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berkeley haas essays

October 31, 2023

UC Berkeley Haas MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines [2023 – 2024], Class Profile & Podcast Episode 547 with Eric Askins

berkeley haas essays

While the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, has made it very clear that applicants need outstanding academics to get in, the program will not compromise its values to maintain it high stats. Haas’s four Defining Leadership Principles are taken very seriously by the school’s administration and admissions team. You will need to show that you share and live by those principles if you are to receive serious consideration as an candidate. The four principles are as follows:

  • Question the Status Quo
  • Confidence Without Attitude
  • Students Always
  • Beyond Yourself

Keep those principles very much at the forefront of your mind as you prepare your Haas application.

Ready to get to work on your Haas application? Read on. 

Haas application essay tips

  • Haas application deadlines 

Haas class profile

Don’t miss our  admissions straight talk  podcast interview with eric askins, executive director of full-time mba admissions at uc berkeley haas. he reveals why prospective applicants in their applications are encouraged to focus on their overall story and narrative, and how they can demonstrate their ability to handle the academic rigor of the program. eric askins also encourages applicants to engage with current students and alumni to learn more about the program and its opportunities. listen below or click the image to read the full transcript..

berkeley haas essays

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Haas Essay #1

What makes you feel alive when you are doing it, and why? (300 words maximum)

Just reading this question excites me because it conjures up memories of my first SCUBA dive, playing tag with my stepsons when they were children, singing songs with my dad when he was ill, laughing until I cried at my husband’s jokes, and getting legislation passed that helps cancer patients live better lives. These are just some of the things that give my life meaning and purpose. 

So sit back and relax before you start writing this essay. Take some time to really consider the things that put a smile on your face. Is it spending time in nature? Being in nature helps us not only de-stress but also appreciate the beauty of the world around us. Is creating something new what makes you feel alive? Writing a poem, playing the guitar, painting a picture (or a house), building furniture, gardening – these can all be enriching experiences. Creating something from nothing allows us to express ourselves and share our talents. Does helping others make you happy? Making a difference helps us feel good about ourselves, enables us to connect, and builds strong relationships. 

Whatever your “it” is, it can be as common as a morning run or as unique as walking a tightrope – or as tasty as making barbeque sauce (for Ted Lasso fans). Regardless, it’s an activity you repeat because you just can get enough of it. It fills you with energy, love, and a need for “it” in your life. So, don’t try to guess what you THINK the adcom wants to read and write about that. The truth is that they want to read about your authentic self. Be descriptive so they can be in the moment or activity with you. And remember to write about why your “it” makes you feel alive, because the “why” is more important than the “it.” 

Haas Essay #2

How will an MBA help you achieve your short-term and long-term career goals? (300 words max)

To write this essay well, you must first understand and share Haas’s four Defining Leadership Principles (as presented on the Haas website): 

  • Question the Status Quo: We thrive at the epicenter of innovation. We make progress by speaking our minds even when it challenges convention. We lead by championing bold ideas and taking intelligent risks.
  • Confidence Without Attitude: We make decisions based on evidence and analysis, giving us the confidence to act with humility. We foster collaboration by building a foundation of empathy, inclusion, and trust.
  • Students Always: We are a community designed to support curiosity. We actively seek out diverse perspectives as part of our lifelong pursuit of personal and intellectual growth. There is always more to learn.
  • Beyond Yourself: We shape our world by leading ethically and responsibly. As stewards of our enterprises, we take the longer view in our decisions and actions. This often means putting the collective good above our own interests.

I recommend one of two approaches:

1.     Start by describing your long-term goal, and then explain how your short-term goal, combined with a Berkeley MBA education, with help you achieve it.

2.     Start by describing your short-term goal and build toward your long-term goal, explaining how a Berkeley education would be the catalyst to achieve both goals.

With respect to your short-term goal, be realistic. As for your long-term goal, consider the big problems you want to solve using business tools. 

Regardless of how you start your essay, be sure to address how Haas’s four principles align with your goals. Since they only give you room for 300 words and you need to discuss how Haas’s resources will enable you to become a better leader, you can focus on one or two principles on which to elaborate. You will have an opportunity later in Haas’s video essay to elaborate on another principle.

Discuss how Berkeley Haas’s curriculum and resources can help you achieve your goals. For example, you could discuss how the program’s strong focus on entrepreneurship can help you launch your own business, or how its commitment to social impact can help your future company solve some of the world’s most challenging problems.

Also, explain how Berkeley Haas’s unique culture can help you develop into a better leader. For example, you could discuss how Haas’s emphasis on collaboration and teamwork can help you build stronger relationships with your colleagues, or how its commitment to diversity and inclusion can help you become a more inclusive leader.

Finally, summarize why Haas excites you most and how you will grow personally and professionally by earning a Berkeley MBA.

Haas Essay #3 (Video)

The Berkeley MBA program develops leaders who embody our four Defining Leadership Principles . Briefly introduce yourself to the admissions committee, explain which leadership principle resonates most with you, and tell us how you have exemplified the principle in your personal or professional life. (Not to exceed 2 minutes.)

Berkeley Haas has joined other MBA programs in asking applicants to submit a personal video. With a video, Haas accomplishes several things:

  • The admissions committee is able to see and hear the applicant in action. They get to assess the individual’s communications skills, personality, energy, and overall fit before they request an interview. Videos cut down on the resources the school needs to conduct interviews.
  • Each member of the admissions committee can review the video, and the team can then discuss it, whereas they must rely on just one person’s opinion and notes with an interview. The video makes the process more comprehensive and universal.
  • The committee can evaluate the applicant’s creativity and originality.
  • It can make the process more personal for the committee.
  • The committee can analyze how the applicant shares their chosen defining leadership principle.

As for how to approach the video, you’ll need to start by identifying which principle you want to address. Review the school’s list, and keep in mind any that you have already discussed in your written essays for the school. 

When the time comes to record your video, briefly introduce yourself to the committee in 30 seconds or less . Remember, you have only two minutes for the entire video! Explain why you are interested in attending Haas. The adcom wants to get to know you, so include a little color in your background, and don’t mention things they can learn from your resume or other parts of your application.

Then, note the leadership principle that resonates most with you, and explain why it is meaningful to you. The entire defining principle section should take 45-60 seconds.

Next, describe how you have exemplified the principle in your personal or professional life. Use the STAR format to do this:

S = situation (the background)

T = task (the goal)

A = Action (how you solved the problem or enhance an issue)

R = Result (what the quantifiable outcome was)

Do not exceed two minutes!

