August 2016 Newsletter

Alrighty, this newsletter is a short one but it’s only a few weeks until school starts. As you finish off your internships and enjoy the Olympics or simply relax, there are a bunch of things to come. It is crunch time for PMs and the beginning of fall recruitment!     

Internal Updates

Retreat Update

I would like to apologize for not going with an option that we had originally gave you guys to vote on.  Unfortunately, the logistics for whitewater rafting were too challenging and expensive for us to continue along with. Also, we had just done a beach recently, so we decided that a hiking retreat would be more fun. Thus, we decided that we will be going to Yosemite this fall!

Open Positions

If you were interested in a position, you will be contacted shortly and more details will be given to you regarding next steps.

Tabling

Everyone should expect an email from Neil with sign-ups for tabling.  Instructions will be on the sheet.  Everyone is expected to do their part. We are looking for fantastic people to join VSS, so brush up on your VSS knowledge so you can pitch it well!

External Updates

Startup Weekend Update

The Startup Weekend crew continues its communication with planning the event. The several individuals who encompass the SW team have been working hard organizing the logistics and dividing the working on finalizing the application to host Startup Weekend, brainstorming sponsorship ideas, locating venues, identifying judges and more. Hopefully the next time the newsletter rolls around, there will be some major updates with the process.

President Updates

PM Updates

The client search is well on its way. We still have some project manager teams finalizing securing a client. Now it is crunch time, so please keep up the communication and work smart!

Recruitment

We are well on our way to writing the group cases for first round interviews.. A recruitment guide is still to come in the coming week from things like the VSS pitch to the specific characteristics we are looking for in each interview round. Here is a quick snapshot of the draft of the individual interview case. If you are interested on aspects of the case to adjust or be added. Send your thoughts to berkeleyvss@gmail.com

Apparel

Due to differing views on which apparrel VSS should sport this semester, we are opening up apparel discussion again. Please email us with your ideas. We will poll all suggestions made thus far.

July 2016 Newsletter

As we near the middle of our summer, I hope everyone has gotten some well-deserved rest and (OK, me!) is catching up on Game of Thrones. Here are the updates on our end.

Internal Updates

Retreat Updates

It seems that everyone has not voted on the poll that I made. Shame on those of you that didn’t. As the poll currently stands, we will be going whitewater rafting in the American River.  I will keep the poll up until July 15, when it will be taken down and the result will be noted.  I will start logistically planning the event after you guys have done your part by voting. Hopefully I can make this retreat extremely fun and memorable for everyone!

Also, the poll is open to suggestions, and I’m surprised no one has suggested anything else.

Job Openings

This is a reminder about the job openings that VSS has:

Social Media & Photographer - You already know this, but our social media game needs work.  We need likes.  We need activity.  We need visibility.  We do a lot of things in this club and it would be awesome to brag about it online.  Also, we would like to document some of our professional events, so we can reference them in later semesters.  This is a really important job for the sustainability and future of VSS.

Web Designer - Danny, Patrick, and Neil will be overhauling the website over the summer, but once they are gone, someone will need to take over the site from them.  Anyone willing to get experience with Squarespace and/or design should sign up!

 

New Member Training Leader - Asmay will be structuring the various consultant trainings but would appreciate the help of anyone willing to share their experiences with our next class of consultants. If you are willing to attend and share your expertise at a training event, have ideas on how trainings should be changed, or want leadership experience in consulting training, please sign up!

Please email berkeleyvss@gmail.com with:

  • A Resume
  • Why you think you are the best for the role (250 words max)

Please email us by no later than July 15.  We will reach out to you about next steps.

Tabling

Everyone should expect an email from Neil with sign-ups for tabling.  Instructions will be on the sheet.  Everyone is expected to do their part. We are looking for fantastic people to join VSS, so brush up on your VSS knowledge so you can pitch it well!

If you know anyone that would be a good fit for VSS, let them know to check us out!

Development Updates

Asmay has begun to pull together decks to supplement the training schedule presented last month so that all members can reference aspects of decking, excel, or consulting. Don’t worry, Asmay has not been slacking, he has worked really hard on the backend.

External Updates

Position Update

For those of you that missed my prior email, I am stepping down from External VP this next semester. I will still be around to mentor a team, help with office tours, and most importantly, help with the Startup Weekend. Please reach out to me at walquistl@berkeley.edu if you have any questions about my decision or how Exec plans to make this transition.

