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Haas School of Business MBA Essay Analysis 2021

Haas School of Business MBA Essay Analysis 2020-2021

We are sure that you are on this page because you want to learn how to draft the perfect essays to get you into the University of California’s Haas School of Management in Berkeley. Well, that’s precisely what we are going to help you with. Read this article till the end to note all the actionable tips that you can utilize when you are drafting your Haas School of Business MBA application essays!

But before we get into the essay questions and the essay answer structures, let’s understand a bit about the B-school, shall we? By the way, knowing the B-school is critical to figure out the points you might want to include in your MBA application essays.

So, here are three points that you should definitely know about Haas School of Business:

1. Haas School of Business is known for entrepreneurship. It is in Silicon Valley (Do we need to say more?), and it has given birth to many startups. So, we would say that the B-school’s location is a massive plus for all the MBA candidates.

2. Berkeley Haas is the place for you if you feel that technology will be one of the driving forces for a company and that it will be the core part of any system. It is the age of digitization. So, being right in the middle of Silicon Valley will help you get exposure to all these segments of businesses and developments.

3. The business school has something known as the ‘defining leadership principles.’ You won’t miss it if you visit their website. If you look at it, they say that their four defining leadership principles are:

i. Question the status quo
ii. Confidence without attitude
iii. Students always, and
iv. Beyond yourself

The above points would have definitely given you a better understanding of the B-school and the culture. We believe that it’s right for you to be aware of the culture because they love it when candidates can identify the larger purpose and the larger cause.

Here’s one more thing about the school that we would like to point out:

They have a very close-knit community. You can be from any part of the world and come from any cultural background; at Berkeley Haas, you will be one among them.

If you would like to know more about Haas School of Business — class profile, scholarship details, recruiters — don’t forget to check out the page we have curated for you!

You can also watch this video to know what our GMAT and MBA expert, Arun Jagannathan, has to share regarding the Haas School of Business MBA application essays. Don’t forget to make notes of all the relevant points you need to keep in mind. 😉

Now that you have a clear idea about the business school, the location, and the culture, we can
Dive right into the MBA application essays.

Berkeley Haas MBA Application Essays 2021

You need to answer two essay questions to complete the Berkeley Haas MBA application.

You also have an optional third essay question if there is anything more you want to inform the AdCom.

We will now look at the questions, how to go about answering them, and the word limits you need to keep in mind.

Essay Question 1:

What makes you feel alive when you are doing it, and why?
Word limit: 250

What are they really looking for in this question?

It can be a confusing question for some of you. Maybe many things make you feel alive or excited. Perhaps you like to bungee jump. But, in this essay, they are looking at a larger purpose. They are really asking you why you are doing whatever you are doing.

If we are to give you an analogy here, think of it as Simon Sinek’s circles. For those of you who have heard his name but do not remember who he is, he is a British born American author and motivational speaker. He is the author of the book Start With Why.

According to him, there are three concentric circles. He says that you start with the ‘Why,’ and then you go to the ‘How’ and the ‘What.’ At the end of it, you should figure out your purpose, and that is exactly what he asks you to do.

So, coming back to the question we have in hand, what peps you up when you wake up in the morning?

Is there something like that that you do every day?

You may not be doing it full time.

It may be a passion or a hobby for you.
The idea is to tell the AdCom. at Haas School of Business, how a particular thing that you do is a calling in your life and how you pursue it.

You need to start by answering the ‘Why.’ Remember that they know what you have been doing from your resume. But, why you are doing it is something you need to make clear here. We know that it can be a tough question to answer, but you have 300 words to answer it. 🙂

We wouldn’t really recommend a structure for this essay. We would suggest that you focus more on the ‘Why’ part of the essay than ‘How’ and ‘What’ makes you feel alive.

Allow the AdCom. to get a little bit inside your head. They need to thoroughly understand your reason or your motivation to do whatever you are doing.

So, just state what you have been doing upfront. It could be a sport that you have been playing or the social work you have been doing. But, it should be something that you have been doing for an extended period. Use about 100 words to describe the activity.

We would suggest that you use the rest of the 200 words to convey your thought process as to why you want to continue doing it and how you can do it.

Now you should be able to tell your story without any confusion.

