UC Berkeley Haas 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

Check out other school specific essay tips!

UC Berkeley Haas

The supplemental information that Haas requests is almost unchanged. The essays are different from last years. For #1 they have an essay question very similar to one from two years ago. And for #2, they give you a choice of prompts.

My tips are in blue below.

Essays:

At Berkeley-Haas, we seek candidates from a broad range of cultures, backgrounds, and industries who demonstrate a strong cultural fit with our program and defining principles. Our distinctive culture is defined by four key principles — Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself. Please use the following essays as an opportunity to reflect on and share with us the values, experiences, and accomplishments that have helped shape who you are.

(Learn more about Berkeley-Haas’ Defining Principles)

Please use the following essays as opportunities to reflect on and share with us the values, experiences, and accomplishments that have helped shape who you are.

As you are answering the following four questions really think about Haas’ defining principles and when possible tie your answer and experiences to those principles. As I frequently do, I want to warn you against simply repeating the principles or stuffing them into your essays. That’s a waste of time and space. Use your essays to reveal that you share those values and have those qualities.

1. If you could choose one song that expresses who you are, what is it and why? (250 word maximum)

If it’s heavy metal, go for it. And if it’s a Beethoven Sonata, let it sing forth. And if it’s a classic folk song that you learned as a child in a non-Western country, don’t hesitate to share that information too. The “what” isn’t nearly as important as the “why.” Be authentic and tell them which song best expresses your essence, whatever it is. And then tell them why you believe it reflects the true you.  

2.  Please respond to one of the following prompts: (250 word max)

• Describe an experience that has fundamentally changed the way you see the world and how it transformed you.

• Describe a significant accomplishment and why it makes you proud.

• Describe a difficult decision you have made and why it was challenging.

First question: Which to choose? Select the one that you can answer most easily and enthusiastically and that complements the other essays and information found elsewhere. 

Please note that each option is asking for one experience or one accomplishment, or one difficult decision. Haas seeks an example that you find meaningful and illustrative of how you approach situations and events. they want a window into how you act and think. Whatever option you choose, don’t omit answering what comes after the “and.”

Try to choose an event that illustrates you identifying with at least one of Haas’ 4 Principles.

3. Tell us about your path to business school and your future plans. How will the Berkeley-Haas experience help you along this journey? (500 words max)

This is a connect-the-dots goals question.  What do you want to do after you earn your MBA? How has what you have done in the past convinced you this is the right path for you? How will the Haas MBA experience prepare you to achieve your goals for your MBA? 

You don’t have to answer the questions I posed in the order I posed them, but the strong answer to this question will answer all three questions if you want to answer Haas’ question. And to answer the about the Berkeley-Haas experience, you must thoroughly understand Haas program and culture.  How will take advantage of its strengths?

Supplemental Information:

1.  If you have not provided a letter of recommendation from your current supervisor, please explain. If not applicable, enter N/A.

Keep it short and sweet. This is primarily for those of you who don’t want to tell your boss yet that you plan to leave.

2. List in order of importance all community and professional organizations and extracurricular activities in which you have been involved during or after university studies. Include the following information for each organization or activity using the format below:

• Name of organization or activity
• Nature of organization or activity
• Size of organization
• Dates of involvement
• Offices held
• Average number of hours spent per month

Whenever possible, quantify your impact or contribution. Please note that Haas is not interested in high school grades or activities. Note also that they want the list not in chronological order, but in order of importance — however you define “importance.”

3. List full-time and part-time jobs held during undergraduate or graduate studies, indicating the employer, job title, employment dates, location, and the number of hours worked per week for each position held prior to the completion of your degree.

Again, quantify as much as possible your responsibilities and impact. Focus on achievements. Avoid  job descriptions that are obvious from your job title.

4. If you have ever been subject to academic discipline, placed on probation, suspended, or required to withdraw from any college or university, please explain. If not, please enter N/A. (An affirmative response to this question does not automatically disqualify you from admission.)

Please, please, please don’t “forget” to answer this question if it applies to you. It’s far worse to ignore it than to answer it.

Optional Essay: Is there any other information you would like to share that is not presented elsewhere in the application? You may also use this essay to provide further explanation of employment gaps or your quantitative abilities. (500 word maximum)

A bonus! If there is an element in your background, be it personal, academic or professional, that you have not revealed elsewhere and would like the adcom to know about, this is the spot. Give them another reason to admit you, but don’t submit the grand summary, appeal, or closing statement. Keep it succinct and focused.

