2004 UC Berkeley Haas MBA Admissions Chat with Peter Johnson

2004 UC Berkeley Haas MBA Admissions Chat with Peter Johnson

Please feel free to let us know if you would like to be informed of future chats by sending e-mail to chat@accepted.com. We would also be interested in knowing if you would prefer a different format or different topics.

Chat Transcript:

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 12:58:45 PM)
First I want to welcome you all to Accepted.com's Haas Happening.

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 12:58:55 PM)
I also want to welcome Peter Johnson, Co-Director of Admissions, Sheri Lockshin, Assistant Director of Career Services (responsible for international student career services), and Emily Bolton, a Haas first-year student from the UK.

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 12:59:01 PM)
Thanks to everyone for joining.

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 12:59:10 PM)
We will be using a moderated chat format today.

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 12:59:11 PM)
Our pleasure--thank you for inviting us!

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 12:59:19 PM)
In a moderated chat, all your questions go to the moderator (me). I will choose the questions that have the broadest application and those questions will appear in the main window for our guests to reply to. You will only see your question in the main window if and when it is chosen. You will not see your question on the screen if it is not picked.

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 12:59:36 PM)
Please post your questions, and I will choose as many as possible from the ones you post and our guests will respond. You can also post follow up questions.

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 12:59:51 PM)
Final request: We would like to avoid the brief summary of qualifications (or even the long laundry list) followed by the question, "Can I qualify?" Or "What are my chances?" This isn't the forum for that kind of question.

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 1:00:04 PM)
Other than that limitation, this is your chance to ask questions about reapplying and admissions policies.

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 1:00:12 PM)
I'm assuming that Emily will be right back.

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 1:00:33 PM)
Pete and Sheri, what's new at Haas?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:01:00 PM)
Well, that's an open-ended question!

RZC (Dec 17, 2003 1:01:02 PM)
How does Haas view career changers?

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 1:01:12 PM)
I thought I would start with something easy.

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:01:22 PM)
We're in the throes of reviewing Round 1 applications, and our students are just finishing up final projects and exams for the fall semester.

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 1:01:23 PM)
Please post your questions.

ASL2004 (Dec 17, 2003 1:01:44 PM)
What are the main qualities that Haas looks for in a candidate?

Bud Fox (Dec 17, 2003 1:01:55 PM)
How is application volume this year?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:02:31 PM)
RZC, I would guess that about half of our students are "career changers", which is not uncommon for b-schools. I think that our career services staff is quite good at working with students who are in the process of moving from one field to another, but that may be a question best left to Sheri.

SheriLockshinHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:03:13 PM)
Most of our students are career changers---That's why most people go back to business school. Career Services has a strong program to help students transition from one type of work to another.

RZC (Dec 17, 2003 1:03:28 PM)
Does the career center have special sessions to help career changers in their job search?

shashi (Dec 17, 2003 1:03:37 PM)
What is Haas' philosophy towards candidates who already have a business masters from a foreign country, but not an MBA?

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 1:04:11 PM)
Welcome back, Emily! Could you tell us what you did before you came to Haas and what you hope to do upon receiving your MBA?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:04:21 PM)
ASL2004, we look at academic performance, career progression, leadership skills, and fit, essentially.

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:04:56 PM)
Bud Fox, application volume is down this year compared to last year, which is what I am hearing from our colleagues at other leading programs. It's a little early to speculate why numbers are down this year, but it is certainly an issue that admissions directors have been discussing.

EmilyBoltonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:05:10 PM)
Linda - Before I came to Haas I worked as a Strategy Consultant in London for four years. On graduating from Haas I want to work in social venture capital - this is part of the reason I chose Haas, as responsible business is an area Haas is very strong in.

TC (Dec 17, 2003 1:05:10 PM)
I understand that Haas will start sending out interview invites in Jan. Does Haas plan to interview all admitted applicants?

SheriLockshinHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:05:31 PM)
We have over 100 different kinds of workshops during the first year to help students figure out what they want to do and how to do it. Part of the first year includes a two day Career Management Conference where all the students focus on career issues.

TC (Dec 17, 2003 1:05:41 PM)
Are recruitment activities picking up this year so far? If so, what type of companies are most active?

hopefully_haas (Dec 17, 2003 1:05:58 PM)
How can the part-time program at Haas facilitate career changers?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:06:39 PM)
Shashi, it depends on how closely related to an MBA the previous degree might be. We don't want to have individuals repeating course work that they have already completed in another graduate management program.

Bhaskar (Dec 17, 2003 1:06:51 PM)
What is the lowest GMAT score you would be considering for this year's admissions to your MBA program?

SheriLockshinHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:06:57 PM)
Yes, recruiting has improved. We had 20% more companies on campus this fall. The consulting firms are returning, banking and finance has improved, and tech is coming along!

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 1:07:14 PM)
Great news, Sheri!

hopefully_haas (Dec 17, 2003 1:07:20 PM)
Does the Haas part-time program look at career changers favorably as well? Does the program facilitate them via special networking opportunities?

ASL2004 (Dec 17, 2003 1:07:26 PM)
I know that Haas has a good reputation in finance. I plan to keep working in insurance. How is the career placement in that field, especially for int'l students?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:07:51 PM)
TC, we will interview most of the candidates to whom we will ultimately offer admission, unless they are in a geographic location that makes this impossible. We don't expect all international candidates to be able to come to campus, and although we have a large group of trained alumni interviewers, we don't cover every country in the world.

4HAAS (Dec 17, 2003 1:08:40 PM)
What about Round 2 application volume? Round 1 we heard Haas had 699 applications.

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:09:05 PM)
Bhaskar, I can't answer that question very exactly, as we don't have a cutoff score. I would refer you to our middle 80% range from last year--650-750. It is unlikely that very many candidates with scores below 650 will be offered admission.

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:09:40 PM)
Hopefully, I know that they do have career changers, but that is a question best addressed to the part-time program admissions staff.

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:10:04 PM)
4Haas, we received 996 applications for Round 2.

4HAAS (Dec 17, 2003 1:10:12 PM)
How does Haas view applicants who have been enrolled in some part-time programs related to business?

SheriLockshinHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:10:24 PM)
Finance is great here. Things are still challenging for international students. The international students had to work very hard to find summer internships, but when I look at the placement report, at least half of the international students found internships in the US, and others found good internships elsewhere.

Bud Fox (Dec 17, 2003 1:10:32 PM)
Is Haas successful at placing graduates into the biotech industry? Do any biotech companies routinely recruit at Haas?

go-bears! (Dec 17, 2003 1:10:37 PM)
When will you begin extending interviews for R2 applicants?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:10:52 PM)
4Haas, it simply provides additional information about the applicant's interest in business and performance in other academic work.

hopefully_haas (Dec 17, 2003 1:11:00 PM)
Sheri: I am interested in working with PE or VC firms after my MBA. How many VC or PE firms visit Haas for placements?

SheriLockshinHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:11:16 PM)
We have lots of hires in biotech. Are you considering the MBA/MPH degree?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:11:36 PM)
Go-bears, we will likely begin issuing round 2 interview invitations in late January, early February. We will be issuing most interview invitations for Round 1 after the winter break.

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 1:11:44 PM)
Emily, what do you like best at Haas? What would you like to see improved?

Haas2004 (Dec 17, 2003 1:11:58 PM)
Do you already have any idea about the percentage of R1 applicants who will be interviewed?

ASL2004 (Dec 17, 2003 1:12:28 PM)
Sounds great, Sheri.

go-bears! (Dec 17, 2003 1:12:31 PM)
Emily, was there anything that has surprised you about your Haas experience?

go-bears! (Dec 17, 2003 1:12:38 PM)
How many R2 applications were there last year?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:12:48 PM)
By the way, one piece of news: because of the timing of Easter and Passover this year, we have changed the dates for our first admitted student weekend (Days at Haas). It will take place April 15-17, 2004.

SheriLockshinHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:12:59 PM)
VC firms are small and tend to hire off campus through networking. There are lots of opportunities to meet them through campus activities and networking with alumni.

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:13:08 PM)
Haas2004, no, as we are still in the process of reviewing applications. Since we read ALL applications submitted in a random order, we don't have that data until very close to the end of the review process for the round in question.

hopefully_haas (Dec 17, 2003 1:13:09 PM)
How re-applicant friendly is Haas?

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 1:13:26 PM)
How do you use the interview in the admissions process?

Bhaskar (Dec 17, 2003 1:13:39 PM)
I read a news article that deans of Ivy leagues are writing to alumni to help students in getting employment. Is this the case for Hass?

ASL2004 (Dec 17, 2003 1:13:49 PM)
There is one interesting essay that asks about having dinner with an individual. What do you look for in that essay?

MBA05 (Dec 17, 2003 1:14:12 PM)
Hi. I have a specific question regarding recommendations. I have shifted to a new job just 6 months back and was under training for 3 months. So I have worked only for 3 months with my new supervisor. Before that I had 3 years experience with a previous employer. In this case, from whom should I take recommendations?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:14:14 PM)
Go-bears, we had approximately 1200 Round 2 apps last year.

