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Calling Berkeley-Haas Fall 2008 Applicants! [#permalink]
14 Jul 2007, 11:38
This post was BOOKMARKED
Saw the thread for the Fall 2007 peeps, and thought we should start one for Fall 2008 Matriculating folks.
I'm applying R1, and the essays are out. They don't seem as "difficult" as the Stanford ones, but I'll spend lots of time on it nevertheless.
I'll be going to the July 28th infosession, anyone else coming? Probably try to talk to some student club people and alumni later this month and in August to get my creative juices flowing for my essays (especially the "Why MBA and Why here" type questions)
I know its a long time ago, but I just got back. So here my Days at Haas report. Hope you like it. Some spoiler warning there though compared to kryzaks post.
I am back. What a packed 11 days those were. Oh boy. I hope I can still remember it all, because I basically survived on an average of around 5h of sleep per night throughout the entire time. I'll give it my best shot:
April 9th Direct flight to San Francisco. One of my friends who is a flight attendant chose the same flight and made sure I got in last and told me to introduce myself to the crew. She said there might be something in store for me. 20mins into the flight a crew member is asking for me and tells there was "a mistake". A minute later I am sitting in a business class seat, sipping wine, and having the biggest grin on my face. I think I was playing around with the controls for about an hour. You can imagine I got into SFO quite relaxed and took the crew bus to downtown San Francisco. After a few drinks and some dinner I went to bed.
April 10th The BART took me to Berkeley. Glorious weather. Around 25 degrees celsius which I think is around 80 fahrenheit. No cloud in the sky. Just walking up to Haas through the amazingly beautiful Berkeley campus was an awesome experience. You gotta love those little streams and bridges everywhere. I will already say: Berkeley has the most beautiful campus of all schools I got accepted to. I sat in on a strategy class before heading to the reception. The class wasnt that exciting and I noticed a lot of students watching TV or checking email on their laptops. The reception was okay and was held in one of the bigger rooms of the b school. We then headed out in smaller groups to current student houses where we were invited for dinner. This was actually a great chance to get to know people better and learn more about the program and lifestyle. After that we went out to bar on Shattuck in downtown Berkeley. The bar was nice and all, but the music was deafening and it was almost impossible to have a decent conversation. Plus, and many internationals might be able to relate, I need conversations in English to be with as little background noise as possible, because I need to concentrate more. (Although I guess my hearing has been better, too) So I left around 11pm and headed to see a friend in the SF marina area to have even more drinks until something like 2am.
April 11th After a breakfast that I was late to we had our mock-class with Prof. Morgan. Quite on the sharp side that chap and a very exciting class. I was actually fooled by my hindsight bias. We had to read a RyanAir case before the class and as I recalled the company to be successful I guess I was reading through the case with a heavy bias. It was interesting how it turned out that the market entry strategy that RA was going for was highly questionable.
Following the class there was a career fair with the various industries represented at tables. I was talking to a few of the consulting guys. I will speak about Haas consulting record more later.
After the career fair we were listening to some of the faculty and why the chose to come to Haas. Most of them emphasized Haas' track record in research and that at Haas you are at a place where people are on the cutting edge of research - whereas at other schools you merely learn what is already known. (I am wondering however: how much of what is being researched makes it to the classroom? and how fast?)
Lunch was held at a hotel near the school and was quite yummy. I spoke to a very senior marketing professor who was interesting but quirky.
The student life panel was fun as it was hosted by a guy who does stand-up comedy. I felt inclined to ask a question and the following dialogue between the guy and me cracked everyone up. But it was also good to find out about where you should live in Berkeley as an MBA student (and what you will have to pay for it).
The ensuing scavenger hunt around campus was quite some fun. every station was hosted by one of the clubs and we had to do several crazy things such as do a karaoke performance or a TV commercial.
"Dinner" was had in the courtyard of the Haas business school with BBQ and texmex food everywhere. Plus several performances of bands and cheerleaders and what not. I actually wasnt paying attention as I was talking to a few of the current students and had beers with a friend who will do his Phd at Cal. The event was fun and good to bond more with the other admits.
April 12th I was late. Really late. By the time I got to Haas the alumni panel had already begun. Those guys were fun to listen to, but to be honest I didnt like some of their reasoning why they came to Haas: "If you consider b-school a vacation, where would you rather spend it? In a place where there is a lot of snow, or somewhere warm and with a lot of sunshine and with nice people?" Wasnt convincing enough for me. But oh well.
The wrap up was awesome though. Especially compared to that of Tuck. More about that one in the next post though. During the entire 2-3 days some of the current students had taken pictures. They presented the best of those in a nice, animated presentation featuring some great music. That one was quite the heartbreaker, and I am sure that is what tipped many people. It almost tipped me to Haas.
Pete Johnson held a nice little wrap up speech and then we went off to the optional tours: Wine tasting, SF tour and hiking. I decided for the later and had an awesome hike somewhere north of San Francisco on the coast. Perfect weather too. I wish I had brought shorts. But who knew?
