Wells Fargo Cal Corporate Alumni Committee Chair Richard Zhu ’09, a graduate of the Haas School of Business and a classical pianist, believes in building community. “We know there are at least 400 Cal alumni working at Wells Fargo and we want them all to join us.”
Richard and others encourage new Cal alumni hired at Wells Fargo to join their corporate committee. “We are forming a more formal mentorship program,” says Richard. “It’s important that we support new hires, more internships, and leverage our networking potential throughout the Cal/Wells Fargo community to get more people connected.
“The recent reading event for The Leadership Award at Alumni House was a great volunteer effort complete with lunch from Top Dog, an iconic symbol of our time at Cal,” says Richard. “Almost 75% of the Wells Fargo Cal alumni live in the Bay Area. We want to bring them all together with more opportunities to build the relationship between Cal alumni and other Wells Fargo employees.”
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Richard’s father was a scientist at Berkeley. He was a Cal sports fan as a kid, always cheering for the University. Attending college was a given, and his interest in business made the Haas School of Business the obvious choice. The diversity of ideas and ethnicities was also a factor, something he found unique at Berkeley.
“Cal teaches you to step out of your comfort zone,” Richard notes. “Classes of hundreds of students taught me to speak in front of large groups. The smaller classes at Haas helped me forge close and lasting relationships.” His work with Net Impact, a Haas organization focused on corporate responsibility, taught him to “think beyond myself and make a difference in my community.”
When asked about his greatest concern for the future of Berkeley, Richard cited the rapid increase in tuition. “The cost of higher education is rising at an incredible rate,” he says. “Students now question the value of education. Cost is a huge risk, but without a doubt, a degree from Cal is the best value for the money. My four years were some of the most valuable years of my life.”
As a former CAA Alumni Scholar, Richard believes “CAA plays an important part in helping students alleviate the financial burden.” Through his position as the Chair of the Cal Corporate Committee at Wells Fargo, he hopes to engage more alumni in supporting CAA and the students we serve. “We’re planning more events that help Wells Fargo employees rekindle their connection to CAA,” he says. “It helps employees know and support one another. A connection to Cal makes networking a lot easier within the firm. I hope to see this replicated by CAA throughout the corporate community.”