The Berkeley Haas MBA

Rankings | Class Profile | Employment Report | Sample Essays | Interview Questions

Berkeley Haas Introduction


The insiders joke that Berkeley’s Haas School is the business school for hippies. Truth is, that’s never been true, but it’s a nearly quaint way to refer to one of the hardest schools in the world to get into. If you’re interested in tech, entrepreneurship and innovation, Haas is one of the best schools in the world for an MBA.

The highly selective program, which enrolls a small class of 240 full-time MBAs each fall, is anchored by 12 required courses that promote a general-management perspective and that provide a framework for the more function-specific courses that follow. The first year of the program is divided into four quarters. The core curriculum is rooted in business fundamentals — including marketing, finance, and accounting.

Two years ago, however, the school put through significant curriculum changes to focus more on innovative leadership. In the overhaul, a pair of existing core courses, Leading People and Leadership Communications, had been restructured to offer additional leadership skills, such as the ability to influence others. And then a new and highly innovative course called “Problem Finding, Problem Solving” was added to the core to address what the school considers “underlying skill sets that are missing in a typical MBA education.” All of these various pieces fall under something dubbed Berkeley Innovative Leader Development (BILD), the connective theme that runs through the entire MBA curriculum to ensure that every student develops the skills required of innovative leaders.

Good Things

  • Almost 40% of the batch is placement in the Tech industry.
  • When it comes to job functions highest placements are in marketing followed by general management.
  • General management usually means project or product management sort of roles. So overlapping the above 2 data point, Haas is a real good opportunity for someone looking to product management in tech industry.
  • Salaries for tech industry are accordingly high in line with Bay area salaries. Surprisingly its even more than the Financial services salaries.
  • Consulting is only at 20% not the most favoured role or industry in Haas and that is expected for a college in California and proximity to bay area.
  • Avg. Gmat score of 725 is very high and for Indians it will mean and avg. of 740 -750.
  • Haas receives more than 4000 applications for 280 odd seats that speaks for the competition to get in and hence the high GMAT avg.

This to consider

Financial times
The Economist
US News ranking

Berkeley Haas MBA Application Essays for 2019-20


Required Essay 1: What makes you feel alive when you are doing it, and why? (300 words maximum)

Required Essay 2: At Berkeley Haas, we are redefining leadership. We value different opinions and perspectives, recognizing that we always have more to learn about others’ lived experiences and histories. We encourage speaking up and listening, and courageously use our power to address barriers and drive change for positive impact.

Tell us how a Berkeley Haas MBA would enhance your leadership profile, incorporating specific examples. (300 words max)

  • Round 1: 26 September 2019
  • Round 2: 09 January 2020
  • Round 3: 02 April 2020
  • Decision 1: 12 Dec 2019
  • Decision 2: 26 March 2020
  • Decision 3: 07 May 2020

Berkeley Haas MBA Sample Essays


Haas Essay 1: What makes you feel alive when you are doing it, and why? (300 words maximum)

There is a moment when a roller coaster has finally clanked its way to the top of the hill and is about to be dropped (but hasn’t yet). It’s the moment of in-betweens. You’re in-between stillness and motion. In-between terror and joy. It’s the moment you most dread and yet it’s also the moment you stood in line two hours for. It’s the moment in which I feel most alive.

It all started in high school when my best friend at the time – the friend who entered my life when I was in “maximum insecurity mode” and whose boisterous support taught me confidence in myself – dragged me on to a coaster. At first, I was terrified and refused to go – I was too scared of the drops, the uncertainty.  She described what she loved about it – that it’s scary if you think of it as “falling”, but it’s exhilarating if you think of it as “flying”. I vowed to be brave, felt the safety harness lower, and tried to see the ride from her perspective: “This is flying. This is flying…OH MY GOSH, THIS REALLY IS FLYING!!!”

Since then…Continue Readng Here

Haas Essay 2: What are your post-MBA short-term and long-term career goals? How have your professional experiences prepared you to achieve these goals? How will an MBA from Haas help you achieve these goals? (750 words maximum)

Leading international PR efforts for Viapay (Brazil’s PayPal), I’ve been managing the rollout of a new product called “express payment” from Brazil to the Argentine market. In this project, I’ve advised the product team to adjust the offerings to better suit the local needs. I created Viapay’s social media strategy, advised on marketing campaigns and led the creation of an online user tutorial. My leadership in this effort paid off as payment volume in the region increased by 300%.

My first go-to-market experience ignited my passion for product marketing which not only taught me how to think…Continue Reading Here

Berkeley Haas MBA Interview Questions


First, at your Berkeley Haas MBA interview, be prepared to demonstrate deep understanding of Haas Defining Principles (HDP)

  1. Question the Status Quo
  2. Confidence Without Attitude
  3. Students Always
  4. Beyond Yourself

Also be prepared to share examples of how you have demonstrated HDP in professional and personal life.

Second, be prepared to connect your long-term goal to Haas professors, programs, people. In other words, customize your “Why Haas?” answer to fit your career plans. Show that you know Haas programs deeply and can explain why and how Haas best prepares you to change the world.

Third, be ready to prove, with logic and passion, why you would choose Berkeley over other options. Haas usually loses to Stanford GSB and alumni interviewers are sensitive to applicants applying to other, higher ranked schools. Have some criteria by which Berkeley beats other schools. For instance, a former consultant client who wanted to pursue a career in the healthcare industry mentioned that he wanted to pursue a Health Management Certificate at the Haas School of Business. Stanford, by contrast, does not offer such a certificate…Continue Reading Here

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