Here are some other tips to keep in mind:

  • Be yourself: The admissions committee wants to get to know the real you, so be yourself in your video. Don’t try to present yourself as someone you’re not.
  • Be natural: Don’t try to memorize your lines or read from a script. Just act and speak naturally.
  • Be positive: The admissions committee wants to see that you’re excited about attending their school. So be upbeat and enthusiastic.
  • Be concise: Keep your video short and to the point – no more than two minutes.
  • Practice, practice, practice: Rehearse over and over again for your video before you submit it. Practicing will help you feel more comfortable and confident in front of the camera. Most of my clients do 10-30 takes.
  • Invest time: Take the time to make a well-crafted video that showcases your best qualities.
  • Use good lighting: Light the room well. Consider using a circle light if you have one. 
  • Reduce distractions: Make sure there’s not a lot of outside or background noise.

Haas Essay #4 (Short Answer)

Can you please describe any experience or exposure you have in the area of diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and belonging whether through community organizations, personal, or in the workplace? (150 words max)

To craft your response to this prompt, we suggest beginning by discussing the importance of inclusion. Then, provide evidence to support your claim by using the STAR format (explained in our guidance for Haas’s video [Essay #3]). Regardless of your answer, make sure to explain how inclusion can help create a sense of belonging for everyone and how diversity helps make both teams and organizations stronger. 

Haas Optional Essays

The admissions team takes a holistic approach to application review and seeks to understand all aspects of a candidate’s character, qualifications, and experiences. We will consider achievements in the context of the opportunities available to a candidate. Some applicants may have faced hardships or unusual life circumstances, and we will consider the maturity, perseverance, and thoughtfulness with which they have responded to and/or overcome them.

Optional Information #1

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

Berkeley Haas is committed to diversity and inclusion, fairness and equity, leadership and innovation, and of course, social impact. The adcom wants to understand the challenges you have faced, the obstacles you have overcome, and the injustices you have defeated to get to where you are today. 

For example, were you raised in a single-parent household? If so, how did that impact your decisions later in life? Are you an immigrant or an international student whose parents arranged your marriage when you were just 2 years old? Have you had to work to help your family thrive since you were 10 years old? Are you a first-generation college student, and if so, what does it mean for your family to see you go to graduate school? While these situations might have affected your grades or test scores, the key to this essay is demonstrating that despite your circumstances, you have beat the odds.

If you have not faced obstacles in your life, describe your commitment to working toward a more just and equitable society. How did this kind of thinking develop in you? Did you discuss social issues at the dinner table? Did you march against (or for) Dobbs? Have you composted and recycled your garbage since the age of 7 in hopes of leaving a better climate for your future children and your children’s children? Did you foster animals during the pandemic (yes, animals deserve fairness, too)? Do you advocate for legislation that will help the elderly or infirm? Have you started or are active in an NGO that educates children who can’t afford a proper education?

As you answer this essay question, consider the following:

  • Your involvement in community organizations that promote diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and belonging
  • Your efforts in the workplace to create a more inclusive environment
  • Your belief that everyone deserves to feel welcome and respected, regardless of their background or identity

Optional Information #2 

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.

Haas’s optional essay #2 allows you to ensure that the admissions committee does not have to guess the reasons behind any of the following situations (or a similar one):

  • You had terrible grades in your first year at university (Perhaps your parent became ill, and you flew back and forth to care for them, or you worked 30 hours/week to make ends meet.)
  • You received a subpar GMAT or GRE score (Maybe you are not a great test-taker and can prove it with your inadequate ACT or SAT score and 4.0 GPA. Or perhaps you were initially premed and realized after volunteering at a hospital that medicine is not your thing.)
  • You did not ask an immediate supervisor to recommend you (Maybe you have been with the company for only a short time, and they do not know you well. Or perhaps doing so could lead to you losing your job.)

If you have multiple excuses, take care to not sound whiney. Instead, discuss how you have rebounded from poor grades or can demonstrate how you will perform well in grad school courses because you have taken additional coursework and received As.

For expert guidance with your Berkeley Haas MBA application, check out Accepted’s MBA Application Packages , which include comprehensive guidance from an experienced admissions consultant. We’ve helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to Berkeley Haas’s MBA program and look forward to helping you, too!

Haas application deadlines

Source: The deadline chart can be viewed inside Berkeley Haas’ online MBA application .

Here is a look at the UC Berkeley Haas MBA Class of 2024 (data taken from the Haas website ).

Class size: 247

U.S. minority: 45%

Underrepresented minority: 17%

Female: 46%

LGBTQ+: 16%

Veterans: 4%

Average years of work experience: 5.6

Middle 80% range of years of work experience: 3.2-8.2

International: 41%

Countries represented: 45

Average undergrad GPA: 3.64

Middle 80% range undergrad GPA: 3.4-3.92 

Undergraduate majors:

  • Engineering: 23%
  • Economics: 15%
  • Social Sciences: 15%
  • Business/Commerce: 13%
  • Finance: 6%
  • Natural Sciences: 5%
  • Arts/Humanities: 4%
  • Math/Physical Sciences: 4%
  • Computer Science 3%

Average GMAT score: 729

Median GMAT score: 730

Middle 80% range GMAT score: 700-760

Average GRE Verbal score: 161

Median GRE Verbal score: 162

Middle 80% range GRE Verbal score: 153-167

Average GRE Quant score: 163

Median GRE Quant score: 163

Middle 80% range GRE Quant score: 155-169

Pre-MBA industries:

  • Consulting: 23%
  • Financial Services: 18%
  • High Technology/Electronics: 13%
  • Health/Pharma/Biotech: 9%
  • Not-for-Profit: 6%
  • Consumer Products/Retail: 4%
  • Real Estate: 4%
  • Military: 3%

Which MBA program is right for you? Want to know which schools to target for your best chance of admission? Check out these resources to help you make your decision:

  • Top STEM MBA Programs: A Comprehensive List and Overview of STEM-OPT Eligible B-Schools
  • Which MBA Program Is Right for Me? The Ultimate Guide to Choosing an MBA Program

Getting into Haas, or any other top-tier MBA program, is a very competitive process. Our MBA Application Packages include all the resources and support you need to get you there. We’ll match you with an experienced admissions consultant who will work with you one-on-one to create an outstanding application and prepare you to ace your interview. So give yourself an edge, and get ACCEPTED!

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein admissions expert headshot

By Natalie Grinblatt, a former admissions dean/director at three top business schools. Natalie has reviewed more than 70,000 applications, interviewed more than 2,500 candidates, and trained nearly 700 admissions directors and alumni volunteers to select outstanding candidates for admission. Her clients gain admission to top programs, including those at Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, MIT, Cornell, Columbia, Berkeley, Chicago, Northwestern, and NYU. Natalie holds an MBA from Michigan Ross.  Want Natalie to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!

