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Berkeley Haas 2020-2021 MBA Application Essay Advice


Are you looking for an MBA program with a small class size and close-knit community? If so, 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 727 and an average undergrad GPA of 3.65. The class of 2022 has an average of 5.3 years of pre-MBA work experience. Records also note that 39% of students are female and 21% of students have international citizenship.

In a statement introducing the 2020-2021 Full-Time MBA application essays, 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 fit with our program — culturally, academically, and professionally.

Below, please find this year’s 2020-2021 application deadlines along with Personal MBA Coach’s advice on how to tackle the Berkeley Haas MBA application essays.

Berkeley Haas Upcoming MBA Application Deadlines:

Round 2: January 14, 2021

Round 3: April 5, 2021

Berkeley Haas 2020-2021 MBA Application Essays:

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

Essay 2: The definition of successful leadership has evolved over the last decade and will continue to change. What do you need to develop to become a successful leader? (300 words maximum)

Short Answer: Briefly describe your immediate post-MBA career goals (150 words maximum)


Personal MBA Coach’s Tips:

Along with the following Berkeley Haas advice, Personal MBA Coach suggests looking at our top tips on writing winning MBA application essays. Below, we have broken down Haas’s essay questions.

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. While this story can be personal or professional, most candidates will be best served with a personal story. 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.

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

Essay 2: The definition of successful leadership has evolved over the last decade and will continue to change. What do you need to develop to become a successful leader? (300 words maximum)

Berkeley Haas has altered their second essay question this year but continues to press candidates to define successful leadership. Here, candidates should discuss the qualities they believe that successful leaders embody. Be specific and think about how this definition of leadership continues to change over time.

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.


Short Answer: Briefly describe your immediate post-MBA career goals (150 words maximum)

This short answer question can be found under the Personal Data section of the application. Though 150 is the maximum number of words you can write, 50-100 words may be enough here. For more information on how to approach short answer questions, take a look at our blog on application extras here.

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 is consistently ranked #1 or #2 by leading ranking sources. 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 interview preparation.

Our team includes former M7 admissions directors and M7 admissions interviewers. Last year, our clients earned over $5.5M in scholarships! Call us today at +1 617-645-2424 or email scott@personalmbacoach.com for a free consultation on your profile along with how we can help make your MBA dreams a reality!

For more MBA application advice and updates, check out the following blogs:

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Yale School of Management 2020-2021 Essay Analysis

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