Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Haas (UC Berkeley) interview and visit

I was waitlisted in R1 at Haas (UC Berkeley). All waitlisted applicants have an option to "enhance" their application, whether by seeking additional recommendation letters, re-taking the GMATs, submitting additional statements, etc. Another option is to have an interview, which is an opportunity I jumped on since I wanted to visit Haas anyway.

I scheduled an interview on campus for Monday morning. I arrived with about 45 minutes to spare, and spent the time going through my notes over a coffee in a Haas cafe, Fifo. I made my way to the admissions office ten minutes before the interview, and settled in waiting to be called.

Since the interview was scheduled on campus, I was expecting to be interviewed by an Admissions rep. I was a bit surprised when a student sitting in the chair next to me got up on the hour and headed my way to introduce herself. Lauren was really friendly, and she almost immediately mentioned that she is an alumna of my current company, so I felt at ease right away. We found a room, settled in, and began the conversation.

The questions were exactly the kind that you would expect from an MBA interview:
-Why MBA?
-Why Haas?
-Tell me about a time you had to act on someone's feedback
-What are you most proud of?
(at this point, I mentioned that I moved to the States when I was 14, and I was very proud of how much I have achieved so far)
-As a follow up to the story, what was it that allowed you to succeed at that?
-Tell me about a time you had to deal with a difficult situation on a team
-Tell me about a time you took a risk
-Tell me about one thing that is not on your resume

Overall, the interview felt very conversational and not at all stressful. I am sure it did help that after my MIT Sloan interview a month earlier, I replayed the interview in my head over and over again, analyzing everything I said, so I was well prepared for the questions. And of course, having an MIT Sloan acceptance in the pocket was a huge confidence booster.

As far as advice goes, I cannot stress enough doing your research. Using specific examples (i.e., the Experimental learning project in Zambia sounds really interesting because...) will make the conversation standout, as opposed to a generic "Haas has interesting classes." And last, but not least - be yourself!


  1. I just ran across your blog today. Congratulations on getting accepted to MIT Sloan. I'm planning on applying to business school in the near future. And so reading about your experiences has inspired me.Did you get to hear from HAAS?

    I've been reading lots of MBA blogs recently and have a suggestion for how this blog can reach to many other needful B-school applicants. Beat The GMAT, which is a very active GMAT/MBA site, recently launched a blog directory ( to promote MBA blogs. If you add your blog to their blog directory, a lot more people like me will find your blog!

    Please keep posting great stuff!


  2. Hi

    Thanks for your wonderful excerpt. We are collecting such insightful commentaries on B School interviews at

    We have posted your entry there too. Please add on to that if you feel like.

    Its completely done to help B School applicants.

  3. Congrats on Sloan! Is there a way I can contact you via email? Let me know. Thanks!