That was it. Days at Haas. A great event, very well organized. I didnt drink the cool-aid though. Oh and what is it with those "t-shirts" they gave us? their neither short nor long-sleeved but something in between. You look ridiculous in those...
I stayed a few more days in San Francisco trying to get some sleep with no success. I am sure about one thing, though: I will definitely try to get an internship in San Francisco. I just LOVE that city.
Re: Calling Berkeley-Haas Fall 2008 Applicants! [#permalink]
14 Jan 2008, 20:17
This post received KUDOS
Saw this on the BW forum and was wondering whether you guys think it's true. It seems to imply that the admit rate for Super Saturday invitees is actually higher than 75%.
"Clear Admit had the following to say about invites at Haas:
'The school invites roughly 25% of the applicant pool to interview each year, and admits just under 20% (the selectivity for the Class of 2008 was 18%), translating to a 75% acceptance rate for interviewed applicants.
While these are certainly favorable odds, they are slightly skewed by the number of applicants who are invited to interview at one of the school’s two Super Saturdays and the high likelihood of admission for those who travel to the school for this event. This is partially because the program only invites applicants in whom it is quite interested, and partially due to concerns of yield, as willingness to make the trip to campus on a specified day is taken as a sign of interest in the program and likeliness to attend."
Re: Calling Berkeley-Haas Fall 2008 Applicants! [#permalink]
18 Jan 2008, 00:57
This post received KUDOS
I think you should be safe here. I posted my Kellogg and UCLA ones within a day or two of the interview
I guess you're right. Here is my blog entry, let me know what you think: That's it. Application season is over for me. I finished my last interview with a Haas alum and now that will be it. No more essays, interviews, GMAT preparation for me. Looking back though, it was an interesting time. To everyone who is about to begin their MBA journey: See this time as a challenge not as a nuisance. Especially the GMAT and the essays. I think you do learn something throughout the entire time.
Anyway, how did the interview go?
Well, honestly, it could have been better. I guess there was no trouble with the questions. After speaking about my career so far, he wanted to know why I wanted to pursue an MBA despite a previous business degree. What I wanted out of the degree. Then we moved on to what I would give to the program, why they should admit me. We spoke a little about a possible weakness and then I had time to ask a few questions. All in all the whole thing took around 45mins.
It's not that anything went wrong throughout the interview, but I still am not thrilled about it. Especially it didn't strengthen my enthusiasm for Haas. When I started out on my MBA journey, Haas was my absolute no.1 choice. I am becoming less and less convinced about that. It could have been that there was no real chemistry between that guy and me. But then again, isn't the way you feel around the alums a decisive factor as well? The alums from Kellogg and Tuck have been phenomenal.
Well, maybe I won't have to think about it in the first place as I am not sure how I will be rated after that interview. I think I made a convincing case why I need the MBA, and why from Haas but as we all know decisions are influenced by personal impressions. Having the Ross admit under my belt makes it a lot easier to wait for Cal's decision.
Re: Calling Berkeley-Haas Fall 2008 Applicants! [#permalink]
29 Jan 2008, 12:47
This post received KUDOS
A belated CONGRATS to GMATclub's celebrity of celebrities, Kryzak! Likewise, a big up to branson (who I actually know in person here in Munich - and who I intend to be drinking Tegernseer Helles with soon) and the rest of the R1 admits. For those who were dinged, it sure sounds like you've got some fantastic options in front of you. I'd wish you luck, but you're not going to need it (but good luck anyway ).
There are quite a few of us on here who got waitlisted... frankly, I'm rather ecstatic about a waitlist w/o interview as I had given up hope long ago. My career plan, as outlined in my essays, is more than a little off the beaten path. I figured if any school would appreciate what I had to say, it would be Berkeley.
@ waitlisted applicants - PM me. I think we're better off working on behalf of one another than against each other. I'm more than happy to share my strategies from here on out and would love to get some feedback from those of you in the same boat. Let's do this!
I am pretty sad about the financing options for internationals. Without a co-signer loans will be around 12% interest for internationals, which is outrageous. Tuck and Ross have significantly better loan offers. This REALLY sucks.
I dont want to choose my school according to the best loan programs...
hey gmatnoob, search the Anderson thread and you'll see red_s4, ncprasad, and my interview notes. search "interview" or something.
If you still have questions, I *might* (no guarantees) have time to help you out for 30 minutes or so, I live in the South Bay. It's really NOT that stressful. I barely prepared for it other than read over my application and essays and really know what I want to do in b-school. After that, know the school (read over their programs, their clubs, their offerings, and what you want to do there). That's all you really need.
WOW! I had such an amazing time at DAH it wasn't even funny! On paper, some of the events sounded like they could have gone very well or very poorly (like dinner at students' houses and the scavenger hunt), but those ended up being some of the highlights of the event. I will go through it one event at a time and hopefully that'll answer some more questions people have about Haas. red_s4 and branson were there too, so I'd love to hear their take on this.
