How to get into Berkeley MBA? More than 400 applicants asked themselves this question last year, only about 240 of which had the right answers…

The upcoming deadline for the Haas MBA program is Feb 2nd. Given the Berkeley Admissions statistics above, if you are trying to get into Haas make sure you ace your exams and submit powerful essays and overall application.

Here’s my analysis of Berkeley Essays:

Short Essays Analysis:

  1. What are you most passionate about?  Why?  (250-word maximum) Berkeley MBA Admission office is asking you to present yourself – the easy route is to take this to the professional aspect, the most challenging (and rewarding one) is to use this essay and show your personality. And, if you happen to combine both your personal life and professional in some way that’s probably the perfect mix. Just make sure you do not miss this opportunity to show you have life outside of work (in case you do!)
  2. Tell us about your most significant accomplishment. (250-word maximum) . Essay analysis: the focus here is a combination of your impact on the organization as well as the process. Make sure to talk about the challenge and not only about the accomplishment – otherwise, if the story sounds too rosy it is not realistic…
  3. At Haas, we value innovation and creativity. Describe a time when you created positive change in a group or an organization. (250-word maximum). Haas MBA is highly focused on innovation, so make sure you talk about innovation and the process of it, not only the outcome. Remember – working hard is not equivalent to innovating, so emphasize the right angles of your story.
  4. What steps have you taken to learn about the Berkeley MBA program, and what factors have influenced your decision to apply? (250-word maximum). This is the place to highlight why you like Berkeley and what you have done to learn about the program. Be as specific as you can – talk about classes, clubs, special project, favorite professors and more. Don’t be shy! It’s great to have such an easy opportunity to discuss this with the Admission committee, so make sure you’ve done your homework and knows exactly why this is the perfect program for you.

Required Essays:

  1. Give us an example of a situation in which you displayed leadership. (500 word maximum) . The leadership question is never an easy one to answer. In the past, when people said “leadership” they meant managing other people. Since most of the MBA applicant (Haas MBA as well as other prospective students) have limited true management experience, you need to make sure to find other behavior and examples of leadership. One easy technique is to say “leadership for me is….” And take it from there.
  2. 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 Berkeley help you achieve these specific career goals? (1000 word maximum) .This is the classic MBA goals essays, asking about your short term goals and long term goals, and of course you should be able to tie it back to your achievements.