Haas Supplemental Application (Essay & Resume)

Below are the application, resume, and essay guidelines if you are applying for Fall 2021 transfer to Haas.

Haas Supplemental Application – Annotated Instructions

The Haas Undergraduate Program has a distinct culture and we seek applicants who represent the school’s four Defining Leadership 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 (emphasis added) above is relevant to how you should compose your essay and put together your resume.

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 began verifying information submitted by some applicants a few years ago (I’m not sure if the verification is targeted or random) and conducting interviews for some applicants (used to be for international applicants to verify English proficiency, then the interviews seem to be for borderline applicants; as of last year, everyone was allowed to do an optional recorded interview). Expect something similar this year.

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, 2021. Please note once you have submitted the form, you cannot make edits. 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. Back in 2016, MAP@Berkeley closed at 9 PM PST on January 31 (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 a situation like that.

IMPORTANT – Changes to your class schedule after January 31st: If you would like to report updated grades or make any changes to your 2021 winter and/or spring class schedule after January 31, 2021 you must notify the Haas Undergraduate Program at uginfo@haas.berkeley.edu. Include “SAR Update” in the subject line of the e-mail. Before making schedule changes, please review the minimum eligibility requirements for transfer applicants. All admission requirements must be completed by the end of the Spring 2021 term. We cannot guarantee that changes made after January 31, 2021 will be considered.

There is another set of instructions at the very end of the application form (after the essay prompt) that explains how schedule/grade updates or corrections that occur after January 31, 2021 should be submitted.

Haas Resume – Annotated Instructions

The Haas admission committee has access to your UC application and will use the information included in the Activities & Awards section to evaluate your accomplishments outside of coursework. The Haas resume below gives you the opportunity to expand on entries included in the UC application or include new activities you engaged in after the December 4th UC deadline. If you do not have additional activities or information to provide, simply click the box at the beginning of each section to indicate you do not have anything to report. Leaving the Haas resume blank will not impact your admission decision as the committee will refer to the entries included in the UC application.

The instructions changed this year to explicitly indicated that Haas will consider the activities listed in the UC Application if you leave the resume blank. I don’t recommend that since the resume offers quite a bit more room for you to elaborate on your “contributions and accomplishments” and gives you an opportunity to add new activities, as well as articulate how your activities are relevant to your aspirations to attend Haas and/or your ability to contribute to Haas as a student there (things that were not likely conveyed by how you described the activities in the UC Application).

In past instructions, Haas emphasized leadership (business or non-business) and ability to engage the community. When completing the resume, be strategic in how you select the activities. Focus on the ones where you have the strongest leadership roles, the most accomplishments, and/or the longest involvement or time commitment.

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). This used to be part of the instructions but it may have been removed because it was too confusing (ok in one instance but not ok in another).

Keep in mind that more recent activities will be more relevant to your immediate ability to succeed at Haas (so if you graduated high school 10 years ago, try to focus on activities within the last few years; of course, there are always exceptions, such as military service that may have helped you build character that would benefit you for life).

Haas Resume – Guidelines

You’ll see that the activity description field for most categories 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 and every treasurer manages money for the organization; you really don’t need to say that!).

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 (emphasis added), 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 and the value you bring as a student to Haas, demonstrate your understanding of the Haas four Defining Principles, and address 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:

Describe a time when something important to you did not work out as planned. How did you respond and what did you learn from the situation?

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.

Remember that you need to frame why you want to study at Haas, who you are and the value you bring as a student to Haas, your understanding of the Haas four Defining Principles, and how you intend to embrace those Defining Principles throughout your time at Haas and beyond within the question posed.

Haas Essay – Guidelines

This is a fairly common “failure” interview question and I’m sure there are plenty of examples of “good answers” floating around online. While the prompt requires situation-specific narrative, I have developed a step-by-step guideline to help you figure out how to cover the numerous pieces of information you need to include within the framework of the prompt, which is explained in my recorded webinar ($49; on the PayPal payment confirmation page, scroll down and click “Return to Merchant” button to receive recording access information). Sign up today and learn the secrets that helped majority of my clients get into Haas! See my Success Rate for yourself and review my client Testimonials for more information.

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