options,

made an appointment to go see a place.

And when she and my father arrived,

turns out that no places were available,

they were no longer available.

Well, what a surprise?

You can imagine how that felt to be treated in that matter.

So as immigrants to the United States,

there’s many things that you could do.

You could do nothing, don’t make any waves,

or you could pursue a course of action

that could be costly and could be risky.

Well, my parents showed courage,

they filed a complaint and they won.

And I will say to you, that was a defining moment for me,

because that was from then on the reason

why I wanted to be a lawyer, I wanted to give voice

to those who wanted to protect their rights.

And so, I enrolled at UC Berkeley,

pursuing the MBA-JD joint degree program,

and later leveraged both of those degrees

to provide a support and form of pro bono work to women

and people of color who wanted to start their businesses.

Maintaining the status quo

can seriously weaken growth potential,

and leaders need to have a growth mindset.

A state of mind that doesn’t settle for the minimum,

instead looks for how things can be improved

and what I am so proud of is that my family

is support of that.

My husband, Ed McDonald, my children, Clayton Hutchins,

Taji Hutchins, and Megan Ludlow,

they believe in that and they live their lives that way.

And as leaders in the Haas tradition,

that’s our responsibility,

to have the courage, to create a culture

where questioning the status quo is encouraged.

Confidence, that’s a powerful trait,

that belief that you have in yourself and your abilities.

And you’ve all heard the saying, seeing is believing,

but that starts with a foundation of doubt.

And our family, we switch it around,

it’s believing is seeing.

Believing in your self, your hope, optimism,

your perseverance, your dreams will come true.

And given the world in which we live,

it’s important to have that level of confidence,

but also it without attitude, to be humble.

And that’s one of the words

that’s in my personal philosophy statement too,

approaching opportunities, challenges with an open mind,

valuing others, their opinions and perspectives

is absolutely key.

And the last that I’d like to share

is really about the word curiosity,

and that’s in my personal philosophy statement,

and that’s an alignment with students always.

I’m gonna be an astronaut one day,

that was my 10 year old self declaring to my parents,

and they said, of course you will.

You could do anything that you want to.

And what I love about it is that I had an opportunity

with loving parents that said, you know what?

Every astronaut needs to have a telescope.

So you know what?

We’re gonna build one.

So, my father got a copy of “Scientific American Magazine,”

and there were instructions about how to build a telescope,

and so we did, we bought the lens,

we bought the PVC pipe for the tubes, but I gotta tell you,

when we set it up to look at the stars, it didn’t work.

Oh well, and my father said, wait,

I think you’ve missed the point here,

this is a learning opportunity.

This is where you challenge your boundaries,

you stretch your limits, you’re gonna try,

you’re gonna fail, but you’re gonna learn.

And what I love about that lesson

is so in line with students always,

that’s what we’re gonna be able to do as folks

that are in the Haas tradition,

that’s how we’re gonna change the world.

For me, the four Haas leadership principles

have always been a way to guide my journey

and multiply my impact in the world.

And it is my sincere hope that leveraging the principles

in your journey will allow you to do the same.

Again, congratulations to you classes of 2020 and 2021,

thank you for allowing me to share in your celebration.

I wish you the best of luck as you accomplish great things,

change the world and lead in the tradition of Haas.

Thank you.

(audience clapping)

  • Thank you so much, Laura.

I would now like to acknowledge the graduates

of the full-time MBA classes of 20 and 21

who have earned the honor

of being named “Berkeley Haas beyond yourself fellows.”

These students have completed 60 hours or more

of community service, while completing their MBA degrees.

All beyond yourself fellows

are listed in the commencement program.

So, let’s take a moment and give them a round of applause.

(audience clapping)

So now, we’re going to turn to the full-time class of 2020.

You graduated during the pandemic

and I’m sure your personal and professional lives

were turned upside down.

I applaud you for managing this uncertainty

and leaning into the defining leadership principles

to help you navigate this new reality.

Many of you went beyond yourselves

with selfless acts of kindness.

Others questioned the status quo

and found new ways to thrive in uncertain times.

All of you made us proud.

We would now like to recognize the winners

of the class of 2020 Defining Leadership Principles Awards

and the Berkeley Leader Award.

Your class has nominated classmates

who have made outstanding contributions

to your MBA experience and who best embody the DLPs.

Now, I am going to announce the recipients of each principle

and Berkeley Leader Awards.

As I do that, can that individual please stand,

and then I’m going to ask that our guests hold applause

until I’ve read all the names

and ask our award recipients to continue standing

when you hear your name called and remain standing

until all the awards have been announced.

So, I’ll start with Question the Status Quo,

this award recipient champions bold ideas,

takes intelligent risks and accept sensible failures.

