2009 UC Berkeley Haas MBA Admissions Chat with Peter Johnson

2009 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.

Linda Abraham (Oct 29, 2008 12:00:00 PM)
Hello. My name is Linda Abraham. I am the founder of Accepted.com and the moderator of today’s chat. First I want to welcome all applicants to the chat today, and I want to congratulate you for taking the time to learn more about Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. It is critical to your decision making process and your admission chances that you know as much as you can about the schools to which you are applying. Being here today allows you to ask experts about this top business school.
I also want to give a special welcome to Peter Johnson, Director of MBA Admissions at the Haas School of Business. Also joining us today is Craig Klemp – Class of 2009.
Thanks to everyone for joining.

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:01:16 PM)
Hello everyone!

Linda Abraham (Oct 29, 2008 12:01:18 PM)
Craig, can you tell us a little about yourself? What did you do before you started your MBA? What is your concentration at Haas? What do you hope to do upon graduation?

CraigKlempHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:01:21 PM)
Hi everyone!

Linda Abraham (Oct 29, 2008 12:02:25 PM)
Pete, What’s new at Haas?

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:02:54 PM)
Linda, there are many new things at Haas, starting with a new dean!

SK (Oct 29, 2008 12:02:57 PM)
Hi Peter, I am a reapplicant and I have a specific question regarding reapplication. I am writing the personal statement as indicated in the application. In addition I am rewriting a couple of essays which present new details regarding my candidature. Although the content of my essays (from last year), is  fine, the presentation (structure etc.) wasn't that great. Should I rewrite them as well? I am trying not to overburden the Adcom.

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:03:46 PM)
Rich Lyons, a professor of international finance, returned to Haas after 1.5 years in NY as chief learning officer at Goldman Sachs, and we're very excited to have him on board.

CraigKlempHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:03:51 PM)
I came to UC Berkeley from Washington, DC where I spent four years in two finance roles. First, I worked at Lockheed Martin in a finance leadership rotational program, and immediately prior to Haas, I worked at a venture capital firm focused on homeland security investments. I'm in the process of career switching into management consulting, and have supplemented my finance background with a number of strategy and marketing courses at Haas.

Linda Abraham (Oct 29, 2008 12:04:00 PM)
What does Dean Lyons plan to change?

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:04:35 PM)
SK, if you believe that it would add to our understanding of your background and strength as a candidate, I would go ahead and rewrite them. You shouldn't worry about the Adcom's reaction. We would be less impressed if you didn't take steps to improve elements of your application. Also, be sure to address how your candidacy has improved.

GameTheory (Oct 29, 2008 12:05:39 PM)
Peter and Craig - I was wondering if you could shed some light on the resources that Haas provides for students pursuing careers in investment banking? Historically, finance does not seem to be the strong point of Haas. How is recruiting going this year?

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:05:42 PM)
Linda, I'm sure that Dean Lyons will perhaps change a few things, but many elements of our current strategic plan began during his year as acting dean 3 years ago, so I think you'll see much movement in the same direction--continuing to expand the size of the faculty, sharpening our brand, etc.

CraigKlempHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:08:22 PM)
Game Theory, Haas provides a wealth of resources for my classmates interested in pursuing investment banking. We have some of the top finance faculty, with expertise ranging from real estate to derivatives to private equity. Our careers services office, in tandem with the student run Finance Club, works hard to place individuals in finance positions in New York, San Francisco and internationally. In fact, one of our career services "account managers" is based in the New York area to liaise with top employers on Wall Street.

hrishika (Oct 29, 2008 12:08:30 PM)
Craig,  are you part of the Haas Consulting club? If so, what activities do you specifically like? Are there any competitive consulting competitions / case study based competitions that Haas students participate in with other California B-schools?