Related Resources:

  • Leadership in Admissions , a free guide
  • Four Tips for Displaying Teamwork in Your Application Essay s
  • Admissions Straight Talk Podcast for MBA Applicants

How to Get Accepted to UC Berkeley Haas Full-time MBA Program [Episode 547]

berkeley haas essays

UC Berkeley is number four on Accepted’s MBA Selectivity Index . It’s matriculating students post a stellar GMAT and GPA. They enjoy proximity to San Francisco and Silicon Valley, not to mention the California weather. It sounds like a dream, but how do you get in? Well, let’s ask Berkeley Haas’ Executive Director of Full-time MBA Admissions.

Welcome to the 547th episode of Admissions Straight Talk , Accepted’s podcast. Before we join our wonderful guest, I have to mention something. You’ve seen the stats that most people have a great return on their MBA investment, but what about you? Are you going to see that return? We’ve created a free tool that will help you assess where the MBA is likely to be a good investment for you individually. You’ll not only get an assessment, but the opportunity to calculate different scenarios. Again, it’s all free. 

It gives me great pleasure to have back on Admissions Straight Talk Eric Askins, executive director of full-time MBA admissions at UC Berkeley Haas. Eric has a lot of experience in higher ed and admissions. He became the senior associate director of admissions at Haas in 2018 and assumed the role of executive director in 2020. Prior to coming to the left coast, he served in admissions at Fordham’s law and business schools and at The New School.

Eric, welcome back to Admissions Straight Talk. [2:06]

Linda, thanks so much for having me back. Great to be here.

My pleasure, and great to have you. Now, I’d like to start with some general questions about the Haas program and then move into more admissions-related questions. To start, can you give an overview of the Haas full-time MBA program, focusing on the more distinctive elements for those listeners who are probably not that familiar with it? [2:12]

Sure. I’d be happy to. Here at the Haas School of Business, let’s start at the very top, we’re located in beautiful Berkeley, California, just across the bay from San Francisco, a couple short minutes away from Silicon Valley, and really what we often say is that we’re at the heart of what’s next, and what that means is that we’re at the heart of innovation culture. If you were to take the region that we’re located in and put it in the context of global economies, we are in the fifth largest economy in the world. Hopefully, I don’t offend any of you German listeners, but we are on track to overtake Germany to be the fourth largest economy in the world just in terms of all the activity that’s happening.

That’s one of the things that makes Haas unique. Oftentimes, we’re seen from the lens of this is a school nestled in Berkeley, which is this amazing campus. There’s a community of Nobel Prize winners here, the inventions that come from here, but more than that, the focus is on how do people achieve their success while also making an impact on the world? I think one of those things that we captured, this would be the identity of the schools, it’s a little bit of what you asked, was our defining leadership principles. I mean, this has been the core of how we talk about the school over the last, I think it was codified maybe 11, 12 years ago now.

I was just thinking that. [3:44]

Yeah. Yeah, so over a decade, we’ve been talking about the school from the framework of these defining leadership principles, so what are they? They’re a core philosophy that we have about what makes great leaders great leaders. One of the things that makes you a Berkeley leader, one of these great leaders, is that you are pushing boundaries. You’re questioning the status quo. You are developing a sense of confidence, but you’re doing so without pushing others to the side. You’re focused on always learning, always being a student and, beyond all things, you’re thinking beyond just yourself, and that’s really captured in the community here.

I remember talking to your predecessor when those principals were codified, and I was amazed at how well they really captured the ethos of UC Berkeley Haas. They were so succinct and meaningful. I mean, over the years, I’ve seen various branding changes at different schools, and sometimes I think they’re very meaningful and sometimes I think they’re window dressing. I was very impressed, and I have continued to be impressed with the four defining principles at Haas. [4:20]

Linda, one of the things that’s really spoken to us, that it isn’t simply a marketing window dressing or anything along those lines, so when we made a big announcement about them and then, at the 10-year mark where I was already here, we made a sort of a, “It’s been a decade since we’ve launched these.” We had some wonderful feedback, including from a Haas alum, I want to say a 1960s Haas alum, who said, “These aren’t new. We’ve been talking about these in some sense or another since way back when I was at the school.” We’ve got a lot of feedback from our alumni. I think we spoke maybe more succinctly, but the concepts were always here. It’s one of the reasons that the school has lasted. I don’t know if you know this, we’re in our 125th year-

No, I didn’t know that. That’s really impressive. [5:41]

Yeah. We celebrated our anniversary on September 13th. This is a school founded by Cora Jane Flood, one of the only business schools founded by a woman, especially 125 years ago. We’ve just been very proud of all that we’ve accomplished in those last little bit, and we’re looking towards the next 125.

Well, congratulations. Happy birthday. We’ve talked about Berkeley’s past. What’s new? [6:03]

Oh, well, that’s always a great question to answer. What’s new? Now, if we were talking about what’s new in the world today, I think you’re going to find there’s a connection to what’s new at Berkeley Haas. What’s new in the world today? What’s new in the world today? Generative AI. They’re probably the number one topic here especially when we talk about schools that have a touch to the technology sector. Anybody who’s been doing this long enough understands the technology sector has ebbs and flows. It peaks in one, it valleys in another period of time, but the next growth peak appears to be around Generative AI. It’s one of the things that we’ve been working on for years.

Actually, October 8th, I believe, just coming up, we have an AI summit. It’s not our first AI summit. We’ve been doing this for a good long time, but what I love is that we are so connected that we’ve got the folks from IBM Watson, we’ve got the folks from Google, we’ve got the folks who are coming through to talk about what is happening in the world of AI today. The coursework has been there. The coursework will continue to be there, but that coursework has a Berkeley flavor, ethics and AI. It’s one of the biggest courses that we have in this space right now. We need to be talking about that, and we have been. In fact, I won’t plug too many things here because I don’t want people googling and all that stuff, but if you get a chance, our Center for Equity, Gender and Leadership built a playbook maybe 2019, 2020 around ethics and AI. Right now, it’s one of the most downloaded things on our website.

One of the things about being on the cutting edge is sometimes you’re talking about something before people are ready to hear it. That’s AI, but what else are we talking about? We’re also talking about sustainability in business. Now, we have been, again, for several years. Dean Anna Harrison joined us in 2018. She came with three key initiatives. It was innovation, it was inclusion, and it was sustainability. I think that we’ve continued to hit on all those three topics along with all the other things that we do, but within the sustainability, I don’t think there’s another business school that’s doing five topic areas within sustainability, including energy, including agriculture, including corporate accountability, real estate and finance. Oftentimes, when people think about sustainability, it’s hard for them to “What box do I put this?”

