Haas Admissions Director on Businessweek.com
BusinessWeek.com has posted a question and answer with Peter Johnson, Director of Haas Admissions. Haas is currently ranked 8th on US News and World Report’s 2008 Business School rankings for full-time MBA programs. See the full list of rankings here.
Johnson touches on many points of interest for all MBA applicants whether they are considering Haas or not. Below are some of the topics discussed:
Age of applicants
Johnson debunks the myth that “older” students (in their 30’s) are at a disadvantage. They are competitive applicants and valued members of the class. Moreover Johnson notes that students in their 30’s have no problem finding positions in traditional areas such as management consulting after graduation.
Applicants often wonder how many years of work experience they should have before applying. Johnson states that, “the most important issue for [them] is the quality of the work experience rather than the length of time.”
MBA programs can be especially challenging for individuals with limited quantitative experience. Johnson recommends taking a course in statistics or college algebra if you did not cover these topics in college, or a refresher course if you did poorly. Also an accounting or introductory finance course could be helpful. Similar to many schools such as HBS and Stanford, Haas has a two-week “Math Camp” before the start of school to prepare students who are unfamiliar with these topics.
Holistic application review
Johnson says that the Haas application review is “holistic” meaning they consider everything – academic preparation, work experience, and leadership potential as well as team skills, interpersonal skills, and initiative.
Johnson’s advice on choosing recommenders was in keeping with the advice on our blog. He says the “title of the recommender is less important than the information he or she can provide” and suggests asking a direct manager who is most familiar with your skills and accomplishments.
As we discussed in our blog on choosing schools, Johnson highly recommends visiting campus. During a Haas campus visit you can sit in on a class, attend an information seesion, and have lunch with students.
Many applicants are concerned with how to pay for business school. Haas has a significant financial aid program. Through the Maxwell Fellowship Program, they offer up to three full tuition scholarships each year. Additionally, The $1.5 million is awarded in Haas Merit Scholarships or Haas Achievement Awards, and those are either full tuition or half tuition for both years of study.
Joint degree programs
Haas offers an MBA/MA program in International and Area studies which allows students to earn both degrees in less time than required to complete them individually.