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this is my personal opinion of Haas, take it with a grain of salt.
Pros: 1. Specialized Strengths - Very impressive strengths in Hi-Tech, Entrepreneurship, VC, Health Care Management, Non-Profit, Net Impact/Sustainability/Corporate Social Responsibility. Relatively strong in marketing, general management, internationally business. 2. Student Body - Super friendly student body. Loads of energy. 3. "Quirky" - People tend to do less traditional MBA stuff (consluting/banking) here than many other schools. 4. Small Class Size - very personal, staff very responsive and knows you by name, you really bond with everyone 5. Alums - extremely responsive alums due to class size, very similar to Kellogg culture 6. Weather and location - located in one of the biggest metro areas in the country 7. International Brand Name - Mostly their "rebranding" to use UC Berkeley's name, which is very big in Asia and many parts of Europe.
Cons: 1. National Reach - East Coast reach is still growing. Better in finance (on the EC) due to NYC account managers working with major financial institutions, and good with consulting because they've been targeting a lot of the top consulting firms to come and recruit. But the reach is definitely not as strong as a H/S/W, and maybe slightly weaker than MIT/Kellogg/Chicago (them on the West Coast). 2. Alum Network Size - Smaller class size may lead to smaller alum network outside of the West Coast, Asia, and NYC. But the tightness of the alums makes up for part of it. 3. Public School - Haas is currently transitioning to a "private school" model, so it does not have as much endowment, programs (like KWEST or Random Walk), facility upgrades, etc... as other private schools (or "private" public schools like Darden and Ross). The law passed last year (2007) will help with Haas managing its own fundraising and building its endowment. 4. Traditional MBA Industries - Still needs to grow its strength in traditional MBA sectors to really be recognized as a top 5 school (i.e. Finance/Consulting). Right now seen (again, perceptions may vary) as a "specialized" top MBA for certain industries (e.g. Tech, Non-Profit, etc) 5. Brand Name - We'll see how well the rebranding with the "Berkeley MBA" works. Haas has been climbing the ranks rapidly in the last few years and have gained a lot of recognition for being a great B-school. But it's still not there yet with the "Top 5" schools. With new buildings and an expanded class size in the future (2012 time frame), it may do what Chicago GSB did 5-7 years ago and climb from the lower Top 10 spot solidly into the Top 5. _________________
Just got back from an orientation for student bloggers. This is a blog that many students (up to 20-30 students, with varying frequencies) at Haas will be updating this year. It started 2 years ago and has been a pretty big hit (61% of applicants read the blogs before submitting their applications and 41% continued to read it after the applications have been submitted, last year).
Anyway, it's an uncensored look at the highs and lows of student life at Haas. If you're interested, check it out. You just may see some of my blogs on there.
First I want to thank you for your time helping us. I greatly appreciate your help.
I come from a technology industry and would like to switch my career to strategy/management consulting after graduated from MBA. Can you share your thought to get one prepare for this career, in terms of the courses should take, student clubs at Haas, etc?
Thanks a lot for your time.
You are very welcome! As for tech to MC/Strat, that happens a lot here at Haas. To prepare for the career, you generally join the General Management club and the Consulting Club. You practice case interview questions with your classmates over the fall semester and winter break (more for consulting than for Strategy), you fully immerse yourself into the 8-10 target companies you want to work Strategy for (for MC you have to network a lot at the company presentations and do informational interviews), and there are a few strategy classes you can take (check out the Haas Website for the list of electives).
There are also 2nd year career coaches, the Career Center, and your classmates who will all help you to make the transition as smooth as possible.
From how I see your profile, your low GPA is quite well offset. Just make sure to explain the low GPA in the optional essay (whatever the reason was). Reason could be "some classes were totally crappy; I couldn't tailor my curriculum; I had more important stuff to do than to study total crap". Then you'll have to explain why did you get your undergrad at a place like that though.
If there was no reason, and you were just fooling around - I still would write that essay and say that you didn't have focus, and upon reflection you realize how wrong it was, and blah blah blah.
I posted this in the Gen Mgmt thread, but might as well put it in the Berkeley thread for people interested in Clean Tech or Energy at Haas.
speaking of Energy, Berkeley Haas is probably one of those very few programs that have a very strong affiliation with energy/clean tech. The program is huge at Haas and I know a large percentage of people go into that field. A new program that started this year that's been a big hit is the "Clean Tech to Market" program, where students work with the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and bring some of their research work into a commercializable form.
Also, the UC Berkeley wide Berkeley Energy & Resources Collaborative (BERC) is very active and involves schools from Haas, Law School, Public Policy, and others. A LOT of students are involved in it and there are many programs out there. Instead of listing them all here, I will provide you with links to read up on the program.
Also, not only the traditional energy companies recruit here (Chevron, PG&E), there are LOTS of startups in the area doing biofuels and solar tech that students join after getting their MBA.
In short, if you want to do energy/clean tech stuff, Berkeley is one of the places to do it.
Alright, here's an update after some research into our Class of 2009 Resume book (the 2010 version is not out yet).
32 out of 240 students were involved with Renewable Energy/Clean Tech/Energy Policy, most of those were part of BERC. 13 out of those 32 students actually did a summer internship that is energy related, including:
- Natural Gas - Lithium Ion Batteries - Solar (many of them) - Energy Policy (in the US and in Africa) - Energy investments - "Using Nanotech to fulfill our energy needs" (whatever that means)
Currently, 10 of BERCs new leadership team (class of 2010) are Haas students, and I know most of them want to pursue clean tech from speaking to them. This doesn't include others who are just members of BERC who are from Haas.
