UC Berkeley Essay Analysis    

UC Berkeley Essay 1

At Berkeley-Haas, we seek candidates from a broad range of cultures, backgrounds, and industries who demonstrate a strong cultural fit with our program and defining principles. Our distinctive culture is defined by four key principles — Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself. Please use the following essays as an opportunity to reflect on and share with us the values, experiences, and accomplishments that have helped shape who you are. (Learn more about Berkeley-Haas’ Defining Principles)

UC Berkeley Essay 1 Explanation

The best answer to this question requires a deeper link between your answer and your experiences to the principles. The admissions committee is looking for a risk taker with a passion for innovation to question the status quo. The committee is looking for a confident individual who loathes unfounded arrogance to display confidence without an attitude. Third, the applicant should be a lifelong learner, who is actively curious and considers himself a student at all times. Last, the applicant should be able to act in the interests of stakeholders despite incurring short-term personal expenses. Before proceeding heed this, “Do not repeat the principles, or stuff them in your essays,” as you are wasting valuable space and time. The essays you have written should guide the values you share by ensuring they align with the institutions principles. 

With your values at hand, cross-reference them to each of the four principles, because it is what the admissions committee prioritizes in topic selection. Including a decision, which challenged the existing status quo or brought out your confidence without exhibiting an attitude is better that an accomplishment of much significance, but with no link to Hass principles. Select a true experience relating to you while allowing a demonstration that you are the type of student Hass would most likely consider. After identifying what you would like to discuss, distill the contextual background of your story, leaving only details of whom, what, when and where. Use comparable brevity before discussing the why and how of your chosen prompt. Spend close to a third of the essay in commenting about the experience, what it meant to you, and its contributions to your growth as a result. Last, remark on your experience, and how they have positioned you to make an impact on the Hass community.

UC Berkeley Essay 2:

Please respond to one of the following prompts: (250 word maximum)

Describe an experience that has fundamentally changed the way you see the world and how it transformed you.

UC Berkeley Essay 2 Explanation

You need a before and after scenario rather than an assumption that the committee will understand that your experience was powerful. Walk the committee through the entire situation by explaining your perception of the world before describing the transformative moment that changed everything in your life. Bring out the new behaviors you acquired from the experiences. What this prompt requires is a transformational experience such as a personal or professional experience requiring applicants to reflect on an honest answer to the question. Although you may naturally gravitate towards experiences that have fundamentally changed your life, generating potential topics and strategically evaluating your experiences will hone your writing. Once you have your list of examples, cross-reference these with the four Haas principles. The committee is looking for an individual valuing the four principles, meaning that this should be the priority of your topic selection.

The narrative will progress the essay towards your previous view of the world. This will bring you to a deep influential experience that left you with no choice but to change. The experience may be personal or professional, meaning it could be something that has happened to you. While this catalyst is important, the committee wants to assess your capacity for change. The school does not want you as a new person but is interested in knowing your openness to the world. The committee will accomplish this by evaluating your thought processes and engaging in necessary adaptations. Ensure that the narrative demonstrates all your valuable traits and maintain straightforwardness in identifying the accomplishments before using a narrative approach in illustrating your goals. Relying on sharing your experience and the process through which you achieved the feat will come out well as compared to showing your greatness.

UC Berkeley Essay 3

Tell us about your path to business school and your future plans. How will the Berkeley-Haas experience help you along this journey? (500 word maximum)

UC Berkeley Essay 3 Explanation

This career goal essay is asking applicants for a description of their career objectives and an explanation for seeking the MBA from Hass. The applicant has much space for discussing how he or she fits with the MBA program and Berkeley community. Begin by commenting on professional experiences to the present and your post-MBA concerns. Rather than make a chronological listing, strategize on a thematic plan, which captures your course to business school, drawing on industry comments. Do not forget to draw on functional experiences that ignited the burning desire to consider your post-MBA plans. Whichever approach you choose will logically lead to your plans. You have to give the committee a feel of what you want out of your career in the long-term. Mentioning the position you seek following your MBA, and emphasizing on the impact you will make to a particular organization or region guided by Haas’s four principles will give you a competitive edge. 

 An effective response will explain the interests of the candidate and its link to the program in nearly half the essay. Additionally, the contributions of your post MBA plan to Haas’s community and learning experience of classmates is important. Go deep into explaining details of your contributions by naming career-related events to bridge the gap between the mastery and the success needed in your later career. The applicant may also touch on outlets for indulging personal interests during MBA studies that will demonstrate the program’s merits. This is crucial for demonstrating an effective response to the question. Carry in-depth research on the unique merits of the program and extracurricular activities by conversing with alumni or visiting the campus. Given that Haas is ending the essay with career goals, respond by linking these themes with the Haas principles you wish to introduce to responses.