What does finance have to do with it? [8:22]

Sustainability and impact finance is one of the courses that people are most interested within the sustainability sector here at Haas, exploring exactly what it means to invest in sustainable business and how to see that grow. At the end of the day, the most powerful sustainability person in any organization are their leaders. It’s the CEO. It’s the CFO. We want to make sure that anybody who comes through our program is getting that level of exposure so that they can be tackling what is probably one of the greatest challenges in the world in front of us, which is climate change, which is how do we grow and continue to thrive without harming the environment around us and actually to go back and maybe fix some of the damage that we’ve already done.

One of the things I noticed in preparing for our call today was something called the Applied Innovation course requirement at Haas. I don’t remember that from the last time we spoke. Can you touch on that a little bit and tell us what it is? [9:06]

Sure. Absolutely. Applied Innovation is the language that we use to describe experiential learning. We launched Applied Innovation coursework. It might be two decades old now. We weren’t one of the first.

Experiential learning I know it’s been there for a long time. You just changed the name. [9:34]

Well, what we did is we focused a little bit on what it is that we actually want to come away with, right? You want to apply what you’re learning, and you want to apply it towards growth and change. Within Applied Innovation, that’s over 20 courses within that subset. You’re required to take at least one, but I know students who’ve taken more than one, have taken two, some have taken three. This is a great place for you to test the hypothesis.

A lot of the learning happens in the ivory tower separated from business, and that’s not what we’re looking for here. We want to make sure that our students have the opportunity to go in market and test these ideas, and so you’ll see that there’s a variety of different courses within Applied Innovation. They include courses like international business development where you have an opportunity to take a consulting project at a global scale, and that includes going in-country to deliver your results. Whether that means implementation, whether that means presentations to leadership, that’s part of that course. It’s probably one of the most popular of our Applied Innovation courses, but then, depending on where you’re looking for, if you’re in a niche market, you may find an Applied Innovation opportunity exists there for you as well.

We’ve got clean tech to market that’s focused on bringing sustainable ideas into the marketplace with a technology focus, social sector solutions, strategic and sustainable business solutions. You’ll find a number of these across the gamut, and what they are is your opportunity to go do work within the context of the actual business space with the guidance of faculty and your group projects and your group work.

What don’t people know about Berkeley Haas that you would like them to know, perhaps a common misconception that you’d like to dispel? [11:09]

Sure. I know that many people find the school’s using a ranking index, something along those lines, and in the rankings, one of the things that actually makes us stand out as unique is that we’re among the smallest business programs in our tier. Top 10, top 20 schools, I think we might actually be the smallest, and sometimes there’s a little ebb and flow with some of the other schools. I don’t always know, and that’s on purpose because we want to build a really strong community with individuals who are connecting with one another. If all you know about us is this, you think, “Well, this is a small bespoke program,” and ultimately, if you dig up just that one surface level deeper, we are located in the heart of one of the major research institutions in the globe.

Our students have the opportunity to take advantage of that, including courses outside of the business school at the School of Public Health even if you’re not doing a joint degree, at the engineering school, arguably the top engineering school in the world, at the high school, at the law school, at the School of Public Policy. If you want to take courses with Robert Reich, you can do so. This is all in the field of opportunity for our students, and that I think is this incredible information exchange. It’s also incredible that you’re connecting into that network.

The joke here is once you’re Berkeley, you’re Berkeley for life, right? Like the Mafia, you can’t get out. This is part of your history forever, but it isn’t just Berkeley Haas and the 50,000 alumni that are connected in that community. It’s Berkeley writ large and the half a million alum in that community. That’s your network, and that oftentimes gets lost because we talk about our corner of campus, but it’s the whole campus that our students have access to.

You have the intimacy of the small business school, but backed by this major research. It is the largest UC campus, I believe, isn’t it? [12:57]

It is the largest UC campus. It is oftentimes-

It’s 30,000 total. [13:09]

Yeah, and it’s oftentimes ranked the number one public institution in the globe.

In preparing for the call, I was reviewing the required core curriculum at Berkeley Haas, and I was struck by the number of classes devoted to both analytics, quantitative side and communications so you’re developing and working and exercising both sides of the brain, I guess. Indeed, business requires quant jocks and leadership, which involves communication, listening, teamwork skills, all that. Is that intentional? Can you elaborate on that a little bit? [13:14]

Absolutely. One of the things that I think we pride ourselves on is that we are educating for the pace of change. The job that you came in to potentially pursue two years ago may not even be here two years from now. That’s the pace at which the world is changing. What’s important for us is to make sure that every student coming through our program has the core and foundational skills to be a leader and to be a successful leader in any industry vertical, in any job function. For that to happen, we need to make sure that that core foundation exists.

I know that there are other schools who choose different models. Some have a more of a choose-your-own-adventure model where you can really narrow in into one specific area. We do give you that opportunity to take advantage of the elective coursework here, but not before we establish a strong foundation which I think puts our students in the exact best position to be able to pivot and adjust to a world that is constantly changing.

Speaking of constant change, one of the things that is changing dramatically is testing admissions. You have the GMAT, the GMAT Focus, the GRE, which now has a shorter GRE. They’re required at this time by Haas. Is there any thought to expand the number of tests that you’ll accept, allow for test waivers, or go test optional? There is a comment -the writing sample component is required, but the GMAT Focus doesn’t have a writing requirement. How are you dealing with all this change, this kind of change that’s right in your basket? [14:43]

Yeah. It’s a great question to ask. Now, I’ll start, Linda, by saying I actually am in support of the changes to the GMAT, the GMAT focus and the changes to the GRE. I think the testing agencies have heard that they need to be more applicant focused. They need to be leaning into what the applicants need in order to succeed. We don’t want the testing agencies to become gatekeepers of great talent that doesn’t reach us in the business school universe.

At the same time, we have to understand that there’s a significant amount of academic rigor in our core coursework, and we need to make sure that the students who come through are going to be successful, so we do need measuring sticks. We do need benchmarks, so where do we land with this world of ever-changing testing landscape and the need for a level of consistency? The way our team operates is we don’t actually evaluate individual application components and then weight them because how do you weight the GMAT versus the GMAT focus versus the new GRE versus the old GRE? Certain schools are taking the EA or any number of other testing-

GMAT, DAT, LSAT. It’s a whole alphabet soup of possibilities. [16:25]

At some point, you have to ask yourselves if you are taking a test that doesn’t cover the material, what is the value to the school? I don’t want to go too deep into that section. What instead I will talk about is what we’re doing. What we are doing is we have a set of competencies that we’re looking for within our evaluative process. One of those competencies includes demonstrated ability to handle the academic rigor of our core. That demonstrated ability, that can show up in your testing, but it can also show up in your undergraduate performance. It could also show up in your professional journey. Because we’re taking that lens, it allows us to then think about these pieces from their actual value components.

