Chris chatted with David Siap, Associate at McKinsey & Company. David is an experienced business and technology professional with experience in energy, climate, and consulting. At Haas, David was part of many programs, including several MBA challenges and Berkeley StEP, the Student Entrepreneurship Program.
David grew up in an undocumented immigrant Filipino family, which helped shape his relationship with change and challenges. It made him good and comfortable with rolling with the punches, dealing with ambiguity, and challenging himself.
In this episode, he talked about his experiences taking up different majors in his undergrad, early professional career, and grad school at UC Davis.
He then shared his time at a prestigious place after grad school, Berkeley Lab, going to business school right after, and eventually joining McKinsey.
Pivoting from wind energy to climate tech
“I want to understand why things are the way they are and how can I impact people. And I thought that, at that time, it seemed clear to me that climate change would be one of the biggest challenges of our generation. And I wanted to be there. I was already working on a climate-adjacent automotive product, but I wanted to be at the bleeding edge of the tech. And so, that’s why I ended up pivoting.”
During his time at The Berkeley Lab
“It was a really great time. I landed there and felt like, wow, everybody is so crazy smart, so much more than me. There’s a Ph.D. from MIT sitting next to me. On the other side, there’s a Harvard Ph.D. in physics. There’s a Nobel Prize winner down the hall. It was a really crazy place to be. And it was great to be surrounded by folks who were so smart and focused on something that was a net positive for society. Everybody there was working on climate change when presumably a lot of these folks could have been out conquering the world and making so much more money than you make at a national lab. But they were there, I think, because they wanted to make the world a better place.”
On pivoting into consulting
“I was starting to see this common thread. These people are in leadership positions, and they have X, Y, and Z skills that they’re good at. And those are things that I want to be good at, essentially. And so, that’s when McKinsey or the consulting space became more and more real to me. I realized the skills that you can develop in the space. And I was coming initially from a growth mindset as well. And so, it felt natural to extend the MBA. I’ve heard other people put it by going to a place like McKinsey, I can extend the MBA work on these skills that I want to develop. And I would actually get paid for it.”
David’s piece of advice for everyone
“Trust the process and follow your passion.”
(Transcripts may contain a few typographical errors due to audio quality during the podcast recording.)
[00:00] Chris: Welcome to the OneHaas Podcast. I’m Chris Kim. Today, we have David Siap, Berkeley Haas MBA and Associate at McKinsey & Company. David is an experienced business and technology professional, with experience in energy, climate, and consulting. At Haas, David was part of many programs, including several MBA challenges and Berkeley StEP, the Student Entrepreneurship Program. David, welcome. And great to have you on the show.
[00:29] David: Hey, Chris. Excited to be here.
[00:31] Chris: I’m super stoked to have you on the podcast today. We are classmates in the MBA program, and just really excited to get to dive into your background and what your experience has been like. I’ll talk a bit about your background. You’re one of the rare few that was a triple major undergrad. So, you got bachelor’s in physics, undergrad in physics at Loyola Chicago. And then you went to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and got, again, a mechanical engineering degree and mathematics degree. And then, you even went to grad school before you came to Haas. You got an aerospace engineering degree at UC Davis before coming to the MBA program. Your experience is pretty unique. You did industrial engineering, climate and energy at the Berkeley Lab. You were at a startup at Olivine. And then, now, you’re at McKinsey. It goes without saying, but where did you grow up, David? And where did your amazing story of just really awesome things begin, growing up as a kid?
[01:20] David: Thank you so much for that very nice, very charitable intro there. I really appreciate that, Chris. Yeah, my origin story. Well, the way I like to start it is I grew up in an undocumented immigrant Filipino family in Chicago. And so, I think that, really, growing up, I think in an immigrant household, in general, it shapes or shades my relationship with change or with challenges. I think it really made me good and comfortable with rolling with the punches, dealing with ambiguity, and challenging myself.
Grew up I think really different than a lot of folks that interact with now, both at McKinsey and, I think, at Haas. And I shared a double mattress with my younger brother till I was 10 or 11 and in the same room with my parents. So, I’m not saying it was super tough or anything. I think that’s a mischaracterization. And honestly, at the time, I didn’t know any better. It felt good. It felt fun, like, hey, we’re all here. But I do think it’s very different than, I think, a lot of folks that I meet these days. And I do think it frames how I see challenges and I see the world.