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:08:54 PM)
Game Theory, historically, we send a smaller percentage of our finance students into traditional I-banking and more into things like venture capital, private equity, and corporate finance. Despite that, many of our students have been successful pursuing the Wall Street track. In addition to the programs our Career Services Office provides ("Training the Street" programs run by a Wall Street consulting firm, a specific I-Bank Recruitment Day in the Fall, having an account manager based in NY, etc.) we have an I-Banking Fellows Program, through which we pair fellows with alumni mentors in I-Banking, and subsidize their involvement in our banking career treks to NY and Hong Kong.

vids (Oct 29, 2008 12:08:57 PM)
Peter: As an international applicant, I am required to submit my official degree certificate. However, my university does not issue more than one original copy. Would a photocopy suffice?

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:09:32 PM)
Vids, it has to be an attested copy from the institution.

ds (Oct 29, 2008 12:09:35 PM)
Peter and Craig: What would you say sets Haas apart from other top Business schools?

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:11:04 PM)
Ds, I would mention our specific focus on leading through innovation, our emphasis on experiential learning, including the Haas@Work program, international Business Development program, etc.; Our size and accessibility to faculty, and our innovative career services program.

Dhruv (Oct 29, 2008 12:11:07 PM)
Peter: are the loan programs with banks still in place at Haas?

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:12:07 PM)
Dhruv, we have a variety of loan programs, but we no longer have a no-cosigner program for international students. Until this year, we had no-cosigner programs with Citibank and SallieMae, both of whom have discontinued those programs (as they have for the other schools in the top 10).

Giovanna_Brazil (Oct 29, 2008 12:12:09 PM)
Hi Pete: Regarding Corporate Social Responsibility- can students earn a Certificate in this area? Specifically, how can the Center for Responsible Business (CRB) contribute to a specialization in CSR?

CraigKlempHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:12:20 PM)
Hrishika, yes, I am an active member of the Consulting Club. The club offers case workshops and brings in adjunct speakers and career advisors (in addition to the in-house Haas advisors) to prepare students for consulting case interviews. The Consulting Club and Berkeley Solutions Club match student teams with employers looking for paid consulting work, helping to prepare the students for consulting careers. As far as competitions, in addition to hosting the annual UC Berkeley Business Competition and Global Social Venture Competition, Haas sends student teams to a number of case competitions around the world that cover many subject areas, and they partially reimburse students for their expenses.

hrishika (Oct 29, 2008 12:12:23 PM)
Craig - Adding to my previous question, what avenues does Haas provide for students to get exposure to practical/international consulting experience?

CraigKlempHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:14:51 PM)
Hi DS - I believe Haas is differentiated from other top b-schools due to its small, diverse and collaborative student body, top research and teaching faculty, and location in the Bay Area, the heart of innovation in the global economy. We also have specific strengths in a number of subject areas, including entrepreneurship, technology, marketing, finance, CSR and non-profit studies.

bikerguy (Oct 29, 2008 12:14:54 PM)
Craig: How has the internship scenario been this year?

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:15:34 PM)
Giovanna, there are many ways you can leverage the CRB programs to gain knowledge and experience. In addition to the courses in CSR, we have a $1.5 million Socially Responsible Investment Fund managed by students; a variety of CSR consulting projects that our students are doing for companies and other organizations, a socially responsible business plan competition, a speaker series, etc. Generally, the certificate programs only encompass specialization areas that are interdisciplinary and cross multiple academic depts. or schools.

GameTheory (Oct 29, 2008 12:15:58 PM)
Peter - Can you please expand on the I-Banking Fellows program? How are students chosen to participate in the program? Additionally, can you please shed some light on the CJ White Fellowships and the selection criteria for those?

CraigKlempHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:18:10 PM)
Hrishika, following up on the consulting question, Haas offers a number of experiential project-based courses to give students hands-on consulting experience. One example is International Business Development. Last year 80 students were sent to countries all over the world in teams of four to offer solutions to real-life business problems. Clients ranged from NGOs to multi-national corporations, and the program was a great opportunity for those students interested in obtaining international business experience. Another example, Social Sector Solutions, pairs student teams with a McKinsey consultant to help Bay Area non-profits solve business problems.

raghuformba (Oct 29, 2008 12:18:14 PM)
Hi Craig, what about Haas attracted you when you were applying?

