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Haas

Haas (UC Berkeley)

FINAL DECISION
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Debrief posted on  Feb 12 2019 [#permalink] Haas, EWMBA
On Campus Interviewed on: Jan 03 2019 Final Decision: Admitted

"Interviewed in person on Haas campus Overall the interview was pretty casual and conversational. Started off with the interviewer saying, "this is going to be pretty low key". I wasn't sure if this was meant to throw me off guard, so I just smiled and kept a friendly face. The interviewer wanted to make sure the time was going to be set for 30 mins, she started a timer and mentioned that she might be checking the timer occasionally. The initial few questions were all the standard ones: About yourself/walk me through your resume/introduce yourself? Why do you want an MBA and what will you gain? Why Berkeley Haas? I had been well prepared for these and she felt pretty satisfied with my responses, saying something like- that's a good answer, sounds like you've thought about it a lot, that answer covers all different angles- good work etc. Some other questions covered: Any managerial duties and reporting structure? Now, I work in Biotech research and its a pretty long career path. Usually people don't get managerial duties without PhD and 3-5 years experience especially in an R&D intensive organization like mine. I explained all this and also covered some other leadership responsibilities I have had on projects I worked on, such as training new employees, communication with other departments, managing interns etc. She seemed to get it but didn't exactly say what she thought of it. What will your boss say about you- Strengths and weakness? Said the strengths and she said, "I believe all of that". Weaknesses were explained too- seemed satisfied with it. What will you bring to Haas? I had been well prepared for this one. Covered some of my personal and professional attributes, some student clubs I wanted to be part of and Professional organizations within Berkeley Entrepreneurship. She said, that answer covers many different things- good work. Two sort of curveball questions were: What are some challenges you faced in promoting a diverse work environment? My company is really diverse, we have a world map with flags on countries where people are from and it literally covers the world. I explained this and said I have not really had much issues with having diversity and explained what I would do if it were an issue. She was satisfied at the answer and said she wanted to ask because she has talked to some Indian Tech people who only have other Indian males in their teams. I explained that I work in BIO-Tech and that it is a little different for me. Looking back in your life, is there anything you would do differently? Now I wasn't well prepared for this one. I thought about it for a second and talked about some occasions in my old company where I had disagreements that could have been handled much better and that I am more mature and understanding now. She followed up and asked whether it affected my professional relationships at work and I explained that it wasn't the case, but that there were just few instances of disagreements that could have been dealt with in a more subtle manner. I was given a chance to ask questions, there was only about 4-5 mins left. I asked a practical question about scholarships and cohort preference and something about possible cross functional classes or projects with other departments at Berkeley. Overall, I was pretty satisfied with the interview and her response to my answers. There were a couple of questions where I could have done better but summary being it felt pretty good. But now I have been placed on the Wait list, so I am not sure if there were any weak answers that I didn't recognize. Will see what happens Fingers X."

sankar769 from United States GMAT 710; WE: 80 months; Pharmaceuticals and Biotech
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Debrief posted on  Nov 24 2018 [#permalink] Haas
Skype Interviewed on: Nov 22 2018 Final Decision: Denied with Interview

"Just had the alumni interview. It lasted about 70 minutes. Some structured questions were asked first. It seemed that in every interview, they will ask these questions. 1. What're your challenges/difficulties at work? 2. What's your weakness? How did you cope with that weakness? 3. How do you resonate with "beyond yourself"? 4. What's your career goal. How do you think can Haas help with your goal? Then some unstructured conversation regarding the industry you want to work, and it was pretty conversational and freestyle. Good luck!"

allanwan from China GMAT 750;
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Debrief posted on  Mar 27 2018 [#permalink] Haas
On Campus Interviewed on: Mar 14 2018 Final Decision: Admitted

"Executive MBA Interview. I interviewed at Haas for EMBA with the program director. No surprises there, usual questions. 1. Why MBA? 2. why at Haas? 3. How you embody the 4 pillar values of Haas? 4. What will you bring to the class? 5. What are your interests? Hope this helps!"

sanfrancisco from United States GMAT 710;
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Debrief posted on  Feb 14 2018 [#permalink] Haas
Skype Interviewed on: Feb 13 2018 Final Decision: Waitlisted with Interview

"Just had my interview over Skype with an alumni. The interview was, despite some technical difficulties, very conversational. He made me the typical "Why an MBA, Why Haas, Why now" questions. Some other questions I can recall were: -Which defining principle do you feel more connected to -What will you bring to the class? -Hypothetical scenario of a non-functioning team and how would I act to resolve the conflict -Toughest situation I have encountered at work or in my personal life After 40ish minutes of questions, I had a couple of minutes to ask him some questions. It's worth mentioning that it was a blind interview, so the interviewer had only read my resume. It was a pleasant talk, kind of the one you would have when reaching an alumni to research some more on the university."

