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Berkeley Haas School of Business

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Re: Berkeley Haas School of Business [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2009, 12:36
Hey braindancer,

Glad to see i am not the only one on the forum on sundays!
I am applying to Berkeley for R2, and this is probably going to be my only application. I am a civil engineer, and had never really thought about an MBA before a few months ago (they re not too popular in France and even less among engineers...). I started looking up programs when one of my colleagues (indian IT like many people on the forum it seems) told me he was considering it, and Berkeley seemed to be the program standing out for me (not for him, he s dreaming about HBS).

So here are my questions:

How easy is it to attend classes from the engineering department? I do want a b-school degree but would be happy to satisfy the geek in me taking some classes in.....clean energy (how original, I know...) How does it work? Do b-school students have access to pretty technical classes? Is there a limited number of projects for clean tech or does it depend on the number of people interested?

Is Berkeley a good school to switch from engineering to consulting? I have worked in Africa as a civil Engineer and in Mexico looking for oil and would like to switch to consulting, preferably in the energy sector (yes clean energies, i am tired of polluting more than my share). Have you met people following the same path there? Do most international applicants go back to their home country or is there a fair amount of them who stay?

And last but not least it seems to me that Berkeley is encouraging team work and collaboration. I know most MBAs advertise this but i just got a different feeling from what i have read. Kind of very hard standards but less attitude. I don't really want to be surrounded by what we call "finance sharks" in french. Did i get the right feeling? Maybe all schools are like this? Honestly b-schools have a pretty bad reputation in France so maybe my feeling is biased,looking forward to some feedback on this.

I haven't had the chance to visit yet but planning on going there next month. Meanwhile, just looking for as much info as i can to polish my essays. Any of you on the campus at that time?
Maybe it would have been more appropriate to send a PM but maybe some people later will be interested in your answers too...

Emilie
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Re: Berkeley Haas School of Business [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2009, 15:22
Hey,

sorry I dropped the ball on this one - was traveling. Apparently all the Berkeley gang is staying on the lazy side :) Let me try to answer your questions.
Quote:
How easy is it to attend classes from the engineering department? I do want a b-school degree but would be happy to satisfy the geek in me taking some classes in.....clean energy (how original, I know...) How does it work? Do b-school students have access to pretty technical classes? Is there a limited number of projects for clean tech or does it depend on the number of people interested?

Firstly, there are plenty of "tech-oriented" classes at Haas itself. Tech is one of the school's specialties, so once you get past first semester (when all classes are mandatory, "core curriculum") you can start customizing your own class schedule.

Secondly, there is an option to attend classes from other schools in Berkeley. You can either actually take that class (there is a limit, I think you can take 1-2 non-Haas classes per semester), or you can just "audit" them, which means you show up and listen, but don't get grades and credits. I don't know a lot of details on this, as I was too lazy to actually do it :), but I think this might be a good option.

As to the projects, there is a huge load of clean tech stuff going on at all times. It's one of the hottest topics, and projects pop up all the time. I am more than sure that you (and anyone) can easily get yourself involved in a cool project. I personally didn't care about that too much (was focused on consulting), but I did see a lot of people take that path.

Quote:
Is Berkeley a good school to switch from engineering to consulting? I have worked in Africa as a civil Engineer and in Mexico looking for oil and would like to switch to consulting, preferably in the energy sector (yes clean energies, i am tired of polluting more than my share). Have you met people following the same path there? Do most international applicants go back to their home country or is there a fair amount of them who stay?

Well, switching from engineering to consulting is exactly what I did :) Basically, here's my take on this: any top-10 school is a great way to get into consulting. However, Haas is easier to get into with a tech background :) Also you will have a slight advantage during consulting interviews, cause your background is what the firms expect, so you won't fall behind folks with businessy backgrounds.

As to internationals - well, again, I did stay :) In my opinion it depends on your future employer, not on school. Haas can't do much to help you stick around, but once you get a job at a large firm, they can sponsor your H-1B (work) visa.

Make sure you check the latest news regarding work visas before you make your decision. In tough economic times (like now) US tend to shut the doors and create roadblocks for firms to sponsor work visas. For example, any firm that got government aid is prohibited from hiring internationals. So research this and find out what are your chances.

Quote:
And last but not least it seems to me that Berkeley is encouraging team work and collaboration. I know most MBAs advertise this but i just got a different feeling from what i have read. Kind of very hard standards but less attitude. I don't really want to be surrounded by what we call "finance sharks" in french. Did i get the right feeling? Maybe all schools are like this? Honestly b-schools have a pretty bad reputation in France so maybe my feeling is biased,looking forward to some feedback on this.

