Our celebration of AAPI month continues with a conversation with Celeste Fa’ai’uaso. Celeste is a senior program manager at Google and has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. She attributes her academic drive to her parents’ passion for education.
Celeste’s father grew up in American Samoa before moving to the mainland for college, and her mother, who is Mexican American, was raised by a single mom in Compton, CA. Her parents and older brother were instrumental in shaping her into the determined individual she is today.
She and host Sean Li discuss her upbringing, her father’s Samoan roots, how Pacific Islanders are a separate demographic group than Asian, and how companies can do better to support their AAPI employees.
*OneHaas Alumni Podcast is a production of Haas School of Business and is produced by University FM.*
How she discovered her passion for mechanical engineering
My dad had a lot of tools and I found out how to use a screwdriver maybe when I was like six or something. And once I found that out, I was really curious on how things worked. And so I started to take things apart in my house.
I’d get a phone and take it apart or get a radio and take it apart. And I think at first it was cute, but then my mom was like, if you’re gonna take something apart, put it back together.
Why she chose Berkeley over other schools
Haas is the perfect school for me because of the community. It’s such a small group and such amazing, caring people … You are with people who believe in you. They’re not sizing you up. They’re actually interested in who you are as a person and what are your goals, and they want you to achieve your goals.
On the Pacific Islander erasure that can happen during AAPI month
Oftentimes when I see commercials or initiatives, I don’t see Pacific Islanders, and that really makes me sad, makes me angry because I’m thinking this month is supposed to highlight us and even in this month, I don’t see me or my people, and I just don’t want people to forget the PI whenever they say AAPI or Asian and Pacific Islander.
A piece of Pacific Islander history she’s especially proud of
My Polynesian ancestors were the best mariners in the world, in human history of sailing the Pacific Islands way before Europe or Vikings were doing what they were doing. Like I’ve heard the distance they’ve sailed is equivalent to traveling from south of Mexico to Alaska. They traveled by using the stars, the currents, looking where birds were landing, and they were covering the Pacific Ocean way before people from Europe and covering a lot more space in the ocean than Vikings.
- LinkedIn Profile
- Polynesian Wayfinders And The Cosmos
- Polynesian Culture Center in Oahu, Hawaii
- Map of Pacific Islands: Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia
(Transcripts may contain a few typographical errors due to audio quality during the podcast recording.)
[00:00] Sean: Welcome to the OneHaas Alumni Podcast. I’m your host, Sean Li. And today, as part of our AAPI Celebration Month, we welcome Celeste Fa’ai’uaso. Celeste is a program manager, senior program manager, just recently promoted, at Google, which we’ll learn more about. And you are also a Pacific Islander. That’s your background, right?
[00:29] Celeste: Yes, mixed race. I’m also identified as Mexican American, but yes, also Pacific Islander. Polynesian.
[00:38] Sean: Perfect. Let’s just dive right into that. I’d love to hear origin story, hear about your family, your origins, and where you’re from.
[00:45] Celeste: I’ll start with my parents first because that’s really critical to my upbringing. So, my dad is Samoan and he grew up in American Samoa and then came to mainland U.S. for college. And my mom, she grew up in Compton, raised by a single mother and her grandmother. And so, both my parents had humble beginnings. And they really wanted a better future for their family, so they prioritized education. They both thought education was key for our success in having better opportunities than they had. Up until I was five, I lived in La Habra, California in a two-bedroom condo with my parents. And we had a family of five. My younger brother was just a baby and he was staying with my parents in the room. And then me and my older brother, he’s nine years older, so big age gap. And so, he’s just starting high school and I was just starting kindergarten and we were sharing a room.