Obviously, you could use this essay to explain a weakness, but that would leave your application ending on a weakness, which is less than optimal. Try to fit the explanation in somewhere else in the app or if necessary tuck the weakness into this essay, but have the main focus of this essay be something positive. For example: Your pride in working your way through undergrad, the challenges, and the ultimate satisfaction of learning to manage your time. 

If you would like professional guidance with your UC Berkeley Haas MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Haas MBA application. 

UC Berkeley Haas 2016 MBA Application Deadlines:

Read more MBA specific Essay Tips

Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One - Download your copy today!

Linda Abraham By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Related Resources:

• 2016 MBA Application Essay Tips
• UC Berkeley Haas Zone Page
Why MBA? [Free Guide]

Top Ranked Part-Time MBAs

The U.S. News has released its list of the top-ranked part time MBA programs.

Here are the top 10:

Are you using the rankings correctly?1. UC Berkeley (Haas)

2. U Chicago (Booth)

3. Northwestern (Kellogg)

4. NYU (Stern)

5. UCLA (Anderson)

6. U Michigan (Ross)

7 (tie). Carnegie Mellon (Tepper)

7 (tie). U Texas- Austin (McCombs)

9. Ohio State (Fisher)

10 (tie). U Minnesota- Twin Cities (Carlson)

10 (tie). USC (Marshall)

For the full list and details of the ranking methodology, visit the rankings. We offer comprehensive consulting services for both full- and part-time MBA applicants!

Are You Misusing the B-School Rankings?
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• Ace the EMBA
• Tips for Applying to Part-time MBA Programs
• The MBA Family: A Roundup and Overview

Business School Gender Balance Improving

Berkeley Haas

UC Berkeley Haas takes the lead with a 43% female student body.

Women now make up 60% of university graduates, but most business schools have lagged behind when it comes to gender balance—impacting not just women’s experience of b-school, but the composition of the workforce afterward. A new report from gender consulting firm 20-first looks at the numbers of women MBA students and faculty at top programs, and finds that while there has been some improvement in the last few years, we still have a ways to go before achieving gender balance.

Lesley Symons, one of the authors of the report, points out that this “balance” is not merely an issue of numbers—currently, the curriculum at most b-schools is defined and driven by male faculty, male-dominated case studies, etc. She suggests that a deeper issue of cultural change is at stake, in order to make business education “gender bilingual” and effectively train the next generation of business leaders.

The report found that gender balance among students at top programs is improving (with several top US programs near or over 40% representation for women), while faculty numbers are slower to budge.

Here are some of the report’s findings regarding female MBA students and faculty:

Check out our b-school zone pages to learn more about these top schools!
Are You Misusing the B-School Rankings?

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

Best MBA Programs and How to Choose the Right One
Leaning in While Pursuing Your MBA: The MBA Mama Story
Forte Helps Women In Business Thrive: Interview with Elissa Sangster

U.S. News 2016 Best Graduate Business Schools

U.S. News released its graduate school rankings today. Let’s see how our top b-schools fared…

Top 20 U.S. B-Schools – 2016

Visit our b-school zone page for info on the top business schools.1. Stanford GSB (1)
2. Harvard Business School (1)
3. UPenn Wharton (1)
4. Chicago Booth (4)
5. MIT Sloan (5)
6. Northwestern Kellogg (6)
7. UC Berkeley Haas (7)
8. Columbia Business School (8)
9. Dartmouth Tuck (9)
10. UVA Darden (11)
11. NYU Stern (10)
11. Michigan Ross (11)
13. Duke Fuqua (14)
13. Yale SOM (13)
15. UCLA Anderson (16)
16. Cornell Johnson (17)
17. Texas McCombs (15)
18. UNC Kenan-Flagler (19)
19. Washington Olin (22)
20. CMU Tepper (18)

25% of US News rankings is made up of survey responses from business school deans and directors; 15% is based on recruiters’ survey responses. The remaining 60% is based on statistical data reflecting program selectivity and placement success. (For details, read up on U.S. News methodology.)