Essay Question 2:

The definition of successful leadership has evolved over the last decade and will continue to change. What do you need to develop to become a successful leader?
Word limit: 300

If you look closely at the essay prompt, you will see that they have given a clue to you:

They have mentioned that the definition of leadership has evolved.

If you go back to when your parents were in their 20s, and they were working, there was always command and control, right? So, they had a manager who gave the orders, and then it went down to the last person in the chain of command.

But today, there is a democratization of decision-making. Companies are looking for the best coders or product managers. The candidates may have just graduated from college, but they might be brilliant at what they do. The age no longer matters.

With the Covid-19 pandemic, you must have been continuously hearing the usage of the phrase “unprecedented times,” right?
So, what B-schools are doing now is to understand whether you can make bold decisions for your company. They want to know whether you are capable of doing it.

To answer this question, you need to tell them about your leadership style. But you also need to state what you need to develop to become a successful leader.

One of the qualities that a leader should possess is self-awareness.

So, you can say that there are areas that you haven’t yet realized that you don’t know. You should then tell them that you need to understand these areas.

There will be things that you already know that you don’t know. But knowing the other side of it is really important.

At a B-school, it is not going to be about learning the same things repeatedly. You will have to explore the unknown and unchartered territories. That is how you will get to know about something that you didn’t know. This is just one example.

Another example would be that of learning how to work in a global environment.

There is a lot of digital transaction that is happening, and companies are ready to hire people from anywhere in the world. The location is no longer a problem.

So, you need to think of how you will be a leader in such an era and the kind of qualities you need to develop.

You need to be talking about leadership.

You have 300 words.

You could give about 100 words to talk about leadership and 200 words to write about the skills you need to develop. Try to give examples but stick to the word limit always.

Try to tie this essay back to the goal you mentioned in Essay 1. It will help you build a stronger case.

Optional Essay Questions

Optional Essay Question 1:

This section should only be used to convey relevant information not addressed elsewhere in your application. This may include an explanation of employment gaps, academic aberrations, supplemental coursework, etc. You are encouraged to use bullet points where appropriate.

Word limit: 300

If you feel that there is something in your resume or profile you need to explain, please complete this essay. Otherwise, we would suggest that you don’t attempt it.

Optional Essay Question 2:

We invite you to help us better understand the context of your opportunities and achievements:

1. What is the highest level of education completed by your parent(s) or guardian(s)?

-Did not complete high school
-High school diploma or equivalency (GED) Associate’s degree (junior college) or vocational degree/license
-Bachelor’s degree (BA, BS)
-Master’s degree (MA, MS)
-Doctorate or professional degree (MD, JD, DDS)

2. What is the most recent occupation of your parent(s) or guardian(s)?

-Skilled worker

3. If you were raised in one of the following household types, please indicate:

-Raised by a single parent
-Raised by an extended family member (grandparent, aunt/uncle, niece/nephew, cousin)
-Raised in a multi-generational home
-Raised in foster care

4. What was the primary language spoken in your childhood home?

5. If you have you ever been responsible for providing significant and continuing financial or supervisory support for someone else, please indicate:

-Extended family member (grandparent, aunt/uncle, niece/nephew, cousin)

6. 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.

Word limit: 300

This is an interesting optional essay question.

As you can see, they are trying to understand you even better.

They want to understand the context of your opportunities, achievement, and impact. If you come from a challenging background, use this space to tell your story and create an effect. As you can see, it is an elaborate question, and you will have space to fill out the answers.

Haas School of Business MBA Application Deadlines

If you really want to get into Haas Berkeley, you might want to keep these deadlines in mind. Moreover, with these deadlines, you can now plan your MBA application process better.

Rounds Application Deadlines
Round 1 Sep 24, 2020
Round 2 Jan 14, 2021
Round 3 Apr 5, 2021

Want to know more about the MBA Application Deadlines for Top B-Schools? Here’s the entire list of top B-Schools along with their deadlines – MBA Application Deadlines 2020-2021

So, here we leave you with the most critical points and dates that will help you get into the Haas School of Business. As you have seen, you just need to submit two essays. The third essay is optional.

If you feel that you need more help in drafting your essays or reviewing your application or, let’s say, even brainstorming your ideas, you can always reach out to us.
You can click on the image below and get in touch with our expert now.

Want to know more about business school? Get all the information about Haas School of Business!