Students to Cheer Culmination of Undergraduate Journey


More than 375 undergraduate students will receive their diplomas May 19 in a ceremony beginning at 9 a.m. at the Greek Theatre.

Entrepreneur Mark DiPaola, BS 99, will deliver the commencement address. The chairman and co-founder of inMarket, founder of Vantage Media, and member of the Dean’s Advisory Circle at Haas has established a strong career in startups since launching his first company at the age of 15.

Graduating students who will be recognized at the ceremony include Departmental Citation winner Ja Yoon (Staci) Heo, who had the highest business and cumulative grade point average, and Haas Community Fellows winner Adena Ishii. Nishan Budhraja was selected by his classmates to be the student speaker.

Staci Heo held leadership positions in the Berkeley Business Society; helped prepare tax returns for lower-income families; tutored elementary school students; and provided pro-bono consulting services to CommunityGrows, a nonprofit involved in environmental education of lower-income children.

Adena Ishii logged 1,800 volunteer hours during her time at Haas—more than double those of the student with the second highest number of hours. She served as a Haas public service leader and the program coordinator of the Transfer Service Community (TSC), a program she co-founded that helps students get involved in their communities and transfer from community college to four-year universities.

Nishan Budhraja, the student speaker, has most recently served as president of Berkeley Consulting after participating on several teams with the nonprofit, student-run consulting organization on campus.

In addition, Champion of Culture awards will be given to four graduating seniors who exemplify the four Haas Defining Principles:

Cody Feng: Beyond Yourself
Feng served a leadership role in Berkeley Project, one of the largest community service organizations on campus.

Raymond Wong: Student Always
Wong will be honored for always looking for the next opportunity to figure something out, whether it's a new skill, a new gadget, or a deep lesson about himself, and also was credited with a desire to help others learn as well.

Tyler Coster: Confidence Without Attitude
Coster will be recognized for his willingness to help others and share his knowledge, experiences, and ideas with genuine delight.

Kiron Chandy: Question the Status Quo
Chandy will be recognized for her combination of scholarship and world citizenship, demonstrated through her leadership in co-founding and expanding Consult Your Community, a program in which college students provide pro bono consulting services to low-income and minority small business owners in their communities.

Job Market

The graduating seniors, meanwhile, are entering a job market where demand remains firm on the heels of a strong 2013, says David Woodward, the UC Berkeley Career Center counselor for Haas undergraduates.

“The traditional areas for higher levels of recruiting — accounting, consulting, and finance — show an increased or sustained demand. Other areas, such as sales and marketing, showed an increasing level of activity," Woodward says. "Organizations have stated a desire to start or grow their recruitment activities at Haas, which suggests the demand for high-caliber Haas students is set to continue to grow.”

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