4HAAS (Dec 17, 2003 1:14:14 PM)
Thanks, Pete.

SheriLockshinHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:14:55 PM)
Our Dean did the same. He also meets regularly with recruiters!

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:15:14 PM)
Hopefully Haas, we review re-applicant files as carefully as we do first-timers, and the admit rate for re-applicants is generally about the same as it is for first-time applicants.

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 1:15:49 PM)
Sheri, how are international students doing in terms of recruiting? Are there opportunities in the US for them, or are they better off planning to return to their home countries?

Bud Fox (Dec 17, 2003 1:16:00 PM)
Sheri - In regards to biotech, no, I am not considering the MPH degree, but I have a science background. I would like to get into Bus Dev. or strategic planning at a biotech. Does Haas place students in these types of positions?

Bhaskar (Dec 17, 2003 1:16:13 PM)
Thanks a lot, Pete and Sheri.

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:16:25 PM)
Linda, any candidate that we are seriously considering will be offered an invitation to interview. Additionally, anyone who is placed on the waitlist will be offered an opportunity to interview.

EmilyBoltonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:16:56 PM)
Linda – The things I like about Haas are the people (really interesting and genuinely nice), the opportunities (in the area that I am interested in there are far too many), and the level of student involvement (we are really involved with shaping our program). The downside for me is that some recruiters are not as interested in recruiting international students – but that is an issue at every business school.

ChinaBound (Dec 17, 2003 1:17:24 PM)
What kind of opportunities/support is there for an American who is fluent in Mandarin to find work w/ firms that are looking to expand into the Chinese market? Does Hass have a substantial alumni base to leverage?

4HAAS (Dec 17, 2003 1:17:29 PM)
Does Haas do verification for the applicants' data? In some companies like mine, we usually carry two titles - one for external customers and another for internal use. Which one should one use in data sheets?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:17:52 PM)
ASL2004, we are looking for a well-written response that tells us something about what is important to you. Sometimes the answer might be professionally-focused, in other cases it is a more personal answer--I have seen great responses of both types.

SheriLockshinHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:18:28 PM)
There are fewer full-time opportunities because of the reduction in the number of H1B visas. That affects all of the business schools equally. Some students are finding jobs here. Others are going elsewhere, but they are getting good jobs.

go-bears! (Dec 17, 2003 1:18:39 PM)
How many people do you place on your waitlist, and what percentage of these eventually make it off the waitlist and matriculate?

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 1:19:23 PM)
Emily, how are you involved in shaping the program?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:20:23 PM)
4Haas, yes, we do verify data for those applicants who will be offered admission. We know that companies often have a working title and a payroll title (for example including Berkeley--my payroll title is Student Affairs Officer V), so this is not unusual. On the data sheets, I would list the one that you feel is used for external customers, but it doesn't hurt to include your internal title as well if there is enough space.

MBA05 (Dec 17, 2003 1:20:38 PM)
Can someone please answer my last question on recommendations?

SheriLockshinHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:20:40 PM)
With respect to China---there are many opportunities for networking and making contacts to find work in China. It would be a challenging search, but we have strong alumni chapters in Shanghai and elsewhere in China.

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:21:38 PM)
Go-bears, we don't have a fixed number of individuals that we place on the waitlist each year, so it varies. Last year, about 24% of the applicants who were waitlisted ultimately received an offer.

EmilyBoltonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:22:12 PM)
Go Bears - I had really high expectations about coming to Haas, but I was surprised about two things. Firstly, that the people here are really great and very inclusive. I am here with my husband and he is involved with lots of Haas organizations, like playing soccer with a Haas team. The degree of inclusiveness is far higher than I expected. Secondly, I was surprised by the enormous number of opportunities here.

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:23:02 PM)
MBA05, you need to make the decision of recommenders based on which individuals you feel can provide the best rec. If you haven't worked for your current supervisor very long, then it is better to have a former supervisor. We give you a place in the short answer questions to tell us why you selected the individuals you selected, which helps us to evaluate why you didn't ask your current supervisor.

hopefully_haas (Dec 17, 2003 1:23:08 PM)
Pete: do re-applicants need to show what has significantly changed since the previous year in terms of work experience for consideration? I'm asking since I might not be able to put in my best application in R2 this year, but will be able to do so for R1 next year. Should I nix my chances by applying this year?

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 1:23:52 PM)
Emily, why did you choose Haas? Are you glad you chose an American MBA and specifically Haas?

freakymantra (Dec 17, 2003 1:24:12 PM)
How much emphasis does Haas lay on the GMAT score?

