Haas: What Happens If I Don’t Get In?

Reality? Nothing happens. Nothing happens when you get in, either.

Yesterday, hundreds of people received a congratulatory message from the Haas School of Business, yet other hundreds received a not so encouraging one. Some celebrated, others were disappointed.

Whatever was the result of that outcome, or the outcome that is to come, remember that your major does not dictate your career nor your life. If everyone had to be a business major to do consulting or accounting, the corporate world wouldn’t be as diverse as it is today.

If you will soon enter the Haas Class of 2017; congratulations! If you did not, that’s okay. Both of your journeys do not end at this point. Instead, you have to work even harder in order to do what you love.

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Beginning of Another Semester – Regrets and Learnings

In a couple of days, one more semester will start, leading to another semester of accomplishments and mistakes, happiness and sorrows, love and heartbreak. I know I’m looking forward to it! (Not being sarcastic here, I swear)

When the semester ended, I had talked with a couple of freshmen who were anxious and disappointed of how their first semester at Cal turned out. Some didn’t get the grades they wanted. Some decided to switch majors halfway through. Some didn’t find where they belonged.

When I completed my first semester, I pretty much embodied all of these problems. I didn’t meet what I thought would be a “core” group of friends. I thought getting anything below a 4.0 was a terrible GPA (that high school mentality showing). I didn’t really like business or linguistics. I stayed in my dorm a lot, my floor wasn’t social, I didn’t get along with my roommate, and didn’t enjoy my extracurriculars of that semester. I didn’t like what I was doing, didn’t have direction, and didn’t feel like I belonged.

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My Application

Hey everyone! I am sure many of you are out diligently working on those Haas apps right now. As a reminder, they are due on December 1 at 4pm. Make sure you get them in before then, or else they will NOT be considered. More info on Application and Selection for Haas Undergraduates.

As promised, I wanted to talk about my own application as a successful applicant of the Haas School of Business. As a reminder, it consists of 50% grades and coursework, 35% essays, and 15% resume.

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My Extracurriculars and Past Affiliations

Following up with my gigantic list of business clubs, I thought it would only be fitting if I talked about my own experience with extracurriculars. Experiences definitely vary person to person, and if you’re interested in learning more about a particular time of mine, feel free to shoot me an email! In addition, you should definitely ask members about their own experience in their organization, because these are not standardized.

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Social Butterfly: Which Activities?

Just now, I released a comprehensive list of most Berkeley business organizations I could find on the interwebs. It’s quite a long list! Do not feel compelled to participate in all of them. In fact, I would discourage you from doing so. Here are some suggestions in regards to how to pick your battles and make the most out of your extracurriculars.

1. I suggest choosing one or two clubs to be actively involved in, whether it’s in a committee or as a general member. Find a way to participate as much as possible, go to their events, and make connections (both personal and professional) within your sphere. Great things will come to those who are open to others! In addition, I say one or two clubs because anything more than that will tire you out. Feel free to participate in the many events such extracurriculars host, however! There is often very little pressure, and no one really knows you’re not presently a member in that club. It’s always good to keep your options open and hear what others have to say.

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20 Myths about Applying to Haas

There is always a set of assumptions that seem to be pervasive in every applicant’s mind when considering what Haas does and does not accept. Let me tell you something: there’s no set formula. There is no magical amount of internships you need to do, no set GPA, no amount of connections in your non-existent network; nor is there any key position you need to obtain in some business club. There is no perfect candidate. It’s an arbitrary process. In fact, there is literally no key to getting into Haas. Here are some myths, debunked, when you’re thinking about applying to Haas as an undergraduate.

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The Key to Get Into Haas

This article will tell you the key to get into Haas. Well guess what. There’s no key. No magical formula, no perfect applicant. Nothing. Sorry to disappoint you.

In the Haas admissions criteria, it states that successful candidates exhibit:

  • Academic achievement and promise (including grades, course load, consistency of academic performance, and performance in key prerequisites, such as principles of business, math, economics, and statistics)
  • Accomplishments in extracurricular activities
  • Personal attributes and life experience suggesting leadership, maturity, ethical character, teamwork, and goal orientation
  • Communication and analytical skills, as demonstrated by responses to the essay questions
  • Interest in being an active member of the Haas community

In addition,

[…] the goal of the admissions review process is not only to evaluate an applicant’s ability to handle the academic rigor, but also to identify those who demonstrate a solid fit with our program. The Haas Undergraduate Program has a distinct culture and we seek applicants who represent the School’s Four Defining Principles: Question the Status Quo, Confidence without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself. 

That’s easy, right? At least Haas gives you what they’re looking for.

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