UC Berkeley Haas Deadlines, Essays & Analysis (Class of 2013, Starting Fall 2011)

DEADLINES [table id=55 /]


Short Answer Questions

What are you most passionate about? Why? (250-word maximum)

Analysis: I can think of a few ways to approach this question, but I recommend starting with the truth: what are you truly passionate about? What gets you out of bed early or makes the hours fly by? What would you make a second career of if you could? (Hint: this is not a time for you to reiterate your goals or career ambitions, or express your love of Excel or calculating NPV.) It might be simple, like a hobby or volunteer activity, or more conceptual, like a value or aspiration. I even had a client write a brilliant essay about his newborn daughter. The point is for you to reveal something important and meaningful that might not appear in the other essays. If you do take the hobby approach, be sure you explain what exactly about it excites your passion. If you are espousing a value, such as fairness or creativity, then those things are hopefully evident in your other essays.

Tell us about your most significant accomplishment. (250-word maximum)

Analysis: Normally, your “most significant accomplishment" would be a good candidate topic for a Leadership essay, and you may have to do some re-writing and re-arranging if you’ve already used that topic for the Leadership Required Essay below. This topic can be either personal or professional, small or large, one-time or ongoing as long as you explain why it is significant for you. I would start with your most honest answer, and check for balance, integration and consistency with your other essays.

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 words maximum, Review Berkeley-Haas’ Defining Principles)

Analysis: Haas outlines well what they are looking for in each topic on their website. I've added my comments in (CAPS).

Question the Status Quo: We lead by championing bold ideas, taking intelligent risks and accepting sensible failures. This means speaking our minds even when it challenges convention. We thrive at the world's epicenter of innovation. (LEADERSHIP)

Confidence Without Attitude: We make decisions based on evidence and analysis, giving us the confidence to act without arrogance. We lead through trust and collaboration. (LEADERSHIP)

Students Always: We are a community designed for curiosity and lifelong pursuit of personal and intellectual growth. This is not a place for those who feel they have learned all they need to learn. (HOW HAVE YOU VOLUNTARILY FURTHERED YOUR EDUCATION, EITHER FORMAL OR INFORMAL?)

Beyond Yourself: We shape our world by leading ethically and responsibly. As stewards of our enterprises, we take the longer view in our decisions and actions. This often means putting larger interests above our own. (ETHICS)

There are many ways to learn about our program, what steps have you taken to learn about the Berkeley MBA? (250-word maximum)

Analysis: Being across the San Francisco Bay from Stanford may have given Haas concern that they are a backup school for the Cardinal. Different from the “Why Berkeley?” part of the goals essay (see Required Essay #2 below), your answer should emphasize the process you went through to research Haas, the effort you put into it. There is no excuse not to dive into the website, student blogs, chatrooms, etc. More serious applicants will try to attend information sessions, contact current students and alumni, and – the ultimate show of interest – visit the school. If you’re coming through, let me know. I can recommend some great cafes.

Required Essays

Give us an example of a situation in which you displayed leadership. (500 word maximum)

Analysis: Please see: The MBA Leadership Essay

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)

Analysis: Please see: The MBA Goals Essay

Optional Essay

(Optional) 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)

Analysis: Please see: The MBA Optional Essay