Someone who’s willing to speak their mind,

even when it challenges convention,

and the recipient of that award is Evan Wright.

(audience applauding)

Okay, I won’t say anything about following directions.

So, in Evan, his classmates saw an unstoppable leader,

always encouraging others and building community,

the thoughtfulness and skill in guiding discussions

around diversity, equity and inclusion he showed

in week zero continued throughout his formal roles

as a student government leader

and facilitator for the dialogues on race course.

The next award is for Confidence Without Attitude,

someone who makes decisions based on evidence and analysis

and leads through trust and collaboration.

And the award goes to Celeste Faaiuaso.

(audience clapping)

Celeste, her classmates said made Haas a kinder,

more inclusive and connected community.

Brilliant, driven, and accomplished,

Celeste was always friendly and humble.

By treating others with empathy,

she unfailingly displayed a quiet confidence and power.

The Student Always Award is given to the student

who stands out for engaging with others

in continuous pursuit of knowledge and growth.

And that individual is Nina Ho.

(audience clapping)

Many of the nominations for Nina used the word always.

Always prepared for group projects

and worked harder than anyone else,

always seeking to gain new skills,

always seeking to learn more about our chosen field.

In other words, a student always.

The next award for Beyond Yourself

goes to the person fellow students saw as leading ethically

and responsibly, putting larger interests above their own.

For the class of 2020,

The Beyond Yourself Award recipient is Benny Johnson.

(audience clapping)

So, the sheer number of nominations

and their consistency in appreciation

for all Benny did for others was overwhelming,

proof of his personal belief that life is more meaningful

when it is lived in service.

Next one, Berkeley Leader, this award recipient demonstrates

sharing our defining leadership principles,

aspiring to live our principles

and putting them into practice.

We have two recipients in the 2020 class.

First, Molly Zeins.

(audience clapping)

And secondly, Ezgi Karaagac.

(audience clapping)

Both our Berkeley leaders served in student government

and both were focused, fierce and thoughtful advocates,

both went above and beyond themselves,

Molly with her support to our community,

as we pivoted to remote learning.

And Ezgi, for helping attain the STEM designation

for MBA degrees.

(audience clapping)

And by the way, your Dean worked on that too.

Now, international students

who graduate from the full-time MBA program

are eligible to apply for a two year work permit extension

in the US.

And we want to recognize two other graduates

of the class of 2020.

The Awards Committee felt the work called

for an all new award, and honored Francesco Dipierro,

and Santiago Freyria with the first ever Haas Legacy Award

(audience clapping)

Love that STEP T-shirt.

They co-founded STEP, a student run incubator

that helps students who want to start their own companies

get matched with mentors, improving the odds

that they will see their ideas and dreams come to life.

So, congratulations to all the honorees

and you may now give them a round of applause.

(audience clapping)

You may be seated.

There’s one more award for the class of 2020,

it is my pleasure now to present

the class of 2020 outstanding Academic Achievement Award.

The Academic Achievement Award is presented to the student

with the highest GPA in the class.

That student is Brian Shain.

(audience clapping)

Brian had a very impressive GPA of 3.91,

congratulations Brian.

(audience clapping)

We will now hear from the graduating student

who was selected by his classmates

to represent the full-time MBA class of 2020, Joe Sutkowski.

(audience clapping)

Wow, at Haas, Joe won a teaching award

for Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor

and was a tech peer advisor.

He is now a strategy and operations lead at Google,

though he claims to have his eye

on that Google daily doodle coordinator spot.

He might even be serious about that,

you can never be sure with Joe.

So, please join me in welcoming Joe Sutkowski,

class of 2020.

(audience clapping)

  • Oh man.

Hi, I’m Joe Sutkowski or Jojo, the 2020 class speaker.


And I’m here to finally remind you

about your car’s extended warranty, pick up the phone.

Seriously though, I can’t believe

we’re actually finally here.

Scheduling this graduation was like running into

that one friend of a friend at a bar and saying like, yes,

like we should totally get brunch tomorrow.

And then tomorrow comes, and you’re a little hungover,

but you think it might be COVID

so you just text them shamefully saying like,

sorry, something came up next week, next week for sure.

It’s that, but for two years.

Just imagining a crazed Pete Johnson,

manually moving that Google calendar,

invite 100 times, going like any week now,

any week, this will be the one.

But yeah, COVID was wild, it is still wild.

We as a collective, just aged in dog years

during this period,

sneezing in public is now legally assault.

And I personally gained 20 pounds to COVID 19

and moved into my mom’s basement.

So you could say things are going pretty well for me.

Oh man, I feel like my 12 year old self would be like,

where did we go wrong?