ASL2004 (Dec 17, 2003 1:24:14 PM)
Planning to apply on the January deadline. When will classes be resumed, in order to visit the campus?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:24:59 PM)
Hopefully, it is always helpful to tell us what has changed since the previous year. I can't really answer the question about whether or not to apply this year without knowing much more about your application than we could discuss in a chat.

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 1:25:28 PM)
Sheri, are there steps applicants can take now which will help them in their internship and job search during b-school?

EmilyBoltonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:25:56 PM)
Linda - I think all MBA students here are involved with shaping the program. For example, if students are interested in a particular area, they can create a course in that field. Last year a group of students set a sports marketing course. This course involved a series of guest speakers, chosen and invited by them. As well as making a really interesting course, this also gave them a lot of great contacts!

MBA05 (Dec 17, 2003 1:26:00 PM)
Yes, I understand that. But my only concern is I do not think that 3 months is enough time for my current supervisor to evaluate my strengths. In that case, if I submit recommendations from previous mangers, will it have a negative effect? Please advise.

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:26:17 PM)
Freakymantra, the GMAT score is one of the things that we look at, but it is certainly not the most important. Last year, for example, we had 187 applicants with GMAT total scores of 750+. We denied 75% of them, because they didn't have other qualities we seek, such as strong work experience, leadership potential, etc.

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:26:52 PM)
ASL2004, please visit our web site, which lists this info, but we will have classes in session again on the 26th of January.

go-bears! (Dec 17, 2003 1:26:54 PM)
How significant is an applicant's participation in adcom activities (i.e. class visits, etc) to a positive review of their application? Some schools make it unofficially mandatory that applicants visit and take advantage of all the programs.

Bud Fox (Dec 17, 2003 1:27:22 PM)
Emily - What other B-schools did you consider?

snarzel (Dec 17, 2003 1:27:27 PM)
I understand the applicant total was down by ~23% from last year in round 1. Is this trend also evident in round 2?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:27:47 PM)
MBA05, no, it won't, as long as you have explained why you did not choose a current supervisor. I agree that 3 months is not really enough time for a supervisor to be able to provide much of an assessment.

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 1:28:23 PM)
Thanks, Emily.

EmilyBoltonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:29:13 PM)
Linda - I chose Haas for three main reasons, two associated with my career goals. As I mentioned earlier, I am really interested in Social Venture Capital, and Haas has a very strong entrepreneurship program and a great center for responsible business. Also, we have a business plan competition here that judges businesses on both their financial and social return. For these reasons Haas was a perfect fit. The other reason was that Haas is in the Bay Area - what a perfect place to live.

MBA05 (Dec 17, 2003 1:29:14 PM)
Thanks, Pete. That helps.

SheriLockshinHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:29:42 PM)
Linda. Good question! The more a student knows about what he or she wants to do before school begins, the easier the job search will go. For example, if a student wants to go into VC, he or she should know as much as possible about the firms, about professional associations, about what a professional in a VC firm does on a daily basis, etc. Things roll very quickly once school begins, and the more research and informational interviewing done before school begins, the better.

go-bears! (Dec 17, 2003 1:29:49 PM)
Emily: Are there many opportunities to take courses with various other grad departments at Berkeley, and to what extent do you socialize with students from the other schools?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:29:50 PM)
Go-bears, we want to have some idea of whether or not a candidate has done their homework to know whether or not Haas is a good fit. Our view of this varies depending on the opportunities. For example, if a candidate from Los Angeles didn't 't bother to visit campus, I wouldn't be terribly impressed, since it is relatively easy. On the other hand, I wouldn't necessarily expect an applicant from Kazakhstan to have had the opportunity. Also, visiting campus is only one way to gather information. The bottom line is that we like to know that someone is serious enough to have done their homework.

PSCA (Dec 17, 2003 1:30:03 PM)
Is my application still considered to be in Round 2 if my recommender submits it after the deadline?

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 1:30:31 PM)
Sheri, what industries are hiring now?

ASL2004 (Dec 17, 2003 1:31:12 PM)
In that sense, Pete, I consider visiting the school an important part of the application. However, would you advise me to delay my application prior to visiting?

go-bears! (Dec 17, 2003 1:31:25 PM)
So do you believe that reading everything we can about Haas online is sufficient if we can't visit campus?

EmilyBoltonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:31:35 PM)
Linda - I chose to come to the US because I am very interested in entrepreneurship and I think that the atmosphere here in the Bay Area is pretty unique. It is also fantastic to have new experiences away from your home country and an MBA is a great time to do that.

