Tag Archives: Haas School of Business
September 15, 2011
*Please note that no client details are ever shared in SBC Scoop or otherwise without complete sign off from client. Today is the third year anniversary of the Lehman collapse, which sent a ripple of …
*Please note that no client details are ever shared in SBC Scoop or otherwise without complete sign off from client.
Today is the third year anniversary of the Lehman collapse, which sent a ripple of unemployment through the financial sector. In the past, unemployment was a red flag that required conscious mitigation. Now, business schools realize that even the best employees may have gone through a period without work over the last three years.
Christian wasn’t hit personally by the financial crisis, but he was an analyst at a large social media website that ultimately couldn’t compete with facebook. Due to the credit crunch, the parent corporation no longer had the patience to withstand huge losses from this website in 2009, and decided to lay off 50% of the workforce.
Other than his unemployment, Christian was a strong candidate with a 3.7 GPA from Emory and a 740 GMAT score. His work experience showed progression in the form of a promotion from Analyst to Sr. Analyst at his company in only 18 months. He had spent another two years at the social networking site before the round of layoffs.
When we started working with Christian he was still unemployed and had decided to use his time to start his own business. He was working on a niche retail website in his spare time, and volunteering with an organization called Taproot to keep his strategy skills fresh. Christian wanted to pursue his MBA to give him a basis in Marketing and Accounting that would help him operate his own company. He wanted to stay in the bay area and was only applying to Haas and Stanford.
The key aspect that helped us shape Christian’s profile was that he had remained busy and optimistic. Christian saw the layoff as an opportunity to pursue a dream of entrepreneurship. This was a story that could be told easily in his applications, and we focused one essay on how he wrote a business plan for his retail site, and the networking he did to understand the overall industry and the market size for his target audience. This story showed that he was determined, hard working, and able to use his people skills to expand his network.
The volunteer work that Christian was heavily involved in gave him an opportunity to cite recent teamwork. He also showed that he was interested in giving back, even while he went through tough times himself. We used the optional essay and his recommendations to show that he was a top performer who simply ended up at an unprofitable company. In his essays about work he was able to show that he had learned a lot about business from being part of a failed company. Overall, Christian showed that he had the grit to persevere through a difficult experience ”“ a quality that is in high demand within MBA programs.
Despite his unemployment Christian was admitted to Haas where he made the most of the opportunity to become an expert on Marketing and Accounting for his start-up.
To read more SBC Case Studies, click HERE.
August 22, 2011
The Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley announced last week that it has received funding to blend online education with traditional classroom learning, thanks to the $1 million set aside by the Chamberlin Family …
The Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley announced last week that it has received funding to blend online education with traditional classroom learning, thanks to the $1 million set aside by the Chamberlin Family Donor Designated Fund.
Created by Steve and Susan Chamberlin, former members of the Haas School of Business professional faculty, the funds will be shared by UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering, the Graduate School of Education, the Haas School, the School of Information, and the School of Public Health, as well as UC Berkeley Extension. These schools have formed a consortium to share knowledge, develop unique programming, and realize efficiencies.
“I hope this gift is the catalyst that launches UC Berkeley on the path to being the best in the online space,” says Steve Chamberlin. “It’s less important to be first than to develop the background and the qualitative measures to do online education really well.”
Noting that students today are “digital natives” who expect to be able to learn through an online platform, Adam Berman, the Haas School’s executive director of emerging initiatives, says, “Technology has progressed to the point where online education is no longer a pale substitute for the traditional lecture hall. Advanced learning platforms, rich media, social networks and mobile devices allow for highly interactive learning communities online, as well as a customized, results-oriented experience for each student.”
Through the use of both online and traditional course formats, Jay Stowsky, senior assistant dean for instruction, says the Haas School will be at the forefront of professional business education by expanding student access to the school’s world-class faculty.
July 20, 2011
UC Berkeley Trustee Dato’ Sri Dr. Tahir has given $1 million to the Haas School of Business for a new endowment fund to provide scholarships to international MBA students primarily from Asia, the school announced …
UC Berkeley Trustee Dato’ Sri Dr. Tahir has given $1 million to the Haas School of Business for a new endowment fund to provide scholarships to international MBA students primarily from Asia, the school announced earlier this week.
International students have had limited access to U.S. loans for the past three years, as most lenders now require a U.S. citizen or permanent resident as co-cosigner. The Tahir Fellowship Endowment Fund will help the Haas School attract more Asian applicants to its full-time Berkeley MBA Program.
The MBA admissions office will identify prospective scholarship recipients, and the amount of awards will be flexible and dependent on available funds. The school says that each gift will be matched by the UC Berkeley Graduate Fellowships Matching Program.
Tahir, who joined the Berkeley Board of Trustees as its first trustee from Southeast Asia in 2007, says Indonesians view UC Berkeley as one of the top business school destinations. “I hope that the fellowship fund will set an example of giving back, especially for students who benefit from the fellowship,” says Tahir. “When they graduate and become successful in business, I hope they will remember their appreciation for the fellowship and will give to support another fellowship fund.”
Haas School’s Dean Rich Lyons expressed his gratitude for Tahir’s contribution, saying, “Top business schools compete intensely to attract the very best students in the market, and diversity, including international student representation, is an important goal. Dr. Tahir’s gift will greatly improve our ability to achieve this goal.”
June 21, 2011
Approaching the new set of Haas Business School questions may be intimidating, as you are required to answer six questions that focus on a variety of attributes and accomplishments, while you are being judged upon …
Approaching the new set of Haas Business School questions may be intimidating, as you are required to answer six questions that focus on a variety of attributes and accomplishments, while you are being judged upon “a strong cultural fit with our program and defining principles.” A clear understanding of your application strategy ”“ particularly your career goals and strengths/weaknesses will be key to put together a cohesive application.
