As has been the case with nearly every other top-ranked MBA program this year, Haas has trimmed down its essays, going from six to five required essays in this year’s application, and shortening one from 1,000 to 750 words.
Berkeley (Haas) Admissions Deadlines
Round 1: October 17, 2012
Round 2: November 29, 2012
Round 3: January 16, 2013
Round 4: March 12, 2013
These deadlines are almost identical to last year’s, only that the Round 1 deadline is a week later than what it was last year. The good thing is that Haas has four admission rounds. This will give you enough time to plan out your application. We’d recommend you to apply before the final round.
Note that, even if you apply in Round 1, you won’t receive a decision from Haas until January 10, so you will probably have to move ahead with your Round 2 applications before you hear back from Haas.
Berkeley (Haas) Admissions Essays
- If you could choose one song that expresses who you are, what is it and why? (250 words)This is a new question this year and it keeps up the Haas tradition of asking touchy questions. We expect that many applicants will over-think this essay, and trick themselves into coming up with a song that is neither close to their hearts nor does a good job of expressing who you are. Admissions officers often say “There is no right answer to our essay questions,” but this guidance is particularly true in this case. Have fun with this essay and even if you think some hip-hop or pop song expresses you better, do not be afraid to go ahead and write about it.
- What is your most significant accomplishment? (250 words)This question carries over unchanged from last year. Ideally the story you choose will show at least one or two of the key themes in your application. All things being equal, a story from your professional life will serve you best, but do not feel that your significant accomplishment MUST be from the workplace.
- Describe a time when you questioned an established practice or thought within an organization. How did your actions create positive change? (250 words)This question also carries over unchanged from last year. This question is quite specific as far as essay prompts go, and hits on what MBA admissions officers really want to see in applicants: a willingness to go beyond the norm, go outside of their comfort zone, and improve on the things as they are.
Do note the second part of the question which focuses on a positive change. They don’t just want to go ahead and mention something, rather, they want to see what change you can bring about when given the opportunity.
- Describe a time when you were a student of your own failure. What specific insight from this experience has shaped your development? (250 words)This question is also unchanged from before. Again, notice how Haas uses the second part to specifically call out what the admissions committee looks for in your response. Describing failure has always been an important essay question for all business schools. As we always recommend with “failure” questions, this is the real meat of the essay — illustrating what you learned and, ideally, describing a later time when you put that lesson to work. Be sure to give enough emphasis to what you learned and not finishing your word limit in describing your failure.
- a. What are your post-MBA short-term and long-term career goals? How have your professional experiences prepared you to meet these goals? b. How will an MBA from Haas help you meet these goals? (750 words for 6a. and 6b.)This question also carries over unchanged from last year, although the word limit has dropped from 1,000 to 750 words. Once again, we find it interesting how Haas so specifically calls out what it wants to see in your response. This question is essentially the typical “Why an MBA? Why this school?” essay that most schools ask, although Haas makes an effort to explicitly call out parts a and b, which suggests that past applicants have not adequately answered both parts — especially the “Why Haas?” part.
Ask yourself these questions: Where do you see yourself in a few years, and why do you need an MBA to get there? Specifically, why do you need a Haas MBA to get there? Why not another top-ten MBA program?
All the best with your admission essays. We’ll be bringing you more tips as other business schools release their essays too.