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 1:32:01 PM)
Is the experience meeting your expectations, Emily?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:32:33 PM)
PSCA, when our staff is setting up files for the admissions committee, they will notify you by e-mail if any items are missing, and they give you a deadline for getting any missing items in. Although we prefer that all items arrive by the deadline, the reality is that recommenders are often not as diligent as they should be. My best advice is to get it to us as quickly as possible, and we will try to review it with Round 2 applications.

freakymantra (Dec 17, 2003 1:33:00 PM)
Pete: Coming from an engineering background and a highly technical job, how should one show all the desirable qualities of teamwork, leadership, etc. when there might have been limited opportunities due to the nature of the job? How do you compare such work experience with that of people from consulting, etc.?

SheriLockshinHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:33:01 PM)
All of them. Consulting almost disappeared for two years, but hiring is much improved. Biotech and medical devices are strong, banking and asset management have improved, as well. Most of the tech hiring happens in the spring, so we will see how that goes within a few months.

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 1:33:24 PM)
Sheri, how about summer internships?

ASL2004 (Dec 17, 2003 1:33:43 PM)
Regarding life outside classes, which clubs are the most popular at Hass and how easy/hard is to start a new one?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:33:55 PM)
ASL2004, I would probably not delay applying. Although we offer admission to some individuals from Round 4, your chances will be significantly affected if you are not in Rounds 1-3.

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:34:25 PM)
Go-bears, it may be--again, we know that not everyone has the opportunity to visit campus. We don't automatically ding anyone for not having visited.

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 1:34:29 PM)
Is there an advantage to applying in different rounds? Do you accept more people first round than second, second than third, etc.?

SheriLockshinHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:35:26 PM)
Linda. We are optimistic about summer internships, but students have to be willing to supplement the on-campus opportunities with their own networking to get the internships they want.

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:35:57 PM)
Freakymantra, we review work experience in context. You are correct that leadership opportunities are often different from industry to industry. Also, please remember that there are non-work venues for developing and demonstrating leadership, too.

EmilyBoltonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:35:59 PM)
Go Bears - there are links between Haas and other graduate schools. If you are interested in technology there is a class called "New Product Development" in which teams involving MBAs and graduate students from the engineering faculty design and then develop the business plan for a new product. Some of the social enterprise classes involve students from the school of public policy. Haas students can also take classes at other graduate schools.

snarzel (Dec 17, 2003 1:36:25 PM)
If you were evaluating an applicant with a GMAT score of 660, what other characteristics would you look for to tell whether this person is a strong applicant. e.g. strong evidence of quantitative/verbal skills elsewhere, longer-than-average work experience, played significant management roles, entrepreneurial experience, etc.?

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 1:37:04 PM)
Freakymantra, especially for younger applicants, extra-curricular activities and community service provide a great forum for demonstrating leadership.

joe (Dec 17, 2003 1:37:33 PM)
Is it possible to transfer from the weekend MBA program to the full-time MBA program?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:37:36 PM)
Linda, we do not have a fixed number that we are trying to get out of each round--it simply depends on the quality of the applicants. Having said that, the admit rate from Round 4 is much smaller than other rounds, as we have already offered most of our places by the time we begin Round 4 review. We encourage applicants to apply in the earliest round for which they can submit a well-crafted application.

freakymantra (Dec 17, 2003 1:37:52 PM)
Thanks, Pete and Linda, that gives me more confidence and a sound strategy for my application.

RZC (Dec 17, 2003 1:38:15 PM)
What are the housing possibilities for people with spouses? Are there any clubs for the married crowd?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:38:17 PM)
Snarzel, all of the things that you mentioned, as well as community involvement, undergraduate academic performance, etc.

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 1:38:56 PM)
If you are looking at an application and the numbers and basic profile is in the ballpark for a Haas student, what distinguishes an application that is accepted from one that is rejected?

EmilyBoltonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:39:47 PM)
Linda - The experience at Haas has really surpassed my expectations. I have found it very easy to settle into life at Haas, and the school offers so many more opportunities for learning and career advancement than I imagined.

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:39:49 PM)
Joe, a small number of students are able to transfer each year on a space-available basis. It is not something that an applicant should expect. This year, I believe that 4 individuals were allowed to transfer. There is a lottery system so that any student in the weekend program whose situation has changed can compete for those available spaces, but the number will always be quite small.

freakymantra (Dec 17, 2003 1:39:49 PM)
Pete: If community involvement is on a small scale working within a particular demographic population, is that still considered valuable?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:40:02 PM)
Freaky, great--that's why we're here!

