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The Haas 2013-2014 Application
Haas School of Business has released its 2013-2014 application essays and deadlines, and with big news! Haas has not only significantly changed its essay portion of the application by dropping one of the essay questions (as has been the trend among top schools this year), but by also eliminating a round completely.
Traditionally, Haas has had four application rounds. This year, Haas has completely dropped its middle round and phased its rounds to reflect the more common spacing of rounds seen by other top business schools. The deadlines for application for the Haas Class of 2016 will be as follows.
Round 1: October 16, 2013
Round 2: January 8, 2014
Round 3: March 12, 2014
Haas is requiring four essays of all applicants, totaling 1500 words – a much higher word count than most schools this year allow. In addition to the four required essays seen below, there are also two optional essay questions provided: one for any additional information the applicant wishes to describe, and one for the applicant to further discuss his or her quantitative abilities, if not seen clearly in the application elsewhere. The four required essays for the Haas 2013-2014 application will appear on the application as they do below.
Essay 1: If you could choose one song that expresses who you are, what is it and why? (250 word maximum)
Essay 2: What is your most significant accomplishment? (250 word maximum)
Essay 3: Describe a time in the last three years when you overcame a failure. What specific insight from this experience has shaped your development? (250 word maximum)
Essay 4: a. What are your post-MBA short-term and long-term career goals? How have your professional experiences prepared you to achieve these goals?
b. How will an MBA from Haas help you achieve these goals? (750 word maximum for 4a. and 4b.)
The first essay prompt is the most standout question of the four and raised a fair amount of eyebrows when it was first released last year. Because it is making a reoccurrence this year, it is safe to say that the admissions board was happy with the responses received from last year. The question screams for the admission board’s want to see creativity among its applicants, so try not to overthink the question. Have fun with it and use it to speak to something true about yourself.
Questions two and four also remain unchanged from last year, speaking specifically to (1) how you have overcome challenges and succeeded during adversity or difficult times to gain useful skills, and (2) why Haas’ program will specifically help you to achieve your future career goals.
Lastly, question three is similar to the essay question asked last year, but with rewording. Last year, Haas saw many applicants who had misinterpreted its third essay question, or who did not carry the question through to the extent that the admissions committee hoped to see. For this reason, pay attention to the second sentence of question three: “What specific insight from this experience has shaped your development?” This is the meat of the question. When giving an example of how you overcame a failure, applicants should be working up to how the experience has shaped their development, leaving a sense of triumph and success to the essay.
All applicants must submit a GRE or GMAT score to Haas. Haas notes that only one score is required, meaning that applicants should report only their highest score and are not required to report previous lower scores. For each test, applicants are required to compete the Analytical Writing component as well. However, the admissions committee has noted that applicants should pay particular attention to their quantitative scores, as the admissions board will place most emphasis on this section.
All applicants who attended university in countries whose official language is not English must submit a valid TOEFL or IELTS score.
Letters of Recommendation
Haas requires two letters of recommendation: one from the applicant’s current supervisor or manager, and one from another professional colleague who can attest to the candidate’s professional and managerial skills. Academic letters of recommendation are strongly discouraged.
Other Application Requirements
Along with the above materials, applicants are required to submit a current resume, official university transcripts, and a $200 application fee.
Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)
President, MBA Admit.com