My feeling is that Haas is by far the most "un-competitive" school out there :) There is absolutely ZERO dog-eat-dog attitude here, everyone is super-friendly. No one is psyched about the grades, and people do help each other a lot. Finance sharks feel lonely and depressed, as they are a minority and can't really bully anyone :)

Quote:
I haven't had the chance to visit yet but planning on going there next month. Meanwhile, just looking for as much info as i can to polish my essays. Any of you on the campus at that time?

Hard to say - I'm doing consulting and am on the road all the time :) Shoot me a PM once you have the dates, and we'll see what we can do.
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Re: Berkeley Haas School of Business [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2009, 08:41
Thanks, this is so great. I think gmatclub is one of the best way to learn about a school.
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Re: Berkeley Haas School of Business [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2010, 10:33
somehow my "message notification" stopped working for this thread, but hopefully it's back on now and I can help along with braindancer to answer questions.
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Re: Berkeley Haas School of Business [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2010, 10:39
Lies! You know you were just lazya$$ing. :-D
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Re: Berkeley Haas School of Business [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2010, 10:48
braindancer wrote:
Lies! You know you were just lazya$$ing. :-D


Haha, it is second semester of the second year, I deserve to be lazya$$ing. :wink:

Good to see you here braindancer!
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Re: Berkeley Haas School of Business [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2010, 11:08
Fair enough! I don't even remember showing up at school during last semester :-D
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Re: Berkeley Haas School of Business [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2010, 11:33
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Hey Everyone,

With pleasure, I would like to introduce you all to Berkeley Haas' new VP of Admissions and Student Ambassador, LaurenAtHaas! She will be helping applicants with questions on this thread and the Haas Ambassador thread, and I have no doubt that she will do an amazing job helping you all out.

Don't worry, I'll still be around, but it's very nice to have an "official" student voice from the Berkeley admissions team here on GMATClub and on this thread.

Lauren will make a self-intro here soon, so stay tuned!

Cheers,
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Re: Berkeley Haas School of Business [#permalink] New post 28 Jan 2010, 22:28
Hello Everyone!

I am extremely excited to serve as your new Haas ambassador on the GMAT Club forum. I look forward to answering your questions, and supporting you in any way I can as you navigate the business school application process. Below is a little bit about myself.

I am a Bay Area native, born and raised in Los Gatos, CA. In 2000, I completed a double major in Economics and Political Science at Stanford University. While at Stanford, I was a four year varsity letter winner in softball, an NCAA Division I Scholar/Honor Roll Athlete, and a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and the Cap & Gown Women’s Honor Society. I continue to be involved with my alma mater, serving as a Director on the board of the Stanford Professional Women (SPW) organization.

After graduation, I worked for two years at a patent law firm in Palo Alto. After deciding that I was not destined for law school, I accepted a role at Google as a member of the Online Sales and Operations department. During my 7 years with the company, I worked in a variety of General Management positions in several different offices, including Dublin, Ireland, and Hyderabad, India, most recently managing a sales team and running the office's community outreach program in Boston.

I made the decision to attend Haas as a means to further develop my strategic and quantitative skill sets, as well as my professional network. At Haas, I am involved with the MBA Association, Women in Leadership Club, Marketing Club, and Leadership Club. I am a Berkeley Board Fellow, serving on the board of The Alameda County Foster Youth Alliance. I am also participating in the Social Sector Solutions program, working with the Women’s Sports Foundation on their GoGirlGo! initiative. In my leisure time, I am usually outdoors staying active. I also enjoy photography, traveling, and cooking.

Cheers,
Lauren
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Re: Berkeley Haas School of Business [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2010, 18:11
Hi Ambassadors,
First of all, welcome LaurenAtHaas and congrats!

Well, the more I search B-schools to consider for MBA the more I fall in love with Haas. It just fits my career ambitions and career background as well (at the end of the post link to my profile is pasted). Also, my long-term goal is to be an entrepreneur especially social entrepreneur like Tom from Tom's shoes (if you know of him), and Haas's Social Entrepreneurship program is strong. Haas's close proximity to Silicon Valley is a blessing for engineers like me who are in high-tech. By the way, I love Apple and Google as employer and would like to join any of these companies for management position to achieve my short-term goals. I do like consulting but for social and technology related sector. General Management and Haas's mix of Case studies and traditional teaching method is exactly what I was looking for as far as teaching style is concerned, So, all in all after considering what I want and researching other schools as well Haas seems the only best fit for me.

