What to Consider When Putting Together Your MBA Application

If you read our first MBA application tips post, featuring my conversation with fellow admissions directors from each Berkeley-Haas MBA program, you probably noticed some common threads, as well as distinguishing differences. Because there were a few more questions to address, we got back together to continue our conversation.

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Taming the Berkeley MBA Application

It can feel overwhelming to face a b-school application. But, armed with a few tips on what adcoms are really looking for (and why), you’ll see that it’s not so daunting.

The most important thing to know is that when we evaluate applications, we review each part—but we consider each piece as part of a larger whole: You. We’re looking to see who you are and the value you would add to the classroom.

With that in mind, here are 5 things to know about the application process for our two part-time MBA programs: the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program and Berkeley-Haas Evening & Weekend MBA Program:

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Application Do's & Don'ts from the Full-time MBA Admissions Team

“What can I do to increase my chances of getting into Haas?”

Ah, the million dollar question!  Unfortunately, there is no formula for the business school application.  A high GPA does not guarantee acceptance, just as a weak GMAT does not mean denial.  It’s a holistic process – we promise.

What does holistic mean in this context?  It means we’re looking for the complete package.  We want to know you’re academically ready for the rigor of our program. We hope to see work experience marked by impact, progression and leadership.  We’re impressed by well-articulated career goals that tap into Haas resources. We seek evidence of community involvement and cultural fit.

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Meet the Admissions Team

Congratulations to everyone who submitted their Round 2 application last week - the hardest part is over! Now that your work is done, ours begins. We know the wait can be difficult, so we wanted to shed some light on what happens after you hit "submit". First meet the Full-time MBA Haas Admissions Team. These are the faces of the 16 people who will be reviewing your application over the next couple months.

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Interview Tips for the Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA Program

Well, it's that time of year....the EWMBA Admissions Office is in full swing reading applications and interviewing Round 1 applicants. If you haven't received an invitation, that doesn't necessarily mean you won't be invited to interview - we will be sending out interview invitations up until the decision release date of February 10th.

A few tips for your interview:

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Round 1 Interviews Have Begun

We recently began extending interview invitations for Round 1 applicants and thought this would be an opportune time to share some interviewing tips.

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Which Application Round Should I Apply In for a Berkeley MBA?

There are three rounds of applications to Haas School of Business' Evening & Weekend Berkeley MBA, which can lead to some confusion among applicants. With our first deadline just one week away, we often get questions from prospective students asking, “Do I have to apply in Round 1 to get an offer of admission?” or “When should I submit my application to have the best chances?”

I recommend that you apply when you are able to submit the best application possible. In other words, if you need more time to revise your essays or retake the GMAT/GRE, you should take that time and apply in a later round.

We do not reserve a set number of places in the class for each application round. Although the number of offers we make in each round varies from year to year, chances of admission are about the same in all three rounds. You can even feel comfortable applying in our final Round 3, as many applicants will receive offers in this round.

With that said, if you are applying for any of our EWMBA scholarships, it is important to note that your chances of receiving a scholarship  are much better if you apply in Round 1 or Round 2. Most of our Non-Profit/Public Service, Ronald Shapansky, and Dean's Scholarships will be given to applicants who apply in Rounds 1 and 2, although we may have some scholarship money left to award to Round 3 applicants.

Whether you apply in Round 1 or Round 3, providing a complete and honest picture of your experience, academic preparation, professional and personal goals, and achievements will give you the best chances of success in the application process.


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Submitting your Strongest Full-Time MBA Application

I just returned from a few recruitment events in Europe and met some amazing prospective students. This is the time of year when most prospective students are seeking application advice so here are some of the tips I like to share:

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Application is Now Live

The EWMBA application is now live.  You are free to create a login account and get started on your application (if you created a login account prior to August 1, 2011, you will need to create a new one).  Our Round 1 deadline is November 15, 2011.

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Application to go live on September 1

For those of you preparing to apply for fall 2012, the online application will go live September 1. Fall 2012 application deadlines are posted on our website at Admissions Criteria, and you can start working on the essay questions which are posted at Essays.

In the meantime, be sure to sign up for one of our information sessions at a city near you, or attend one online. The full schedule is listed at EWMBA Information Sessions.

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