And if you would’ve asked me when I was in high school, would this happen or would I had this trajectory, I would’ve been like, “No, you’re crazy. That doesn’t sound right.” And also, I didn’t think beyond the next step when I was in high school. My idea was, okay, my pops works at this college. I’m going to go to Loyola because he works there. And that was as far as I had planned it out. So, it’s been a really interesting journey. And I’m excited to talk more about it.
[02:58] Chris: David, that’s an amazing background. And we’re just commenting before we started recording, it’s all these stories that we never even get to talk about when we’re in class together that really, looking back on it, just really do make the experience so rich.
You hinted at it. You go from growing up being a kid to one of the biggest first experiences, thinking about going to college and even thinking about what you’re majoring in. What was that like for you, transitioning from being a kid in your family and then now, for you, specifically, you just hit the ground running? You studied physics, mechanical engineering, and math all in undergrad, and graduated.
What was that experience like? And what was it like choosing two institutions? Because you went, as you mentioned, both to Loyola Chicago and also Urbana-Champaign for college. What was that like? And what were you thinking about when you were going through that process?
[03:46] David: Yeah, absolutely. So, as I mentioned, in high school, I didn’t really plan anywhere past college. So, when I got to college, I was like, “Well, what do I do here?” My parents, being stereotypical immigrant parents, they were like, “You want to study nursing or be a doctor.” And I was nominally doing that, but I was really more interested in history because I was really interested in stories and the way that people’s lives are impacted and the reason things are the way they are, essentially.
And so, I was nominally pre-med, but I was really taking a bunch of history classes. But really, I was just goofing off my freshman year. I didn’t really take college very seriously at all. And I was more just enjoying the lifestyle, being in dorms, being around a bunch of my peers.
[04:30] Chris: Sure.
[04:31] David: And then, so, sophomore year was when I really started to get serious. I thought about history. The reason that I liked it was understanding things the way they are. But in my mind, it wasn’t very challenging, or the career prospects weren’t as good in history. And so, I went over to physics for that intersection of challenge and the potential career opportunities, which were still very vague. I’m 19 at the time. My brain is only, what, 80% of the way there, in terms of I have a lot of developing still to go.
So, when I was studying physics, I knew that actually this major isn’t so great for making a living and having a job right afterwards. Typically, you want to do a PhD. And that’s what my advisors were saying. And so, it was like, “You either do a PhD.” And so, in my mind, “Okay, I’m broke till I’m 30,” which seemed like forever at that time. I’d love to be 30 again at this stage.
There was another route, which was the dual degree. And that’s how I ended up with engineering. So, the dual degree was a partnership that Loyola Chicago had with University of Illinois and a couple other engineering schools in the area. So, I decided that that would be my way to essentially be employable soon. And on the way there, being in physics and mechanical engineering, I realized math degree was one or two electives off. And so, I just picked that up on the way.
And really, it sounds like I spent, I think, all of my time in the library and studying, doing all these majors. But I had a great time, I think, both at Loyola, but especially at University of Illinois. I was part of a bunch of student groups. I even founded one. And it was really a great formative time, I think, early in my career.
[06:26] Chris: That’s awesome to hear, David. One of the things that I know resonates in the minds of a lot of students is, you got to school and then you have to graduate from school, and then thinking, what do I do after school? And it sounds like, for you, you really rapidly went through that process of, you’re at school, now you’re enjoying school, and then you’re thinking about leaving. What was it like, even after accomplishing so much, having to now transition into the workforce? And what was that experience like for you, trying to figure out and maneuvering your first job or your early career as a professional?