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:18:40 PM)
Game Theory, students apply for the I-Banking Fellows program during the first semester, generally just after the Career Mgt Conference. They are selected by a committee based on their academic and professional background and the strength of their commitment to I-Banking. Sorry, I neglected to mention the CJ White Program in my earlier answer, which provides scholarships ranging from $10,000 to full tuition for students pursuing careers in financial services, particularly I-Banking. Those are awarded by the Admissions Committee based on the overall strength of the application and commitment to pursuing a career in finance. Most of the CJ White Fellowships are awarded at the point of admission.

bikerguy (Oct 29, 2008 12:18:43 PM)
Pete: Do you expect a surge in applications this year, or a downfall ? What are your expectations with regard to international applications, in particular, since bank loans have dried up, and scholarships money may not be very generous this time?

CraigKlempHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:19:52 PM)
Bikerguy, the current 1st year class won't interview for internship positions until the spring. My class did well with internship placement last year, securing internships with top companies in numerous industries, including finance, consulting, technology, CPG/retail, energy, and social enterprise.

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:21:06 PM)
Bikerguy, I expect a moderate increase in applications this year, and I don't think we'll see much impact on the international pool. Our scholarship fund for students has actually increased this year (and both U.S. and international students receive funds from the same pool). The loan issue may impact the level of diversity in the international applicant pool, as availability of other types of funding varies from country to country, but it's too early to know for sure.

Brent_Amsterdam (Oct 29, 2008 12:21:09 PM)
Peter, Could you please tell me what programs or initiatives Haas has that focus on the area of sustainability consulting? In particular, is Haas associated with any sustainability consulting firms, which a student could intern or work with as part of the study program?

CraigKlempHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:21:39 PM)
Hi Raghuformba. My primary filter for choosing a business school was the people. When I interviewed and visited for the admitted student weekend, I enjoyed the Haas culture. We have a culture of collaboration and student-run initiatives, and I could tell I would want to hang out with my classmates outside of class as well and learn from their many professional achievements. I was also attracted to the small class size, strengths in technology and entrepreneurship, and of course the Bay Area!

Linda Abraham (Oct 29, 2008 12:22:19 PM)
Craig: Has it met your expectations?

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:23:49 PM)
Brent, there are a number of projects in the Center for Responsible Business that address related issues, although there are still very few commercial firms that specifically focus on sustainability issues. We have a joint program with the non-profit division of McKinsey through which our students have done relevant projects (visit our web site and look for "Social Sector Solutions") and sustainability has been a key element in some of the CSR projects our students have completed through the Center for Responsible Business. I would encourage you to visit the CRB website to get additional examples.

GameTheory (Oct 29, 2008 12:23:56 PM)
Peter: Is there any competitive difference between applying in Round 1 vs. Round 2 vs. Round 3?

CraigKlempHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:24:42 PM)
Linda, Haas has met and exceeded my expectations in pretty much every category, including the quality of students and careers services office. Most notably, I have been very impressed with the faculty. Clearly Berkeley faculty has to be top-notch researchers, but I have also found them to be great lecturers and accessible outside of class, certainly more so than my undergraduate experience.

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:24:55 PM)
Game Theory, in past years, the difference between Round 1 and Round 2 has been negligible. Round 3 varies from year to year, but is usually pretty good. The main advice I can give is that you will definitely want to avoid Round 4, as your chances of getting an offer in R4 are limited.

ds (Oct 29, 2008 12:25:07 PM)
Peter: If I have a low GMAT verbal score (English is not my first language), what portion of the application will help remedy this?

cj (Oct 29, 2008 12:25:29 PM)
Craig: my biggest concern with Haas is its relatively small class size. Do most groups find there is a critical mass of students to function well? Are alums given additional career resources to network since Haas' network is not as big as other schools?

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:25:58 PM)
Ds, a strong TOEFL score will help, but if your score is really low, I would encourage you to retake the GMAT.