I am an international student with high-tech background. I did my undergrad from GIKI (Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences & Technology), the language of instruction was English only as many visiting teachers used to teach there (UK,Russia,Switzerland,France and etc.). When we were studying there it was the #1 Engineering institute in Pakistan (now may be 2nd or 1st). I have a poor GPA as you'll see from my profile and my Batch average GPA was 2.4 or 2.5 on the scale of 4.0 (tough grading system).
Now here are my questions
1) Do I need to take TOEFL/IELTS (language of instruction was English only)?
2) As mentioned on Berkeley site US co-signer is required for loans, does school help in finding a co-signer for International student as I don't know anyone from US?
3) The people who get in Apple or Google, for what positions are they usually hired for and with concentration on what major (e.g General Management or Strategic Planning or Business Development)?
4) For international students getting VISA for USA is a hectic job. Does school help with VISA processing so that the process can be smooth for International student.
5) How much Career Service Center at Haas helps international students in finding the internship and job?
6) How is camaraderie at Haas?
7) Does school help in financing your MBA for example scholarships and FinAid? What I mean is the process smooth or painful?
8) Here we don't have community colleges to take extra courses to improve the candidacy and offset poor GPA. Do you think or can ask some AdCom rep. that is it OK/enough for me to take pre-MBA course on http://www.mbamath.com? (in addition to high score on GMAT)

Well there are many other questions but for now I think these are enough.
Link to my profile: need-your-kind-advice-91194.html
Please! have a look at my profile if you don't mind and do let me know of your opinions & what would you suggest me to improve my candidacy.
Thank you,
Atif
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Re: Berkeley Haas School of Business [#permalink] New post 24 Mar 2010, 19:02
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Questions:
1) Do I need to take TOEFL/IELTS (language of instruction was English only)?
2) As mentioned on Berkeley site US co-signer is required for loans, does school help in finding a co-signer for International student as I don't know anyone from US?
3) The people who get in Apple or Google, for what positions are they usually hired for and with concentration on what major (e.g General Management or Strategic Planning or Business Development)?
4) For international students getting VISA for USA is a hectic job. Does school help with VISA processing so that the process can be smooth for International student.
5) How much Career Service Center at Haas helps international students in finding the internship and job?
6) How is camaraderie at Haas?
7) Does school help in financing your MBA for example scholarships and FinAid? What I mean is the process smooth or painful?
8) Here we don't have community colleges to take extra courses to improve the candidacy and offset poor GPA. Do you think or can ask some AdCom rep. that is it OK/enough for me to take pre-MBA course on http://www.mbamath.com? (in addition to high score on GMAT)


Answers:
1. The UC Berkeley Graduate Division requires that all applicants who received their degrees from countries in which the official language is not English submit official evidence of English Language Proficiency. This requirement applies to applicants from Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, North Africa, the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, and most European countries. This requirement also applies to US citizens who received their undergraduate degrees in these countries or regions. Only applicants who have completed a full year of US university-level coursework with a grade of B or better are exempt from this requirement.
2. No, I do not believe that Haas and/or the Admissions Committee is able to help students identify a co-signer for loans. I will confirm and then post another reply if the answer is Yes.
3. For students that receive an offer from Apple or Google, it can be for a variety of roles, in a variety of departments. Opportunities are different every year, but I can tell you that both firms made summer internship offers to Haas students during this recruiting season. If you would like to review employment reports from past years, you can do so at the Haas Career Services site: http://haas.berkeley.edu/groups/careerc ... ports.html
4. The Berkeley International Office (BIO) provides advising and assistance to the international community at UC Berkeley. International students consider BIO as their primary non-academic information source while a student at Berkeley. BIO can provide information and assistance with: Immigration matters, Personal and cultural issues, Information on living in Berkeley, Taxes, Work authorization permits and Financial aid. You can learn more about their services here: http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/MBA/siss.html
5. The Career Services Office (CSO) does a fantastic job helping students find internships for the summer, as well as full time, post graduation roles. You can read more about their role on campus by visiting their site: http://haas.berkeley.edu/groups/careercenter/mba.html. In general, from speaking with my international classmates, while they have access to the same career resources as domestic students, there may not be as many international jobs that are filled through the on campus recruiting process. This simply means that the student has to do a bit more leg work in identifying opportunities, but the CSO is very much still available to help you network, and make the necessary connections so that you can land your ideal job!
6. I absolutely love the environment Haas! The following is part of post that I made on another forum where I address the attitude/vibe on campus. To begin with, I have found the students to be exceptionally collaborative, and team focused, and I have developed extremely strong relationships with many of the individuals in my class. This process of meeting new people, and building lifelong relationships has been extremely fulfilling. The focus on team and collaboration was most evident during summer internship recruiting season this fall. Many of us were applying for similar roles at the same companies, and I was shocked (and grateful), when fellow classmates were approaching me with feedback on how their interviews had gone, and what I could best do to prepare...and this was for the same role that they had interviewed for earlier in the day! I certainly appreciated their support, and am confident that in the future, my Haas classmates will continue to be tremendous resources and sources of support. In addition, I am also extremely proud of the principles that the Haas program stands for (http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/strategicplan). As a program, we truly embody each of these principles, and each day I am excited to see how our students, faculty, administration and alumni are making a difference locally and globally. I hope that this is helpful, and provides a bit of a glimpse into what I believe makes Haas such a special place!
7. The best place to research scholarship and financial aid information for Haas students is on this site: http://mba.haas.berkeley.edu/admissions ... dents.html (under Costs & Financial Aid). The process of applying for scholarships and financial aid is a very personal one, and is very specific to each student. I would recommend that you review the information on this site, and then email the Financial Aid office with any unanswered questions.
8. Many students complete continuing education courses in order to offset a lower than desired undergraduate GPA. While online programs are certainly helpful, they often do not provide participating students with a grade (which the Admissions Committee will want to review if the class is to be considered a supplement to your undergraduate GPA). I would recommend that you look into continuing education programs, or extension schools at leading universities, as they sometimes have classes that you can complete virtually (they video tape all lectures, and you take exams from a local testing center).

