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Of course, their second essay does ask you why you want an MBA, couched in the much more useful phrasing around why you want to gain leadership skills from Haas – so it’s sophisticated, and kinda sneaky too!
Even though you may not see such prompts front-and-center with other schools, these types of questions are buried in many schools’ applications, so it’s not like Haas is asking things that other schools don’t.
This is one way that the admissions reviewer forms a picture of who you are, based on where you came from.
They’re not asking for that, and we understand why, and they’ve also simplified the main two essays as well which is applicant-friendly… We just can’t help feeling that something was lost in ditching out on a more standard required essay such as they had before.
Our Berkeley Haas MBA Application Guide will be updated as soon as possible for 2019 to help steer you in the right direction about all of these critical strategies.
Other schools that have long been seen as closer peers to Haas, such as Tuck and Duke, saw applications go down for the Class of 2021.
We’ll need to see data before we can say for sure, but our tea leaves are saying that it’s still somewhat more competitive at Berkeley Haas than it may be elsewhere you have in your sights.
If you feel that you have an unremarkable past, and come from a privileged family, and don’t really have a story to tell about upbringing or anything that’s different about how you were raised, then OK. We are not suggesting you fabricate some kind of imagined hardship about struggling in a lower income environment.
But as Tolstoy says, every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
Their Optional Information #2 is the classic “optional essay” that we cover in multiple posts here on the blahg, where you can talk about issues during college that resulted in a low GPA, or gaps in employment, that sort of thing.
We do not suggest writing the Optional Information #2 unless you have a specific reason to do so, that cannot be fully covered anywhere else in the application.