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Haas Class of 2022 Essay Analysis

June 28, 2019

Haas has released its 2019/20 essays and is introducing two new essay prompts! 

2019/20 essay questions

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

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)

2019/20 essay question analysis

Essay 1

Similar to Stanford’s essay 1, the key to a successful essay is answering the “why” to whatever topic you choose. This is a particularly challenging essay given the tight word limit, so choose a topic that doesn’t require much explaining about what it is. If you cannot explain what makes you feel alive in 50 words or less, consider another topic.

When explaining why your activity makes you feel alive, bring the reader into your story by referencing the five senses; it will help your explanation be more memorable for the reader. Also try to weave in how the “why” helps you with other successes in your life. Has your activity helped you build key relationships you discuss elsewhere in your application? Given you the courage to start a business or negotiate for more responsibility at work? Something else?

Essay 2

While the answer to this essay question may overlap with your articulated goals you are pursuing through your MBA, keep focused on how Haas will enhance your leadership skills, rather than broader career goals. A key challenge will be articulating something different than what other applicants write. “Enhance my communication skills” and “Learn to build empathy with diverse peers” are relevant, but won’t differentiate you from the experience others will have at Haas. Instead, focus on leadership characteristics that directly tie to your stated goals. Also, the more specific you are in the examples of Haas experiences you will use, the easier it will be to be more memorable to the Admissions Committee.

2019/20 deadlines

Round 1: Application deadline: September 26, 2019; Decision date: December 12, 2019
Round 2: Application deadline: January 9, 2020; Decision date: March 26, 2020
Round 3: Application deadline: April 2, 2020; Decision date: May 7, 2020

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