The first step in writing a compelling admissions essay for Berkeley Haas is reading, and reading into the program’s “Defining Principles.”
The second step is remaining mindful of “overlap”.
Ideally, candidates should want the experiences, character traits, and underlying values presented in their essays to overlap with the HAAS culture to illustrate a fit with the school. However, we often find that applicants approach Essay 1 and Essay 2 in much the same way, resulting in one blatant accomplishment essay, (which the school is asking for in Essay 2) and one thinly veiled accomplishment for Essay 1 (which irks the hell out of admissions committee readers – not to mention the fact that it becomes a missed opportunity for illustrating the healthy self-awareness critical to any “transformative” experience.
Fortunately, Berkeley Haas provides more tangible instructions for Essay 3 and even tosses the applicant a bone by asking them to compare themselves to others while waxing poetic about their career objectives.