By Caden McCulloch, Fellow

October 29, 2022

“If your day-to-day does not align with your goals, you will feel like you’re lost” – Timothy McCann

Meet Charissa Pham, who is in “the business of doing whatever the f- – – she wants” (you will have to fill in the blanks yourself). Charissa grew up on a 20-acre farm in Sacramento with more cows than neighbors in sight. Fighting complacency and having a “bias towards action,” Charissa does not shy away from any goals she wants to achieve. Even with an intense and passionate focus on her goals, Charissa remains grounded in the communities she is a part of, both in her hometown and here at Berkeley. Whether you are a complete stranger or a close friend, Charissa loves learning from others by talking with them.

And speaking of conversations, a fun fact about Charissa is that she recently started her own podcast: “Conversations with Charissa.” If you have not checked it out already, then what are you doing!? Go check it out! It is filled with insightful experiences, and endless quotes, some of which will be included throughout the spotlight, so be on the lookout. On that note, Charissa finds it important to “show up for yourself,” which she has not only gracefully accomplished in the latest three episodes of her podcast, but also in the realms of volleyball and academics. She has had an extensive career in both coaching and playing; she has played as a setter on the varsity team at Cosumnes River College and is currently on the club team here at Berkeley.

Academically and professionally, Charissa has a passion for consulting and financial literacy. She is a transfer student from Cosumnes River College who is majoring in Business Administration at the Haas School of Business with graduation approaching in May, 2023. Charissa is a part of numerous clubs reflecting her interests, including FinEd, Berkeley Women in Business, and GRC Berkeley. Within GRC, she has played several roles from consultant, project manager, to training this semester’s PMs as VP of Project Development. After graduation, she plans to work as a consultant for EY Parthenon. Charissa would like to let transfer students and potential transfer students know that it IS possible to achieve their goals, and she strives to be a model of that accomplishment. 

Although Charissa has taken on plenty of “you are your own best friend/worst enemy” battles – one time practicing fourth-grade mental math at a GRC retreat to get better at it – this has not been a solo journey for her. She is beyond grateful for the colleagues, friends, and, most of all, family that has supported her in all facets along the way. Moving forward, she hopes to continue learning through “aha moments” and being a role model to those around her, especially her younger siblings. Whether it is an awesome conversation or a fun game of Spikeball, Charissa is the person to seek out!



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