Haas Supplemental Application (Essay & Resume)

Check out the guidelines below on how to compose your Haas essay and what to emphasize in your resume.

Haas Supplemental Application – Annotated Instructions

The Haas Undergraduate Program has a distinct culture and we seek applicants who represent the school’s four Defining Principles: Question the Status Quo, Confidence without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself. As such, please thoughtfully consider these principles as you apply to our program. Contemplate their meaning as an expected part of your life long connection to the Haas School of Business.

The bolded section is relevant to how you should compose your essay.

During the application review process you may be contacted by the Haas Undergraduate Program if additional information is needed or if information submitted in your application requires clarification. We will contact you via email to submit additional documentation or to schedule a time to speak with you. The goal of the follow-up process is to ensure we have all appropriate and relevant information prior to making the admission decision.

Haas begun verifying information submitted by some applicants two years ago (I’m not sure if the verification was targeted or random) and conducting interviews for some applicants (primarily for international applicants to verify English proficiency). Expect the same this year. (There is a rumor floating around about Haas potentially interviewing ALL eligible transfer applicants; I have not been able to verify this information since, according to the phone recording when I called, the Haas admissions office is closed until January 12.)

The supplemental application includes the self-reported academic record, resume and essay. All 3 components must be completed and submitted by 11:59 pm PST on January 31, 2018. Failure to do so will jeopardize your chances for admission.

Your typical deadline reminder. Do NOT wait until the last minute to submit the supplemental application. Two years ago, MAP@Berkeley closed at 9 PM PST on January 31, 2016 (I’m guessing the clock wasn’t set to the right time zone) and set off a wave of panic (the campus later extended the deadline to February 3, 2016). Trust me, you do NOT want to be stuck in situations like that.

Haas Resume – Annotated Instructions

The Haas Undergraduate Program seeks candidates with leadership potential who will add to the richness of the classroom experience and engage in the Haas community. This section is intended to give you the opportunity to summarize your accomplishments outside of coursework.

Haas favors any types of leadership, business or non-business.

  • Although there are sections for Honors & Awards, Extracurricular Activities, Volunteer Work & Community Services and Employment, not all categories are applicable to all applicants. Complete only the categories that are relevant to your experience.

You can leave a section blank if you don’t have any activities that fit into that category. Just make sure you check off the “I do not have any [activity category] to report.” box at the top of the section.

  • Each category on the resume template has four line items. If you have more than four activities for a particular category please list your 4 strongest activities.

Be strategic when selecting your activities. Focus on the ones where you have the longest and strongest leadership roles, the longest involvement, and/or the most responsibilities or time commitment.

  • You should only include activities that you participated in after your high school graduation. If you started an activity in high school and continued into college, that activity may be included.

Haas is pretty serious about applicants sticking to this rule. Make sure you only include activities that you participated in AFTER high school graduation (starting before high school graduation is ok as long as you continued after high school graduation; but leave out activities that ended by the time you graduated high school).

We understand that many of the entries on the Haas resume will match the resume entries included in the UC Application. The Haas resume allows you to give more detailed descriptions of your contributions and accomplishments and include any additional activities you participated in after the November 30th UC Application deadline.

Do NOT copy and paste the descriptions from your UC Application. Haas is giving you more room to explain what you have done, so take full advantage of the available space.

This form must be completed and submitted no later than 11:59 pm on January 31, 2018. Failure to do so will jeopardize your chance of admission.

Another deadline reminder. You’d be shocked how many applicants fail to submit the supplemental application (last record I have was from 2012 and, during that application cycle, close to 1/3 of applicants did not file the supplemental application and another 1/3 did not meet the admission requirements).

Haas Resume – Guidelines

You’ll see that the activity description field says “Description of contributions and accomplishments” and that is precisely how you should describe your activities. Consider the values and/or improvements you brought to each organization and/or its members. For leadership roles, be sure to emphasize progression of responsibilities (such as advancements/promotions) and accomplishments. Remember that each resume field has either a character or word limit; carefully craft each description to highlight “contributions and accomplishments” rather than wasting precious space on “responsibilities” (every secretary takes minutes at the meeting, you really don’t need to say that in the description!).

Haas Essay – Annotated Instructions

The essays are the principal means we have of gaining insight about each applicant and their interests and reasons for applying to the Haas Undergraduate Program. The Haas essay question was created to provoke honest, thoughtful responses to help us get to know you. In addition to content, essays are evaluated for critical thinking and writing ability, skill in organizing and presenting thoughts and the relevance of your answer to the question posed.

These instructions, combined with the general instructions, dictate what your essay needs to accomplish: be well written, explain why you want to study at Haas, showcase who you are, demonstrate your understanding of the Haas four Defining Principles, and how you intend to embrace those Defining Principles throughout your time at Haas and beyond.

All applicants are required to respond to the following essay prompt:

What does it mean to be humble? What area of your life do you struggle most with humility and why? Describe strategies you are using to cultivate humility in this area of your life.

Your response is limited to 500 words. To avoid a session timeout, we recommend you compose your essay in a word processor using its word count feature then cut and paste your essay in this space.

Haas Essay – Guidelines

This is a tricky question and requires delicate treatment. I have suggestions for specific approaches, but they might be too easy for Haas to spot if I just blather everything online. So, for your protection and mine, check out one of my live webinars, How to Produce a Winning Haas Supplemental Application. Get tickets ($25 each) from Eventbrite and learn the winning strategies for composing the Haas essay question and resume.

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