That was my life until I was five. But obviously, our family was getting bigger, and a two-bedroom condo isn’t going to work for us. And then when my parents were looking for a house, they really looked for a good neighborhood that had a great school district. So, but they could have gotten a bigger house, but what they decided is that, “We don’t really care about, like, the size of our house. We want to make sure that our kids are in one of the best school districts in the state.” So, we moved to Diamond Bar. They have one of the best public schools in the state. And that really opened the doors for me and my siblings to have great education. I actually had a speech impediment as a child and it was very frustrating because I would talk and people couldn’t understand me, but I was very talkative. And so, it was, I’d get frustrated when people ask me, “What are you saying? Like, I don’t understand.”
So, I had to take speech classes and worked really hard to get over my speech impediment because I wanted people to understand me. And I think that helped me to become determined, and to work hard, and put my mind on something that I want. On top of that, my older brother, again, nine years older than me, I thought, I idolized my brother. He’s super smart and I felt like he did great on whatever he did in school. And so, as a middle child, I didn’t want to feel left behind. I felt a little bit in the shadow. So, I strived to do well. I love my brother, but also was competitive, like, “Okay. I want to, like, make sure I’m also doing well in school. I want to, like, do the same sports.” And that really helped me to strive for the best and push myself academically. And so, I think a combination of my parents being really focused on education, having a older brother that was a role model and inspired me to do better, and then also coming over my speech impediment all made me very focused on school and a determined individual.
[03:52] Sean: I see. What’s your dad’s background? Can you share more about that? What was his family like? And then what inspired him to come to mainland U.S.?
[04:02] Celeste: I think the Samoan culture is really about communal and it’s not about an individual and it’s about doing your role and your part in your family. So, I think my dad’s family also valued education. My paternal grandfather went to college, got a master’s, and knew the value of education, so instilled that within his kids. And then also, just a hard work ethic. I think in Samoan culture, a Polynesian culture, again, it’s not about the individual, it’s about the community. And it’s not about you, it’s what is best for the family, what’s your role, what’s your responsibility. So, it’s putting yourself last and putting others first. And so, my family is super giving, and just shows up for you and helps you out and takes care of you.
So, my dad’s a very giving, caring, thoughtful person, and saw the value in education. So, for him, he wanted to go to college, to get off the island. And a lot of people on the island stay on the island and the only ways out really are you leave to go to college or you join the military. I think people in Samoa, American Samoa, are most represented per capita in the military. It’s a small island, but so many people join the military to get out and have a better opportunity, that they are overrepresented in the military when you just look at per capita numbers.
[05:38] Sean: Right. What did your dad come here to study?
[05:41] Celeste: He came here to study computer science.
[05:43] Sean: Oh, nice.
[05:44] Celeste: He actually also wanted to play football and had dreams of going to the NFL but unfortunately, he had really bad knee injuries because of football. But was really smart, did computer science. He has a really inspiring story. He graduated college, but then it was really hard for him to find a job even though he had computer science and he graduated in the ’80s, so computer science is relevant and so, that’s the start of technology really advancing. And so, you would think-
[06:14] Sean: Still budding.
[06:15] Celeste: Yeah. So, you would think that he would have all these great opportunities and maybe he would work at Microsoft at the very beginning or something like that, but that wasn’t the case. He actually had a hard time and couldn’t find a job even for his degree or for being a college graduate. He had to work very labor-intensive jobs, at a oil refinery, or cleaning up airplanes, or unpacking luggage. So, he did a lot of manual work and I think he thought, very frustrated, that he worked so hard and had a degree but didn’t have anything to show for it. But it was a freak accident. He was working at Texaco, in a oil refinery, and there was an explosion where he could have died.
He literally was blown a hundred feet across the air and you could feel the explosion miles away in Southern California. And so, because of that, he had to work within the office and not in a labor job. He became employee of the month and got to go to this conference with all the other leads of Texaco and other employees of the month. And so, when he was there, that my mom was at the table and she was just sitting there, chit-chatting with whoever’s near her. And the person that came to her was just asking her, “Hey, how are you liking Texaco? Do you work here?” And she was like, “Oh, I don’t work here. My husband works here.” And my mom, she really likes to put her heart on the table. And so, she told this person actually, like, “I’m not happy with Texaco. Like, my husband, like, almost died. He has a computer science degree. Like, I don’t feel he’s getting the opportunities that he should be getting. Like, I wish they could do better by him.”