[06:59] David: So, my early career, I think it was also a lot more the same. Well, actually, it was interesting, graduating… or it was a tough time graduating into the recession. So, I actually got my job offer in early 2008, late 2007, can’t remember exactly. But I graduated late. I started in fall of 2008. So, the great recession was at its peak. And I was just really thankful, honestly, to have a job. I had a lot of great classmates who didn’t have a job and who would have to figure stuff out. I had friends who I knew were brilliant, who had engineering degrees from this top university, but they’re brand ambassadors or doing all these random jobs that didn’t need any degree at all. So, I was really thankful to be in a position where I had a job. And by the way, I was making great money. I think, at that time, I was making a similar income to my parents right out of undergrad, which was amazing. And I think it was great.
But also, as time went on, I realized that I wasn’t sure… I say time went on. This is a span of less than a year. I realized that the type of engineering I was doing, and especially the product that I was working on, which was industrial mining equipment or tractor—so ag equipment, so big, heavy machines—they weren’t necessarily where I wanted to spend my whole career and really where my passion lied. And so, I started to think about what’s next and what do I want to do for the rest of my career.
And so, that’s essentially what led me to, first, wind energy and working on climate. I think, in terms of how I made that decision, I’d go back to I want to understand why things are the way they are and, how can I impact people? And I thought that, at that time, it seemed clear to me that the climate change would be one of the biggest challenges of our generation. And I wanted to be there. I was already working on a climate-adjacent product in automotive, but I really wanted to be at the bleeding edge of the tech. And so, that’s why I ended up pivoting from, eventually, Fiat to climate or to wind energy, in particular, and going back to grad school in Davis.
[09:24] Chris: David, as you were mentioning, you’re originally from Chicago. And going really far for grad school could be daunting for some. What was that experience like for you? Because again, you had a great-paying job, maybe not as far away from family as you might be, being out in California. What was going through your mind in terms of, “Hey, I wanted to go to grad school?” And then how did you end up deciding eventually to go to UC Davis versus some of the other programs that might be out there?
[09:52] David: So, I glossed over a little bit of the early storyline. So, I was at Caterpillar, originally. And I thought, I don’t think I really want to work on diesel, heavy duty off highway diesel my career. And so, then I took some time. And I actually day-traded for a while around 2009 in between Caterpillar and Fiat. And at that time, it was really where I started thinking about what I wanted to do. And I ended up actually deferring a year from Davis to get more work experience prior to getting my master’s. So, that was my time at Fiat.
And I think, in that time, there’s a lot of things that drew me to Davis. I think, first of all, the focus of the group that I was going into was novel turbine designs. And I really wanted to be on the bleeding edge of that tech because, in my mind, I was like, “This is how I can make things better. If I can design a marginally better wind turbine blade, I can make this process X percent more efficient and drive the cost down a little bit more and position easier. So, that’s what I was thinking. And that was part of it. So, I liked the group. I liked the school.
And then, I also liked the environment. I had been in Chicago forever and the Midwest for my whole life. And so, I was looking for something different. And obviously, the lack of winter also so really appealed to me. And it was those things. I liked the subject matter. And I felt like I visited the campus. It seemed like a California twist on Urbana-Champaign. So, it felt familiar in a way. And so, that’s what I did.
That made the decision easy. And it was definitely a really scrappy move. I piled everything I own into my ’97 Saturn sedan and made a three-day trek out West. And I had absolutely a great time at Davis and met so many great people and really learned a lot, even though I actually never ended up working in wind directly. I ended up pivoting again once I got to Davis, ironically enough.
[11:58] Chris: David, that’s awesome to hear. And it just shows that scrappiness. One of the things maybe a lot of Haas folks know you for is you spent a number of years at a very prestigious place after grad school, the Berkeley Lab. Could you talk a bit about what you were doing there and what the lab is generally, maybe for folks who aren’t as familiar with what the lab does?
[12:22] David: Absolutely, yeah. After Davis, what brought me to Berkeley was a job at Berkeley Lab. So, as I mentioned, I pivoted away from wind because I wanted to be more impactful. I realized that those couple percentage of efficiency improvement designs were actually a lot tougher to achieve than I thought. And also, there wasn’t as much appetite for… I shouldn’t say appetite for innovation. I mean, the gap from improvement in the lab to something in the field happening, maybe even on an order of 10 years.