Startup Weekend Update

We are fully back in touch with the Startup Weekend and Cheryl is spearheading it for us! (Huge shoutout to her and those that responded to her email looking to take on more roles in helping out with it). Several people have joined her team on this but we could still use more help if you’re interested- it's a huge event and will be great exposure for VSS.  

Office Tours & Alumni Nights

No significant updates on these yet. Reach out to me if you have a place you particularly want an excuse to get a tour at and I’ll see what I can do!

President Updates

General Feedback

The enthusiasm to participate in VSS has been great. Several consultants have reached out to the exec team on helping with new member event and Startup Weekend. It warms my heart to see consultants step up and willing to participate. However, please do fill out Neil’s poll, and the future polls that we are sending out. It’s the easiest way to get your feedback.

My thoughts on Luke's transition:

     Luke's been a great asset to the club and I know I'll miss having someone who has been a big help on reaching out to alumni and planning events. I'm really proud that he's outlined his role on how the exec team and other members of the club can transition his role. More specific updates to come with the Startup Weekend (SW) team.

PM Updates

The client search is well on its way. Project managers are working hard to get into contact with clients and many have received calls. Keep up the good work!

Recruitment

As promised, to ensure a more consistent and fair way to conduct our fall recruiting the exec team is working to create a recruitment guideline/training for judging each round. Moreover, we are going to start writing the cases for the group stage and final round. Once some of the initial drafts are done, we will have those sent to the entire club for review and critique. If you are interested on aspects of the case to adjust or be added. Send your thoughts to berkeleyvss@gmail.com

Budget

I wanted to congratulate all teams on their hard work this semester. Every team has received payment and it has been a very fruitful past semester for VSS. Dues will probably be significantly less than the previous semester. Currently the exec team is working on getting major items of budget planned (retreat, car costs, banquet, apparel, etc) to estimate expenses and make this process as transparent and NOT OVER BUDGET as possible. J

Apparel

VSS has traditionally gotten new apparel every semester and it’s been decided almost entirely by the exec board, but I know many people don’t have the older Columbia jackets and wish to voice their interest for apparel.

A google form will be circulated after the July 4th weekend to poll suggestions on apparel. (i.e. provide apparel link in the poll) On a later date we will have the club vote on the apparel we’ll be sporting for the semester.

Have an awesome July 4th weekend!

-Execs

June 2016 Newsletter

Internal Updates

VSS Schedule

9/7 – How to Interview for VSS

9/14 – Welcome Night (EXEC)

  • Welcome Packet (P)
  • Welcome Presentation (EXEC)
  • Charade Icebreaker Game
  • Welcome Dinner (IVP)
  • Project Team Reveal w/ gifts (PM)

9/21 – Social Event: Public Speaking Workshop (EXEC)

9/28 – External Event: On-campus Alumni Career Panel Part 1 (EVP)

10/5 – Social Event: Mini-games social

10/12 – Decking Part 1 (Daniel)

  • PMs make their master slides after this week

10/19 – Decking Part 2 (Daniel)

10/26 – Midterm deliverable presentation

  • 15 min per presentation + 15 min administrivia = 90 min

11/2 – Social Event: Storytime Icebreaker [& Dinner] (P, IVP)

11/9 – External Event: On-campus Alumni Career Panel Part 2 (EVP)

11/16 – Social Event: Bring Your Own Board Game Night

11/23 – Thanksgiving Break

11/30 – Final Presentation

  • 15 min per presentation + 15 min administrivia = 90 min

Job Openings

Social Media & Photographer - You already know this, but our social media game needs work.  We need likes.  We need activity.  We need visibility.  We do a lot of things in this club and it would be awesome to brag about it online.  Also, we would like to document some of our professional events, so we can reference them in later semesters.  This is a really important job for the sustainability and future of VSS.

Web Design (Intern) - Danny, Patrick, and Neil will be overhauling the website over the summer, but once they are gone, someone will need to take over the site from them.  Anyone willing to get experience with Squarespace and/or design should sign up!

New Member Training Leader- Asmay will be structuring the various consultant trainings but would appreciate the help of anyone willing to share their experiences with our next class of consultants. If you are willing to attend and share your expertise at a training event, have ideas on how trainings should be changed, or want leadership experience in consulting training, please sign up!

Retreat

There are two ideas being thrown around right now.  The first is going river rafting.  This is something we had planned last fall, but we were unable to go last minute.  Neil thinks river rafting would be an extremely fun and new way to do retreat.  Retreat last time was planned in Arnold, CA, so we would probably be revisiting that. 