And turns out, a few weeks later, I don’t know how much time, but the person that she was talking to, she became the head of that plant. And so, knew my dad from the very beginning of his time there and enabled and opened doors for my dad to get into the computer science field within Texaco. That was really the jumpstart of his career because from then he was able to get the experience and then transfer different jobs throughout the industry. And then finally end up at Caltech where he is the lead architect within their information system. He actually reports to the CIO of Caltech now. So, it’s really amazing, a story of going on the island, going to college, thinking that you’re going to work into a corporate job, and then having to do manual job for years and not thinking that you’ll ever get to do what you wanted to do. And now, he’s doing really great and works at Caltech.
[09:01] Sean: That’s amazing. Thank you for sharing that. That reminds all with partners that we should be the strongest ally.
[09:09] Celeste: For sure.
[09:10] Sean: Right. That’s amazing. That’s amazing your mother did that. That’s really cool. I was asking these questions because I’m trying to find where the inspiration for you came from to go to MIT to study mechanical engineering. Growing up in Diamond Bar in Southern California, where did this inspiration come from to go to mechanical engineering?
[09:29] Celeste: Well, I really liked math and science as a child. And when I was a child, my dad had a lot of tools and I found out how to use a screwdriver maybe when I was six or something. And once I found that out, I was really curious on how things worked. And so, I started to take things apart in my house. I got a phone and I take it apart, or got a radio and take it apart. And I think, at first, it was cute, but then my mom was like, “If you’re going to take something apart, put it back together.” And I’m like, “Oh, I don’t know how to put it back together.” I just took it apart because I wanted to see what’s all in a phone and started destroying things. So, she was like, “Okay, stop doing that. Do not take things apart.” But it was very clear that I was very curious.
I asked questions like, “Well, how do things work? Why?” And just looking for answers in science, how the world around me works. So, I felt that at a very young age. Even when I was in third grade, I asked my parents if they could buy me a microscope or a telescope, and got that. So, I was just very curious about how the world worked. And at the same time, my dad got that job at Caltech when I was in third grade and he was telling me, “Hey, you really like math and science, and you’re good at it. Caltech is, like, one of the best schools in the world for that. Like, if you work hard, you could go to Caltech.”
And so, since that moment I was like, “I do want to go to Caltech. I think that’s, like, exactly what I want to do. I want to study biology or science and figure it out.” So, that was really the driving force throughout my early life of wanting to be a scientist and go to Caltech and do all this research. I actually did a summer program at Caltech, my junior year of high school. But unfortunately, I didn’t get into Caltech. So, that was a bummer and big disappointment. But then, however, I got into MIT.
[11:24] Sean: Oh, what a shame.
[11:25] Celeste: I know. What a shame. So, that was obviously life-changing. I think, at that point in my life, I thought I was going to be born, live, and die in California, in Southern California specifically. I was going to never leave. Why would I ever do that? And then it was crazy. It was like, “Oh, I got into MIT.” I didn’t plan for that. And also, I’m going to the East Coast in Boston. I never thought I would be living on the East Coast. All my family’s in Southern California. Literally, all my mom’s family is in Southern California. And a lot of my dad’s family is in Southern California and have no family in Boston. So, I was just like, “Wow. This is not how I pictured my life.” And it really changed from there.
[12:08] Sean: That’s amazing. Well, if it helps, I just finished Einstein’s biography. And apparently, he didn’t choose Caltech when he had the opportunity. So, nothing against Caltech. I love Caltech. So, what’d you do after college?