I’m not interested in the fact that a GMAT score on the old GMAT is 720 and the concordance tables tell you that in the GMAT focus it’s a 655, and what does a 655 mean versus a 720? It is meaningless. These numbers are in the air. What I am interested in is what is your percentile score on the specific quantitative piece of that? Does that suggest that you will be able to handle the rigor of our core? If that’s not on the GMAT, I’m also going to look at the GRE. Maybe it exists there. If it doesn’t exist there, maybe it exists within your undergraduate performance, maybe the last three years you’ve been working as a data analyst, and that’s where I’m going to see the strength of your skill and ability is. I’m not going to say that one carries more weight than the other. I’m looking for evidence.

This is the dad joke, corny bit of my story. We’re the admissions office. The goal is to admit. We’re not the deny office. We say that’s the financial aid office. That’s the joke. Our focus is on finding evidence in your application that allows us to admit you, and it can exist in a lot of different places. To summarize, I’m in support of any testing agency that’s going to be applicant focused, that’s going to be delivering content that’s useful to the applicants in order for them to succeed, shorter tests. It sounds like a great way to stop them from being the gatekeepers that potentially they have been in the past. For us to receive the most number of qualified applicants or interested applicants that allow us to engage with them meaningfully in all the aspects of their application, any obstacles we can reduce I’m in favor of, but I do think that we still need points of evidence to understand the student’s journey.

Now, going back to one question I had in the last question, there is a comment in that the writing sample component is required, but the GMAT Focus doesn’t have a writing requirement. Will applicants be asked to provide some other writing sample or is it just going to be their essays? How is that? Are you going to remove that comment from the site? I mean, what’s going to happen with that? [18:47]

Sure. We’ve explored that a little bit. The writing section, the AWA section of the GMAT I believe is provided in sort of a raw score format for us as well as an opportunity for us to understand a little bit more about their background. We have writing components within our application. We have the ability to look for those strength areas. That piece of the puzzle, once that disappears from the overall submission, we will backfill because, again, it’s not based on application elements, it’s based on competencies. Within those competency structures, we’re going to look for the pieces that we do have.

Makes sense. [19:48]

One thing I’m actually really excited for, Linda, hopefully I’m not preempting your question, is some of the new things that we’ve brought into this ecosystem, including our video essay. Is that okay for me to talk a little bit about that?

Please go ahead. [19:57]

One of the things that we looked at was what are the challenges to people submitting an application? What are we learning from these pieces of the application, and what could we shift and move around? One of the things is, and I think a lot of schools have this, they have two or three bespoke essays. It’s unique enough and clever enough that you can’t cut and paste the other school’s essay into our essay. We really want you to think about us, and is that a benefit to the evaluative process or is that simply another hurdle or obstacle to the applicant?

We took a close look at what we were doing, but we turned one of our essays into a career goal statement. The career goal statement is it does not need to be unique to Berkeley. It can be. It does not need to be. Theoretically, what you’re looking to do isn’t going to change dramatically by the schools, that you’re going to fit the schools to your journey, not the other way around. That’s probably a best fit for candidates, to fit the schools to their journey and not the other way around. That piece will stay static. We have our “alive” essay. We love our “alive” essay. This is an essay that gives us an understanding of who the student is.

That is custom to Haas. [20:56]

That’s our personal statement. That’s our way to get to know who are you as an applicant. We want to know you. We want to understand how you’re going to show up as a student. We’re going to imagine you in our ecosystem. We love that piece of the puzzle, and then we understood that there was this question that we often got asked. Where do I tell you about Berkeley? Where do I tell you that I love Berkeley? What we didn’t want to see was shoehorning in of a list of courses. Somewhere in the application, I’m going to put a list of courses to show you that I read your website, so we thought what was valuable to us? Linda, you brought it up at the start of this podcast. What was valuable to us is our defining leadership principles? What does it mean to be a leader? How do you think about leadership? How do you engage with these principles?

We thought we’d give a place for students to do that, prospective students to do that, but a place where they didn’t have to sit down and write a whole long thing and try and cut and paste the mission statement from our website and adjust it, ChatGPT it and all the rest of the things that people could do. We wanted an honest engagement with the topic. What we did is we stood up a video. We’re calling it a video introduction. It’s 90 seconds to two minutes. We’re not asking for a prepared speech. Tell us in a sentence about you and then pick a defining leadership principle that’s meaningful to you and engage with it a little bit.

Now, I don’t want to have people be nervous about this, so I’ll be very honest, with the rubric on the other end is we’re judging your understanding of our culture, one of our culture forward pieces, our defining leadership principle. We’re also paying attention to your business communications skills. That’s it. That is the one, two-piece of that whole puzzle. It doesn’t matter. We’re not interested in language skills in this regard. We’re not interested in how you present. You don’t need to be in a suit and tie for this. This is simply an understanding of who you are as an individual, one to two sentences. Here’s this thing about us. We want to know that you know who we are as an institution. Tell us in a sentence or two about it.

I know a lot of the video essays, I’m talking about other schools now, they are assessing the applicant’s presence and poise, but you just said that’s not what this is about. [22:58]

One of the things that’s really important to us is that we don’t use simple disqualifiers, but a simple disqualifier would be, “Oh, well that room is messy,” or, “Well, they didn’t think to put on a tie,” or, “We’ve got normative understandings of what presentation should be.” Those are disqualifiers that are not based in your ability to succeed in the program.

They can also be taught. [23:37]

Now, the student’s communication skills are. Can you articulate a point clearly? That will matter to us. I think, presence, it’s a bit of a gray area, and we don’t ever want to be in the disqualifying business.

Again, it’s an admissions office, not a declining office. Right? [23:52]

Yeah. Exactly. It’s corny, but it’s true.

I think it’s a perspective. On some level, you say you don’t want the test to be gatekeepers, on some level you are a gatekeeper. While I know you want to be in the admissions business, in the end, you have many more applicants than you can admit. [23:59]

Which is true.

I get the focus. I understand what you’re saying, but there is a numerical component to this. [24:18]

I can see the point. It’s true.