Hugo_Mexico (Oct 29, 2008 12:26:04 PM)
Peter: Hello and thanks for your time. Following Haas' interest in innovation and entrepreneurship, does it value candidates with an already strong corporate venture capital experience or does Haas prefer candidates that haven't faced these roles in order to teach Haas approach to entrepreneurship?

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:27:03 PM)
Hugo, I would say that we don't have a preference -- we have some students with prior VC experience, which is certainly a plus, but since many of our students are intending to change industries, we don't require it, of course.

Prayag (Oct 29, 2008 12:27:53 PM)
Peter: I read that HAAS conducts classes for Google workers? Is that a simple academic arrangement or is it more of a partnership, with Google contributing back to the HAAS program? Haas' focus on innovation & Google's practical implementation of this concept seems to be a natural bridge between the two.

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:28:37 PM)
Prayag, Google pays for the courses that we are offering, and they are organized through our Center for Executive Education.

GameTheory (Oct 29, 2008 12:28:48 PM)
Peter: How do recruiters view job candidates from Haas? Do you find that there is any negative connotation attached with being a public school? (Haas is the only public school ranked within the top 10 in US News).

CraigKlempHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:29:51 PM)
Hi Cj. To be honest, that was my biggest concern about choosing Haas, but I have found it to be negligible. First, the Haas MBA network is very strong, so these individuals are typically very responsive to requests (I found this when I was asking for consulting informational interviews last spring). Also, offsetting the small class size of the full time Haas MBA program, we have part-time, executive and undergraduate Haas programs, not to mention the greater UC Berkeley network. We have access to all of these individuals through an online database, and the Haas and UC Berkeley names truly span the country & globe. Our alums are also given full lifetime access to the career services office to help with career-related decisions in the future.

hrishika (Oct 29, 2008 12:29:54 PM)
Craig: Given the academic rigor of the MBA program, how many clubs and associations can a student afford to join?

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:31:10 PM)
GT, on the contrary, one reason that we are so highly ranked is a direct result of the input of corporate recruiters, who generally love our students! Some of the themes that we use in our marketing materials ("Confidence without attitude", etc.) are directly taken from the comments of corporate recruiters.

MK (Oct 29, 2008 12:31:26 PM)
Peter: Do you encourage early career applicants to apply? If so, how do you evaluate them?

CraigKlempHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:31:54 PM)
Hrishika, students typically take leadership roles in 2-3 clubs or conferences but often join a range of other clubs. The academic schedule is certainly rigorous, but it tends to ease up a bit in the spring semester, just when students begin to take on their club leadership responsibilities.

stephane88 (Oct 29, 2008 12:32:02 PM)
Hi Craig, how are you doing? Sorry I did not get the chance to meet with you last week when I was at the campus. Are current students having a tough time securing job offers at this moment?

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:32:40 PM)
Mk, we evaluate all candidates in roughly the same manner. It's pretty rare that we offer admission to a candidate with less than two years of post-UG professional experience, however in all cases, we evaluate candidates in the context of what they have done with the opportunities they've had thus far in their career.

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:34:54 PM)
Regarding entrepreneurship, we have the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship in the Haas School, which provides specific entrepreneurship-focused courses, helps to run the Berkeley Business Plan Competition, runs our Mayfield Fellows Program (which places interns with VC firms and VC-funded companies), a business incubator, our entrepreneur in residence program, the monthly entrepreneur's forum, etc. Visit our web site for details about all of these programs.

CraigKlempHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:35:12 PM)
Hi Stephane, obviously it's a more difficult year than the preceding years. That said, we are seeing most of the same recruiters on campus (in addition to some new recruiters). I think the finance industry is cutting back, again no surprise, but I'm not seeing major shifts in most of the other industries that recruit at b-schools.

Brent_Amsterdam (Oct 29, 2008 12:35:16 PM)
Craig: Could you give us an idea of how much of the study is focused on the case study vs. other teaching methods? How does the curriculum approach theory vs. practical application?

New_App (Oct 29, 2008 12:35:21 PM)
Peter: We are required to send official GMAT reports. How can I know that Haas indeed received my envelope with the scores (from GMAC)?