Like, what is Haas, is that a jail?

Is that rehab?

What is it?

But now that COVID is ending,

it means we have to go back to the office

and stop re watching the British bakeoff

or the Beatles documentary, if it’ll ever end.

Basically, we just need to go back because of culture,

but I ask you the culture of what?

Ashamedly pooping next to my boss,

who I’ve identified by their shoes?

Lodging little test farts masked by coughs

to try not to be too loud,

but the saddest part, no, they’re all great things,

the connection, the human experience is great,

but the saddest part is that now that we’re de masking,

ugh, I have to go back to brushing my teeth every day.

Segue, Fede is here today, woo!

He’s the other speaker from the class of 2021,

and he’s amazing, I know him a little bit.

And I’m sure if I knew him more, I would still think that,

but I met him when I was a peer advisor

and I reviewed his resume during my tenure,

and after seeing it, I was like, seriously impressed.

It was so good.

It was like startup co-founder, adjunct professor

at like 25, and basically he was a straight A student,

and he asked me, he was like, Jojo,

do you know how I can get a job in big tech?

And I was like, do you?

Like, do you have any advice?

Like I don’t.

Anyways, so, woo!

Oh man.

So, when my class elected me as their speaker,

and this part’s serious,

amid the most like unique period of our lives,

during like in an unprecedented global health crisis

in COVID with like record economic uncertainty,

incredible Black Lives Matters protest.

My first thought was we really need Kamala or someone else

to weigh in on this

and like balance this whole thing out, okay?

Because I don’t know if you notice,

but generic white male, all right,

my name is literally Joe twice, okay?

Oh, where did he grow up?

The suburbs. Did he have a golden retriever as a pet?

Yes, it wore an American flag bandana,

like how could I possibly opine on like this?

Like where is Kamala, can we get Kamala?


But Haas, the world needs direction,

the world is to heal,

and this 29 year old white guy who still quotes SpongeBob

is exactly what we need, okay?

So, I’m ready, we’re clearly questioning the status quo

with that one.

Man, but FYI, Haas originally told me

that I have five minutes for this speech, nice try.

(audience clapping)

Oh my Lord.

For every day this speech was delayed,

I’ve added one more minute, okay?

So, I hope you all ate before this,

except for the one person whose chair

I taped a cliff bar underneath,

you all should check, paging Rogigi 118, it’s there.

So, my first hour is just gonna be improv work,

which everyone will love.

Hour two is gonna be,

hour two is gonna be prop comedy including now.

Oh man, and hour three is solely dedicated

to a live reading of my fan fiction.

“The Boy with the Ring who Lived,”

it’s the story about Frodo Baggins

slowly turning into Harry Potter.

I’m currently working out a few kinks, but if you’d like,

I can give a little bit for you.

You shall not pass,

portion’s cast.

And the funny thing is that was actually my sixth word essay

to get into Haas.

Morgan loved it.

Haas is a funny place, it’s a great place.

We can’t even agree

on how to pronounce our school’s name, okay?

Is it Haas or Haaz, is a classic Libiosa-Labiosa dilemma.

It’s equally as challenging as the trolley problem.

I’m actually not sure why Haas teaches us that.

Does Haas note the lack of Z in my pronunciation?

Because there is no Z.

Does Haas know the decisions

that post MBA jobs require us to make?

It’s basically should I use V lookup

or Google how to do index match again?

And that’s it, there’s no in between.

As such, it’s time I reveal the fifth defining principle.

There’s the greatest hits like question the status quo,

and students always, and now analyst for one year post MBA,

at least, okay?

Oh God.

And this is where about where I planned

to like receive my own slap from like the faculty,

the Will Smith slap.

Man, but truly, Haas such a special, incredible place.

It’s the birthplace of Pokemon go,

and unfortunately, that one guy from Theranos

it’s home of amazing people

and those who went into investment banking.


kidding, kidding.

Haas, the suits think we’re hippies

and the hippies think we’re suits,

where do we fit?

The other colleges at Berkeley will be like,

we invented gene editing,

which represents the literal next step in human evolution,

It’s crisper, and then Haas says over here,

we run Annie’s Crispy Mac and Cheese,

now available for the low cost of 3.99,

Clearly beyond yourself.

Okay, so, time for some themes,

you’ve already had the memes, it’s time for themes.

This graduation and reunion is not just about our time

at Haas, it like literally can’t be.

We saw the death of 6 million people world wide

and a million in the US alone from COVID.

So, how do you move forward?

How do you keep going?

How do you celebrate our accomplishments

without it being a self-serving pat on the back?

There’s war, racism, income and gender inequality,

capital insurrection, refugee displacement

and climate change that continues to rage on.

What are our answers?

