The acceptance rate for the University of California-Berkeley is one of the toughest of all schools in the U.S. For public schools? Only a handful are tougher to get into. The year-to-year acceptance rate hovers at less than 20%. Statistically speaking, the odds of multiple siblings from the same family getting accepted to UC-Berkeley are slim. But for Cameron and Tyler Haberman, gaining admission to the Northern California university wasn’t only a defying of the odds — it was an unseen blessing.
When the two stepped foot on Berkeley’s campus, across the Bay from San Francisco, they did so with quite a bit of trepidation. The products of public schools in Visalia, California — a small, agricultural town in California’s Central Valley — they were surrounded by in-state, out-of-state, and international students that had attended some of the country and world’s best private high schools. Besides that, the two had to weather the initial culture shock of moving from small-town and conservative California to one of the state’s biggest — and most progressive — metro areas.
“It was a pretty difficult transition because the Central Valley of California where we’re from is extremely conservative,” Cameron told us earlier this year. “When we told people we were going to Berkeley, before they would congratulate us, they’d say, ‘Don’t come back a liberal.’”
Nevertheless, the two were able to overcome their initial feeling of imposter syndrome, gain entry into the Haas School of Business (the two-year school has a separate admissions process in which only about one-third of UC-Berkeley students are granted admission), and thrive. Taking almost all Haas classes together, the twins served as each other’s support system and graduated this past May.
Walking into an internship at a prestigious firm like McKinsey and Company for the first time can be intimidating. For Abigail DeVito, a senior at Villanova University’s School of Business, the first day of her summer internship as a Summer Business Analyst at McKinsey’s Jersey City office, the feeling was just that — intimidation. But instead of the elitist and cutthroat environment DeVito expected, she was greeted by collaboration and humility.
“Everyone is humble,” DeVito told us last summer. “Once you’re there, everyone is a part of the community working on the same issues. I was very pleasantly surprised and happy to see that everyone was really, really humble about their education. There’s school spirit, but no one’s talking about it to rub it in your face.”
DeVito spent her 10-week internship jet-setting between the East Coast and Las Vegas, where her client was located. The company, which had to remain confidential, was employing McKinsey to help reach gender parity in management roles by 2025. DeVito worked on a team of four including herself and spent much of the summer implementing many classroom lessons into her internship.
“I would say that for all of our work streams, it is very collaborative between me and my manager, but my ownership involves tracking of metrics of how we’re doing, analyzing the gaps and opportunities I mentioned, and getting a general sense of gender diversity in the organization as a whole. I also have client-facing experience with VPs and above almost every day.”