By Danner Doud-Martin
The fall semester is in full swing at Berkeley Haas — and so is IBD as we prepare for the approaching new year and the 2019 Full-Time MBA IBD program that launches in January. IBD Executive Director David Richardson has been traveling the world, talking to potential IBD clients about projects. IBD Faculty Director Frank Schultz and Associate Director Danner Doud-Martin recently spent a week interviewing IBD student Team Lead applicants.
Beginning with a list of 60 Team Lead applicants, we ended up interviewing 28 MBA candidates, then selecting a final list of 16 Team Leads. We are very excited about this new group of diverse and remarkable students and what they bring to the IBD program. They all have incredible stories that influenced their interest in being part of IBD.
Per our tradition of wanting to give the IBD community a chance to know them, we asked the newly selected Team Leads to share something about themselves and why they applied to be a Team Lead. Below you will find their answers, as well as a little bit about the amazing careers they have experienced before coming to Berkeley Haas. Enjoy!
2019 IBD Team Leads:
Adriana Bonifaz, MBA Candidate ’20
Adriana has spent the majority of her career in Lima, Peru working for the Banco de Credito del Peru as a Program Manager in the Innovation Center. When she isn’t working or leading events fostering camaraderie among her colleagues, you might find her singing.
“I think being in IBD will give me more than one good lesson that I will take forever. I believe that having the opportunity to work with people from a different culture, with different ways of looking at the world, and also with a diverse team of students, is going to help me open my mind to new ideas. In a global world it is really important to be open and to understand there are many different faces to the same coin. One must have the willingness and mindset to embrace them all and take the best of each version, so we all become better. Finally, and also very important, I want to build long-lasting relationship with my teammates and clients.” – Adriana
Alix Slosberg, MBA/MPH Candidate ‘20
Prior to Haas, Alix worked for Social Finance Inc., a nonprofit impact investing firm specializing in pay for success projects. Prior to working for Social Finance, Alix spent a year working for the Clinton Health Access Initiative in Swaziland. In her free time, Alix has taught herself how to play the guitar.
“The opportunity to be an IBD Team Lead is a significant reason I came to Haas. I am really excited to apply the management concepts we’ve been learning in class to a real-world client project, and to have the experience of leading an international engagement from beginning to end – starting with team selection and concluding with an in-country presentation with company leadership.” – Alix
Brian Bell, MBA Candidate ’20
After spending four years working at the Acara Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, Brian lived and worked in South and Central America as the Director of Programs at Agora Partnerships. Agora is an entrepreneurship organization serving growing ventures in Latin America. Brian also enjoys running marathons and cycling.
“From leadership experience to emerging market travel, from collaborative teamwork to new shared experiences, the opportunity for IBD lead was a reason I came to Haas and I’m excited to take on the challenge! For me IBD is a real opportunity to work closely with passionate Haasies and a committed management team, while having a big impact on a real world growth challenge.” – Brian
Fay Yu, MBA Candidate ’20
Throughout her career Fay has worked on multiple projects as a consultant with Deloitte including a two year stint in San José, Costa Rica. She also coordinated logistics for Deloitte’s international pro bono consulting trip to Darién, Panamá, where she and her colleagues delivered sustainable technology based solutions at 5 local organizations.
“When I think about the IBD experience, I am most excited about the opportunity to learn about the unique business problems faced by our client and deep-dive into the culture that influences them this coming summer!” – Fay
Felix Schadeck, MBA Candidate ’20
When Felix is not working for INNPACT, an Impact Investing-focused Consulting firm located in Luxembourg City, he serves as the Founder and President of MPG Responsibility Now, a non-profit that builds and operates schools for refugee children from Myanmar.
“I am most excited about the opportunity of being placed in a business and cultural environment that will be new to our whole team. I’ve always found that tackling a steep learning curve with like-minded people makes for exceptional bonding opportunities and has the potential to create friendships that last a lifetime.” – Felix
Jennifer Nixon, MBA Candidate ’20
Before joining her peers at Haas, Jennifer was a Deputy Chief Operations Officer in the U.S. Army. Jennifer has received numerous awards for her service, including the Bronze Star Medal, a wartime award given for exceptionally commendable service affecting a large scale of responsibility. She is also a dedicated Godmother.
“I am excited to jump into the unknown. A team I’ve never worked with, an industry I’ve never experienced, and a culture and country I’ve likely never been to! The whole point of business school for me is to pivot into the corporate world – one that is altogether unfamiliar to me – prepared to be an effective leader. Being an IBD Team Lead will allow me to do exactly that. Doing this job in the safety of the school environment will help to build my confidence in the skills I bring to the table and allow me to see how those skills work in a corporate environment.” – Jennifer
Joseph Bird, MBA Candidate ’20
Most of Joseph career has been in India working for various NGO’s, social enterprises and most recently as the CEO of Reality Tours & Travel, in Mumbai, India. When he has free time, Joseph is climbing mountains, cycling across countries and running half, full and ultra marathons to raise funds for various causes.
“I’m really excited to take of the role of IBD team lead as it represents a great opportunity to take my experience leading teams across the social impact spear in India and apply those skills to new cultures and industries. To me, IBD represents a unique opportunity to take what I’m learning here in the classroom and apply it to create positive change with our program partners.” – Joseph Bird
Joshua Summer, MBA Candidate ’20
Josh joins Haas as U.S. Army Veteran, where he was Captain and served all over the world, specifically in Afghanistan and South Korea. Like Jennifer, he has received many honors and awards for his service. Josh is also a Service to School ambassador and mentors veterans applying to graduate programs. Josh speaks conversational German.
