Tuesday Tips – Haas Business School Essay Tips

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. 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.

Short Answer:
1. What are you most passionate about? Why? (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?
Whatever your passion is, make sure you can draw a conclusion about why you are passionate, and preferably you are able to weave your passion through this entire set of essays.

2. Tell us about 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. At the Haas Business School, 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)
This is an ideal place to demonstrate fit with Haas by focusing on the values of the Haas Business School community. You are given the option to address several key attributes of the Haas Defining Principles and you will want to choose the attribute that both clearly demonstrates a strength for you, and has a clear supporting example you can cite. 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. There are many ways to learn about our program, what steps have you taken to learn about the Haas School of Business Program? (250-word maximum)
This is another great opportunity to demonstrate your fit and enthusiasm for the Haas School of Business. Basic research will certainly include a visit to the website and perusal of the course catalog. To really demonstrate fit you will benefit from visiting campus, attending an informational session or connecting with alumni or current students. The personal touch is often the most helpful, and will give you an opportunity to really understand how you can personally be connected to the school.

Required Essays:
Give us an example of a situation in which you displayed leadership. (500 word maximum)
Both required essays are the same as they were last year. In this essay you will want to think about a specific leadership experience and what you did, said, felt and accomplished. Leadership can be expressed in many ways. 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!

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 the Haas School of Business help you achieve these specific career goals? (1000 word maximum)
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. This year it will be especially important to logically connect your background and your future, as schools will be looking for candidates who can be successful in a challenging job market.
Be specific about why the Haas School of Business is the right program to pursue your goals as well. 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.

Optional Essays:
(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)
This optional essay can be used for any weakness you would like to address, or simply as an opportunity to end with some additional information that will help you stand out from the application pool. If there is an aspect of your background that was not illustrated in previous questions this can be a great opportunity.
If you have a weakness you would like to address here, focus on specifics. Describe what happened, why it is not representative of your potential, and provide specific examples of how you have performed better in your life since. Explanations and not excuses are always the best path.


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