Undergrad Program Launches New Experiential Learning Series

Haas undergraduates are benefiting from an unprecedented series of Friday experiential workshops this semester covering charisma and leadership.

The series is so popular that entrance to the classroom now has to be monitored to ensure that only admitted students actually enter.

Taught by leadership development expert Olivia Fox Cabane, 43 hand-picked students meet for five sessions through Nov. 12. The series, titled "Charisma and Leadership: The Science of Trust, Influence, and Persuasion," is part of an expansion of experiential learning offerings in the Undergraduate Program this year made possible by a tripling of funds from the Dean's Office. The sessions are free to students whose applications were accepted.

Cabane, who is regularly quoted in the news, explains her expertise as “the actual science behind charisma.’’ She is giving students techniques that she originally developed for Harvard and MIT, including pointers on the art of persuasion, empathy, and dealing with difficult people, among other topics.

“I put students in situations to make them feel uncomfortable and then get them comfortable with that, as well as having them experience what it feels like to be charismatic’’ says Cabane, who is often featured in such media as the New York Times, Bloomberg, and BusinessWeek and was recently profiled in the Wall Street Journal.

Haas undergraduate Yuliya Sas, BS 11, hopes to tap some of the skills that she gains–especially “how to motivate others to do a good job’’–when she begins her new job as an assurance associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers in fall 2011.

“I want to apply what I learned right away," Sas says. "I think it will help me improve and manage the organization.’’

To learn more about future experiential learning opportunities contact Karren Bautista Tanisaki, a student services adviser in the Undergraduate Program, at 510-642-1421 or [email protected].

Olivia Fox Cabane