PSCA (Dec 17, 2003 1:40:11 PM)
Do you group the applicants by the industry they come from, undergraduate major, or some other factor?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:41:23 PM)
RZC, UC Berkeley actually has very good married student and family housing. There is information about it on our web site. We also have a very active Partners Club at Haas for spouses, domestic partners, etc. About half of our students are "partnered".

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:42:00 PM)
Freaky, yes--the important thing is the substance of the involvement--what did you do? What did you learn? What did you contribute?

Guest (Dec 17, 2003 1:42:00 PM)
? What other schools have you seen Haas applicants apply to?

4HAAS (Dec 17, 2003 1:42:04 PM)
Why does Berkeley ask about which other schools you are applying to?

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 1:43:24 PM)
Emily, are you participating in the business plan competition you mentioned earlier?

EmilyBoltonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:43:25 PM)
RZC - I am also married and was a bit worried about coping with the stresses of an MBA. I really was worrying about nothing. Haas is a very welcoming community and my husband is as involved in the social life of the school as I am. A large number of people here are married, and so lots of people are in the same boat. There is a partners club, and they are really great; however, on the whole there is not a partner student divide, and partners are very involved in life at Haas. To be honest, I think my husband is having the fun of an MBA without the work!

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:43:55 PM)
Linda, particularly strong or distinctive work experience, exceptional leadership, an outstanding interview--those are all things that might sway us toward a particular candidate. Simply doing a good job of honestly representing goals and experiences often sets an applicant apart!

tinybo (Dec 17, 2003 1:44:14 PM)
Is it considered a negative to not answer what other schools you are applying to?

EmilyBoltonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:44:36 PM)
Linda - I am involved with organizing the Global Social Venture Competition and am not entering the competition (this year).

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 1:44:41 PM)
You mean effectively answering your questions can set an applicant a notch above?

RZC (Dec 17, 2003 1:45:17 PM)
Emily, that sounds nice for our spouses!

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:45:24 PM)
PSCA, no--the only groupings that we use in the review process are by educational system for international applicants in the first read. We do try to make sure that many different industry areas are represented, however, as we want professional diversity in the incoming class.

TC (Dec 17, 2003 1:45:54 PM)
How soon will Haas start releasing decisions for R1? near Feb 2?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:47:14 PM)
4Haas, for demographic data. We like to know what other programs applicants are applying to for statistical purposes, but that information does not factor into our decision-making process. I suspect that it does for some other programs, though, so I can understand why you might ask.

ASL2004 (Dec 17, 2003 1:48:30 PM)
What is Haas planning to change/launch for the Class of 2006, besides classes?

RZC (Dec 17, 2003 1:48:43 PM)
Sheri, what can applicants do now to improve their chances of getting internships and job offers?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:48:44 PM)
Tinybo, no, although it is a bit annoying, as it makes it harder for us to do our market research.

4HAAS (Dec 17, 2003 1:49:08 PM)
Pete: Thanks for helping the students out at the chat. I really appreciate you folks stopping by twice this year (Sept 9 and Dec 16th) on the chat forum at Accepted.com.

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:49:22 PM)
Linda, yes--absolutely. You would be surprised how many candidates do not do a good job of presenting themselves in their application.

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 1:49:46 PM)
Actually, I wouldn't be surprised. :-)

Guest (Dec 17, 2003 1:50:25 PM)
Thank you for your time.

PSCA (Dec 17, 2003 1:50:28 PM)
What is involved in your review of an applicant's file? I assume there are stages of review, anything in particular you guys look at for the first/second cut? Where does the interview fall in?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:50:31 PM)
TC, yes, we are unlikely to release any decisions before the scheduled date, particularly in round 1.

4HAAS (Dec 17, 2003 1:50:47 PM)
Pete: I look forward to you folks coming more often to the Asian region, especially India :)

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:50:48 PM)
4Haas, you're welcome. Thanks to Linda for hosting us!

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 1:51:16 PM)
Thanks to you all for coming. Please keep those questions coming.

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:51:22 PM)
4Haas, we are discussing ways in which we might better serve Indian applicants. It's a big world! :-)

freakymantra (Dec 17, 2003 1:51:32 PM)
Pete: Does the admission committee wait until the deadline and then start reviewing all applications in a random order, or does the date and time the application was actually submitted decide the order of application evaluation?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:52:40 PM)
ASL2004, yours is a difficult question to answer. I don't envision any large-scale changes, although the faculty is constantly tinkering with the content of individuals courses. I would expect to see some changes in the non-profit management track, as we recently hired a new program director in that area.

SheriLockshinHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:53:19 PM)
RZC--You can improve your chances of getting an internship by doing thorough self-assessment before you come to school. If you are clear about your business interests, previous accomplishments and skills, it makes it easier to evaluate opportunities and to select activities once you are here. If you know what you want to do already, take the time to do informational interviews before coming to school. That will give you confidence as you move forward.

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 1:53:35 PM)
Emily, what do you wish you would have done before starting your MBA that would have made the beginning/transition easier? Did you do anything especially effective that helped you?

go-bears-2 (Dec 17, 2003 1:54:06 PM)
Regarding the class visits for spring term, I understand the first available date is 2/6. Do you recommend we begin signing up now?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:54:40 PM)
PSCA, the interview invitation is given after a candidate has received 2-3 reads and the consensus is that a candidate is in the running. For many applicants, the first two readers both feel that the app is not strong enough, and the process ends there.

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 1:55:10 PM)
Sheri, do you see a difference in opportunities between students who take a more focused, in depth curriculum as opposed to students who go for more breadth in their studies?

ASL2004 (Dec 17, 2003 1:55:35 PM)
Thank you, Pete. I really appreciate the quality of questions and answers being posted in this forum.

PSCA (Dec 17, 2003 1:55:40 PM)

go-bears-2 (Dec 17, 2003 1:55:44 PM)
What percentage of applicants who interview are then accepted? Do you ever accept any candidates who have not interviewed?

joe (Dec 17, 2003 1:55:56 PM)
Can you tell me the percentage of students pursuing a doctoral degree after finishing an MBA?

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 1:56:54 PM)
Please post your questions.

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:56:58 PM)
Freaky, the date and time does not determine the order. In most rounds, about half of the applicants apply on the deadline date, and most of the other applications are submitted 7-10 days prior to the deadline. By the time our staff gets the application, transcripts, and letters of recommendations into a file and checked out to a reader, it is usually after the deadline, even for the earliest applicants. Also, when the round 1 deadline hits, most of us on the admissions committee are still on the road doing information events.

EmilyBoltonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:57:33 PM)
Linda - As an international student starting an MBA I had two transitions to make. The first was going back to school and the second was moving to a new country. The first transition was far easier to make than the second! I was really excited about going back to school and knew an MBA was exactly what I wanted to do. It wasn't hard to apply myself to the work and make sure I understood the concepts. In contrast, moving to the US was far harder. There was a lot of red tape which we are still dealing with now. If I was moving to the US again I would make sure I contacted more students at Haas for advice before I arrived.

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 1:58:12 PM)
What advice would you now give students who sought your advice?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 1:58:17 PM)
Gobears2, you are welcome to send an e-mail to Haas now, although you shouldn't have problems as long as you make a request at least 72 hours in advance. We try not to put visitors in classes during the first few days of a semester, as that is when the faculty member is getting to know the class, setting expectations for the term, etc.

4HAAS (Dec 17, 2003 1:59:05 PM)
What do you view (internally) that differentiates you from other Bay area schools, such as Stanford, UCLA and other strong entrepreneurship programs like MIT?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 2:00:11 PM)
Gobears2, yes, we do offer admission to a few candidates each year who did not have an interview. (For the fall 2003 entering class, 5% did not have interviews). Approximately 60% of the candidates who were interviewed received an offer last year, but it varies from year to year.

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 2:02:22 PM)
4Haas, I generally don't make comparisons with other schools, and there are certainly many similarities between Stanford, UCLA, and Berkeley. As far as entrepreneurship, I would encourage you to examine the opportunities offered at each program to students with entrepreneurial interests, which I think will help you to see some distinctions.

SheriLockshinHaas (Dec 17, 2003 2:02:31 PM)
Linda---I think that the success rate of students who take a focused curriculum and those who take a broader approach is probably about the same. Obviously employers like to see elective courses in the functional area that they represent, but hiring decisions usually take into consideration how the person communicates, previous work experience, activities----the whole package. This school is so rich in wonderful, stimulating opportunities for study and group activities that I would encourage anyone to take advantage of everything that interests them. The job will follow!

EmilyBoltonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 2:02:39 PM)
Linda - One thing that made starting my MBA easier was that I had a pretty clear view of my career goals. This meant I could focus my efforts from day one. Although I have been distracted by some fascinating opportunities that aren't directly aligned with my goals, on the whole I have kept pretty focused. I know that if I hadn't had a clear view of what I wanted to do before I started my MBA, I would be more confused now, as the number of really interesting opportunities seem endless.