Haas Business School short answers require focus, at only 250 words you will need to answer concisely and clearly to make sure your point is communicated. While challenging, this is also an opportunity to demonstrate several different aspects of your personality to the admissions committee.
As Haas Business School asks for your career goals last, the admissions committee will be getting to know you as a person before they understand what you are planning to do with your future. Make sure your career goals aren’t a huge surprise at the end, and that they logically flow from your attitude, personality and experiences.
For more information on the question and deadlines, visit the blog post on the new Haas questions.
1. What brings you the greatest joy? How does this make you distinctive? (250 word maximum)
Similar to what matters most, and why, this question seeks to get at your core values. What do you wake up in the middle of the night thinking about? (You may want to keep a pencil by your bed to get your creative thoughts flowing!) What common threads have been woven throughout your life, whether altruistic, artistic or personal?
Haas asked a similar question last year, and a new aspect is the second part where you are asked how your passion or joy makes your distinctive. Your passion is inherently distinctive because it reflects your unique core values, though it may appear standard on the surface. Delve deep into your own motivations for what gives you the greatest joy, and anything in your background that has shaped your feelings. For example, perhaps your greatest joy is something fairly typical like spending time with friends and family. Take the time to think about WHY this is your greatest joy ”“ perhaps you are part of a tight knit family with unique values that you can discuss, or maybe you moved a lot as a kid and so your friendships feel precious. Whatever unique aspects of your background inform your joy can be relevant to the question.
2. What is your most significant accomplishment. (250 word maximum)
Your accomplishment can be big or small, but it should be significant to you. While you have limited space, this is an opportunity to demonstrate what matters to you and to showcase one of your proudest moments.
While you are asked only about the accomplishment, the best essays will use this limited space to demonstrate clearly what the accomplishment was (be specific!) as well as commenting upon the significance of the accomplishment.
3. Describe a time when you questioned an established practice or thought within an organization. How did your actions create positive change? (250 word maximum)
The situational question would like to see your values in action as part of the question. When approaching a situational essay like this it’s important to provide both a concrete example and to explain what you thought, felt and did during the situation.
4. Describe a time when you were a student of your own failure. What specific insight from this experience has shaped your development? (250 word maximum)
This question asks you to think about a time you failed, and a time you learned from that failure. This essay is your opportunity to demonstrate your maturity, flexibility and leadership qualities. Leaders are not people who are always successful, rather they are people who are willing to admit to failure and learn from difficulty.
As you recount your failure it will be crucial to demonstrate what you have learned as concretely as possible. As a thought experiment, try thinking about a recent triumph. Trace your life events backwards until you find a failure, and think about how that failure directly led to your success. For example, perhaps you took a job immediately after college that was not a good fit for you. You may have felt like the job was a failure, but instead of despairing you took the time to think about what you really wanted, and subsequently found a job that led you success in your career. Perhaps your story isn’t career oriented but showcases learning from extracurricular or volunteer involvement.
5. Describe a time when you led by inspiring or motivating others toward a shared goal. (250 word maximum)
In this essay you will want to think about a specific leadership experience and what you did, said, felt and accomplished. At the same time, you need to focus specifically on how you motivated your team and inspired a group of people to accomplish a shared goal. You may not have *done* a great deal in the situation, but the key aspect is how you helped your team to be stronger and better through inspiration and motivation.
Leadership can be expressed in many ways in your life. Perhaps you lead a team of people at work, or in a volunteer capacity. If you do not have a formal leadership role you might have led a project or contributed as a strong leader from a team perspective. Whichever type of leadership experience you had, make sure to provide specifics of the situation. Strong results always stand out!
6. a. What are your post-MBA short-term and long-term career goals? How have your professional experiences prepared you to achieve these goals?
b. How will an MBA from Haas help you achieve these goals? (1000 word maximum for 6a. and 6b.)
This is a fairly typical career goals essay that asks for both short- and long-term goals and the background that led you to this juncture in your career. Think about what you hope to achieve with your MBA and the career opportunities it will reveal for you. You don’t need to recite your resume here ”“ rather highlight the key experiences that will be relevant in your future career.
Be specific about why the Haas School of Business is the right program to pursue your goals as well. As you consider your past experiences and your future goals you will be able to see what you want to gain from the Haas experience to fill any gaps. If you have an advertising background and want to become a brand manager you’ll likely need classes in operations and finance to understand the analytical side of brand management. Other goals will require other skills and your own unique background will inform how you take advantage of the Haas experience. Make sure you have determined exactly what courses make sense for your career goals and the programs and clubs that you will participate in to reach your personal and professional goals.
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June 8, 2011
The Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley has released the essay questions for the fall 2012 application. Click here for the deadlines, posted on the blog last week. What brings you the greatest joy? …
- What brings you the greatest joy? How does this make you distinctive? (250 word maximum)
- What is your most significant accomplishment? (250 word maximum)
- Describe a time when you questioned an established practice or thought within an organization. How did your actions create positive change? (250 word maximum)
- Describe a time when you were a student of your own failure. What specific insight from this experience has shaped your development? (250 word maximum)
- Describe a time when you led by inspiring or motivating others toward a shared goal. (250 word maximum)
- a. What are your post-MBA short-term and long-term career goals? How have your professional experiences prepared you to achieve these goals?
b. How will an MBA from Haas help you achieve these goals? (1000 word maximum for 6a. and 6b.)
The application goes live in August, so until then, visit the Haas admissions website for more information.