If you are applying to the UC Berkeley MBA full-time program, the admissions team at Admit1MBA is here to make your life easier. Read our analysis of the Berkeley MBA application essays to help you get started.

Essay questions for 2013-2014 application cycle:

1. If you could choose one song that expresses who you are, what is it and why? (250 word maximum)

Analysis: This essay from the Haas MBA admissions team is not a new question; still, it is one that many applicants are just not sure how to approach and feel awkward about. Should it be about your personal life? About your professional goals? When answering this question, you want to keep in mind that this essay might be the only place to share a personal experience in your Berkeley MBA application. While question number two (significant accomplishment) could be a personal one, it is very likely that you will write a professional story here. Given the small class size at the Haas MBA program and the focus on finding a good fit in the application process, I highly recommend that you concentrate on expressing your personality and persona. I´ve worked with many applicants on the Berkeley MBA application essays, and I find that it´s usually easy for applicant to pick a song, but the process of describing why it represents them is a more challenging one. Don´t skip this phase if you want your application to Berkeley MBA program to be complete.

 2. What is your most significant accomplishment? (250 word maximum)

Analysis: This Berkeley MBA essay question is a tried-and-true staple of many other MBA applications in the last few years, including Harvard and Wharton.  When you start writing this story, think about the underlying agenda in this question: the team at UC Berkeley MBA programs wants not only to hear about your significant accomplishment, but also to understand WHY you view it as such. Make sure to talk about your actions, decision making, and emotions.

3. Describe a time in the last three years when you overcame a failure. What specific insight from this experience has shaped your development? (250 word maximum)

Analysis: The Berkeley MBA essay is specifying that you should talk about an experience from the last three years. MIT Sloan´s application has the same limitation, hoping to read your reflections on a recent experience; they don´t want to hear stories about your college experience or growing up.  Find a substantial story and don´t avoid talking about your own mistakes – that´s what going to make your story interesting and real. If you never make mistakes, it means that you are not taking enough risks (and probably not learning as much as you could and should).

4.a. What are your post-MBA short-term and long-term career goals? How have your professional experiences prepared you to achieve these goals?
4.b. How will an MBA from Haas help you achieve these goals? (750 word maximum for 4a. and 4b.)

Analysis: While some schools, such as Harvard and Chicago Booth, have eliminated this kind of classic “Why MBA, Why Now” question from their MBA application, UC Berkeley MBA is still looking to hear about your career goals and how the Haas MBA will help you get there.  Since the Berkeley MBA program has a smaller class size (240 students), the admissions team at Haas wants to make sure that there´s a good balance of backgrounds, personalities and career goals. This only makes sense. While you do want to stand out from the crowd and have a unique essay and story, don´t invent career goals just for the sake of diversification. It´s not going to fly and the Admission committee at UC Berkeley are certain to pick up on it if you´re trying to sell them a fake story. Focus on what you want to do and get them excited about it as well.

Let our admissions expert help you put together a strong and effective application to the Berkeley Haas MBA program. Contact us today or email info@admit1mba.com to schedule your consultation.

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