[12:22] Celeste: Actually, just being really vulnerable, I didn’t have a job after graduating college. And that sucked because I was so used to achieving in my life. Everything I wanted or strived for, I got. But after graduating MIT, did not have a job lined up. And so, that really hurt, and felt like a failure because I didn’t have a job. Fortunately, I could come back to my parents’ house and apply to jobs. And got one, working as a process engineer at this company called TIMET, which creates titanium products, bar sheet for airplanes. So, it was not my dream job, but was super grateful to just have a job. But it was definitely a humbling experience because I just assumed. I went to MIT, and some more jobs will be… I’ll have my picking and it’ll just be easy to get a job. So, that’s what I did right after college is doing process engineering, but not a dream job and more so just trying to get things done.
[13:25] Sean: So, Celeste, what was your dream job?
[13:28] Celeste: I don’t think I had a dream job then. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do as a senior in college. I just wanted to have a good-paying job. When I came back home, I had a lot of time to reflect and answer those hard questions, and realize I wanted to use my strategic thinking and math skills to have a positive impact in the world. And I was like, “It would be great if I could just, like, help organizations with their social impact.” How to help organizations increase their social impact. There was a social consulting firm called FSG who did just that. It was using your consulting strategic skills to drive social impact for organizations. And I was like, “Oh, wow. That’s exactly what I said I wanted to do. I didn’t know that there was a firm or organizations that exist like that. Let me apply.” And was able to get that job. And that was my dream job. So, it was crazy that I took the time to reflect and then it manifest itself.
[14:36] Sean: I think that’s how a lot of things work in life, honestly. There’s this Chinese parable that I love, about a man and a horse. This man, this farmer, has this horse and he loses his horse. Horse runs away and the village is like, “Oh, what bad luck. You know, your horse ran away.” He’s like, “I don’t know. Good luck, bad luck. Who knows?” The next day, the horse returns with a wild flock of horses. Five other horses. And the village is like, “Oh, wow. What good luck.” He’s like, “Who knows?” And the next day, his son goes out and to train the wild horses, and breaks his leg. And he’s like, “Oh, what bad luck.” And it just goes on and on. And the whole purpose of the story is everything happens to us or happens for us. The story hasn’t ended yet. So, something that seems like misfortune is… The story still goes on. So, we don’t know where it’s going to end. And I just love that idea.
And I think that’s exactly what you experience as well, is that everything that you’re doing or that you are doing will continue to build upon each other and ultimately, get to where you want to be. I share that because a lot of people that I’ve spoken to on this podcast, even if they knew what they wanted to do, and they got it, there was also this, sometimes, most of the time, this realization like, “Wait, this isn’t what I wanted to do.” You know? And it’s either way, it’s still a work in progress to figure out what it is that you, what your calling is. And one more thing that I would share is one of my favorite talks from TED is from Cal Newport. He talks about the passion myth, how people say, “Oh, like, just follow your passions. Do what you love.” And as if we’re all supposed to just know what we love or we’re passionate about. And it’s, actually, it’s a reverse.
It’s an inverse where you find out, or you uncover what you’re passionate about or what you love from years of just grinding away at things. And then you get good at it, and people give you recognition, and you recognize yourself, and then you become passionate, and then you start to love that thing. It’s not the other way around. Nobody’s born with something. As much as we want to, I think, as a society, want to push that idea, that Mozart’s a prodigy, he was born to love music. It’s no, his whole family were musicians. He started playing piano at one. So, it’s one of those things I just think it’s amazing that we go through this journey called life and get to discover these things. So, I have to ask, you were doing what you wanted to do, what brought you to Haas?
[17:21] Celeste: I knew I wanted to go to business school for a long time. Even in undergrad, I was planning to get my MBA. My dad got his MBA while I was in high school. And so, I was aware of what is a MBA, why is that important. And knew I wanted to be a leader early on and saw myself… I guess, in undergrad, I wouldn’t say I was leading all these things. I think I was really involved in a lot of organizations. But I guess, maybe since I was a child, felt I want to be shaping the culture, making decisions, planning the strategy of whatever I worked on or wherever I worked at, and wanted to have a team that I could lead. So, it felt obvious that I would get a MBA. And then when I was applying to an MBA, I knew I wanted to go into tech. And so, I thought that the MBA would open doors and let me transition into tech.
