How Does UC Berkeley Evaluate Applications?

Essays help us learn about who you are as a person and how you will fit with our community. We seek candidates from a broad range of industries, backgrounds, and cultures.

How to choose UC Berkeley essays

We encourage you to reflect on your experiences, values, and passions so that you may craft thoughtful and authentic responses that demonstrate your fit with our program — culturally, academically, and professionally. What makes you feel alive when you are doing it, and why? Essentially, the Haas adcom is asking what you are most passionate about and, ideally, you would ultimately connect to one of their defining principles.

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For example, if the majority of content in the next essay is focused on your professional life and accomplishments, this would be an opportunity to showcase and highlight your extracurricular passions or interests. As you approach this topic, be sure to think broadly about themes in your background and the forces behind your decisions and involvements. At Berkeley Haas, we are redefining leadership. We encourage speaking up and listening, and courageously use our power to address barriers and drive change for positive impact.

Tell us how a Berkeley Haas MBA would enhance your leadership profile, incorporating specific examples. Defining your leadership skills and then accounting for how you have demonstrated them with specific examples could make for a strong opening here.


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Ideally, the examples would include overcoming barriers as well as accounting for positive impact, in line with the prompt. Then, you may touch on where you feel you have room for improvement before dedicating more space to how a Haas MBA would enable you to address these areas.

Understand Berkeley-Haas’ Defining Principles Before writing MBA Essays

We invite you to help us better understand the context of your opportunities and achievements. Overall, Haas is trying to get a better understanding of the context from which a candidate has evolved, both professionally, and personally. Moreover, these questions invite a sense of your attitude and resilience through adversity. While the opening five questions establish potential jumping off points, you are free to delve into another personal experience that defines you.

The key to this essay is to quickly establish context and then elaborate on how you handled the situation and grew because of it. After all, resilience entails a struggle with an outcome of success. Given the highly personal nature of the opening five questions, candidates should reflect more on circumstances that have informed their character, as opposed to digging into a setback at work.

You may be able to incorporate how the lessons you learned from hardships and unusual circumstances have informed your approach to your career, but professional setbacks should not be the main focus of this essay. Also keep in mind that this essay is optional —do not feel pressure to make a mountain out of a molehill to deliver more content in your application. Take some time to reflect and tell the adcom how the circumstances from their queries or other situations influenced you. This section should only be used to convey relevant information not addressed elsewhere in your application.

This may include explanation of employment gaps, academic aberrations, supplemental coursework, etc. You are encouraged to use bullet points where appropriate.

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Applicants should exercise discretion when responding to this prompt, as providing an optional essay creates extra work for the admissions reader. Click here to register! Already have an account?


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  7. Click here to login. Log In Please enter your Username and Password. Register for free. For those looking to use the degree to expand their career opportunities, understanding which business school programs provide the greatest access to which careers is critical. View Overview. Profiles and admissions decisions submitted in real time by applicants to leading MBA programs, providing a continuously updated feed of who is getting in where. GPA: 3. GMAT: Interview Invite to U.

    Understand Berkeley-Haas’ Defining Principles Before writing MBA Essays

    Chicago Booth via email. Chicago Booth via portal. Since then… Continue Readng Here. My first go-to-market experience ignited my passion for product marketing which not only taught me how to think… Continue Reading Here. Also be prepared to share examples of how you have demonstrated HDP in professional and personal life. Second, be prepared to connect your long-term goal to Haas professors, programs, people.

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    Show that you know Haas programs deeply and can explain why and how Haas best prepares you to change the world. Third, be ready to prove, with logic and passion, why you would choose Berkeley over other options. Have some criteria by which Berkeley beats other schools. For instance, a former consultant client who wanted to pursue a career in the healthcare industry mentioned that he wanted to pursue a Health Management Certificate at the Haas School of Business.

    Stanford, by contrast, does not offer such a certificate… Continue Reading Here. I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. When necessary, be frank about your limitations. This essay can also benefit from mentions of your future goals. What leadership position do you see yourself taking in the mid to long-term?

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    What would be required of you to make an impact in that role? A lack of specificity here is something that you should absolutely avoid. Getting in touch with the Haas through events and visits, as well as its alumni, is often an invaluable resource for this essay. We will consider achievements in the context of the opportunities available to a candidate. We invite you to help us better understand the context of your opportunities and achievements:. What is the highest level of education completed by your parent s or guardian s?

    What is the most recent occupation of your parent s or guardian s? If you were raised in one of the following household types, please indicate:. What was the primary language spoken in your childhood home? If you have you ever been responsible for providing significant and continuing financial or supervisory support for someone else, please indicate:.

    Please elaborate on any of your above responses. Alternatively, you may use this opportunity to expand on other hardships or unusual life circumstances that may help us understand the context of your opportunities, achievements, and impact. While the first series of questions asked here only establishes a preliminary glimpse into your history, the final question asks you to either develop one of the previous answers, or to talk about something trying or unique in your life.

    Haas does not expect every candidate to have suffered through an objectively life changing event. What they want to understand is what you believe has subjectively shaped your life.