I wanted to be more impactful sooner. So, that brought me to building energy, which is something that Berkeley Lab is absolutely one of the best institutions in the world. Honestly, I didn’t think they would call me back when I applied there. I was doing research in lighting at UC Davis. And there just happened to be a relatively good overlap with what I was working on and what I was working on with the folks at Berkeley Lab were interested in. And so, I came over.
And so, what Berkeley Lab is, it’s a national laboratory. It’s funded mostly or almost exclusively by… I guess other individuals within the lab might get funding from other places. But it’s mostly a DOE-funded lab. And what my group was working on in particular was energy efficient appliances, energy efficiency standards related to those appliances. Not to get too deep here, but as part of the first oil crisis in the 1970s, Congress enacted a bunch of laws about energy efficiency. It’s called EPCA. And my group was the one who did the techno-economic analysis around what those standards should be. So, a fun nerdy case in point was Steven Chu, Energy Secretary under Obama in 2008—this was before my time there—came to the lab and said, “Hey, what if we made a heat pump minimum efficiency standard?” So, basically, he mandated back then—that was years ago—that all heating safe heating equipment would be a heat pump, what would that look like?
And so, my group was the one who would crunch numbers and say, “Here’s what would happen.” So, it was a really great time. I landed there and I felt like, wow, everybody is so crazy smart, so much more than me. There’s a PhD from MIT sitting next to me. On this other side, there’s a Harvard PhD in physics. There’s a Nobel Prize winner down the hall. It was a really crazy place to be. And it was great to be surrounded by folks who were so smart and also so focused on something that was a net positive for society. Everybody there was working on climate change in a national lab when presumably a lot of these folks, like the Harvard PhD, or MIT PhD, I mentioned they could have been out conquering the world and making so much more money than you make at a national lab, but they were there, I think because they wanted to make the world a better place.
[15:24] Chris: That’s awesome. David, for a lot of people, even just maybe ending up at the lab or being exposed to that type of environment would’ve been a dream, but you decided, even after being at the lab, to come to the MBA program. What was it like? What were you thinking about, even thinking about getting an MBA post already having so much success? And what was the thought process for you, especially as you’re thinking about it and then going through that application process for the MBA program?
[15:49] David: An MBA had always been in my radar. But to go back to 2014 when I started at the lab, you’re right, it was pretty far from my mind. And I got to do some great things. I got to lead a project. DOE got to interact with industry CEOs. But in 2016, the administration changed hands. And so, being at a DOE-funded lab, working on energy efficiency and this more progressive left stuff—politically left—there wasn’t as much opportunity there. Essentially, my group unofficially got mothballed where we were still paid and we’re still… it’s not that we all got fired, but we weren’t allowed to do any work. Energy efficiency movements were stopped. And we also weren’t allowed to publish papers.
It was a weird interesting time because, now, all of a sudden… so, when the election happened, my group was actually prepared for a bunch of people to get laid off and our funding to get cut. But what actually happened was that didn’t happen. We were still funded, but weren’t able to do any work.
At first, it was great. You have a steady paycheck and, essentially, a vacation. And a lot of people did literally just that, take a year, travel through Asia. I spent a year in Asia. Or a bunch of people had a bunch of kids. But I think, while I was in Asia, I was in Japan, and I had to think, am I going to make it a career here, essentially? At the time, it wasn’t clear what would happen in 2020. Would this be my life until 2024? And I would essentially commit to being a career scientist or scientific engineer. And I invested in the pension, which makes me feel like I’m 1,000 years old. But I invested in the pension. And I could just comfortably ride it out until it was time to retire.
But that wasn’t what I wanted to do, essentially, I figured out. And so, that’s when I started looking more seriously into Berkeley, into the MBA process, and also looking to switch shots. And so, at the time, actually, at the lab, there was—and I think it’s still there—there’s a free tuition benefit, essentially. So, we could essentially get any graduate degree we wanted, and the lab would pay for it.