Did y’all read this case?

Did Elon tweet out a solution yet?

Like how could anyone possibly summarize an answer?

And you can’t, but you, the individual don’t have to,

and that’s because you don’t have to do it alone.

Behind countless heated exec Zoom calls

is a working totally drained parent

from managing a household of kids,

who after the call sizing into their chair saying fudge.

At hospitals, text nurses, doctors are all burnt out.

They might find themselves returning home to a parent

or loved one just to have to care for them again.

Restaurant workers saw their lives flipped upside down

as shops closed, and their stability fell to jeopardy.

People just like you and me

had to postpone seeing at risk family members for years,

missing holidays, birthdays and time together,

which is way more valuable than Bitcoin will ever be.

And COVID, in this time period has stripped us down

to our core, our exposed vulnerabilities.

And one second.

And our last walls, we’ve built to preserve

our outward appearances are starting to crumble.

Oh, I’m in MBA, I got promoted,

that’s going on LinkedIn, do you agree?

Those walls have begun to crumble and it’s good.

So, we’re tearing down these walls

and inviting strangers in,

sometimes into our literal homes to see our humanity,

the good, the bad, the screaming baby

or parent in the background.

And then there was this realization.

There were shared flaws, worries, anxieties

that although they’re not the resume highlights

we proudly share on LinkedIn

or the ones we shared with Haas to get in,

they are just as much a part of you and arguably more so.

And from there, I think we can see each other as humans

with more or less the same struggles, goals, and hopes.

Now I ask to raise your hands if you have struggles.

Like look around,

it’s probably like every hands,

now I ask to keep that hands raised if you got them,

and if you have hopes, and it’s basically everyone,

and we’re basically the same in this way.

And let’s see if this works,

yeah, so I’ll break this down real quick.

Y’all can hear?

So, Haas, it’s students faculty,

it’s principles and it’s community taught me

to show up as my most authentic self

and to be a more empathetic person and friend,

and brother and son and leader.

Although I’m still technically an analyst, just to be clear,

that’s the fifth defining principles.

And the lessons I learned at Haas taught me in COVID

to tear down my own walls and invite people in

and see them as complex three dimensional beings

that they truly are off the screen.

Because in Berkeley, you have to walk a mile

in someone’s Birkenstocks to see who they are.

And we’ve gotta try to make this big, scary world

a little more familiar, a little smaller.

Now, we can’t do it alone,

and we’ve all got to do is try to help each other

and decide what to do with the time that’s given to us.

So, congrats Haas and thank you for your time.

(audience clapping)

Lot of stuff up here now.

(audience clapping)

  • So, I think Joe is definitely Dean material.

So now we turn to the full-time MBA Class of 2021.

(audience clapping)

You spent the second half of your MBA program

studying remotely, working remotely,

taking meetings by Zoom and then studying remotely at night

or over the weekend, it was not for the faint of heart,

but you persevered and you made it work,

showing the kind of confidence

that doesn’t require attitude,

you nourished your connections to your classmates

and built a community that will serve you a lifetime.

We are proud of you.

You also went above and beyond yourselves.

So, let us recognize these fearless leaders

with our Defining Leadership Principle awards.

Again, as I announced the recipients of the DLP awards,

will they please stand.

Again, I ask our guests to hold your applause

until I’ve read all the names.

I also ask our recipients to remain standing

until all of the awards are announced.

The recipient of the Question the Status Quo Award

is Fayzan Gowani.

(audience clapping)

Fayzan served as VP of education for Q{Haas

and work diligently to build expertise in understanding

and mitigating bias in artificial intelligence.

As part of the Q community,

as a South Asian who has lived outside the United States

and as a Muslim, Feizan amplified the voices of others

who didn’t always feel comfortable raising their own.

The next award is for Confidence Without Attitude.

For the class of 2021,

the recipient of that is Fede Pacheco.

(audience clapping)

Fede was a story salon coach who put his whole heart

into helping speakers tell their best stories.

He consistently took the initiative

to bring people together,

for his classmates, he was a mentor always.

Finally, Students Always,

and the recipient of that award is Jose Ramon Avellana.

(audience clapping)

In nominating Jose, his classmates said you could feel

how deeply committed Jose was to the learning of others.

He served as a consortium liaison,

a member of the Diversity Admissions Council,

a dialogues on race facilitator,

a leadership communications GSI,

and a Haas undergraduate URM mentor.

Actually, I have one more award,

the Beyond Yourself Award.

The Beyond Yourself Award goes to Kendall Bills.

(audience clapping)

Kendall served in numerous formal roles

that reflected her commitment to equity and inclusion.