Really actually just wanted to work at Google. That was my goal and dream. And then also, as a woman of color, that I knew that cards are stacked against me and that if I get my MBA, it creates a floor for my earning potential that nobody can take away. So, those were my motivating factors to go to business school. In terms of Haas, I actually didn’t do my due diligence in what I was looking for. I was just like, “I’m going to go to a top MBA program. I love to come back to California. I want to go to tech. Berkeley’s a great school. Everybody thinks of, like, tech in Berkeley. It’s in the Bay Area. Like, definitely want to, like, go there.”
But now that I’ve went to Haas, I’m like, “Wow, this is definitely the perfect place for me.” And I’m so happy that I went here and got rejected from some other schools, that this was meant to be. Maybe at the time, I was like, “Dang, why didn’t I get to go to X school?” But then now, I’m like, “Thank God I got rejected from that other school.” Because Haas is the perfect school for me because of the community. It’s such a small group and such amazing caring people that it’s not like a utopia where you are with people who believe in you. They’re not sizing you up. They’re actually interested of who you are as a person and what are your goals, and they want you to achieve your goals.
And so, I just felt so much love and support at Haas while I was already a top performer, achiever before Haas. I don’t think I had the self-confidence to really lean into that and accept it. But while I was at Haas, just being around all that positivity gave me self-confidence where I was like, “Well, I am that person. Like, I should be proud. I am doing a lot of great things.” And I guess leaning into the principle of confidence without attitude, that really stood true to me because of how to build my confidence while still staying humble and grounded.
[20:25] Sean: I love that. And for our listeners, we do have to bring up, for the class of 2020, you were awarded the Confidence Without Attitude Award for your graduating class. So, congrats on that. If you don’t mind me asking, what are some of the challenges that you had overcome personally in terms of confidence? Because, I guess, what I’m trying to get at here to preface that is, you had mentioned to me before our call that for AAPI month, there isn’t really full representation of the full spectrum of Asian American Pacific Islander. Because first off, that umbrella is just massive. But it leaves out a lot of different people and cultures. I don’t know if that has anything to do with it, but can you share a little bit about some of the challenges that you face after graduating, building your career, and whatnot.
[21:18] Celeste: I think challenges that I face overall, being a woman of color, of Polynesian descent, and of Latino, Latina descent is feeling that there’s a perception, that working against a negative perception at times. I’ll just name a few instances, but there have been times when I was at MIT where somebody wrote an op-ed saying that they felt the merit of MIT was going down because they were focusing on diversity and inclusion. Or when I got into MIT, somebody said I only got into MIT because I was Puerto Rican, which I’m not Puerto Rican, and that’s not the reason why I got into MIT. I think the troubling thing when you’re a person of color and in the corporate world, when instances happen to you, it’s, you can’t be like, “That’s for a fact,” because of racism or racial bias.
You can’t have that 100% proof point. But I feel that’s always lingering there, that could be an option, or that’s definitely something I’m working against. Or it could just be that person has poor social skills or doesn’t see me in a good light. So, I feel challenges I have to face is just having to demonstrate excellence constantly. And if there is a mistake that I make, that gives me a lot of anxiety. But also, just having to, I guess, be very conscientious of who I’m working with and what is the perception of how I’m performing and making sure that I’m checking in with those people to be crystal clear, like, “Do you have feedback? Are there things that I should work on?” And being very methodical of, like, “Okay. You have this feedback, I’m addressing it. I’m checking in with you. Is it good? Please let me know if it’s going better or getting worse.” And if they don’t think I’m doing a good job, let me address those things immediately to control the narrative and make sure that people overall think that I’m doing a good job.
