Thursday, December 10, 2009

All about Haas

9pm PST, Nov 10, 3 hours before Haas R2 deadline, application submitted!

After some 3 weeks of unfocused essay writing, I finally finished the 7 essays of Haas application. Reading through the essays for the last time, I have to say I actually quite like how they all turned out. I think I am slowly getting a hand of tailoring stories to fit a particular school's essay questions and tweaking them to reflect its culture. However, Haas' large number of short answer and essay questions did give me quite a headache, especially when I am distracted by R1 decisions. One word of advice, folks, 250 short answer questions are as hard as those long essays. It can be even harder sometimes because you really need to be super concise in telling your message. So do plan enough time for those. The total word count (including optional essay) for the 7 essays is 3,000, definitely on the high end of the MBA application spectra.

I want to spend a little bit of time reflecting on what I learned about Haas and also fill in on my Haas trip which I promised to write about. The more I learned about Haas, the more I like the school. Partially because it has a truly collaborative culture, but mostly because of the school's philosophy on "leading through innovation". I highly recommend listening to Dean Rich Lyons' Podcast on this concept. I truly believe that it's what Haas is really about, aside from located in the natural brewing ground for innovation and all the entrepreneurial hype about the school.

My visit to Haas was quite pleasant, although I did not have too much time to interact with students. The 1st day of my visit I sat in a 4pm class on Creativity and Innovation during which I witnessed a lively discussion on the case of Google. I was quite impressed by the level of class participation, given that it's an elective class (mostly 2nd years) and it was the last case of the semester. Nobody really reached out to me in the class though as I sat in the back corner of the classroom, which I did not blame them given the stressful final time. If I am a busy 2nd year student stressed out about finals, I would probably not notice the quiet perspective student sitting in the back neither. The 2nd day I went back to the school to meet a student ambassador for lunch and the info session. The 1st year student who sat on a long table with a group of us in the faculty club was very honest with us about his Haas experience. He actually had a lot of good thing to say about Haas, and told us what he wanted to see improved as well. The thing that stuck with me most was he really appreciated how diverse students are in terms of career goals. That's my impression of the school as well comparing to some of the top schools I visited on the East Coast. The West is still the wild west, where anything can happen and dreams are being chased. And now you tell me why I like Haas :)

A side note, if you want to get more out of your Haas visit, I suggest attend one of the diversity events. I went to a one day Women's conference in 2006, definitely got more chances to interact with students. Class visit as I figured, can be a hit or miss. And you should never judge the school's academic environment/culture on ONE class visit. (for example, the worst class I sat in was at Wharton...and it possibly can be the worst class at Wharton...according to current students.)

Just a quick update on my status. I still haven't heard a word from Kellogg or MIT. I did have a false alarm today missing a withheld call with voice mail. Turned out it was my eye the waiting game continues....gotta take a small break this weekend, and then back to the last leg of the application process, Stanford and HBS apps! and more nerve wrecking decision waiting time~ wish me luck! :)

and of course, good luck to all my readers and fellow MBA bloggers (google analytics tells me I am getting some 20 new visitors everyday! thanks to Linda's feature in and other blogger links!)


  1. Thanks for the update, and good luck to you! Sounds like you're on the right track.

    Sarah Pritzker

  2. Hi Dream Chaser,

    We'd like to invite you to become a judge for our 3rd Annual Beautiful B-School photo contest. For more details, please email onlinesupport(at)accepted(dot)com.


    ~Miriam Berlin