“I applied to be a Team Lead to challenge myself in a global setting. Knowing that business is increasingly global, I was excited at the opportunity to step outside of the classroom and gain first-hand experience working with international clients. Also, as a veteran, I have a lot of experience with formal leadership. With IBD, I am excited to practice more informal leadership with classmates from diverse backgrounds. Finally, IBD will provide an invaluable opportunity for me to learn about and practice consulting, managing clients, and working remotely. I am excited to not just develop personally but to make Haas proud by leading a team to solve an important business problem for an organization in need.” – Josh
Julian Florez, MBA Candidate ’20
Julian has spent his career working as a consultant for StratCo Consultores S.A. located in Bogata, Colombia. StratCo is a spinoff of McKinsey by two partners who started McKinsey’s Colombian operation. Julian focus is in the financial sector. As a student at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Julian went abroad as an exchange student in both Portugal and France.
“Being part of IBD was one of my goals while being at Haas. I wanted to be exposed to work with people from different backgrounds, build a relationship with an international client and get to know a different culture in a work environment. This is why I did not doubt when I had the opportunity to apply to be a Team Lead. I am sure we are going to build a close-knit working environment and that we are going to learn from each other past experiences, which will help us do a great job for our client!” – Julian
Katharine Hawthorne, MBA Candidate ’20
Until last December 2017, Katharine was a professional dancer and founder of Katharine Hawthorne Dance. Concurrently, she worked at the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco, as a senior contract manager. Jennifer speaks conversational Mandarin and French.
“I value creativity and collaboration, and working in a global business context requires these skills in spades. As an IBD team lead, I am excited to facilitate a group of my peers, question my own cultural assumptions, and make a meaningful contribution to an organization.” – Katharine
Kyle Rolnick, MBA Candidate ’20
Prior to attending Haas and working for Epic Systems, a medical records software company, Kyle lived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. For three years he taught ESL and created English language courses for students preparing them for a public service exam. He left Rio a Brazilian music lover and karaoke enthusiast.
“I applied to be a Team Lead because I’m excited about the IBD program and wanted to lead a team of very talented students to make a positive impact on an international organization. I love hands-on learning and see this opportunity as a great way to help leverage everyone’s existing skills while building on them by tackling unique problems in unique cross-cultural settings. I have high expectations for our experience and want everyone to walk away from it not only proud of the work we did, but also proud of their personal growth through it.” – Kyle
Nicholas Matcheck, MBA Candidate ’20
After departing the Navy in 2016, Nick went on a language learning sabbatical in Latin America and Spain. He then became an Economic Development Specialist/NGO Advisor in the Peace Corps in Capiibary, Paraguay. Before coming to Haas, Nick earned his Certificate in Project Management from University of California, Los Angeles.
“I love working with great people on important projects and I know IBD at Haas will be that kind of experience. Working overseas will be even more exciting. I can’t wait to find out my project and team and get started!” – Nick
Nina Ho, MBA Candidate ’20
Nina spent the last year before coming to Haas as a senior consultant at Clerestory Consulting, a boutique consulting firm specializing in change management, technology adoption, and process improvement. Nina has numerous certifications; including Project Management Professional (PMP), Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, and HCI Talent Acquisition Specialist.
“There are two things I am hoping to get out IBD. First, I want to make a lasting impact; as a lead, I see my role as a facilitator, ensuring that both my team can thrive and our client feels supported. Secondly, I am excited to travel and experience a new culture. Much of my personal learning has come from spending time with people who have lived very differently than I have.” – Nina
Perrie Briskin – MBA/MPH Candidate ’20
Prior to Haas, Perrie worked for Population Services International (PSI) in Washington and Yangon, Myanmar. Her super fun job was as an Associate Producer working in New York with clients like The Notorious B.I.G. Estate, Wiffle Ball, and Kobayashi, ESPN, Kellogg’s, and the Billie Jean King’s Foundation.
“Working internationally prior to Haas was one of the most formative experiences of my life. I applied to be an IBD Team Lead for the opportunity to guide my peers in an experience that I hope will be just as meaningful.” – Perrie
Roland Ekop, MBA Candidate ’20
Roland has spent the majority of his career as Management Consulting Senior Analyst for Accenture in Nigeria. Roland is a dedicated volunteer and has offered his services pro bono for nonprofit organizations through the Accenture Corporate Citizenship Volunteer program and to the Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG) Nigeria.
“Beyond my interests in consulting projects, I applied for a Team Lead role because I wanted to work at the heart of a project – at the intersection of the interests of the client, the project and team members. In addition, leading a team of MBA classmates, providing and receiving feedback, and working towards a common project goal is certainly the prototypical experiential learning opportunity.” – Roland
Stephen Collins, MBA Candidate ’20
Stephen career has been at Prophet, a management consulting firm headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. As a senior associate, Stephen worked on multiple consulting projects both in Atlanta and around the globe. He also volunteered his time and expertise for the non-profit arm of Prophet and led the Atlanta office team in organizing service days and pro bono projects.
“I can’t wait to get to know my client and immerse myself fully in their industry, customer base, and challenges. Working with a new team, in a new industry, in a new geography is always a thrill and I can’t wait to see what IBD has in store for me!” – Stephen
Our newest Team Leads will start their IBD journey in January 2019, on the first day of spring semester at the “Big Reveal” IBD class. Until then, they will have to wait patiently until they find out more about their IBD project, their project client, and where they will travel for their in-country project destinations. Stay tuned for more on the IBD student Team Leads and their projects.