How to Write Berkeley Haas MBA Application Essays


hi there welcome this is Vince of Vince prep comm and a ghost Japan starting a new series of videos about the berkeley haas mba application essays it’s a very good set of essays this year I’m recommending that my clients actually start with Berkeley if if Berkeley is anywhere on your list whether it’s round one around 2:00 or later starting the Berkeley essays as a brainstorming activity is a very very good idea and I’m gonna explain why so here are the questions I’ve sort of blown them up a bit to make them easier to see so basically let me just read a little bit pardon me as I read at Berkeley house we see candidates from a broad range of cultures backgrounds and industries who demonstrate a strong cultural fit with our program and defining principles I think that phrase right there let me just pause that phrase right there strong cultural fit with our program and defining principles Berkeley is really the only school I can think of that has gone out of its way to define 40 principles and and I’ve been told that Berkeley when you graduate from Haas at least last year a couple years ago you got like a you know a business card you know in Japan we call it a may sheet right you’d get a little business card to carry around in your wallet and it’ll say question the status quo confidence without attitude students always and beyond yourself they’ve put a lot of time and thought into those principles and they care deeply about them and they’re asking you and your essay to reflect you don’t want to tell you want to show always good storytelling you showing that telling you’re not just repeating what they said back to them but actually showing it through your own examples and so here are the actual essay questions instructions please use the following essays as opportunities to reflect on and share with us the values experiences and accomplishments so values experiences accomplishments that’s what they’re looking for that have helped shape who you are so it’s a very value driven story driven essay said and that’s effectively why I’m suggesting you start with it I used to suggest people start with Stanford but actually I think Berkeley’s better because Stanford’s question what matters most to you and why is so big that some people simply get overwhelmed with it unless you have already written your autobiography unless you’re somebody who’s constantly writing about yourself starting with Stanford is actually very hard and certainly with Berkeley is easier because there are real questions that you can focus on answering once you have the one exception to that to this policy though is basically for Berkeley answer the questions out of order the questions are one two three but I actually suggest you answer them three two one so let me explain that start with essay 3 essay 3 is a is a straightforward goal essay tell us about your path to business school and your future plans so the reason I love this question is in the old days most schools a lot of schools wharton included chicago included it wanted you to start your essay your goal your future goal essay with a summary of the past and so when i worked with a client we at Argos admissions consulting when my team when we work with you we are starting with your resume that’s the way we get to know you that’s everything you’ve done up until now or the best of what you’ve done up until now and then with that resume then you jump off to sort of the story behind the resume and then going forward into the MBA so how will the Berkeley house experience help you along this journey so from the past into the future with Berkeley Haas MBA in the middle it’s a very classic structure it’s a very helpful structure for you Stanford school essay by contrast is just why Stanford it doesn’t actually say what’s your goal although of course you need to mention it and it doesn’t actually probably want you to summarize your career background because Stanford gets that information from the recommendation letter gets that from the recommend I’m sorry from the resume and from the application data form short answer questions all those boxes that are actually quite important so start with your berkeley goal si si 3 start with S III then go to se – I’ll be making separate videos about each of these essays because I love these questions but let me just summarize them so again I’m encouraging you to as it as a brainstorming exercise ignore Berkeley’s instructions for now they say please respond to one of the following I actually want you we at Auguste admissions want you to answer all of them with us not as perfect 250 word essays but as possible stories this application MBA application I was gonna get my son’s Rubik’s Cube to show you a prop but you can just imagine it with me you know a Rubik’s Cube right a square puzzle with colors on each side and the point of a rubik’s cube is to first mess up the colors and then put them back together so mba application is like a puzzle and if you share with your admissions consultant all of your possible answers to a transformative experience a significant accomplishment a difficult decision once we have your resume plus all of your possible answers to these three topics we really know a lot about you so all of these stories so you’re gonna essentially share with us your resume your goal and a possible answer to all of these and by the way these numbers 2.1 2.2 that’s me Berkeley doesn’t do that but it’s very helpful for me to refer to it so 2.1 transformative experience describe an experience that has fundamentally changed the way you see the world and how it transformed you I’ll talk more about that in a separate video option two significant accomplishment describe a significant accomplishment and why it makes you proud this could be work or non work it’s very open and again we as admissions consultants that on those want to get to know you holistically so rather than write full answer to each of these questions share with us the possibilities so various accomplishments most of which most likely would be in your resume maybe not all of them so share with us all the personal and professional options for option two and finally difficult decision describe a difficult decision you have made and why it was challenging so decisions are really critical when we get to the interview stage of this application process my favorite question at Argus admissions consultant thing we love to ask why we’re always asking you why why why why you made this choice why you chose your college your major your career you know your job and your company your function if you’ve changed jobs why of course why MBA why now why Berkeley why why why so this essay gives you opportunity to describe a difficult decision you have made and why it was challenging so I’ll dig into these three I love these little stories these are what we call behavioral questions because they are based on past behavior and the theory is that past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior so sharing all your possible answers to these questions really really helps us get to know you and finally which I won’t even talk about today at all Berkeley’s signature sa meaning their most unique essay question which they asked for two years in a row then they got rid of it now it’s back if you could choose a one song that expresses who you are what is it and why I’m not even going to talk about that in this video that deserves its own video so as always please subscribe to my youtube channel for the latest updates best of luck with your applications thanks for watching and bye for now

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