I hope that this information is helpful!
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Re: Berkeley Haas School of Business [#permalink] New post 24 Mar 2010, 23:13
@LaurenAtHaas
Thank you! for taking time to answer my queries. It really is informative and useful. And would let you know of any further queries.
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Re: Berkeley Haas School of Business [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2010, 02:31
Hi Ambassadors...looking for some help here..

I am an Indian applicant in round 3 at Haas. I had certain questions about the admission process at Haas.

1. Is there no hope for me in round 3, being an international applicant? Many people have told me that since Indians tend to be picked up in rounds 1 & 2, no more diversity is required. and, as a result, very less or negligible Indians are picked up in round 3 or 4.

2. Is there any way I can offset that disadvantage?

3. I want to share with the admissions committee all that I have done since I applied. I have some significant things to show. Would it be advisable if i send an update?

My Profile:
Indian Female
GMAT 720
GPA 3.1
Undergrad-engineering
work-ex:4 years: 2 years in family biz, 2 years as an entrepreneur-I own a digital media agency.
heavy extra-curriculars
heavy community service-have taught slum kids for 2 years for an NGO, continue to work with the same NGO as Chief Evangelist.

Awaiting your response eagerly.
Thanks
Smriti Sharma
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Re: Berkeley Haas School of Business [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2010, 03:50
Smriti,

I don't think there is such a strict division between rounds in terms of who they pick up. It is true that most of the class gets built out of round 1 and 2, but they do get quite a few people from round 3 as well. So I wouldn't worry too much, given that you have a good profile.

As to sending them an update - absolutely, this is a great idea. If you have significant new stuff to report - do it. Send them an email, show keen interest and update them on your recent activities.
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Re: Berkeley Haas School of Business [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2010, 03:54
Thanks for such a prompt reply! I might just trouble you again. :)
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Re: Berkeley Haas School of Business [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2010, 14:17
Any insight into whether Haas gives out many scholarships...and how much they usually provide?
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Re: Berkeley Haas School of Business [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2010, 23:32
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islandergold wrote:
Any insight into whether Haas gives out many scholarships...and how much they usually provide?


The big one is the Haas Merit and Haas Achievement scholarships, given when they tell you your acceptance. They're either 50% or 100% scholarships and are given to less than 10% of the class (the two awards combined). There are other 50% and 100% scholarships that you can apply for after you get accepted, probably for a total of another 5-10% of the class.
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Re: Berkeley Haas School of Business [#permalink] New post 04 Apr 2010, 13:43
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I received a question earlier about loan co-signors for international students, and I wanted to offer a quick follow-up. I spoke with the Admissions team, and have confirmed that presently, they cannot assist students in identifying co-signers. However, they do intend to have a program in place next year that will allow international students to obtain a loan without the need for a co-signer. Once all of the information is finalized, you can expect a more detailed announcement.
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Re: Berkeley Haas School of Business [#permalink] New post 04 Apr 2010, 18:26
LaurenAtHaas wrote:
I received a question earlier about loan co-signors for international students, and I wanted to offer a quick follow-up. I spoke with the Admissions team, and have confirmed that presently, they cannot assist students in identifying co-signers. However, they do intend to have a program in place next year that will allow international students to obtain a loan without the need for a co-signer. Once all of the information is finalized, you can expect a more detailed announcement.

Thank you! for the information.
Was really curious as well as worried.
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Re: Berkeley Haas School of Business [#permalink] New post 19 May 2010, 16:41
Hi everyone and thanks for your help.

I visited a class about 2 months ago and I found that it was not very interactive. In fact, it felt more like a lecture than a discussion. Is this true for most classes or did I come on an uncommon day?

...I'm thinking about visiting a second time just to make sure!
Re: Berkeley Haas School of Business   [#permalink] 19 May 2010, 16:41
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