Here are some highlights from the Poets & Quants article on the rankings:

• Last year’s three-way Stanford/Harvard/Wharton tie was broken this year with each school taking one of the first three spots (Stanford in first, HBS in second, and Wharton in third).

• The P&Q article states that Wharton’s slip to third is due to lower peer assessment and corporate recruiter survey scores.

• Wharton also reported an acceptance rate of 20.7%, up from last year’s 18.7% — this is another metric used by U.S. News in their methodology.

• Another factor contributing to Wharton’s position this year is its position regarding salary and bonus. Last year it took top slot at $141,243, while this year it slipped to fourth place at $142,574 – yes, higher than last year, but this year, Harvard, MIT, and Stanford reported even higher salaries/bonuses (HBS took the cake at $144,936 this year).

• Stanford’s top stats this year: average GMAT – 732; average GPA – 3.74; acceptance rate – 7.1%.

• In the top 20, there weren’t significant changes beyond a given school moving up or down a couple places. But further down in the rankings there were some big shifts. Texas A&M jumped 10 places to 27th place (tied with Carlson); Wake Forest jumped 13 places to 45th place; and Louisville moved up at least 31 places to 71st place – it was previously unranked.

• Big drops include Missouri Trulaske which fell 21 places from 58th to 79th place; Pepperdine Graziadio which fell at least 25 places, from last year’s 76th place to its unranked position this year.

Wondering how much rankings should play a roll in determining where you apply? Watch the video below for Linda Abraham’s answer:

Are You Misusing the B-School Rankings?

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• Financial Times Global MBA Rankings 2015
• What’s an MBA Really Worth?
• PayScale: How Much Can You Earn, and How to Earn It?

QS Global TopMBA Rankings 2014

TopMBA’s new 2014/2015 global report ranks business programs according to geographic location based on surveys completed by 5,669 actively-hiring MBA employers and 7,187 academics in the field of business and management. (See more about the methodology here.)

Top 20 B-Schools in North America

Learn how to make the business school rankings work for you, not against you!

Some highlights:

•  The top 10 remained virtually the same this year as last, with two rather large exceptions: Ross and Stern entered the top 10 scene from 12th place to 8th place for Ross and 12th place to 10th place for Stern. Losing top 10 stature this year were Duke Fuqua which fell from 10th to 13th place and Toronto Rotman which fell from 8th to 14th.

•  There were three newcomers to the top 10 this year – NYU Stern (see above), Texas McCombs (29th last year to 19th this year), and BU School of Management (24th to 20th). HEC Montreal fell from the top 20 (16th place last year to 22nd this year), as did York Schulich (13th to 28th) and Queen’s School of Business (18th to 31st).

•  Big jumpers further down in the rankings include USC Marshall (42nd to 23rd), UC Irvine Merage (51st to 33rd), UC Davis (54th to 36th), Michigan State Broad (71st to 38th), UC San Diego Rady (61st to 40th), Ohio State Fisher (60th to 42nd), UT Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management (83rd to 45th), Washington Olin (83rd to 47th), and Minnesota Carlson (87th to 49th).

•  Big droppers include UVA Darden (28th to 37th), University of Miami School of Business Administration (32nd to 77th), Rutgers Business School (67th to 82nd), and Vanderbilt Owen (37th to 86th).

Top 20 B-Schools in Europe

Learn how to make the rankings work for you and not against you!Some highlights:

•  HEC Paris jumped from 10th place last year to 4th place this year and Cambridge Judge jumped from 13th to 10th place; otherwise, the top 10 in Europe remain pretty much the same. Copenhagen fell from the top 10, from 9th place last year to 12th place this year.

•  New to the top 20 this year are ESSEC (29th place to 16th place), Manchester Bossiness School (27th to 14th place), and European Business School (21st to 19th). Trinity MBA in Dublin fell from the top 20, from 12th place to 21st

•  UK programs dominate the 65 schools on the European list with 26 programs represented. This is followed by France (9), Spain (5), Switzerland (4), Germany (4), the Netherlands (4), Italy (3), Denmark (2), Ireland (2), Greece (2), Finland (1), Portugal (1), Turkey (1), and Belgium (1).

You can download the full report here.

Are You Misusing the B-School Rankings?

Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Related Resources:

• Businessweek Rankings 2014
• 2014 Economist MBA Rankings
• MBA Rankings: Why Should I Care?