Scott Edinburgh
July 7, 2022

Berkeley Haas MBA Essays: 2022-2023

Berkeley Haas Campus

Berkeley Haas has officially announced its essay questions for the 2022-2023 application cycle. If you are looking for an MBA program with a small class size and close-knit community, Berkeley Haas may be a great choice for you.

With around 300 students enrolled in each entering class, Berkeley Haas is one of the smallest top full-time MBA programs.

This past application cycle, Berkeley Haas admitted applicants with an average GMAT score of 726 and an average undergrad GPA of 3.67. The class of 2023 has an average of 5.5 years of pre-MBA work experience. Records also note that 37% of students identify as female and 37% of students have international citizenship.

In a statement introducing the 2022-2023 Berkeley Haas Application, Berkeley Haas shared the following:

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 thoughtful and authentic responses that demonstrate your alignment with our principles.

Below, please find Personal MBA Coach’s advice on how to tackle the Haas MBA essays.

2022-2023 Berkeley Haas Essay Questions:

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

Essay 2: What kind of leader do you aspire to be and why? (300 words maximum)


Personal MBA Coach’s Tips on Mastering the Berkeley Haas Essays and Application:

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

With this short essay, get right to the point. This is a chance to talk about your true passions and what really drives you. For some applicants, this may be their job (but tread cautiously here). If your job is what truly drives you, be sure that you have a strong reason and can illustrate passion as you write. Extracurricular work also could fit well but be sure it is an area where you have emerged as a leader and/or have added substantial value. Be succinct and speak from the heart.

Be sure to include both the “what” and the “why.” While this is not the time to brag about accomplishments, an ideal answer will show something you have done to set yourself apart.

Berkeley MBA Essay 2: What kind of leader do you aspire to be and why? (300 words maximum)

For many years, Berkeley Haas has pressed candidates to define successful leadership. This year, Haas takes a more direct approach to asking about leadership. However, your approach to this essay should still consider your definition of successful leadership. Personal MBA Coach recommends that candidates consider the qualities they believe that successful leaders embody and why they believe these traits are important.

Next, think about how you personally have begun to demonstrate these characteristics. Personal MBA Coach recommends including a few short examples.

Finally, think about how you will grow as a leader at Berkeley Haas. Discuss, in detail, what classes, clubs, or programs will help you achieve your leadership objectives.

As Personal MBA Coach generally advises, you should not include a laundry list of items. Instead, focus on a few specific areas of interest, telling the reader what you will gain from each of these experiences and how you will contribute. You want to leave the reader with a vision of how your leadership style will have evolved by the time you leave campus.


Berkeley Haas also has two optional essays, the first following a series of questions.

Optional Essay 1: Please elaborate on any of your above responses. Alternatively, you may use this opportunity to expand on other hardships or unusual life circumstances that may help us understand the context of your opportunities, achievements, and impact. (300 words maximum)

Many applicants will not answer this question. Personal MBA Coach recommends that applicants use optional essays sparingly. If your answers to these questions are not unique, there is a good chance you should skip this essay.

Optional Essay 2: This section should only be used to convey relevant information not addressed elsewhere in your application. This may include explanation of employment gaps, academic aberrations, supplemental coursework, etc. You are encouraged to use bullet points where appropriate.

For this second Haas optional essay, answer only if you have specific or extenuating circumstances to explain. Read more on our approach to optional essays here.

Looking for more information on Berkeley Haas’s full-time MBA program? Check out our Haas guide to learn what sets the program apart, access the latest class profile information, and more.

About Personal MBA Coach:

Founded by a Wharton MBA and MIT Sloan graduate who sits on the Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants Board of Directors, Personal MBA Coach has been guiding clients for 15 years and is consistently ranked #1 or #2 by leading sources. Personal MBA Coach is the #1 most favorably reviewed US Consultant of all time on Poets & Quants.

We help clients with all aspects of the MBA application process including early planning, GMAT/GRE/EA tutoring, application strategy, school selection, essay editing, and mock interviews. Our team includes former M7 admissions directors and former M7 admissions interviewers.

Last cycle, our clients earned more than $6.5M in scholarships!