And a bunch of my classmates had done a similar thing, not at Berkeley but at other places. And I think somebody did a master’s in data science. But anyways, that was how the MBA got on my radar. And being on campus already for a few years at the time, Berkeley… I walked by Haas on my morning commute every day. And it felt like the right thing to do. I did apply to the Stanford Executive MBA program because I was a little bit older, but it was clearly not a fit. And those were the only two programs I applied to. And I also ended up… funny enough, I mentioned how the free tuition was key to me thinking about the MBA program at Berkeley. I thought, hey, class of 2023, I don’t want to spend two, three more years here… or 2022, I mean, two, three more years here not doing anything. So, I ended up leaving before I got to any of those, leaving the lab before I got any of those sweet tuition benefits.
[19:02] Chris: David, your willingness to take risks and question the status quo, which is one of the defining principles at Haas, yeah. Can you explain what it was like after you got the acceptance and then you had set your mind at being at Haas, and then what it was like when you jumped on campus and now you were a student in the business school? What was that like?
[19:19] David: Yeah. So, I remember when I got the email, I was walking to the bus stop early in the morning to go up to the lab. And I was like, “Wow, I can’t believe they actually let me in here.” It was great. I think, definitely, the Davis, University of Illinois, great institutions, but I feel like the MBA program at Haas in terms of prestige is just another level. And I was really excited. And also, what am I getting myself into now? I had done a bunch of technical degrees. And I tended to index more towards the communicator side of the technical space. But this is a completely different space altogether. In the MBA space, I think it’s just the core skill set and the personality types of me are very far from research and/or engineering.
But anyways, to answer your question, what were the first days at campus like? It was great. I think we had WE Lead the first weekend, which was in July, which felt like super early. But we had WE Lead, and it was really great to meet so many different people with so many different backgrounds from my own and from each other. Also, there’s a lot more, I think, international, especially, diversity, than I had thought going in. I didn’t realize how folks would be from a lot of different places. And I really think that that exposure to different industries, different backgrounds is something that I’d really value straight away. And I think that’s remained true throughout the process.
So, I didn’t realize that I wanted to stay in the climate at that time. So, I did a little bit of background. And I hadn’t been showing up to BERC stuff, the Berkeley Energy & Resource Collective. It’s the energy club at Haas, or more like the cleaner climate tech club at Haas. I’d been going to that stuff prior to even being accepted. And I also was familiar with the Berkeley Innovative Solutions, which is a pro bono mostly or somewhat climate-focused consulting organization, BIS. I was able to take a one-credit course consulting with a climate tech startup. And as part of that, I got to work closely with leadership and meet the CTO and the director of engineering. So, that kind of stuff was really cool. And really, I think I hit the ground running, as you mentioned, and signed up for all this stuff. My very first semester, I think when a lot of folks were still figuring out the core.
[21:52] Chris: Yeah, or just how to get to campus.
[21:53] David: Yeah, or where to live, right?
[21:56] Chris: Oh, yeah.
[21:57] David: And so, I think I was lucky in that I’d been in Berkeley five years prior, since 2014. And so, I already felt situated. I felt like I knew the lay of the land from day one, or at least semester one. I was like, “I want to do this, this, and this.” And also, StEP, the entrepreneurship program at Berkeley, I also led a team my first semester. And I think I was in a uniquely good position in that I knew what I wanted to do, I knew the lay of the land. And so, I could just focus on doing stuff, as opposed to figuring out about what a lot of folks did that first semester.
[22:31] Chris: David, I think, for a lot of us, when we were classmates, you were definitely one of the clean energy guys in the program. You’re working at a startup. You’re super involved on campus. And then, eventually, you ended up going to McKinsey, which surprisingly, actually, as you shared, is really related to all the things that you were doing even during the program. But what was your thought when you’re going into the MBA process? What did you think, perhaps, would be the end goal or the end accomplishment? And then how did McKinsey come into the picture as you were going through that process?
[23:06] David: So, the way that I thought about the MBA was not necessarily I want to get the MBA and the exit ops for an MBA, and I want to pick this exit op, and I’m going to spend all my time networking and going towards this specific job. It was more like I saw the MBA as a place to learn and to grow, to be honest, soak up a little bit on that sweet, sweet prestige that Berkeley has. But it was to learn and to grow.
And so, I focused on those things that I was interested in. And I was like, I’ll trust the process. This is around the Joel Embiid time. Trusting the process here, if I just pursue my interests, things will work out.