But her classmates also spoke of the informal ways

in which she engaged personally in showing compassion,

building community and in her advocacy and allyship

for social and racial justice.

Congratulations to all our award winners.

(audience clapping)

You may be seated.

And now the academic achievement award for the student

with the highest GPA of the class of 2021,

this award goes to Devan Courtois.


(audience clapping)

Devan had a GPA of 3.974.

So now, we will hear from the graduating student speaker

for the full-time MBA class of 2021, Fede Pacheco.

(audience clapping)

Fede is now a partner and channel marketing manager

at Microsoft.

I’m sure he’s bringing the confidence without the attitude

that he unfailingly showed at Haas.

About Fede, one of his classmates wrote,

“If I think about someone who has most contributed

to my learning and my growth at Haas it would be Fede,

and I am positive I am not alone in saying that.”

Please join me in welcoming Fede Pacheco.

(audience clapping)

  • This is so cool.

I told my mom, if I start speaking in Spanish,

like wave at me.

It’s not a couple of days ago,

it feels that

I hear in the school of defining principles

what’s your defining moment?

It’s week zero.

It’s actually week minus one,

we’re in the fourth day of Matt Verbal Camp,

and I gotta share my defining moment with someone

in the room, no idea who it is,

I only known everyone for a week or so.

So, I subconsciously start walking towards the left

of the Anderson auditorium towards the exit, unvoluntarily.

And I see, Aisha, standing right next to her,

I’m not worried about what I’ll say.

I know exactly the story that I could share,

and Don Moore told me once that I was too trusting,

so I wasn’t concerned about sharing the story.

I’m mostly concerned with is it a story worth sharing?

Is this something that she’ll remember?

Would it means something to her?

And then she goes, you go first.

I wish I could tell myself so many things at that moment

about all the defining moments

that I would have from that moment,

and everybody in the room would have from that moment,

and for the next two years.

Only a couple of weeks later,

I would find myself in microeconomics class,

the professor would say, talk amongst yourselves,

what would you do?

And I turn right, and naturally,

that person is already talking to the other person.

So, I turn left and I see David Brown-Dawson, DBD.

And I’m like, no, no, you weren’t my plan B, let me explain.

But I naturally started thinking,

okay, we’re gonna get caught cold here,

but I’ve also never introduced myself,

I don’t know who he is, like, how do we do this?

Like I read the case, I don’t know,

I don’t wanna sound like too nerdy,

but also, like I’m not, I don’t know,

like so many thoughts in my head at that moment.

I wish I could tell myself that it doesn’t matter

what happened in that moment.

First of all, because if we get caught cold,

Oski will clap anyway.

And mostly because I would run into him

many, many more times in the MBA journey,

through serious negotiation classes about selling a bike

that had to be yellow or light green or something.

And also in some breakout rooms

where we would all both admit that we did not read the case

and maybe just catch up after long, long time

having not seeing each other there.

It feels like it was the exact next day

when my phone vibrates and I’m all trapped in my apartment

and I get a message from Ade saying,

“Hey, I got the job, I’m so happy.

Thank you for your help.”

And I think that I’m so happy for her,

as an international student getting your first job in the US

at Microsoft and same OPT.

And it’s just a perfect journey for her,

and I’m so grateful,

especially cause I feel like I did nothing,

I only told her what I did to get rejected.

‘Cause I had the interview like the week before

and it starts coming to my head

that I am still not there yet.

There’s quite the journey that I would face

for the next weeks and months

and what seemed like ages until I find my own path.

And we all find our own struggling path

across canceled internship, canceled interviews

and all that craziness.

I wish I could tell myself that it’ll all right

at the end and we will all find our own path.

And just time flies.

It’s April, 2021, and I am entering this packed bar

for the first time in century maybe.

And I see my PowerPoint magic crew, Johnny and Kevin,

and I see stories on coaches and my study team

and cohort friends,

and I just see everybody and I’m so overwhelmed

‘cause there’s so many people I want to catch up with.

It feels like that sunny shining courtyard in first year.

It actually feels like that today,

even with the second years here.

So memorable because I remember that feeling of,

oh, I actually have friends,

I actually have a couple of people I could talk to here

and I haven’t met him for more than a week.

And what I remember the most about that night

is that in April of 2021,

we were all talking about how exciting it would be

and how we would survive the next following weeks,

and not talking about all that we missed

and all that we could have had

and all the things that should have been better,

and if only this or that,

and we would hop on a bus to go to camp

and have the Haas roast

and the rematch of the cohort Olympics

and the Backstreet Boys one more time,

and to listen to the lyrics of the Red Haas Chili Peppers

one more time.

I wish I could slow down every second of those weeks

until that truly remarkable Haas boats for one last time

that not that powerless, crooked sinking boat would ruin,

not at all, not a story worth sharing today.

