UPDATE: The tips for the UC Berkeley Haas 2012 MBA Application are now available online. Please post questions or comments to the new post. Check out the entire 2012 MBA Application Tips series for more valuable MBA application advice.
This UC Berkeley Haas 2011 MBA Application tip post is one of a series of posts providing MBA application and essay advice for applicants to top MBA programs around the world. You can access the entire series at https://blog.accepted.com/acceptedcom_blog/tag/2011-mba-application-tips. My tips for answering Haas’ essay questions are in blue below.
Listed below are the supplemental questions, short answer questions, required essays, and optional essays for the fall 2010 application.
1. If you have not provided a letter of recommendation from your current supervisor, please explain; otherwise, 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 intend to leave.
2. List in order of importance all community & professional organizations and extracurricular activities in which you have been involved during or after university studies. Indicate the nature of the activity or organization, dates of involvement, offices held, & average number of hours spent per month.
Whenever possible, quantify your impact or contribution.
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. Stay way from bullet points and job descriptions that are obvious from your title.
4. Please explain all gaps in your employment since earning your university degree.
Provide the explanation, but again, be succinct. If you were laid off for three months as part of a restructuring, say so. No harm, no foul. If the layoff was much longer, try to also indicate how you spent your time, other than job-searching. Community involvement or extra-curricular activity, if true, would be great to mention here.
5. Please identify the course(s) you have taken or intend to take to demonstrate quantitative proficiency. Provide the course name and institution. Beyond courses, please discuss other ways in which you have demonstrated strong quantitative abilities.
This is particularly important if you are a “poet” or at least if you were one in college and didn’t take much math in or since college. Is your work quantitatively analytical? If so, describe some of the challenges you have handled with aplomb. Have you enrolled in a certificate program like the CFA? Have you participated in a course like MBAMath?
You engineers should have an easy time providing the requested information.
6. 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 respond to this question if it applies to you. It’s far worse to omit than to answer it.
1. What are you most passionate about? Why? (250 word maximum)
Please see “What is “Passion” in Admissions?” Realize that passion without action is meaningless and shallow.
2. Tell us about your most significant accomplishment. (250 word maximum)
You don’t have a lot of room here. Describe it. Show your impact through a succinct use of numbers. Given the length restriction for this very important essay, a PAR approach could work well.
3. At Haas, our distinctive culture is defined by four key principles — question the status quo; confidence without attitude; students always; and beyond yourself. Give an example of when you have demonstrated one of these principles. (250 word maximum)
First review the four principles discussed at the link. Also read “Haas New MBA Curriculum–Interview with Pete Johnson” Then choose an example as requested but focus on an example that:
- You can enthusiastically relate.
- Complements your other essays.
- Reveals an achievement or shows you as a contributor with impact.
4. There are many ways to learn about our program, what steps have you taken to learn about the Berkeley MBA? (250 word maximum)
This essay should supplement the required essay 2 (below). Have you done your homework about Haas? If you live in California, you should really make the effort to visit Haas if you want your application to be taken seriously. Haas is very proud of its community and wants to know that you want to be a part of it, not something else. If you reside far from the West Coast, you can learn about Haas in other ways: Their publications, communicating with current students, blogs, info sessions, and receptions.
1. Give us an example of a situation in which you displayed leadership. (500 word maximum)
This question reflects a common b-school value: leadership. Schools want to see it because employers want to see it. Leadership is going to come up again and again. When have others followed you? When have you taken initiative and persuaded others to go in your footsteps or take your suggestion? Discuss the impact you had, the challenges you faced, how you overcame them, and what you learned.
2. What are your post-MBA short-term and long-term career goals? How do your professional experiences relate to these goals? How will an MBA from Berkeley help you achieve these specific career goals? (1000 word maximum)
Standard goals question. How do your goals flow from your professional experience? What are you short-term and long-term goals? How will the Haas MBA at this point in time help you achieve your goals?
1. Please feel free to provide a statement concerning any information you would like to add to your application that you haven’t addressed elsewhere. (500 word maximum)
A bonus! If there is some facet of your experience, be it professional, academic or personal, that you have not discussed elsewhere and would like the adcom to know about, include it here. Give them another reason to admit you, but don’t submit the grand summary, appeal, or closing statement. Keep it focused and cogent. 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. An Example: Your pride in working your way through undergrad, the challenges, and the ultimate satisfaction of learning to manage your time. An essay with this theme will explain a slightly less than stellar GPA; it won’t justify a 2.0.
If you would like help with your Haas MBA application, please consider Accepted.com’s MBA essay editing and admissions consulting, or a Haas School Package. Remember our 10% off Early Bird Special ends this Saturday. Most Premier MBA admissions consulting, MBA essay editing, and b-school packages are 10% off for the remainder of this week. Regular prices return on Sunday.
Round Due Date Notification
Round One October 13, 2010 January 13, 2011
Round Two December 2, 2010 March 3, 2011
Round Three January 20, 2011 April 21, 2011
Round Four March 16, 2011 May 26, 2011