UC Berkeley Haas Essay Topic Analysis 2010-2011

9已有 1650 次阅读  2010-08-02 20:48   标签Analysis  Topic  Berkeley  Essay  Haas 
Haas is sticking with its tried-and-true formula for its essays this admissions season, requiring applicants to respond to a series of prompts in just 250 words before exploring two further topics in more depth.  The third of these short answer topics is a new addition for this year, focusing on how a candidate has demonstrated one of the school’s principles and replacing last year’s essay on creating an innovative change in an organization.  The rest of the questions remain the same.  Let’s take a closer look at each:

Short Answer Questions
1. What are you most passionate about?  Why?  (250-word maximum)

A candidate’s foremost passion is a popular essay topic among business school admissions committees, and understandably so; it gives a reader a sense of an applicant’s values, priorities and interests, and has implications for an applicant’s future plans and potential involvements while in school. As you reflect on potential topics for this essay, remember that the adcom will be expecting your response to line up with your stated professional goals to some extent, and that professing a deep dedication to family or an obscure hobby isn’t going to do much for your candidacy.  Think broadly about themes in your background and the forces behind your decisions and involvements, and arrive at a topic that is true to your passions, allows you show the adcom a side of yourself not covered in your essays, and ties your goals and previous experiences together to some extent.

2. Tell us about your most significant accomplishment. (250-word maximum)
This is a very tall order for a 250 word essay, so brevity will be key. You’ll clearly want to select an impressive achievement to discuss – ideally one in which you had a positive impact on a person, group or organization (as it would reflect well on you to say that you consider it significant that you improved something for others). It will be important to comment not only on the results, but also on the actions and thought process by which you brought them about. Note that the question does not limit you to the professional realm, so feel free to think of examples from your outside activities in selecting a topic for this short response.

3. At Haas, 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-Hass Defining Principles)
Following explicit instructions, applicants should first take the time to examine the school’s defining principles.  Because you will have to explain how you have demonstrated the principle you select, it is clearly important to choose a value that reflects your background and interests as well as your fit with Haas.  In selecting this value, it seems appropriate to consider the information you share in your other essays, as linking your principle back to the content of those essays will allow you to present your candidacy in a cohesive manner.  In order to prove that you have demonstrated your selected principle in under 250 words, you should probably focus this aspect of the essay on a single anecdote.  If you have space, you may want explain how you would continue to demonstrate this principle while at Haas, thus showing the adcom how you would benefit the program.

4. There are many ways to learn about our program, what steps have you taken to learn about the Berkeley MBA? (250-word maximum)
This is a rather transparent test to determine whether you’ve done your homework and are making an informed decision in applying to Haas; though most schools look to the applicant to demonstrate his or her knowledge of the school, few come right out and ask how a candidate has gone about familiarizing him or herself with the program. Because some applicants treat this school as a backup to Stanford and other programs, it will be to your advantage to convince the adcom that you are sincere in your interest by explaining the appealing elements that are unique to the Berkeley MBA. Obviously, the more specific knowledge you are able to demonstrate, the better; the adcom would love to hear that an applicant has been in touch with students, is familiar with the campus and understands the Haas culture and program.

Essays
1. Give us an example of a situation in which you displayed leadership. (500 word maximum)

Though the adcom will already have learned a few interesting things about the applicant from the short essays above, this is the first real chance a candidate has to really develop a story in which he or she shines. It would be ideal to provide a solid professional example here, but an example from an extracurricular activity would suffice as well if you have made a more significant impact on an outside organization than you have in the workplace. To an extent, your topic choice may depend on how you’ve answered the earlier questions (since you’ll want to achieve balance across the essays). Another thing to note about this question is that it does not specify that you should have a formal leadership role – any time you exhibited the characteristics of a leader to effect positive change is fair game here. Essentially, you should aim to use this essay to highlight your interpersonal skills and ability to direct the efforts of others toward a constructive end.

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 a fairly standard career goals essay asked by virtually all MBA programs, requiring applicants to provide an overview of their career to date, describe their short- and long-term objectives and explain their reasons for seeking an MBA from Haas in particular. As a general rule, specificity of career goals is of the utmost importance. Given the wording of Berkeley’s question, it will also be beneficial to draw explicit links between your previous experiences and future objectives in addition to touching upon the skills you’ve gained and lessons you’ve learned over the course of your career.

Interestingly, Haas chooses to end its essay section with the typical career goals essay, whereas most schools lead off with this topic. Rather than providing an overview of and introduction to your candidacy, as is the case with the career goals essay for most schools, this essay will instead be the culmination of your message to the adcom. Make sure to tie together the themes that you’ve introduced in your other responses, and end on a note of enthusiasm about the program and the timing of your application.

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