So many little but significant defining moments

through two years, that we could characterize

as many things, unprecedented, or any other buzzwords.

I wish I could tell myself all that and more

when I hear you go first, and especially when I hear,

I should say you go first,

I wanna tell myself how defining that conversation,

doesn’t matter again what I say,

it would form such an important bond in only a few minutes

that would define not only my friendship with that person,

but how I see Haas, how I see our class

and how I would trust all of you so much.

That’s what I want to remind myself when somebody asks,

what was your MBA like?

Because it’s so, so, so, so, so hard to separate that joy

with pain and the grieve of the what could have been

or how it could been.

What I’ve chosen to do and decided to do,

this is very important, so I’m gonna at channel all of you,

sorry Bing, sorry ADT.

It is a defined moment all ready.

We’re all here today

deciding whether we choose to relive it with joy

or with a little bit of something else.

And I know what I want,

what I feel when I see all of you from here

is that I’m so excited to have one more weekend

today, tomorrow,

I’m so excited to listen to the Oski chant one more time

and I’m so excited for one more (speaks foreign language).

thank you.

(students clapping)

  • Thank you so much Fede,

I will also think about what you said,

to remember the moments of joy

and not dwell on the moments of pain

and sacrifice and the challenges.

So, the moment you have all been waiting for,

at least, I think some of you have been waiting for

has arrived, we will now recognize the full-time candidates

for the class of 2020 and 2021

for the degree Master of Business Administration,

assisting me today will be Jamie Breen,

the assistant Dean for MBA programs at Haas,

and Jennifer Bridge, the director of student experience

for the full-time program

and professor assistant Dean for academic affairs,

Don Moore & Cheit teaching award winner Kimberly MacPherson

Stacey Danielle King.

(audience clapping)

Celeste Fawaso.

Evan Wright.

(audience clapping)

Max Silva.

(audience clapping)

Christian Gonzalez.

(audience clapping)

Colin Redlin.

(audience clapping)

Jan Phillip Frank Dietrich Prider.

(audience clapping)

Akanka Mabagwa.

Adolfo (indistinct).

(audience clapping)

Anna Christina Alanis.

(audience clapping)

Hello baby.

Nicole Simone, Austin Thomas and more.

(audience clapping)

Olayinka Omalore.

(audience clapping)

  • Thank you.

  • David Brown Dawson.

Randall Nixon.

  • Thank you so much.

  • Adelaga Valencia.

Erica Herrada.

(audience clapping)

Andre Charbeney.

Louisa Pisinoto.

(audience clapping)

We’ll give it a moment.

Jeremy Benseba.

Taisse Esteves.

(audience clapping)

Wei Lee.

Ding Wong.

Niang Joe.

April Minging Ju.

Giada Tu.

Sandy Leo.

Shawn Juang.

Santiago Korea.

Juan Cantu.

Keiya Dosenap.

(audience cheering)

Odeid Bahar,

(audience cheering)

Paulina Bonman

(audience cheering)

Lucy Wagner,

(audience cheering)

Augustine Sentilian.

(audience cheering)

Steven Brisley.

(audience cheering)

Madeline Vaughn.

(audience cheering)

Michelle Kim Gorseka.

(audience cheering)

Devin Courtois.

(audience cheering)


Paula Lorena Fernandez Parker.

(audience cheering)

Eva Gufarn.

(audience cheering)

Louis Juan.

(audience cheering)

Marcus Ferrari.

(audience cheering)

We’re gonna slow it down for a minute, there’s a pile up.

  • Marcus.

  • Rick Wick Grover.

(audience cheering)

Toby Tan.

(audience cheering)

Fernando Rees.

(audience cheering)

Jorge Morale.

(audience cheering)

Shine Mau.

(audience cheering)

Jack Kirby Miller.

(audience cheering)

Carla Orega.

(audience cheering)

Silky Lampka.

(audience cheering)

Hind (speaks gibberish) Katukta.

(audience cheering)

Giles Templeman.

(audience cheering)

Dennis Hauser.

(audience cheering)

Arman Armen.

(audience cheering)

Palen Salazar.

(audience cheering)

Celso Garcia.

(audience cheering)

Luis Arnoboldi.

(audience cheering)

Felix Fernan Shordeck.

(audience cheering)

  • We need you to hold.

  • Raul Diaz.

(audience cheering)

Elean Garcia Amor.

(audience cheering)

Alex Steiner.

(audience cheering)

Juliana Pugleze.

(audience cheering)

Antonio Siyudad.

(audience cheering)

  • Jules.

Oh yeah.

  • Alberto Granados.

(audience cheering)

Stephen Turnakof.