What happened was, initially, I was thinking my work, I made a pivot into product, as you do as an MBA with an engineering background. I still do want to build stuff and be close to engineering and use that background, but not necessarily be an engineer. So, that was my initial hypothesis. And I poked around in that space.
It was a lot of good stuff, honestly. And I’m not saying that I wouldn’t go back to that place. But another thing that I started doing, especially around the pandemic, in these case competitions, I think, once COVID set in and we were essentially all remote and cut off, I felt like, I want to still get something out of this MBA process and I don’t want to of just wait it out. I started getting involved in a lot of case competitions around the climate space. I had done a hackathon prior to B-school. And it felt similar, honestly. So, I think I was primed for that experience. So, that following what I was interested in, especially with regards to climate and the case competitions, led me down towards the consulting space. But I still wasn’t there, yet. This is now in summer of 2021. I was thinking about new jobs. The full-time roles I was considering offers for were both climate product management startups, essentially. And so, that’s still where I was at that time period. Now, this is two years into the MBA process.
And I also ended up getting an offer from Google X to work in their internal consulting, cross-crediting strategy department, essentially. So, it was an internal consulting group for all of their early stage climate projects. And Google X, it’s a dream opportunity, easy call. So, I joined Google X as an MBA intern, more like a full-time MBA trajectory now. I initially had thought that… Well, internships weren’t really on my radar at that time, but I saw it pop up for being in a program. And I thought, what the heck? This sounds cool.
And so, I ended up taking that role. And that was another time where, in that role, I really felt I got to interact with a bunch of folks who were… like my boss, [inaudible 00:26:10], the lead of X project was from McKinsey. And even one of the folks at Olivine startup was from McKinsey. And there were a bunch of those kinds of people that I was starting to interact with. And I was starting to see this common thread. These people are in leadership positions and they have X, Y, and Z skills that they’re good at. And those are things that I want to be good at, essentially.
And so, that’s when McKinsey or the consulting space became more and more real to me, is that I realized this is something that you can develop in the space. And I was coming initially from a growth mindset as well. And so, it felt natural to extend the MBA. I’ve heard other people put it by going to a place like McKinsey. I can extend the MBA work on these skills that I want to develop. And instead of paying what we pay at Haas, I would actually get paid for it and be able to live a normal… well, as normal as consulting is, a normal life, as opposed to this going to school, going to work thing.
[27:14] Chris: David, what was that like, for folks who aren’t familiar, one of the draws at Haas is just the recruiting process, is there are just so many opportunities, and it’s literally, the difficulty isn’t, do you have an opportunity? It’s like, which ones are you going to focus on and just do? So, what was that like finally identifying, you wanted to go into consulting, you knew you wanted to go at McKinsey, and you’ve been on the role for just a few months now? What was that experience like once you onboarded versus maybe some of your perceptions coming from business school and then going to McKinsey?
[27:48] David: At the time, when I got the McKinsey offer, to be honest, I was still not really taking it as seriously. I was like, oh, I can learn all these things. Well, I shouldn’t say that. I was taking it seriously. But it was so out of left field. I wasn’t focused on consulting. It was more, I went this way because I could learn how to grow, but do I really want to do this? It is what I was thinking at the time, because I was at Google X and I had these other opportunities that seemed like more of a straight line path to where I wanted to go. And so, it was very like, what do I do?
And I think I reached out to a bunch of folks from CMG. I think I talked to everybody that would have something to say. And shout-out to [Olinshi 00:28:33], who was a really great career coach during this process, and helped me think through, like, what do I want to do now? What do I want to do next? How does X connect to Y? Helping me reframe my thinking around the process.
I guess another point that I haven’t made yet is that, even when I was at Berkeley Lab, we were citing a lot of McKinsey climate work. It’s not like they don’t have interest in or presence in the space. They totally do. And I saw them at COP26 as well, virtually. And so, I think that McKinsey is a really credible name in the climate space.