[23:25] Sean: Right. And that’s a necessary burden, in many ways. And I say that because I think every person, every human being already has natural self-doubt. And in some ways, it’s healthy, but it’s a natural thing to have self-doubt and question your place in the world. But to have, in addition to that, microaggressions. Those comments that are made to you, I can’t imagine, because those little things they build up. They just chip away at your confidence even more. It really makes you question your place in the world. And in the grand scheme of things, it shouldn’t have to. You are just as excellent, if not more, excellent than many of us. But it’s just that mental game. And since you touched upon the whole AAPI and lack of representation during some of these months, what are some ways or suggestions you can make for companies to, or organizations to build better culture, to make room, or just have that space to be more representative?
[24:31] Celeste: So, one, I don’t think Google’s the poster child of this, but I do think there are things that are happening at Google that are great. And an example is while as I Google, I had the opportunity to have a professional career coach that Google paid for, and it was for specifically Latino people and that’s equity, that they weren’t giving the coach to everybody. It was specifically for underrepresented groups who weren’t seen in leadership. So, they gave them professional coaching, reserved for people at a more senior level. They had to be a manager plus in order to receive this coaching, but they offered it to whoever as long as they identified as Latino or Latinx. So, I feel that is a good example of giving resourcing.
It’s not enough to get people through the door, that you need to equip them to excel and also, change practices that enable them to excel. And so, I felt this was a good example of providing, resourcing to help this individual achieve their career goals and navigate Google. And I felt it was super helpful for me because I had a coach for the last year and wanted to get promoted, and my coach really helped me to navigate that process, helped me to figure out what I should do, how to show up, and very grateful for that experience. But also, just in general, for being a good team, a functional team, is psychological safety where people feel comfortable to express what they feel is going wrong, what’s going well, where they feel they need help, where things are struggling, where there are risk. And I feel my manager does a great job of that.
I love my manager. She’s great. And what she instilled in our team was having a ombudsperson. The job is to solicit feedback from the team on what’s not going well and things that they maybe want the manager to do better, do differently. And so, what I do is send out a pulse survey to our team every month. And then every other month, have a team meeting without my manager just to go over, “Here are the results. How are you feeling? What should we improve? What should we do differently?” And it really gives them a safe space to say, “Hey, this is what I’m struggling with. This is what I think we should do better without fearing like, oh, is my manager going to judge me or feel defensive or shut me down or ostracize me because I didn’t agree with them.” And I’m able to get that feedback, anonymize it, and then share it with my manager and brainstorm how can we address this feedback. And I feel that has been great because so many times people are just, “Well, I’ll just sit quietly with this pain or the struggle. I don’t want to ruffle any feathers.” When in reality, they’re probably not alone.
And you have agency to give feedback and make change. I’m not saying all managers would be open to that feedback, but assuming you’re have a good manager who’s willing to listen to you and hear and be adaptive, that there is agency to shape the culture and create the work environment that you want. So, I think that’s critical and a microcosm of your team of just creating a culture where people feel safe to give feedback and change things.
[28:11] Sean: I definitely resonate with what you were saying earlier, companies providing support. It definitely reminds me of what you were saying, how Haas is just such a supportive environment, such a supportive community. And that’s what really differentiates us from a lot of other business schools. Because you feel like you hear the word, “business,” you think competition, competitiveness. It’s almost like you can compete but also collaborate at the same time. It’s the whole confidence without attitude feels like contradictory, but why it’s not mutually exclusive. So, I just really like that idea. Is there anything that we haven’t covered that you want to share with us?
[28:53] Celeste: I do. So, May is Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and I just want people to not forget the Pacific Islander piece of it. Even though this month is supposed to celebrate both Asians and Pacific Islanders, oftentimes Pacific Islanders are overlooked, erased, and forgotten, even though this month is supposed to be dedicated for us.
When I see commercials or initiatives in this month, I don’t see Pacific Islanders. And that really makes me sad and frustrated, because I’m thinking, “This month is supposed to be about us and highlight us, and I don’t even see me people or myself. I just don’t want people to forget the PI whenever they say AAPI or Asian and Pacific Islander.