There was just too much food and drink around on Thursday. Pre-Reception, Reception, dinner, and then Bar of the Week. It was just a whirlwind of eating, drinking, and meeting people. Had great conversations with all the students and admits. It was especially great to see red_s4 again and also meet some of my friends I've been emailing off BW forums (yeah, you can actually make friends there, I'm shocked too! ). The admissions director, MBA Association president, and the Haas Student Ambassadors (HSA) welcomed us in a very personal and friendly speech (unlike some others I've seen that are too forced or memorized). You definitely get a good sense of how close the students were with each other from the friendly banter and inside jokes (about 4am calls) they mentioned. Very well done.
I got assigned along with about 8 students to an apartment on the hill next to the stadium. The view was SPECTACULAR. You see the entire Berkeley all the way to the Bay and then the Golden Gate Bridge. We missed the sunset by 10-20 minutes, but the afterglow was still very impressive. The food was catered from Andronicos, but it was some of the most delicious dinners I've had in a while. Got to chat with a lot of 1st year students and admits. Good times. After dinner, we went upstairs to join with the other group of students (red_s4 was there) and hung out a bit more.
Bar of the Week:
This was at Thalassa on Shattuck and Durant. Huge bar, but the music was way too loud to really talk. My throat was killing me by that point talking for 6-7 hours straight. I left around 11:30pm since we had to get there by 8am the next day.
Mock Case Study - Ryan Air:
WOW! Prof. Morgan was touted as one of the best professors on campus by the students, and he surpassed his already impressive reputation! I really enjoyed the mock class, the cold-calling, and the interactions we had with about 150 students. The ending to the case was very informative and I look forward to sitting in more classes with professors such as him. Career Fair:
Lots of tables done by industries for students to mingle. I felt they needed more than an hour for you to talk to different tables, as there were just too many people around to really have long conversations with the different industries. I still like the format though, since you can just stand there and listen to another student's questions.
The faculty seemed to really love teaching at Haas, and some of them were pretty well regarded in their fields. I got a good sense of the different areas of strength at Haas (non-profit, entrepreneurship, finance, etc...) by hearing the professors speak.
I got to chat with the Career Center director (who was a Cal undergrad and Kellogg MBA grad herself) and one of the director/professors for doing business in China. I need to call up the Career Center director and talk to her about the Haas vs Kellogg decision I still have to make.
Student Clubs and Financial Aid:
I went mostly to the Financial Aid talk. Nothing really new other than the financial aid guy was really funny.
Student Life and Housing Panel:
GREAT panel. The moderator was an amateur stand up comedian and the panel consisted of very fun people. We got a good sense of how much rent would be, where to live, what student life was like, etc... I love the "living in crushing loneliness" comments (hee hee )
I won't spoil the secret to DAH II attendees, but this was definitely a highlight, and proved to me that I need to start working out again There are probably some incriminating evidence against me floating on YouTube or Flickr now. Highlight of the day!
Simply crazy! All the 1st and 2nd years were out and the entire courtyard area was packed. They got 2 very special "guest performances" (again, I won't spoil the secret) along with some admit performances (you'll just have to wait and see). It was a great way to meet tons of people, socialize, and see what the Haas/Cal spirit was like. I think this event solidified the view that Haas is a great place to study for 2 years and people will find tons of life-long friends they can network with in the future.
Again, great alums from 1 year out to 14 years out. Lots of good examples of how they got to the job they are now and how the Alumni network helped them find their current job (without even trying too hard even!).
The admission director's mock-phone call was definitely the funniest thing I've seen in a while. I guess it speaks to how many people are deciding between Haas and Kellogg right now. Scary thing is, I'll be seeing almost 10 of the Haas admits next weekend at DAK II, so that'll be a good time to really compare the two schools and see what their opinions are.
I took the wine tour just to hang out. Met a few new people, continued bonding with others, and had a lot of fun riding on a bus full of very drunk admits. I think we must have opened 20+ bottles of wine in that bus!
The weather was AMAZING this past weekend, going up in the 70-80s. People were wearing shorts, t-shirts, and flip flops on Saturday, and it was still very warm. I found the Haas students and staff to be amazingly friendly, welcoming, and fun to hang out with. I don't know what Kellogg will be like (I heard it'll be very similar), but there will be zero regrets if I end up at Haas after this fun-filled admit weekend! _________________
I'm in. I'll do most of my essays sooner rather than later and then hold off on the "What have you done to learn more about us" until after I can squeeze in a class visit when they open up in September (or was it October?).
I'd originally signed up for the July 28 session...but now I have a wedding to go to. Luckily, I live locally so finding the resources to go visit isn't a really big issue.
Guys and gals,
Just wanted to let you know that I'll be attending Haas in the fall, so if you have questions related to the application process, PM me, and I can try to answer them. Not sure how helpful it will be, but I thought I'd offer.