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:36:01 PM)
NewApp, we actually receive them electronically, and you don't need to worry unless we contact you to say that we haven't received official scores.

Hugo_Mexico (Oct 29, 2008 12:36:03 PM)
Peter: Hello and thanks for your time. How does Haas help prepare students interested in a career in entrepreneurship and corporate venture capital?

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:37:45 PM)
Hugo, many of the skills and theories taught in the entrepreneurship program are of equal value to individuals who are developing programs and products within an organization. Our Haas@Work program is particularly focused on innovative solutions to business problems within an organization, including opportunities to be part of the implementation of an innovative idea within a company.

ds (Oct 29, 2008 12:37:49 PM)
Pete: About your short essay “If you could change one thing you've done in your life, what would it be, and how would you do it differently?”, I'm torn between using career examples to answer the essay questions or personal experiences. Do you have a preference?

CraigKlempHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:37:59 PM)
Brent, the teaching methods include cases, lectures, group projects and experiential learning opportunities, not just across classes but even within individual classes. For example, the core finance class, while heavily lecture-based, also included a couple of cases and group projects. For the most part, I've found that professors focus on practical applications to supplement the theoretical aspects of their subjects. The project-based courses that I referred to earlier are great examples of practical learning methods.

SteveL (Oct 29, 2008 12:38:02 PM)
Craig: You have twice mentioned the small class size, can you clarify approximately how many students are in a class? Why do you find this better than having a larger class?

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:38:12 PM)
Ds, not really--use the example that you feel best communicates your approach.

ManishC (Oct 29, 2008 12:38:19 PM)
Peter: What are the expectations of increase in number of applications this year? Is it going to make admission tougher as compared to earlier years?

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:39:23 PM)
Manish, I expect applications to increase moderately this year. Although it may make admission more difficult from a purely statistical standpoint, the quality of the applications submitted drives competition much more than the quantity.

Dhruv (Oct 29, 2008 12:39:27 PM)
Pete: What other options do international applicants have if they fail to find a co-signer?

CraigKlempHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:40:01 PM)
Steve, the class size is approximately 240 students, one of the smallest of the top-tier programs. I personally like this because I have really gotten the chance to get to know my entire class, not just my cohort. There is a trade-off in the small versus large class debate, but in the end, I wanted to come away from business school with great friends in addition to a professional network.

Dhruv (Oct 29, 2008 12:40:04 PM)
Craig, how has the classroom experience been? How do you find the professors at Haas? Any particular professor whom you were very impressed by and why? I have heard a lot about Prof Jonathan Berk's corporate finance class. Could you let me know a bit more about him if you have attended his class?

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:40:50 PM)
Dhruv, unless they receive scholarship or grant money from Haas, the other option is to be entirely self-funded. Although we assist students as much as possible, the primary responsibility for funding studies lies with the student.

New_App (Oct 29, 2008 12:40:54 PM)
Peter -  As a graduate of non-US institution, I am required to provide my official grades transcript as well as my degree certification (and official English translation of both). My university does not issue degree certification in English, but instead can issue grade transcripts where it is written "Degree completed on XXX" and "Overall grade YYY" - will that suffice? Is there a deadline by when the transcripts should arrive at Haas?

CraigKlempHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:41:34 PM)
Hi Dhruv, please refer to my earlier postings about the Haas faculty in general. I have not taken a class from Professor Berk so I can't comment on him specifically, but  I've had a number of other amazing teachers, including Professors Udpa, Raube, Glazer and Taylor.

raghuformba (Oct 29, 2008 12:41:42 PM)
Hi Craig, Whenever I talk to anyone,  the Management of Technology Program is a center piece of their Haas experience. Can you comment on your MOT experience?

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:41:53 PM)
New_App, without knowing more about the specific country, I can't answer your first question. As for deadlines, your materials should arrive on or before the deadline date for the Round for which you are applying.

vids (Oct 29, 2008 12:42:05 PM)
Peter: I would like a little more information on the degree certificate. Who would attest it? Will a notary do?

