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I'm in at Haas PT!!! (and other ramblings) [#permalink]
13 Mar 2008, 15:29
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Just got the call today, and I'm in:-
31/M/Indian/Computer Networking GMAT: 730 Undergrad: Average Indian University, BE in Electronics (First Class) Grad: Top 10 school, MS in Computer Science, GPA: 3.5+ Work Ex: 6 yrs as a networking engineer, 1 as manager with 7 direct reports Filed a couple of patents, reasonable extra-curriculars....
Because of personal circumstances, I did not have the time to apply anywhere else. Thanks to this place I posted a decent GMAT score (yes, it still hurts that I did not crack a 750) the first time around.
I know that there are folks here who fall into the same general applicant pool as me. If you're in the Bay Area, you're probably looking at Haas as your first choice. The following is pretty ordinary advice, but I hope it helps you put yourself together for the application.
I believe I got in because I sold myself well. Everything counts. I'm not from an IIT (like an overwhelming number here seem to be), and neither did I top my university. I never had a consistently increasing GPA through my semesters (it actually got worse), and I've not yet worked in a remote Somalian village.
So, here are some of my tips (everything may not make sense for everybody, choose your caps):-
1. Don't apply till you're really ready, even if it means pushing your app out by a year. 2. A poor GMAT score may keep you out, but a great one won't get you in. Enough said. 3. Spend tons and tons and tons of time on your essays. People are as different as their fingerprints, there's bound to be things that you can 'exploit' in your essays. However, do not lie, or misrepresent facts....the adcoms are really good at finding out, and of course you'll be struck by lightning. 4. Everything in your app should fit together. Think in terms of a flow, there should be no jarring pieces. Pages of a book, books of a volume...you get the drift. 5. Demonstrate a career progression and plan. You should join the dots, as seamlessly as possible between why you're doing what you're doing, what you plan to do during and just after your PT program, and what you will do when your kids are getting married (maybe)....I think this is the single most important part of the application.
What I did specifically for Haas: 1. There's an MP3 on their website that talks about their interpretation of 'leadership through innovation'. I heard it a few times before working the theme into one of my essays. By working it in, I don't mean sprinkling the words into your essays. I mean implicitly demonstrating what it means to you. 2. Tied personal life experiences to professional goals....there's a life essay that Haas has. Make sure you let them see what your defining moments are. Sounds like fluff, but you will find substance there, if you look hard enough. 3. Got the essays reviewed by alumni of the school, instead of random friends. They usually know what it takes. I was also lucky enough to get mine reviewed by someone who had earlier served on the screening committee at Haas, and it certainly made a difference.
Haas interview experience:
The interview was 30 mins blind. You really need to try to let your personality shine through rather than focusing on the content of your answers, as long as they're in line with your essays. Create an impression, and don't worry if you missed one or two points in the answer because you most likely will. That's fine, because you want to come across as a human, not R2D2. I'm not going to cover the questions, as they were all the usual generic ones, nothing out of the ordinary.
Things I believed helped me: a. Maintained eye contact b. Rehearsed the key points I wanted to hit c. Answered just enough to keep the interviewer very interested in the 'next bit'. Do this at your own risk, I know it works for me most of the time, and so went with it. d. Practiced with my family, friends, co-workers....as a result I was relaxed for the real thing. e. Researched the school and asked non-standard questions at the end of the interview, the interviewer commented that the questions were very obviously well thought out. f. Shaved and did not drink before the interview
This forum has helped me immensely, and I'll try to give something back. Please feel free to PM me if you need help. Will be lurking around for the next few months...