And really, I just talked it through. And I came with the conclusion, the thesis, like I mentioned earlier, that this is an extension in the MBA. This would be a great place to continue to grow. And I think I would grow faster, especially working on this skillset which I’m billing towards. I would grow faster in that consulting space than I would going directly to industry, even a startup, which is pretty fast-paced by itself.
In terms of the first few months have been like, so I’ve been there less than two months now. So, I think, when people think about consulting, they think crazy work-life balance, meaning you don’t have a work-life balance, and a lot of stress, a lot of demands, a lot of type A people. And that has not been my experience at all, so far. I say so far because, now, I realize it’s been two months. So, I’m totally waiting for the other shoe to drop. But so far, I think everybody has been great. I’ve met a ton of really smart and accomplished people who are also very well-versed in the climate space, even people coming in new.
And so, that was something I wasn’t expecting. I was expecting more button-up business school types. But there’s also a lot of people from industry, people from PhD programs, people from less traditional backgrounds that I’ve met in the firm that have been great. And then the people that I have met, in general, have also been really welcoming. I was worried about how competitive these places are in terms of their reputation [inaudible 00:30:52] or whatever. But that’s not been my experience so far. I think folks have been really great. And I think there’s a lot of appetite to work and to develop each other. And then there’s also, I think, a lot of real credibility in people. They’re talking about a lot of opportunities to work there. So, I’m still excited. It’s been, honestly, way better than I thought. And the work-life balance, so far, in the front has been way better than I anticipated.
[31:20] Chris: That’s awesome. David, as a tradition on the podcast, we typically end the podcast with a lightning round. It’s been awesome to have you, so far, but I’d love to do a lightning round, if you’d be up for it. All right. So, just to close this out, one of my favorite questions, what was one of your favorite places to eat at Berkeley?
[31:37] David: Oh, man, I guess it’s a lightning round, so I’ll say Great China.
[31:41] Chris: Nice.
[31:43] David: Are we talking about lunch?
[31:49] Chris: Well, we were both Evening & Weekend MBA students, so in our experience… Well, I guess we didn’t have a ton of time to eat. If we had more time to eat, let’s say dinner, what would you recommend for folks?
[32:00] David: So, the real answer is probably Cafe Think because [inaudible 00:32:04].
[32:06] Chris: That’s what you’ve been getting.
[32:07] David: [inaudible 00:32:06] downstairs and you don’t have to walk. Let’s say you did want to walk, I’m a fan of a lot of stuff on Telegraph. I think Tacos Sinaloa is a favorite. So, I’ll say that.
[32:19] Chris: Nice, nice, mix it up a little bit. What’s one thing that you’ll miss about the program?
[32:23] David: One thing that I’ll miss is, I think that people are really good about sharing resources, especially while we’re in the program. For example, I know this is lightning round, but I was connected to this climate tech cocktails event via Steve Brisley, who’s now Head of Marketing at Camus Energy. And that turned into me, Sneha, and Adriana hosting climate tech cocktails on campus, having hundreds of people there and having billionaires retweet our event. This crazy serendipity, like, I heard about a thing, I knew about a thing, and sharing that, that’s something that I’m going to miss.
[33:00] Chris: Yeah, absolutely. Next question, what’s one piece of personal or professional advice that you’d give to someone else, either in the program or outside of the program?
[33:10] David: I think I would say trust the process and follow your passion.
[33:14] Chris: That’s a great one. And last question, David, what’s one thing that gets you excited about the future?
[33:20] David: One thing that gets me excited about the future? Well, I think there’s been a climate theme in this podcast a little bit. I think that I’m one of the… it feels like, literally, if you’re on energy Twitter, like climate optimists out there, and I feel like there’s just so much energy, attention, and capital in this space that I think we’re going to figure it out. I think that the worst effects of climate change, they still might happen. But honestly, I would bet against it. I’m optimistic that, by 2100, it’s going to be better than a lot of the worst scenarios are.
[34:00] Chris: Well, David, it’s been great to have you on the show today. Me personally, I’m so excited for you. And we just want to wish you all the best in the future.
[34:08] David: Thanks so much, Chris. It was great to be here.
[34:10] Outro: Thanks again for tuning in to this episode of the OneHaas Podcast. Enjoyed our show today? Please remember to 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.
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