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 2:02:45 PM)
Pete, Sheri, and Emily have agreed to extend the chat until fifteen minutes after the hour. Please post your questions. They are providing directing and informative answers. This is a great opportunity.

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 2:03:07 PM)
Emily, that jives with what Sheri said a few minutes ago.

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 2:04:08 PM)
Any other burning questions out there?

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 2:04:28 PM)
I think you have questions from Joe and 4-Haas, Pete.

go-bears-2 (Dec 17, 2003 2:04:43 PM)
You guys are providing better feedback and insight than any of the other adcoms I've chatted with online. Thank you.

PSCA (Dec 17, 2003 2:04:54 PM)
What undergraduate schools (ones from California) make up the majority of the entering class?

ASL2004 (Dec 17, 2003 2:05:07 PM)
This is a personal one. Could you contact me with Seattle alumni?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 2:06:52 PM)
Oops--sorry Joe, I missed your question. I do not have an answer for your question, except that it is a very small number. The MBA degree is a professional degree focused on developing practical business and leadership skills. The PhD is a degree focused on preparing students for research and teaching jobs. They are very dissimilar in focus, and since it is not necessary to earn an MBA before entering the PhD program, it is unusual that someone follows this path.

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 2:07:17 PM)
Gobears2, you're welcome--I'm glad it's helpful.

EmilyBoltonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 2:07:37 PM)
Linda - You asked what advice I would give new students moving to Berkeley. To be honest, most of my advice would be practical - for example how to get a bank account to transfer your money into dollars, and that IKEA gives a 20% student discount! I know that this sounds inane, but when you are moving to a new country this kind of advice really helps.

SheriLockshinHaas (Dec 17, 2003 2:07:45 PM)
ASL2004--Are you primarily interested in someone who would talk with you about the job search?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 2:07:51 PM)
PSCA. The top undergrad programs from CA represented in our entering class are almost always Stanford, UCLA, and Berkeley.

RZC (Dec 17, 2003 2:07:56 PM)
What are the most common mistakes applicants make in their essays?

PSCA (Dec 17, 2003 2:08:12 PM)
When do you expect to get R2 interview notifications out?

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 2:08:17 PM)
ASL2004, yes--I would need your e-mail address.

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 2:09:13 PM)
Thank you again all for participating today. Special thanks to Pete, Sheri, and Emily for joining us this evening.

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 2:09:21 PM)
We look forward to seeing you at future chats, and here is a list of the upcoming scheduled chats:

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 2:09:31 PM)
Chicago 12/18; Joint European chat with Darden, Cornell, CMU and Indiana 1/7; MIT 1/8

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 2:09:32 PM)
RZC, not explaining themselves thoroughly or succinctly. For example, many people neglect to tell us what they have really done professionally by providing few details. Another frequent issue is individuals who are not able to really express what they are interested in and passionate about, which results in a lifeless application.

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 2:09:41 PM)
Please check the Web site for details. The above chats are at 10:00 AM Pacific Time/1:00 PM Eastern Time/6:00 PM GMT.

TC (Dec 17, 2003 2:09:54 PM)
Thanks, Linda and Haas members: Pete, Sheri, and Emily. I look forward to receiving interview invitation from Haas next month and being part of Haas community next fall.

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 2:09:56 PM)
PSCA, Round 2 interview invitations will mostly go out after Feb 1.

RZC (Dec 17, 2003 2:09:56 PM)
Thank you so much for the great advice!

4HAAS (Dec 17, 2003 2:09:58 PM)
Thanks, Pete, for answering the questions.

RZC (Dec 17, 2003 2:10:00 PM)
Thank you to Accepted.com for hosting all the chats!!!

BearFan (Dec 17, 2003 2:10:12 PM)
Thank you, Pete!

4HAAS (Dec 17, 2003 2:10:29 PM)
Thank you, Linda, for allowing so many of my questions and hosting Pete, Sheri, and Emily.

RZC (Dec 17, 2003 2:10:34 PM)
When will the UMBS transcript be posted?

snarzel (Dec 17, 2003 2:10:45 PM)
Thanks Pete, Emily, and Sheri!

4HAAS (Dec 17, 2003 2:11:05 PM)
Merry Christmas to all !!!

PeteJohnsonHaas (Dec 17, 2003 2:11:05 PM)
Good luck on your applications, everyone!

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 2:11:10 PM)
It will probably be posted this week.

Linda Abraham (Dec 17, 2003 2:11:45 PM)
Good luck with your applications!

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