Class. On the days when the weather, winds, and temperature align like the stars, I walk over to Haas with a friend to take class outside in the courtyard. It’s a simple way for me to feel connected to campus. And, this gives me a reason to get out of the house and breathe in the fresh air.
The two things I would caution when deciding to sit at Haas are glitchy WiFi and easy distractions. You’d think that because there are less people using up the bandwidth, the internet connectivity would not be a problem. However, it is finicky and there’s nothing I can do about that. On top of that, the Haas Courtyard is a public space that has always been (and will always be) a social place. There’s a magical serendipity that comes with unexpected interactions and exciting conversations. The only drawback is how distracting this can be as you are trying to sit through an online class can mean less focus and more side conversations. My tip: Headphones. When class is the only thing I can hear, I’m less inclined to focus on anything else.
Study Session #2. After class at the Courtyard, I’ll take a nice walk home and enjoy the fresh air (weather permitting). Then, it’ll start up the final push for class assignments for the day. Most recently, I’ve been spending time writing an essay on Amazon Delivery and Corporate Social Responsibility for UGBA 107, the Social, Political, and Ethical Environment of Business.
Between gathering research and actually writing about the harmful environmental impacts of fast delivery, I’ve realized I had a growing list of questions. Tip: write all your questions down and go through them before you email your graduate student instructor (GSI). As you review them, sometimes you realize that questions are no longer relevant and can be deleted. The questions that remain can easily be sent with a quick email. This way is often faster and more efficient than waiting to attend office hours, if you are pressed for time.
Dinner. Some days, dinner is an hour-long ordeal of pots and pans and other days it’s a matter of the microwave. It is all dependent on how busy I am and my energy levels. More often than not, I like to break up the day with a cooking session. I love making dishes like pasta with sausages and mushrooms or making a salad with avocado and tuna.
As a college student who is busy most of the time, brief pockets of free time like this are a valuable commodity that must be stretched to the limit. When else do I just have an hour to do whatever I want? Without a doubt, everytime I cook, I have my laptop open streaming a show or a football game. Right now, I am enjoying The Great British Baking Show. There’s something nostalgic about hearing British accents from my time studying abroad in London and something entertaining watching bakers struggle through a challenge only to be victorious at the end.
Wine Class. It is not often that I get to take a non-academic class. This semester, I decided to take the plunge and I haven’t looked back. ENVECON 185, the Production and Business of Beer, Wine, and Spirits, is a fascinating 2-hour class. Here, our teacher Dan Gordon, the CEO of Gordon Bierch Beer Brewery, invites guest speakers from the beer, wine, and spirits industries to come speak with our class, share some wisdom, and teach us everything we need to know about these drinks. It is a highly informative and interesting class to share the practical knowledge that students can use for the rest of their life. I would highly recommend it. There’s no other way I would have known that oysters go well with Saubignon Blanc.
Book Writing. The end of the night is always a quiet time at my apartment. My roommates are often in their respective rooms, which leaves the living room open for me to hunker down and get my creative juices flowing. My favorite moments of the day are often during this time where I research and learn about the origin stories of fascinating founder CEOs. Some nights are filled with watching interviews of Howard Schultz talk about his journey to transform Starbucks with Alex Rodriguez and Can Katz on their interview show The Corp; listening to podcasts with Vicky Tsai, the founder of Tatcha, on How I Built This with Guy Raz; and typing transcripts of interviews I’ve done with professors.
I’ve spent more time researching and learning about people and business than actually writing my first manuscript. For audio or visual learners, I cannot recommend more listening to successful people speak about the topics where they are experts. This process has taught me a new avenue of learning which doesn’t involve a lecture or graphs but rather everyday lessons and best practices to enhance my life. This “research” is necessary for my book, obviously, but has also become necessary for my own personal growth as well.
That’s how I keep busy. With that, I want to leave you all with this question: How do you spend your day?
My name is Grace Huang, a rising senior studying Business Administration at the University of California-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and a member of the founding class of the Global Management Program. Passionate about traveling, writing, running, and finding the perfect scrambled egg recipe, I want to explore the world at the speed New Yorkers walk.