What I want to make clear is Pacific Islanders are not Asians. They’re a different separate demographic group. Also, recognize Asian is a very big bucket, and it’s an umbrella that also does disservice there. I just want to make it clear that Pacific Islanders are a different demographic group — a separate culture, a separate region. And when I’m talking about Pacific Islanders, I’m talking about Micronesians, such as people in Guam or the Marshall Islands, I’m talking Melanesians, such as people in Fiji or the Solomon Islands. When I’m talking about Polynesians, I’m talking about people in Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga.
And so, that’s who I’m talking about when I say Pacific Islanders. It’s a very specific group of islands. And it’s a very unique and different culture that it’s often not seen and erased in this month. And I just want to make it clear who we are so we’re not forgetten.
[30:41] Sean: Thank you for sharing that. I actually didn’t even know there was that separation. That’s really cool. Do you have any recommendations on books or media that could help our listeners learn more about Pacific Islanders?
[30:56] Celeste: So, I do have some resources on YouTube. There’s this great video called Polynesian Wayfinders and the Cosmos – Space Documentary. We’ll share the link. But it’s a 10-minute video just to really highlight some of the origins of Polynesian.
And something that I’m extremely proud of is that my Polynesian ancestors were the best mariners in the world, in human history of sailing the Pacific Islands way before Europe, where Vikings were doing what they were doing. Like I’ve heard, the part where they’ve sailed is all the way from Mexico City or south of Mexico to Alaska. That is the cover of distance that they were traveling in the Pacific Ocean, and did that just with the stars, the currents, looking where birds were landing. And they were covering the Pacific Ocean way before people from Europe, and covering a lot more space in the ocean than Vikings.
So, I think that’s a factoid that is missed and often overlooked but something that I’m really proud about and that this YouTube video highlights.
And then, something else I want to highlight is, if you’re ever in Hawaii, in Oahu, I recommend you visit the Polynesian Culture Center because that will expose you to the different Polynesian Islands and their culture and what’s unique to them. And they also have a great luau at the end. It’s one of the best luaus. So, if you’re looking for entertainment and also culture, highly recommend going there.
And I guess something else, I feel like I’m giving a little history lesson here, but I think if people want to learn more about Pacific Islanders, just even thinking about what you’re doing when you’re going to Hawaii, Hawaii was a independent country and had its own kingdom. It wasn’t an undeveloped island. It had its own kingdom and had treaties with 90 countries, had the highest literacy rate in the world, but then was stolen by the U.S. And I think that’s something that people totally forget about, but then they’re always like, “I love Hawaii. So glad it’s part of the U.S. Let me go visit there.” But just take a second to, maybe, let’s understand the history of Hawaii and know why people may be upset when you’re visiting it.
[33:33] Sean: And Samoa as well, right?
[33:35] Celeste: Yeah. In Samoa, it’s a different story. But whenever you visit these islands for vacation, any type of island, just think about what’s the history and context there.
[33:46] Sean: Thank you for sharing that. You’re absolutely right. It’s a U.S. state, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its own history and culture, which is starkly different for anybody who’s been to Hawaii, historically different from the mainland. That’s a good reminder. Well, thank you, Celeste, so much for coming on the podcast today and sharing your stories and about your family, and educating us a little bit about the Pacific Islands. Really glad to have you on. And thanks, again.
[34:16] Celeste: Thank you.
[34:20] Sean: Thanks again for tuning into this episode of the OneHaas Podcast. If you enjoyed our show today, please hit that Subscribe or Follow button on your favorite podcast player. We’d also really appreciate you giving us a five-star rating and review. If you’re looking for more content, please check out our website at haas.fm. That’s spelled H-A-A-S.F-M. And there, you can subscribe to our monthly newsletter and check out some of our other Berkeley Haas podcasts. OneHaas Podcast is the production of the Haas School of Business and produced by University FM. Until next time. Go, bears.