Now, you’ve talked and emphasized and we’ve discussed Haas’ four principles as exemplifying, epitomizing the culture and values of Berkeley Haas. Obviously, the video essay asks people to discuss one of those principles that really resonates with them. Do you want to see evidence of all four values in the application or are you willing to admit people who are open to perhaps considering the values and having them inculcated? I’m sure you want some identification, but is it important that all four be present? [24:27]

I don’t see the four as truly being independent ideas ultimately. Questioning the status quo is about a mindset of curiosity. Confidence with that attitude has a lot to do with curiosity of others, wanting to hear what they have to say and making space for them. It’s also a curiosity frame and, going beyond yourself, there’s a curiosity of what matters to others. There’s lots of different through lines and themes within these. These are not four independent ideas.

Humility? [25:39]

Humility is very much a part of all of those pieces as well, right?

Yes. [25:44]

The ability to understand that maybe somebody else has something else to bring, the fact that you recognize that you have more to learn, all of these, they’re ultimately through lines that give us an understanding of the core characteristics of the student. I don’t need you to itemize. Don’t give me a list of the seven ways in which you X in which you are different or beyond.

Show X, right? Show principle one. Show principle two. Right. Don’t do that. Don’t do that. No. That’ll come out a little forced anyways. 

What’s the most common mistake you see applicants making in their applications [26:07].

Generally speaking, and this is going to be one of those answers that I don’t think is satisfying to a lot of folks, I think there’s a moment in time when students decide that they want to pursue business education at this level when they have an idea in their head, and that idea tends to be their most authentic version of what they want to explore. Then they go ahead and they attend an information session and they get a piece of advice, and then they talk to somebody else and they get a piece of additional advice, and then someone says use this format or use this structure or use these other pieces, and the finished product, if it looks markedly different from the initial idea, I think there’s a loss there.

How do you solve for that, because you do have to refine your work and you do have to bring your best work forward? This is the one that’s always difficult because all of us admissions folks say, “They should be authentic.” Be authentic to that moment. How can you be authentic while also being polished, while also being these things? I think really the piece of advice I would give is to be mindful of that. It’s to be mindful of that original idea because that’s the reason to reinvest in yourself, to take two years out of the workforce if you’re pursuing a full-time program to not only not earn money for two years, but also spend money during those two years because it puts your finances in a deficit in most cases, potentially taking on loans. It’s a risk, and you chose to pursue this journey because something, some moment, whether it can be pointed to as a pivotal inflection point in life or whether it was a slow accumulation of ideas, there’s came a point in time where it tilted and you said, “Yes, I’m going to pursue this.”

That there, that’s to me the most powerful thing that you can deliver to an admissions office. Those get massaged and they get formatted and they get layered, and someone says, “Well, I know that you want to change the world, but if you just wrote that you wanted to be a consultant, you’ll get in.” They get modified away. For those people who hold onto that little nugget, that’s gold in an admissions office because we can see it. It resonates because then it carries through. There’s echoes throughout the application in the journey if it has a meaning.

Also in the interview. [28:34]

I know I’m up here in the little woo woo space, but it’s-

No. It’s much easier to be enthusiastic about something you genuinely believe in, and that comes through in your writing. It comes through in your interview to be sure. It might come through probably in the video if you’re genuinely enthusiastic about something as opposed to just making something up. It can’t be faked. [28:38]

Totally agree, and I will tell you, Linda, that this is not advice that ends at the application stage.

Of course. [29:01]

This becomes the story of how you network with the students that you share the space with. This becomes the story that when you attend a speaker series and you wait afterwards to chat up the speaker that, if you’ve got something powerful and exciting to talk about, they’re going to remember you. If you’re into the workforce and you’re starting, you’re trying to secure that summer internship, it’s going to be the thing that’s passionate and exciting when you’re at the other end and you’re looking to settle in that first job and when you realize that that first job isn’t going to get you where you want to go because the real value of the MBA is lifetime, right? It really doesn’t show up till four or five years when you end up in the C-suite. This kernel is going to carry you through the whole way or the enthusiasm behind it.

Now, you started out, you didn’t start out, but you certainly mentioned very early on in the interview artificial intelligence and ChatGPT and, obviously, Berkeley is a leader in that. What about applicants using it? [29:46]

Good question. I think I’ve gone on the journey that a lot of my peers have gone on. The first piece of this journey was, well, I hope our fraud software can catch it. I think a lot of the world has gone on this journey with us where you stop and then you say, “Well, this is a tool. This is a tool like the calculator is a tool.” I think that’s probably the common thread I’ve heard. I’ve already had typing in an email and I’m getting suggested next three sentences. This is where we are. The tool exists.

I am still going to suggest that there’s no tool that’s going to tell me your career goals. Now, that tool might help you articulate those career goals a little bit better, but those goals will have to be yours. There’s no tool that’s going to tell me the moment that made you feel alive or why it gave meaning to you. It may be that that tool helps you frame your thoughts, put those pieces together in a way that’s cohesive. If English is not your first language and you’re trying to organize your thoughts in a way that would give you the tools to succeed, it could very well be that this is a really useful tool to organize, but those core thoughts have to be yours.

I think that’s key here, and I don’t think that we’re going to move on that concept, but those core thoughts and ideas have to be yours, and then if you’re going to use the tool, I hope that you use it well. Maybe the thing you’re demonstrating to me is your expertise in the use of the tool because I will, and we have seen already, poorly framed and poorly worded things that don’t really seem to capture the individual. This is probably the first year that we’re starting to see that.

That makes sense that this is the first year you’re seeing it. I’ve played with it a little bit. I’ve said this before on the podcast. If you use it blindly, you’re going to produce drivel, very generic and not very meaningful. If you use it either to edit your work, perhaps to generate some ideas or to help you structure an essay, but the ideas are your own, perhaps it has value, but you’re still going to spend a significant amount of time on it. [31:39]

Well, you should. Yeah.

Yeah, or you say, “I might as well just write the thing.” [32:09]

I’m one of those folks that believes the magic happens in the editing. I know other people think it happens in the writing, so the idea generation. I think it’s the moment where you come back and say, “Oh, well, now I see how those pieces should fit together.” With that in mind, I understand that the tool may be used.

We have a statement at the bottom of our application. We haven’t changed it. We’ve had it for a while. It says, “The work product seen here is mine and mine alone.” I think folks should be able to answer that honestly. The work product here is mine and mine alone. Now, if that means that they used the tool to take their ideas and put it on paper and then they reorganized it to reflect the story that they wanted to tell and they feel that that is theirs, they were the producer of the ideas, they were the producer of the finished product, they use an intermediary tool the same way you might use a spellchecker or a grammar checker, I’m going to have to just accept that that’s the world that we’re in today. I don’t think there’s any magical tool that solves that one yet. Generative AI is probably the best tool to catch generative AI, but I’m going to focus on the content. As long as the content is strong, I think that that’s going to be in the candidate’s best interest.