The greater UC Berkeley community (that forms BERC) is even more active in recent years, with the 3rd annual Energy Symposium coming up in 2009.
I'm planning a visit to Berkeley this June. Does the school prefer students to visit the admission director? I know that some schools don't track visits, but some do and weigh them in your application. Would appreciate any insights, thanks.
I'm curious about this too. I'll be visiting Haas at the end of the month. What do I need to do to let admissions know that I made the effort to come all the way from Texas to visit the school. I'm not applying until next fall. Any tips to help me make the most of my visit?
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!
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).
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. _________________
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.
Listed below are the supplemental questions, short answer questions, required essays, and optional essays that you will need to provide when completing the fall 2008 application. Supplemental Questions:
1. If you have not provided a letter of recommendation from your current supervisor, please explain; otherwise, enter N/A. 2. List in order of importance all community & professional organizations and extracurricular activities in which you have been involved during or after university studies. Indicate the nature of the activity or organization, dates of involvement, offices held, & average number of hours spent per month. 3. List full-time and part-time jobs held during undergraduate or graduate studies, indicating the employer, job title, employment dates, location, and the number of hours worked per week for each position held prior to the completion of your degree. 4. Please explain all gaps in your employment since earning your university degree. 5. Please identify the course(s) you have taken or intend to take to demonstrate quantitative proficiency. Provide the course name, date, grade if any, and institution at which the course was or will be taken. If you wish, you may discuss other ways in which you have demonstrated strong quantitative abilities. 6. If you have ever been subject to academic discipline, placed on probation, suspended or required to withdraw from any college or university, please explain. If not, please enter N/A. (An affirmative response to this question does not automatically disqualify you from admission.) Short Answer:
1. If you could have dinner with one individual in the past, present, or future, who would it be and why? (250 word maximum) 2. Tell us about your most significant accomplishment. (250 word maximum) 3. At Haas, we value innovation and creativity. Describe an innovative solution you have created to address a specific challenge. (250 word maximum) 4. What steps have you taken to learn about the Berkeley MBA program, and what factors have influenced your decision to apply? (250 word maximum)
1. Give us an example of a situation in which you displayed leadership. (500 word maximum) 2. What are your short-term and long-term career goals? How do your professional experiences relate to these goals? Why do you want an MBA from Berkeley at this point in your career? (1000 word maximum)
1. (Optional) Please feel free to provide a statement concerning any information you would like to add to your application that you haven’t addressed elsewhere. (500 word maximum) 2. (Optional) If you wish to be considered for the Haas Achievement Award (for individuals who have achieved success in spite of significant economic, educational, health-related and/or other obstacles), please use this space to address the obstacles you have overcome. (750 word maximum) _________________
Posting my Haas Super Saturday Round 1 Interview back on January 19th. Realized I never posted it until I had a PM with these questions. Hope this will help future applicants!
1. Was yours by an alumni or a prof? Esp, what kind of questions were asked ( Any basic questions that you can recall?), I was interviewed by an alum. The questions are typical (look at Clear Admit or Accepted.com for blogs). Basically the "Why MBA, why Haas, why now?" type questions. Name one failure you had and what you learned from it. What would you contribute to Haas' culture. Tell me in depth about your leadership experiences... etc.
2. How long was the interview. Interview was 30-45 minutes. I did it on campus at Super Saturday, so yours may range from 30-90 minutes, depending on how you connect with the alum and how much time he/she has.
3. Did you face any odd questions? No odd questions from Haas. It was probably my best interview.
4. How much time was allocated for you to ask questions? Did you prepare any list of questions that you referred to ask or did you prepare for the interview in anticipation of a list of question? I asked questions for about 10-15 minutes. We got along so well our interview went to the limits of the time slot we had (45 minutes). I don't really prepare questions, as it's not my style. I generally have some in mind and then adapt it based on what we talked about during the interview.
5. Is it a blind interview? I assume Haas interviews are blind however I have heard sometimes they ask specific questions which the AdCom have told them to. Were you asked some specific questions? Just wondering... Yes, it's a blind interview unless it's an AdCom interviewing you.
6. Any idea on how much is the importance of interview in Haas MBA process? The interview is probably more important than other schools, but I wouldn't place too much emphasis on it. I would say it's probably on par with the GMAT/GPAs combined, but less important than your essays and work experience. Of course, this is all my own conjecture based on what I felt about the whole process. 7. What kind of conversion rate to success is expected after interview? I would expect 50-60% conversion rate based on Admissions411 and historical figures, again, a rough estimate.
8. Were you asked which other schools did you apply to? And if yes, how did you tackle that? I have heard Haas is very curious about knowing about your choice of other schools and to know whether you are using Haas as your backup No, I was never asked which other schools I applied to by any of my interviewers at all schools.
9. Anything else that you could recall Just know your background very well, and know why you want to go to Haas and how you can contribute. relax and you'll do just great!
red_s4 and others may have comments too, so feel free to contribute! _________________
Planning to visit Haas on the 28th for a class visit. Trying to get an early start for the 09 application season. I would've loved to visit when you're the ambassador but I think I'll be real busy with other visits & apps in Fall. I know you are matriculating at Haas but I have some stuff to ask you about UCLA too. Will pm in you in detail.
Based on what I heard, Haas' Round 1 and 2 yield went up significantly and had 150+ students sending in their deposits after those two rounds. With 90 more spots to give and a big Round 3 and a 150 person waitlist, things are going to get tight this year as well as next year (where another 10-15% increase in applications is expected). _________________