(audience cheering)

Matthew Nuesenow.

(audience cheering)

Min Lou.

(audience cheering)

Neha Jane.

(audience cheering)

Connie Si.

(audience cheering)

Victoria Chen.

Joana Kenyan.

Brian Shane.

Brandon McKeean.

Adam Dominic.

  • Thank you.

  • Joey Weinstein Carns.

Maria Antolinez.

Alberto Gutierez.

Swamen Neta.

Adam Burgess.

Ashis Pot.

Metayes Frolic.

Joseph Roy Parker IV.

Margorie Kishomong Kitree.

Catherine Reynolds.

Joseph Hasin.

(audience cheering)

Quinn Sha.

Andres Romero.

(audience cheering)

Matthew Brian Walt.

(audience cheering)

We’re gonna hold for a second.

Emmanuel Ozuna Vargas.

(audience cheering)

Miguel Lorena.

(audience cheering)

Kyle Rollick.

(audience cheering)

Trishla Jean.

  • Thank you.

  • David Miller.

(audience cheering)

Damien Pendergrast.

(audience cheering)

Noah Plat.

(audience cheering)

Madori Chikomatsu.

(audience cheering)

Fiona Adams.

(audience cheering)

Courtney Seller.

(audience cheering)

Isha Paul.

(audience cheering)

Catherine Linquist.

(audience cheering)

Isabella Doty.

(audience cheering)

Gina Haney.

(audience cheering)

Caroline Gizon.

(audience cheering)

Sarah Cohen.

(audience cheering)

Erica Rodine.

(audience cheering)

Kyle Warner.

(audience cheering)

Benton Persons.

(audience cheering)

Jeff Sinmik.

(audience cheering)

Eric Sorenson.

(audience cheering)

Yen Kai Wong.

(audience cheering)

  • Oh yes.

  • Ran Fu.

(audience cheering)

Chigapu Kodira.

(audience cheering)

Ensho Kawatra.

(audience cheering)

Apaned Dia.

(audience cheering)

Jessica Slogovic.

Carla Patillo.

(audience cheering)

Esge Karagach.

(audience cheering)

Chandler Sherman.

(audience cheering)

Christine Leery.

(audience cheering)

Alex Losberg.

(audience cheering)

Molly Zines.

(audience cheering)

  • We gotta pile up here.

  • Give us a minute.

Hillary Plat.

(audience cheering)

Alex McLeash.

(audience cheering)

Anthony Riada Louie Lua.

(audience cheering)

Jonathan Lamb.

(audience cheering)

Rodrigo Morale.

(audience cheering)

Deborah Tan.

(audience cheering)

  • Thank you very much.

  • Alan Man.

(audience cheering)

Paula Maureen Larson.

(audience cheering)

Tommy Larson.

(audience cheering)

Nisha Garg.

(audience cheering)

Catherine Hawthorne.

(audience cheering)

Jesse Tang.

(audience cheering)

Lucas (indistinct)

(audience cheering)

Erica Saltin.

(audience cheering)

  • Congratulations.

  • Marina Maerma.

Tima Ade.

(audience cheering)

Donald Wang.

(audience cheering)

Lauren Grimino.

(audience cheering)

Joyce Yao.

(audience cheering)

Allison Gilbert.

(audience cheering)

  • We just need to pause.

Carolyn Henderson.

(audience cheering)

Alex Saul.

(audience cheering)

Michael Hodge.

(audience cheering)

Scotty Mead.

(audience cheering)

Eduardo Rotor Morrea.

(audience cheering)

Cece Bi Sekau.

Hun Gen Kim.

(audience cheering)

Malia Latin.

(audience cheering)

Sarah Elise Boysere.

(audience cheering)

Brian Tom.

(audience cheering)

Kevino Chan.

(audience cheering)

Moonshian Ciao.

(audience cheering)

Fiona Choi.

(audience cheering)

Lu Lieu.

(audience cheering)

Chrisette Togomez.

(audience cheering)

Mandy Hu.

(audience cheering)

Michelle Jong.

(audience cheering)

Ariana Chu.

(audience cheering)

Dunya Panich.

(audience cheering)

Harry Goldberg.

(audience cheering)

Steve Simon.

(audience cheering)

Bethany Ellen Bogan.

(audience cheering)

Emily Brocklin.

(audience cheering)

Fay Yu.

(audience cheering)

Alexandra Dagastino.

(audience cheering)

Mark Shyness.

(audience cheering)

Kylie Sale.

(audience cheering)

Douglas Polok.

(audience cheering)

Give it a hold a for a second.

Dalton Guthrie.

(audience cheering)

Josh Rines.

(audience cheering)

Catherine Hall.