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Debrief posted on  Feb 22 2018 [#permalink] Haas
On Campus Interviewed on: Feb 07 2018 Final Decision: Waitlisted with Interview

"Haas EWMBA Program Interview Let's talk about the interview. I felt this way before, but the interview solidified this. Don't worry about "preparing" per se for the interview. At the end of the day, the only thing you should prepare for with any interview is that you need to be very decisive about what you want out of your life and your career. This goes beyond an MBA but if you are able to be decisive, it makes your interview preparation process way more chill and your answers will be more comfortable/natural. Everyone's questions will be slightly different, but for Haas, they cover the following: Walk me through your resume - Much like a job interview; be able to confidently answer why you chose your field, why you chose certain jobs, what empirical benefit you gave to the company, and any leadership positions you held or projects you led. For me personally, because I held a lot of leadership roles at a lot of jobs, currently run a startup, and started my career at 10 (no joke), this was like 95% of my interview haha. That typically doesn't happen. It's usually like 1/4 of the interview. One question you should be ready to answer is why you left certain roles, especially if you were there less than a year. I get these questions in job interviews, but my interviewer at Haas was more astute about my career path and dates than what I had experienced during my Anderson interview. Why did you choose your career path - This seems similar to the above, but I separated this question out because this is where Haas gives you room to give more intrinsic reasons for why you are going down your career path. Why an MBA - Duh. Every grad school question haha. Why Haas - Double duh. However, one thing I will say about this question is that this is where you can probably stand to subtly incorporate the principles. I'm not as intelligent as the rest of the people on this thread so I honestly forgot to plan to address the principles. However, by the grace of God, when I answered why an MBA and why Haas, I addressed two of the principles without knowing it. So at least they know my answers weren't contrived. I also was able to point out specific aspects of Haas that I wanted to take advantage of as an aspiring entrepreneur. I had researched what they have at Haas and the organizations tangentially connected to them. Oh and I also slipped in what cultural benefit I could bring to Haas, that would help the class. So I took the info from my class visits and information sessions and positioned the second half of this answer as what aspects of Haas' culture my inclusion could bolster. What would you change about your current job - I really liked this one. Mainly because I complain about my day job almost daily and come up with a ton of hypothetical solutions haha. What was cool about this question too was because I run a stealth mode startup on the side and we have been getting traction/investor interest, I was able to juxtapose what I thought my day job should do and how I remedy and validate my beliefs with my startup. What do you think you bring to a work environment - Don't be fooled, just see this as "what are you going to bring to Haas' culture, and how will the refinement through Haas allow you to bring an elevated version of your 'secret sauce' to a company post MBA graduation". Just make sure you answer it as what you bring to a work environment and try to slide in how that will be reflected in Haas' culture if you get in. What do you like to do for fun - Don't be weird or stiff about this. Just be honest. I messed up a little bit here because I was so passionate that I kept talking for 5 minutes longer than I wanted to on that question. Another negative, because I like helping people become better versions of themselves (applying for schools, applying for jobs, running companies, etc.) I kept repeating how I know that because of the unique experiences I've had, my duty is to give back. I'm just really passionate about it, but I may have rambled too long on that particular tidbit as well (much like this post). Any questions for me - I just asked how they support entrepreneurs and I asked about some of the tangential organizations that they are affiliated with and how their logistics work. Dumb thing I did (on a long list of dumb things I do daily), I asked what she felt like Haas needed reinforcement in culturally and what type of students could do that. I think she interpreted that as me asking "what do you want me to be so I can get in". I was honestly just curious; don't be like me haha. Miscellaneous tidbits: Their poker face game is strong. Don't think you can read their faces and get an indication or doom or reassurance. Just be yourself. The room they bring you in is small. I didn't care. I went to an HBCU that didn't always have the best resources so I was just happy to have some water and a chair."

jsmallwood82 from United States
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Debrief posted on  Jan 31 2018 [#permalink] Haas
On Campus Interviewed on: Jun 02 2017 Final Decision: Interviewed

"Haas EWMBA Program Interview Background - Biotech undergrad overseas, Masters in biotech (south bay), experience in marketing, digital marketing, operations, and project management (waterfall & agile) at a fortune 500 scientific company. Undergrad GPA is very low but masters GPA is 3.8 while working full time. I got the interview invite within a couple days after the submission deadline for R2. I chose 3/2/2017 for convenience and agreed to interview on campus. Attire recommendation is business - I wore a mid-blue suit, light blue shirt with tie just to be safe. This is pretty close to what I wear to work, less the tie and suit jacket. I would recommend giving yourself time to be comfortable in a suit, be it days or weeks in advance. There is parking right across Haas (event parking), but a spot may be hard to find if you run into a major event. Street parking time limits don't make sense to accommodate time needed for interview. I arrived early to grab a coffee and calm my nerves. The EWMBA Admissions office is not hard to find in the main admin building. I was greeted by admissions staff and waited in the lounge for my interview. I met with my interviewer and proceeded to a personal office for the interview. I am more accustomed to meeting in conference rooms, so this was something I did not expect. Try not to be distracted by all the files, computer, etc. in the office. We started off with introductions and general "tell me about yourself" type questions. I talked about what I studied in undergrad, masters, and how it led to my current role. I also talked about the business courses I took which naturally paved the way to "why MBA." My response was I always knew I wanted formal business education because I am interested in all facets of business, so the question really is "why now." I felt comfortable with 4 yrs of experience and I am confident I can contribute meaningfully to the cohort. Goals wise, I wanted to transition into software product management, and eventually start my own company. I gave rationales to why Haas is the perfect fit for this goal. The next stage was "walk me through your resume" type questions. I just went through my various experiences listed/not listed on the resume and painted a story of how I got to where I was, and how it'll help me get to where I want to be. I highlighted a couple of key achievements, since they accentuate my initiative, leadership, teamwork, and ability to make sense of complex things moving at 100 miles per hour. The last stage was about my recreation and how I spend my time outside of work. I had a hard time answering this question because my interests are diverse. I led with "I like to focus on work, but explore on interests." Some things seemed to connect and we had an enjoyable chat to slightly over the allotted interview time. My best advice is practice performing under pressure and be steady. I learned to shift my mindset from "convince them" to "share my passion and story." Also have solid stories on how you fit with the Haas defining principles and culture. The defining principles closely match my personal principles, so I just needed examples to demonstrate. Best of luck & see you at Haas!"

Jamesl1986 from United States GMAT 720;
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