The other idea for retreat was to head to a beach city.  Some of the best retreats that the older members of the club have been to have involved a beach in some capacity.  It’s really relaxing and there are so many options for people to explore at the beach that everyone is bound to have fun.  Ideas for location would be Santa Clara or Monterey.

Neil will be creating a poll soon asking for input on these ideas.  If you have any other ideas for retreat, feel free to post in the Facebook group or on Slack.  Neil wants to make this the best retreat you’ve been to!

Development Updates

Preliminary New Member Training Schedule

9/22 - Consulting Frameworks

9/29 - Optional Resume/ Internship Workshop

10/6 - Excel Workshop

10/13 -

10/20 - Decking Practice

10/27 -

11/3 - Big C Hike

11/10 -

11/17 -Decking Competition/ Final Training

11/24 - Thanksgiving break

Training Changes

Begin new member training with 15 minutes discussing their assignments to figure out what resources they need as a team. This should help alleviate concerns over not finding research resources and improve assignment quality.

External Updates

Expected Office Tours / Visits

Office tour companies

  • Series C Consulting - messaged

  • Shasta Ventures - will message

  • Google - messaged

Panels/fireside chats

  • Shasta Ventures - will message (same as office tour)
  • Batchery - will message (for VC & investor panel)
  • Other local accelerators/ VCs - gathering list

Alumni Events & Expected Dates

9/28 – External Event: On-campus Alumni Career Panel Part 1 (EVP)

11/9 – External Event: On-campus Alumni Career Panel Part 2 (EVP)

* Office tours have not had dates finalized yet

Will also set up a social with Alumni

Startup Weekend Progress

  • Spearheaded by Cheryl - building out the team this week and next
  • Getting on call with someone who works there after we have our first internal meeting
  • Creating a list of what we want from the event, what will be our biggest challenges, and drafting up a timeline for our progress

President Updates

Recruitment Process

I mainly have updates on clarifying the recruitment process, especially with deliberations, but will also briefly mention the budget. FYI there will be a much more detailed recruitment document sent out, but if you have concerns let us know now so we can add your input into finalizing recruitment.

The big changes to the interview process will be the addition of interview guidelines and training as well as how we will conduct the social stage. The interview process will work in the following way: 

Interview 1: Group Interview Stage:

For the most part the group interview will remain the same general format of “pitching to the VC your selected startup”. Taking on the suggestions of everyone at Stakeholder’s Meeting, we will start early on designing the 3 startups to be equally selectable as a company to pitch. There will be guidelines into specific questions and ways to judge say : quiet individuals, overly domineering members, and everything in between. 

*Group Deliberations: At this stage of the interview process and only at this stage, we will allow vouches on case by case. We will review green lights and evaluations.

Interview 2: Social Stage: 

1-2 VSS people paired with 3-4 Applicants switching every 15minutes

The issue that we were seeing in the past deliberations is that many VSS individuals. We will manually make a group sequence per person so that each VSS member will be active with a significant portion of the candidate pool. We understand that this will reduce the amount of great conversations that some of you mentioned and enjoyed, but this structure will allow you to meet a significant pool of the individuals.

Final Round: Case Quantitative and Qualitative & Behavioral

There will be a interview training where we will outline the threshold for those to move on to the next stage of interviews. In the end, you are the interviewer and not us. We trust your opinion, but document why you scored your person/candidate so highly or poorly.

Deliberations:

3 Stages to get in.

  1. First Preliminary stage is our InstaCut and InstaIn:
    1. Instacuts are people that do not meet the threshold set by the relative performances of our applicants and a general rubric for performance in his/her final round interview
    2. Instains are not IN the club.
  2. They will be pushed into the final stage of deliberations for Debate
    1. 20-25 individuals who were not instantly cut or instantly moved forward will debated upon
    2. these are individuals who have hit a certain threshold of performance in the final stages, but need to be discussed further on other behavioral factors
  3. Final Consideration
    1. All factors: group, social, final considered
    2. Remember it is a two way street for social fit

There is no 100% way to recruit but hopefully with the addition of training and guidelines, deliberation will be as smooth as it can be while maintaining fairness in selecting candidates.

Budget

The budget is underway. We will have a best-case scenario and a worst-case scenario for budgeting in next month’s newsletter.  Due to the success of several clients supporting VSS financially from our own teams, we can confidently say that dues will be less than last semester. Fear not for exorbitant car fees, we will figure the car situation way in advance and optimize the budget for our college bank accounts.