(audience cheering)

Mary Yao.

(audience cheering)

Carolyn Vo.

(audience cheering)

Guadalupe Nanrigez.

(audience cheering)

Ha Du.

Feizan Amina Gowani.

(audience cheering)

Segar Doshi.

(audience cheering)

Nicole Savage.

(audience cheering)

Josh Yonah.

(audience cheering)

Katherine Palm Star Pardon.

(audience cheering)

Benjamin Orwin.

(audience cheering)

Boy Johnson.

(audience cheering)

Malika Chala.

(audience cheering)

Sarah Ahmed.

(audience cheering)

  • Thank you.

  • Daniel Oscar Lazarus.

(audience cheering)

Abinav Dezhmuk.

(audience cheering)

Yu Yang Zoe.

(audience cheering)

Tian Wong.

(audience cheering)

Elizabeth Rose Aronson,

(audience cheering)

Maggie O’Neil.

(audience cheering)

Gina Dits.

(audience cheering)

Jio Gian.

(audience cheering)

David Boulevard.

(audience cheering)

Merch Ewings.

(audience cheering)

Victor Gorachachi Garcia.

(audience cheering)

(speaks gibberish)

Kimberly Mendes.

(audience cheering)

Kate Smith.

(audience cheering)

Luke Headland.

(audience cheering)

Owen Teach.

(audience cheering)

Matt Toterello.

(audience cheering)

F Hernandez.

(audience cheering)

Andrew Sublet.

(audience cheering)

Pat Hide.

(audience cheering)

Aiden Leonard.

(audience cheering)

Andrew Blut.

(audience cheering)

Sam O’Reilly.

(audience cheering)


Maria Delmar Londono.

(audience cheering)

Andre Esido Trueba.

Stephen Gian.

(audience cheering)

Megan Dao.

(audience cheering)

Kara Hammer.

(audience cheering)

Joshua Summer.

(audience cheering)

Kate Tomlinson.

(audience cheering)

Ross Elsby.

(audience cheering)

Erica Renson.

(audience cheering)

Nina Matsumoto.

(audience cheering)

Stephanie Rank.

(audience cheering)

Mike Jordy.

(audience cheering)

Will Bricker.

(audience cheering)

Patricia Sens Pastor.

(audience cheering)

Louis Serena.

(audience cheering)

Grant Stanley.

(audience cheering)

Alex Klein.

(audience cheering)

Hermon Res.

(audience cheering)

Tony Yuan.

(audience cheering)

Benny Johnson.

(audience cheering)

Anise LaRosa.

(audience cheering)

Dev Patel.

(audience cheering)

Baron NJ.

(audience cheering)

Brian Bach.

(audience cheering)

  • Hey Brian.

  • Jose Luisa Avalos.

(audience cheering)

Douglas Sierra.

(audience cheering)

Sonya Parmar.

(audience cheering)

Osif Muhammad.

(audience cheering)

Numratha Mani.

(audience cheering)

Noha Nuwea.

(audience cheering)

Kritika (indistinct).

Zenot Nanji.

(audience cheering)

Rohan De Suza.

(audience cheering)

Mihi Mayhan.

(audience cheering)

Adija Sukiya.

(audience cheering)

Jay Wayne.

(audience cheering)

Santiago Pezoni.

(audience cheering)

Seili Shmohapatra.

(audience cheering)

  • Hello.

  • Mark Jalil.

(audience cheering)

Fernando Castillo.

(audience cheering)

Brian Twedel.

(audience cheering)

Dakota Campbell.

(audience cheering)

  • Slow it down just a little.

  • Joseph Burt.

(audience cheering)

Sam Atwood.

(audience cheering)

Joe Sadowski.

(audience cheering)

Fede Pacheko.

(audience cheering)

So at this time, will all the candidates for the degree

Berkeley Master of Business Administration

from the full-time program please rise.

(audience cheering)

By virtue of the authority vested in me

by the president of the University of California

and the chancellor of UC Berkeley,

I grant you the degree Master of Business Administration.

(audience cheering)

You may now switch your tassels

if you are wearing tassels to the left.

(audience cheering)

Please be seated.

You have now commenced a new lifelong relationship

with the Haas School in Berkeley as alumni.

We welcome you to this new distinction.

Before I bring the ceremony need to a close,

I would like to invite you all

to join us for the commencement reception,

which is at 2323 Broadway,

it’s just a few minutes walk from here.

We are full of pride at your achievement.

We are in awe of your courage and the resolve you showed

throughout your time with us.

And we eagerly anticipate your great accomplishments

in the future.

Congratulations, thank you all for coming.

And this commencement ceremony is now concluded.

(audience cheering)

(orchestral music)