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:42:58 PM)
Vids, no--it generally has to be the institution that issued it. in a few cases, it may be the consulate. See our web site under application requirements for details.
hrishika (Oct 29, 2008 12:43:01 PM)
Craig: You've mentioned that you're actually looking towards a shift to consulting. What are the subjects and electives that you recommend at Haas for a student interested in pursuing a consulting career straight from school?

Giovanna_Brazil (Oct 29, 2008 12:43:04 PM)
Thank you, Peter! I have another question regarding admissions criteria. How does the Adcom see lack of volunteering or participation in clubs/organizations? Do you balance it with full-time employment and long work schedules? Would it be a large detriment for an applicant? How else could an applicant show that he is willing to be part and contribute to the Haas Community?

CraigKlempHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:43:49 PM)
Raghuformba, I'm not a member of the MOT program, but please refer to the following link to learn more! http://mot.berkeley.edu/ .

Sonny (Oct 29, 2008 12:43:56 PM)
Craig: How does the school emphasize "Leading through Innovation"?

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:44:17 PM)
Giovanna, we always evaluate this element of the application in the context of the opportunities available to the student, which are certainly influenced by the type of work, the country, etc. For some candidates, their level of involvement as an undergraduate provides some clues as well.

cj (Oct 29, 2008 12:44:22 PM)
Peter: How does Haas view candidates with 2-3 years work experience upon matriculation? What percent of those admitted would be considered early career candidates (those with less than 3 years work experience)?

CraigKlempHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:45:27 PM)
Hrishika, I recommend building your business fundamentals to prepare for consulting, specifically accounting, corporate finance and strategy classes. Since I have prior finance/accounting experience, I've focused on strategy and marketing electives. The project-based courses that I referred to earlier also provide good preparation.

Brent_Amsterdam (Oct 29, 2008 12:45:31 PM)
Craig, could you please tell us what you think are some of the weaknesses of the Haas program, if any? Where is there room for improvement?

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:45:33 PM)
Cj, we don't use the term "early career candidates", but programs that do are usually talking about applicants with one year or less. Again, about 10% of our admits each year have less than 3 years of work experience, but 0% have less than 1 year.

ManishC (Oct 29, 2008 12:45:36 PM)
Peter: I have a question about the campus visit. How important it is for the application? Suppose, someone could not pay a visit to the campus but have talked to alumni and attended career fairs -- would that be enough?

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:46:48 PM)
Manish, visiting campus is important for candidates before they reach a decision about where to attend, but it has no impact on the application process. The important element for the application is to be able to show that you really understand why the Berkeley program might be a good option for you personally and professionally.

GameTheory (Oct 29, 2008 12:47:23 PM)
Peter - If you cannot get a recommendation from a direct supervisor, is it acceptable to have recommendations from 2 other executives at your company with whom you have worked closely? Is it considered negatively if an application does not have a recommendation from a direct supervisor or is this viewed with indifference?

CraigKlempHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:47:28 PM)
Sonny, the Leading Through Innovation brand manifests itself in both the curriculum and extracurriculars. The core class structure includes a Leadership class that allows students to assess their individual leadership traits as compared to well-known leaders in the business world. Haas@Work is an LTI program that matches student teams with innovative companies, including Disney, Hotwire and SunPower to solve business problems in return for course credit (and networking opportunities).

mayank (Oct 29, 2008 12:47:32 PM)
Hello Craig, can you tell us a little about the Peers@Haas program? I find the concept to be very interesting that your peers will help you improve, but it sounds kind of difficult to imagine how it works.. The website doesn't offer much info on this. As you are a current student, it would be good to know about your personal experiences with this program.

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:48:35 PM)
GT, yes, it is acceptable, but you will want to explain why you made this choice and whom you have chosen. If you do that, it is unlikely to be perceived negatively.

ManishC (Oct 29, 2008 12:48:39 PM)
Peter: How do you evaluate the engineers' pool? Do you evaluate them based on their geographical location, based on their industry or based on what country they belong to?

CraigKlempHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:49:25 PM)
Hi Mayank, the Peers@Haas program is an extension of the core Leadership class. While I did not personally take advantage of it, my classmates who did found it to be valuable. The objective is to pinpoint a specific leadership behavior that you want to improve. Over the course of the spring, surveys are sent to classmates with whom you've worked either in classes or clubs, and you are given a progress report on how your leadership behavior is changing.

ManishC (Oct 29, 2008 12:49:29 PM)
Craig: What kind of international internship opportunities are typically available for Haas students? Is there any kind of program in Haas that help students in getting international exposure?

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:49:52 PM)
Manish, we look at all candidates (engineers or any other candidates) based on all of those things, industry, professional experience, academic performance, etc). It seems that what you are really asking is whether or not we have quotas by industry or country, and the answer is "no".

PatrickHoyle (Oct 29, 2008 12:49:58 PM)
Peter: One thing I have heard about Haas admissions is that visiting the campus and spending time with students can indirectly improve a candidate's chances for admission. While I assume that Adcoms don't sort applicants into "who has visited" and "who hasn't" piles, do you find that you tend to remember students who have visited when reviewing applications?

CraigKlempHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:51:38 PM)
Manish, please refer to my earlier posting about International Business Development and check out the following link: http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/HaasGlobal/IBDindex.htm . In addition, students are offered the chance to study abroad in the first semester of their second year and can take study trips during winter/spring breaks to different countries, including India, China, Chile and Brazil.

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:51:44 PM)
PatrickHoyle, it may be an indirect benefit because an applicant can speak more clearly to why they would be a good fit and what elements of the Berkeley program are particularly interesting to them. Beyond that, it has little impact. (I will say, however, that if someone lives in CA and has not visited, it calls into question how serious they really are as a candidate).

hrishika (Oct 29, 2008 12:51:51 PM)
Craig: In what ways does the Haas culture contribute to making students better team players?  I'd really like to know about the way you distribute students into cohorts and study groups, and other ways that make Haas students such strong team players.

Vani Punam (Oct 29, 2008 12:52:45 PM)
Hi Pete: Haas' program is known for its focus on technology. I am interested in strategy consulting, and innovation in the field of small business management. What resources does Haas provide, especially for small startup consulting?

CraigKlempHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:53:36 PM)
Hrishika, the MBA program office does a great job of engineering the cohorts and study groups to reflect the full diversity of the class, whether you measure by gender, nationality or professional background. This offers a great opportunity to work with individuals from very different backgrounds, and I found it helpful to have varying functional specialties in our different core classes.

Linda Abraham (Oct 29, 2008 12:53:41 PM)
Craig: 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 return to academia?

CraigKlempHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:55:31 PM)
Linda, I think taking the time to really think about what you want to get out of the two years is a very helpful process. Once school starts, you really hit the ground running, so this reflection prior to school will help once you have to manage your time and prioritize your activities (the biggest challenge of business school). I also highly recommend taking off time prior to school to travel or enjoy your life!

ManishC (Oct 29, 2008 12:55:34 PM)
Craig: Does Haas offer an independent study course?

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:56:26 PM)
Vani, the Berkeley MBA program is a good choice for people wanting to pursue careers in technology industries, but that's just one specialization area. In many graduating classes, more of our students go into finance than technology, and consulting is one of the top three industry areas every year. As for your specific startup consulting goal, I would suggest that some of the offerings in the entrepreneurship program would be helpful, as well as experiential learning opportunities like the International Business Development Program, Haas@Work, and Social Sector Solutions, all of which involve consulting projects.

Brent_Amsterdam (Oct 29, 2008 12:56:28 PM)
Peter, I intend to apply for a dual JD/MBA. The MBA is my priority so I'm working on that application first, but because of time constraints, I may submit my application for JD at Bolt after I'm accepted/enrolled at Haas (during the first year). If I mention my intentions in my MBA application but don't apply for the JD at the same time could this reflect poorly on the acceptance of my MBA application?

CraigKlempHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:57:02 PM)
Manish, Haas is pretty lenient about independent study opportunities. You simply have to approach a professor with an idea. A number of student clubs also offer independent study credits for consulting projects, which a professor will sponsor.

Linda Abraham (Oct 29, 2008 12:57:05 PM)
Craig: How is the Class of 2009 dealing with the downturn in hiring?

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:57:39 PM)
Brent, it wouldn't reflect poorly, but you will want to explain why you are making that choice. It is actually more common for a JD/MBA student to complete L1 and L2 before starting the business part of the curriculum.

ManishC (Oct 29, 2008 12:57:54 PM)
Peter: How is diversity maintained in a given batch? Does the Adcom us some kind of rule to admit certain percentage of students from a given background or the statistics that we see just happen to be a chance?

CraigKlempHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:58:17 PM)
Linda, I think the mood is still positive, given we have until May to find positions. I think the biggest change is seeing more students take their summer internship offers.

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 12:59:42 PM)
Manish, the AdCom does not have any rules or quotas, but we look closely at our offers and acceptances at the end of each round to see where we are and to make sure that we are not going too heavily into a specific industry area. It's quite informal, which is why those breakdowns of students by industries, countries, etc. are different every year.

hrishika (Oct 29, 2008 12:59:54 PM)
Peter: Could you share what is Prof. Isaacs' vision for the MOT program? It is already a pioneer program, but is there a future plan in terms of greater partnerships with Silicon Valley firms, and more contribution from the school in terms of technology innovation?

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 1:02:30 PM)
Hrishika, I'm not really sure how we would go much deeper into our partnerships in the Valley, but I think you'll see more interaction in the future between the MOT and Haas@Work initiatives, and perhaps more of a focus on the broader topic of innovation in the MOT program.

CraigKlempHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 1:02:36 PM)
I have to run to class, but good luck to everyone with applications!

Dhruv (Oct 29, 2008 1:02:39 PM)
Peter: I am currently a working for a non-profit company in the education space, specifically for under-privileged children? What options do I have at Haas to continue such a commitment?

Linda Abraham (Oct 29, 2008 1:02:44 PM)
Thanks Craig!

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 1:05:01 PM)
Dhruv, you might apply to participate in our Board Fellows Program (which places students on the board of directors of a variety of Bay Area non-profit organizations) or participate in our education case conference offered through the NPF program.

Linda Abraham (Oct 29, 2008 1:05:03 PM)
Thank you again all for participating today. Special thanks to Peter & Craig for joining us today.

PeterJohnsonHAAS (Oct 29, 2008 1:05:05 PM)
Thank you all for chatting with us this morning. I also have to run, as I am late for a meeting. The expression "death by meeting" was certainly created for higher education! Good luck with your applications!

Linda Abraham (Oct 29, 2008 1:05:08 PM)
We look forward to seeing you at future chats, and here is a list of the upcoming scheduled chats:

Wharton               November 5th
Kellogg                November 10th
Consortium          November 19th
CMU Tepper        December 4th
If you would like to automatically receive notices about these MBA admissions chats and other MBA admissions events, please subscribe to our MBA event list. Please check our chat schedule for additional details.
Have a very good day! Good luck with your applications!

PatrickHoyle (Oct 29, 2008 1:05:32 PM)
Thanks all!

New_App (Oct 29, 2008 1:05:49 PM)
Peter - can we contact you via mail?

Linda Abraham (Oct 29, 2008 1:06:03 PM)
Try the MBA admissions email for Haas. It's on their website.

New_App (Oct 29, 2008 1:06:07 PM)
Thanks Peter!

ManishC (Oct 29, 2008 1:06:10 PM)
Thanks for all the information.

raghuformba (Oct 29, 2008 1:06:13 PM)
Thanks Peter and Craig!

New_App (Oct 29, 2008 1:06:18 PM)
Thanks for hosting this Linda!

Linda Abraham (Oct 29, 2008 1:06:24 PM)
You're welcome. Good luck!

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