UC Berkeley Haas EMBA Application Essay Tips & Deadlines

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Berkeley Haas 208-19 EMBA Application Tips & Deadlines

These Haas EMBA essay questions reflect the larger Haas (and, even further, Berkeley) community and culture: they draw out the multi-faceted individual. Your professional goals and your prospective fit with the Haas EMBA program are expressions of, and extend from, that core individuality. Even though part-time, the EMBA program, again reflecting Haas culture, is intense in terms of student engagement, community mindset, and transformation both personal and professional. Ideally, your essays, together as a whole, will personalize your candidacy, showing you to be a potentially distinctive contributor within the program and beyond. Keeping the 4 Haas “Defining Principles” (see question 2) on your radar screen as you draft all 3 essays will help you stay in the right conceptual geography.

UC Berkeley Haas EMBA Application Essays:

Haas EMBA Essay #1

What are your short-term career goals (3 to 5 years)? What are your long-term career goals (10+ years)? Describe your plan to meet these goals. Why is this the right time for you to undertake the program? (250 words max)

Given the short word limit, get right to the point. Start by discussing your intended short-term career step(s) that will align with the specified time frame. Key details to include are position/role, company/industry, possibly geography, and expected scope of responsibilities. In addition – to go beyond just a logical answer and to make the reader excited about your goals – note why you are taking this step and how this role fits into your overall career vision. Consider opening the essay with an enticing point or two about this short-term goal and/or this “why” message.

Your long-term career goals will appropriately and necessarily be less detailed and should include the “vision” element. E.g., if you aim to become CIO of a major enterprise, indicate what draws you to this goal; what you want your footprint to be.

Address “why now” explicitly; a sentence will often suffice. Reflecting on what this program will be a bridge from and to can bring this into focus. Ideally, you will also incorporate a specific point or two about the specific program here, beyond just EMBA generally.

Haas EMBA Essay #2

At Berkeley Haas, our unique culture is defined by our Four Defining Principles, which are integral to the education and development of innovative leaders of the future. Based on what you know of our culture, why is Berkeley Haas the place for you? (250 words max)

  • Question the Status Quo
  • Confidence Without Attitude
  • Students Always
  • Beyond Yourself

If you really think about these 4 points, they are inter-related. E.g. “students always” will naturally “question the status quo” and “confidence without attitude” inherently takes you “beyond yourself”...

In this essay, you should demonstrate understanding of Haas’ culture while also strategically using it to portray something new and fresh about yourself. Hence, I suggest:

  • presenting a brief, meaningful anecdote from your experience that reflects some or all the 4 points;
  • in a “reflection” paragraph, identifying aspects of that experience that align with specific aspects of the school’s culture;
  • discussing specific interactions or experiences with Haas, to underscore your personal familiarity with its culture.

I also suggest referring to at least 1-2 of the 4 points explicitly, in your own story and/or in the reflection section.

Haas EMBA Essay #3

Tell us a six-word story that reflects a memorable experience in your life to date. Elaborate on why it is meaningful to you. Tip: A successful six-word story will pique the reader's interest in the forthcoming explanation. Together, the story and explanation will share a specific and personal experience that helps the reader get to know you better, giving insight into your character and values. (350 words max)

A tip about that 6-word story: first, select the “memorable experience” you’ll write about. Then “play” with the mini story- approach it with an attitude of fun. It will not likely be the most elegant 6 words ever written; the important thing is that it teases the reader into wanting to read the main essay.

Be strategic about what experience to portray; it probably should be non-work related. Review what your application covers so far and think about what else relevant and interesting you might bring to the Haas EMBA table that isn’t yet addressed.

In drafting the essay – keep it simple. Elaborate on the “real” longer story and discuss explicitly why it is memorable for you. An effective discussion will illuminate your perspective, your values, and/or your inherent motivations.

For expert guidance with your UC Berkeley Haas EMBA application, check out Accepted’s MBA Application Packages, which include comprehensive guidance from an experienced admissions consultant. We’ve helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to top EMBA program and look forward to helping you too!

Haas EMBA Application Deadlines for 2018-19

Submission Deadline
Round 1 December 4, 2018
Round 2 February 6, 2019


***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***

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Cindy TokumitsuCindy Tokumitsu has advised hundreds of successful applicants, helping them gain acceptance to top MBA and EMBA programs in her 15+ years with Accepted. She would love to help you too. Want Cindy to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!


Related Resources:

Why MBA, a free guide to writing about your MBA goals
• School-Specific EMBA Application Essay Tips
How Do You Deal with Criticism? MBA Admissions Committees Want to Know

This article originally appeared on blog.accepted.com.

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