Switching gears again, can you touch for a minute on the Accelerated Access admissions program at Berkeley Haas? Who is it for? How can one get in? It was brand new when we last spoke. Have has any of the earlier deferred admits matriculated yet at Berkeley Haas? [33:20]

Yes, they have. Okay, so let’s go-

A lot of questions, I know. [33:39]

… through all those pieces. What is the Accelerated Access program? The Accelerated Access program is a deferred enrollment program here at Berkeley Haas. It is geared for people in their graduating year of undergraduate or graduate school if they did not have more than one full year of work experience in between. This is a pre-experience application focused on folks who are completing their academic journeys and who are committed to going to professional life for two to five years– that’s typically the window of time – for them to gain experience in the world, but to want to get that application admission early, right? This is the time when they’re the best test takers usually because they’re still in their academic space. Oftentimes, this is where they can lock in a future opportunity. Maybe that safety net allows them to take the other job.

I was going to take the two-year consulting stint, but I’ve locked in an admission to a top business school. I’m going to join the robotics startup. That’s not a random example. That’s an example of somebody who did in fact do that. That’s who this is for. It’s for somebody who is certain that business school is in their future, who is going to be strong academically.

I’ll put that out there in front. We have fewer application components, so we’re going to have to look for our competencies across the limited amount of things that you have to offer, so probably a heavier weight on undergraduate performance, standardized testing, internships, extracurricular activity within your experiences there. Those are going to be the pieces of the puzzle that are useful for us.

We are traveling the globe with a member of my team, Verse Gabrielle, who’s out there talking about accelerated access. We’ve gotten into a little consortium with a couple of other business schools so that we can make the most value in the delivery of this content so that we are in front of folks with a sampling, and they can pick which schools.

Of all the deferred programs? [35:35]

Yeah. It just started this year. I’m really excited to actually see what campus recruitment looks like for the MBA in this context. In terms of the other part of your question, what does it look like for those students who matriculated? We matriculated seven in this incoming class.

So that’s the first one. [35:52]

The first set coming through.

That makes sense just judging by, again, time that’s elapsed. [35:56]

Yeah. Two of them ended up in some profiles that we put out into the world so you can actually see some of the journeys for these students. We thought it would be really valuable, as we shared profiles with other media outlets, that we included people who had this type of journey, to see how it looked a little bit different and how they navigated the experience. I think that they complete and total fit with the program. They’re not outliers. They don’t sit outside the experience. In some cases, because they’ve been engaged with the admissions office and the school for three-plus years before they got to campus, they were fully onboarded by the time they got here. They were the best student ambassadors on day one.

It’s been a wonderful experience to be able to actually reach people at this different point in time in their lives. To be fair to those people who’ve been in the professional life, you’ve had a chance to test a couple of hypotheses, figure out what works, what doesn’t. These students, they kind of read as all potential. They blue sky a lot. I can do anything. I can do all these things. We watched them crystallize the idea over the two, three-year time before they get to campus. What a great journey for us in the admissions office to be able to watch them grow into the MBA candidate and then go from there.

How many students are you admitting every year through the accelerated MBA program? [37:14]

It’s going to vary based on application volume. Primarily, we want to be sure that we are giving an equal probability each year to candidates who apply and also being mindful of how we want to balance the class coming on the other end. It’s been somewhere around 20 in that window of space. Again, we’re a small program and we don’t want to overwhelm when students come through. They have different entry points.

You don’t really know what year they’re going to enter. [37:47]

Yeah, between two and five years, so there’s different entry points for those students depending on when they’re ready. We have a student who’s most certainly going to go to full five because they’re in the midst of building something really unique and then they’ll come join us. We get somebody who was ready after two and they really were ready after two. They had done what they needed to do to put themselves in the best position to succeed. In this particular case, it was in the food and agriculture sustainability side. It’s going to be unique to the individual.

Now, you’ve given tons of advice in the course of this interview, but what advice would you give to someone thinking about applying now? They want to matriculate in 2024. They’re probably in the middle of the process. They probably didn’t submit round one. They’re aiming for round two. What should they be doing? What should they be thinking about now as they listen to this podcast? [38:16]

Sure. I’ll put two things out there. The first is that they don’t over-invest in application elements and they focus on the whole story. This has been my message to the whole podcast, but I really do believe that if you hyper-focus on the tests or you hyper-focus on some other aspect of the application, you miss the opportunity to share a bit more about your whole journey. What’s the narrative? What are you hoping to accomplish? What community do you want to serve? What problem do you want to solve? These are the bigger questions that I really want to understand about the candidate.

The other thing is there’s members, myself, my admissions team, we’re all here to answer these questions. We’re here to support people in this journey, and we have a really robust community of student support, so not just for our program, but for any program. Reach out and see if you can connect with the students. I think that’s one of the most valuable things. It has two pieces. The first is they successfully navigated our application process, so they may have interesting things to say about what should be in a strong application.

The second is they’re actually experiencing the experience that you’re looking for. What does the student experience look like? What does on-campus life look like? Are faculty approachable? Are the things that you’re learning valuable for you? What type of speakers come to campus? How often are you getting to connect with industry outside of your campus community? All of those questions are questions that could be answered and, in particular, are set up with our student ambassadors is that they are the go-betweens. They are available if you want to ask them a question. If you want to ask something very specific like, “I’m really interested in understanding about how climate and finance interact, and I’m looking to talk to somebody specifically who understands that context in a certain part of the world,” we may have that pathway for you.

You can speak to somebody like Arno, one of our second year students who actually just spoke to a Belgian newspaper about his climate finance journey. These really unique pieces, they seem niche, but there may actually be somebody doing that, and so ask it. We may be able to put you in touch with exactly that right person.

Now let’s look a little bit further ahead. What advice would you give someone thinking ahead to a fall 2024 or fall 2025 application? They’re not part of the accelerated access program, but they do know that they want to go for an MBA and they’re thinking seriously about pursuing that MBA at Berkeley Haas. [40:47]

I think the first thing to do is to really crystallize why you want an MBA. Before you’re thinking about, “What do I need to do to get into an MBA program,” you’re going to want to have a really strong narrative for, “What I want to do when I come out of an MBA program.” What do I want to accomplish?

I know I’m repeating myself, but what do you want to see beyond that? It’s not just at grad, right? I will tell you that every stinking ranking and survey out there is going to focus on what does it look like at grad or three months past graduation. That’s not where the value of an MBA kicks in, right? I’m not going to throw rankings out there because I’ve been digging on them all day, but if you think about what are the frameworks for some of the strongest rankings, they’re around what does it look like four or five years out, not just compensation.

