But the notable addition is a focused and unique series of optional essay prompts that seek to uncover the less visible forces that shape applicants’ opportunities, decisions, character and lives.
To offer some context, the new prompts to optional essay #1 invite candidates to answer three questions by selecting from a list of options: Haas frames the essay questions by reinforcing its defining leadership principles and commitment to diversity, and cites a holistic approach to application review that “will consider achievements in the context of the opportunities available to a candidate.” It also gives candidates up to 300 words to further elaborate, or the opportunity to “expand on other hardships or unusual life circumstances that may help us understand the context of your opportunities, achievements, and impact.” As Berkeley Haas’s former Associate Director of Admissions, I’m not surprised by these prompts, nor the exacting focus on distinctive characteristics that influence first generation students and others from less privileged households.
“Haas excels at entrepreneurship (not just social entrepreneurship),” explains one student.
“Its heavy involvement and leadership in the Berkeley Energy Resources Collaborative (BERC) provides great opportunities in alternative/green energy entrepreneurship.” The school also offers a “health care and international business focus.” Another key component of the program is its “close ties” and proximity “to Silicon Valley.” Students also single out their “excellent” dean, Richard Lyons, for praise.
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Content Header .feed_item_answer_user.js-wf-loaded . Other, more traditional courses weave sustainability issues into coursework: Game Theory, Investment Strategies and Styles, International Business, and Business Model Innovation.The Center for Responsible Business sponsors many of Haas’ sustainability-related classes and offers extracurricular courses and workshops including Designing for Sustainability, Life Cycle Analysis for Business Leaders, Sustainability and Finance, and more.This “tight-knit” environment creates a distinctly “collaborative culture” that forges lasting connections (which come in handy after graduation).The “caliber of students, faculty, administration, and career services staff” are all “top-notch,” which provides a solid base for development.“We learn from professors who not only are recognized as top academics in their respective fields, but also professionals who shape the direction of the industry,” explains one student.Additionally, Haas’ administration “seems to have a singular focus on improving the experience for students.” According to students, “They go to great lengths to take in, process, and change the program per student recommendations.”Students praise the “small, intimate program” for being exactly that: “small” and “intimate.” “We only have 240 students per class (at least officially...sometimes one or two more get added),” says one student.The CSR Scholars Program and the Life Scan Community Relations Graduate Fellows Program take students into leading companies to apply CSR theories and frameworks in innovative strategy work.And the multidisciplinary Dow Sustainable Products and Solutions Program funds and supports student research that promises to make a tangible difference.Essay #1: Describe an experience that has fundamentally changed the way you see the world. (400-500 word maximum) Essay #2: What is your most significant professional achievement?(200-300 word maximum) Essay #3: What is your desired post-MBA role and at what company or organization?