As I had promised previously in one of my posts, I will be writing next few posts on why I chose to apply to Haas and why Haas is my dream school. I have applied to Haas in round 2 and Haas was my last application and my best application in terms of essay responses. I applied it as the last application because I wanted to make sure I submit the best application possible to my dream school.
One thing that clearly differentiates Haas is the emphasis on Leading through Innovation and creating leaders who possess Confidence without Attitude. And the Haas lives up to this challenge by being a highly innovative, collaborative and student driven community.As I have mentioned multiple times before, small class size and collaborative culture were among the important factors in my school selection and Haas easily scored in this. But what other factors contributed to my Haas dream ? Read on.. Here goes my Haas story
Informational Interview Haas student Pejman
My first peek into the Haas experience was through a current Haas student, Pejman. I thoroughly enjoyed conversation with him and his candid review of life at Haas and the MBA decision. He also shared his entrepreneurial journey of founding Magoosh with me. You can read the full interview on my post Haas Student Interview
They say 1st impression is the best impression and it was true for Haas. I was more inclined towards Haas after this interview and decided to dig in more.
Haas in social media
Visiting Haas is not the only way to learn and understand the Haas program. For me understanding the the culture of the school is as important as understanding the MBA program. Being an international, today I have a very good understanding of the school, MBA program, and the Haas culture; thanks to the wealth of information available online. Haas has a strong social media presence on twitter, linked in, facebook, blogs and more.Visit haas.berkeley.edu/haas/socialmedia to get latest updates from Haas.Also Haas students and alumni (e.g. Kryzak on gmat club) are very active on various MBA forums and are ready to share their thoughts and perspectives with Haas aspirants. You can also directly interact with Haas admissions team on the Haas messageboard. Also Haas students are very friendly and open to conversations. So I got in touch with few current students to get a more holistic view of the program. A good starting point to reach out to them would be to get in touch with the Haas student ambassadors
Berkeley coffee chat Bangalore
I attended the Haas coffee chat which happened few weeks back in Bangalore. Rohan Reddy, Haas class of 2011 was here in Bangalore to do the coffee chat and the session was extremely helpful in getting a first hand perspective of life at Haas. Unlike other information sessions, there was no big crowd. We were a group of 10 15 people who really were interested in Haas. So it was a very meaningful exchange of thoughts and ideas. I knew Haas had a very collaborative culture but after talking to Rohan I realized that Haas is a very student driven community. Right from GPA disclosure to course electives, students have the complete freedom to choose what is best for them. That is really nice to know about. I also learned more about 3 clubs which am most excited about - Redwoods@Haas (The Haas outdoors club), Berkeley Net Impact and Haas Technology club.
You can learn about various clubs@Haas by visiting this link : http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/MBA/student/
Why Haas is a perfect school for me
When I was researching the schools and learned more about Haas and decided to apply, there were many people who said -
"Hey Haas is great school but it is very particular about the work experience of the applicants. You have much lesser work ex than the school average and you are just wasting your efforts"
This did deter me a bit initially but the more I learned about the Haas, the more interacted with the Haas community, the more I loved the school. And I decided to go ahead and apply to Haas. I knew my candidacy was more than few data points. I knew I could relate my previous experiences ( in Technology innovation and social entrepreneurship) and my future goals really well with Haas MBA program.
( I am passionate about emerging technology innovation and my current stint in a tech start up has further reinforced my ambitions for a technology innovation career. But I am equally passionate about sustainability initiatives. So my dream is to pursue a career in sustainable technologies like clean technology which would be a perfect way to leverage both my passions - emerging technology innovation and sustainability - making it a dream career after my MBA.)
And let me tell you Haas is big in both these fields. When it comes to technology, Haas perhaps has one of the best technology programs. And its specially has a strong focus on emerging technologies such as clean tech. The newly opened Haas energy institute, the cleantech-to-market program all are wonderful initiatives which ensured that Haas can really offer the best resources for me in my MBA. And of course the location of Haas with a close proximity to Silicon Valley makes it a top notch technology program. To quote the Veritas Prep Haas annual report
One of Haas' truly distinctive elements is the school's focus on technology and its ability to place students into the tech industry. Haas sends 30% of each graduating class into the tech sector, which is not only the highest percentage among elite business schools, but is also twice that of the next closest programs (Ross and MIT Sloan). This emphasis, combined with Berkeley's tradition for innovation, leads to truly unique programs such as the school's latest push for the commercialization of clean technology.I place high emphasis on Business ethics and the importance of having a socially conscious attitude in business. In fact this is what makes me interested in sustainable businesses. Haas again was able to amaze me with its strength in the field of responsible business.The Haas Center for Responsible Business is dedicated to "create a more sustainable, ethical, and socially responsible society". Just what I expect from a MBA program and more generally from the world of business. I strongly believe business is more about creating value to the people, to the society than just making profits.
Great technology program, wonderful opportunities to learn about clean technology, strong CSR focus and wonderfully collaborative community. Perfecto !!!! Now that's what I call a perfect fit.
The Haas application
What an application !! With 7 essays and 3000 words limit, Haas was the most challenging yet most enjoyable application I did in my MBA application journey. Fitting my ever expanding thoughts into 250 word essays was a real challenge and so were the other long essays. I have put in a lot of effort to reflect on my past experiences and how would I, with the help of Haas MBA, translate it to my future goals. I hope the effort pays off.
What next ?
Will I make it to Haas ? I will know by March 17th. Now all I can do is to pray that Haas also sees that ideal fit in me and embraces me into its wonderful community. Fingers crossed.
P.S Just learned that my dear friend Fábio Póvoa, also a fellow international blogger at MBA in The USA made it to Haas in round 1 with full tuition scholarship. Am really really really happy for my friend and he deserves every bit of it. Congratssss Fabio :) It will be great to join you at Haas this fall.
Update 2 -
Haas is keeping on my toes. Deadline is approaching fast and I am eagerly awaiting for some news. Haas are you listening !! I feel strong is my strongest application and best choice in terms of fit. fingers crossed !!