Full-Time MBA Program

Berkeley-Haas 2016-17 Application Essays

Essays help us learn about who you are as a person and how you will fit with our community. We seek candidates from a broad range of cultures, backgrounds, and industries who demonstrate a strong cultural fit with our program and defining principles. Our distinctive culture is defined by four key principles - Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself. We encourage you to reflect on your experiences, values, and passions so that you may craft a thoughtful and authentic response.

Below are the required essays, supplemental essays, and optional essays for Fall 2017.

Required Essays

Essay #1

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

Your song can be in any language, from any culture, and does not need to contain lyrics. The strongest responses will focus on answering why this song expresses who you are.

Essay #2

Please respond to one of the following prompts: (250 words maximum)

  • Describe an experience that has fundamentally changed the way you see the world and how it transformed you.
  • Describe a time when you were challenged by perspectives different from your own and how you responded.
  • Describe a difficult decision you have made and why it was challenging.

In your response, clearly indicate to which prompt (1, 2, or 3) you are responding. We do not have a preference among the prompts and suggest that you select the one for which you can share a specific experience, professional or personal.

Essay #3

Tell us about your career plans. How have your past experiences prepared you to achieve these goals? How will Berkeley-Haas help you? (500 words maximum)

You are encouraged to reflect on what it is you want to do after business school, including the types of roles, responsibilities, and organizations that are of interest. Through this essay we hope to learn about your professional journey to date and how an MBA will facilitate your success - broadly defined - in the future.

Supplemental Information

  1. If you have not provided a letter of recommendation from your current supervisor, please explain. If not applicable, enter N/A.
  2. List, in order of importance, significant community and professional organizations and extracurricular activities in which you have been involved during or after university studies. Include the following information for each using the format below:

    • Name of organization or activity
    • Nature of organization or activity
    • Size of organization
    • Dates of involvement
    • Offices held
    • Average number of hours spent per month
  3. List full-time and part-time jobs held during undergraduate or graduate studies indicating the employer, job title, employment dates, location, and the number of hours worked per week for each position held prior to the completion of your degree.
  4. If you have ever been subject to academic discipline, placed on probation, suspended, or required to withdraw from any college or university, please explain. If not, please enter N/A (An affirmative response to this question does not automatically disqualify you from admission).

Optional Essay

Use this essay to share information that is not presented elsewhere in the application, for example:

  • Explanation of employment gaps or academic aberrations
  • Quantitative abilities
  • For re-applicants, improvements to your candidacy

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