What is your position within the organization? What are you able to actually change about the world based on your level? That happens four or five years out. That’s the part of the story that we want to work back from, and then understand, okay, now I know what I want to achieve or I know what I want to engage with. I think I have a sense of what that journey’s going to look like post MBA. What do I need during the MBA to get there and then what do I need to get into an MBA program? What are the pieces there? If that’s a clear narrative all the way through, it just carries so much more weight. It has a lot more value. It has the value of being true and authentic to what the student wants to accomplish. Yes, there’s going to be a lot of work in putting together an application, but if you know your story, then it’s just about putting the pieces together.

Two comments, I frequently advise applicants that that post-MBA goal, and I’m usually talking about the immediate post-MBA goal, but I do agree completely that there should be a longer vision because the cost is high and the payoff has to justify it. I refer to that as the North Star. It should just guide you. It should guide you in the school you choose, the program you choose. Maybe it’s not an MBA. Maybe it’s a different program. The schools you choose to apply to, the schools you ultimately choose to attend, the courses you take, the things you get involved in.  Yes, it can evolve. Of course, it can evolve. My goodness, at 25, you don’t have to feel locked into a profession. That’d be true at  28, whatever, 30 even. You don’t have to be locked in.

That’s one point just in support of yours. the other point is i got my mba and, for a variety of reasons, i don’t really think i started using it and really getting value out of it until 14, 15 years later. it’s just how my life worked. now, i did not pursue the typical, the traditional mba path, well, certainly not at that time, but i’m glad i got it. it just took a while for it to pay off for me. anyway, just a couple of points there. , what about reapplicants do you have any pearls of wisdom for reapplicants [45:52].

Well, I’ll start with the fact that the data that we have suggests that reapplicants have a higher rate of admission than candidates who are applying in the first round out. Why is that? I think part of the reason is you’ve had a chance to really think about what are the strengths and where are my areas of growth and how I might focus on my areas of growth.

Now, because of the volume of applications we receive, we’re not able to give direct feedback to candidates who don’t get in in the first pass. What we are always able to do is engage with people who are applying this year, whether they can sign up to Q&A session. Most of this is available both in-person and virtually so that there’s an opportunity to connect with us no matter where you are within the globe. You can ask questions about the forward piece. You have the benefit of actually having a foundation that you can build on. Right?

Again, back to the idea that the magic happens in the editing. Like, okay, I’ve done it once. I know where I can tweak, where I can adjust, where I can change. The biggest miss is when reapplicants don’t tell us what they’ve been doing since the last application. You’ve got another year around the sun. What have you accomplished? Have you leveled up within your professional journey? I mean, sometimes the updated resume will tell us a little bit about that. Have you refined your goals? Have you explored more and different opportunities to test some hypotheses and rethink some of your journey?

These are all really valuable to us, and then of course, we should speak plainly. We’re also looking for evidence of your ability to do well in the program. If you think that that was the area of growth, the first submission, then other evidence. Now, you can’t go and change an undergraduate journey that’s typically fully baked by the time you apply, but you can take graded short courses. You can demonstrate other places where you’ve shown that you can succeed when it comes to the academic component of the application process.

Great advice. I think the saddest thing is when the reapplicant comes to me and says, “I know it was my GMAT score, so I retook the GMAT. I got a much higher score. My essays were great. I’m not going to change them at all.” That makes me sad. [46:13]

Yeah. There’s so much opportunity there.

Exactly, and like you said, I’m not joking, that does happen. I’m sure you sometimes see those applications. You’re showing little initiative. Yes, you studied before and you got your higher GMAT. Okay. Great. You’re not showing what you did in the past year. You’re not showing any growth whatsoever, and you are demonstrating a certain laziness and lack of commitment to the process, so don’t do it is the bottom line. [46:31]

I’m going to both agree with you and slightly disagree, Linda.

Okay. Go ahead. [47:01]

I will agree with you. I would love to see folks who are making those levels of commitment. I don’t always call it laziness. I think sometimes folks don’t have a full understanding of the process. I think folks who engage with you, they’re getting the benefit of their knowledge. Those who engage with us get the benefit of ours. Those who are operating out there independently, they may not know that they’re missing a great opportunity. Hopefully, those listening on this line, if you know somebody else who’s applying and doesn’t know this, share this message along.

Sounds good. I’ll be kinder next time. 

Okay. what would you have liked me to ask you [47:30].

Sure. I think one of the challenges that we face here at Berkeley is that we’ve done really well in some spaces and, in some corners of the market we’re known for these one or two things. “Well, Berkeley is really great in the tech sector because, look at their access, a third of their students go into tech,” or, “Berkeley is really great in the entrepreneurial sector. According to PitchBook, there’s only three programs at the top, and it’s Stanford, Harvard and Berkeley,” or, “Berkeley’s really great in the sustainability space. No other school is doing five different sustainability topics,” but we’re also the second most placed students into consulting, the third most place students into finance. When it comes to our finance students, the number of students who end up in internships on the West Coast, we top all other schools in that space. We are a great school for a lot of different things.

When I was looking back and thinking about what are we going to talk about with 125 years worth of history here, the technology sector doesn’t go back 125 years. What’s been sustaining the school this entire time, what’s the common thread really is that we’ve been educating for the pace of change. The world keeps changing, and we want to make sure that people are prepared for that. That hits in all sectors, and so we would love for people to know that about the program, not to put us in a little corner, but if you’re interested in a topic and you didn’t think Berkeley was that, come find out. Maybe it is.

Eric, I want to thank you so much for joining me today. This has been delightful and highly informative. Where can listeners and potential applicants learn more about Haas’ full-time MBA program? [48:59]

Absolutely. The easiest thing to do is visit the Haas MBA website .. Come check us out. Once you land on that page, there’s a lot of resources that’ll put you in a lot of different places. I would encourage you to go to the events section because you’ll get an opportunity to see all the different places that we are in the globe as well as all the different things that we do virtually. No matter where you are in the world, you can get a connection to our community.

More great advice. Thank you. [49:37]

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Relevant Links:

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  • Accepted’s MBA ROI Calculator
  • UC Berkeley Haas Expands Deferred MBA Program
  • When Should I Plan to Apply to Grad School? NOW!!!

Relevant shows:

  • From the Military to Haas MBA – podcast Episode 223
  • University of Michigan’s Ross MBA Program: Everything You Need to Know – podcast Episode 479
  • UCLA Anderson MBA Admissions According to Dean Alex Lawrence – podcast Episode 215

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