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Haas School of Business


Q) At Berkeley Haas, we are redefining leadership. We value different opinions and perspectives, recognizing that we always have more to learn about others’ lived experiences and histories. We encourage speaking up and listening, and courageously use our power to address barriers and drive change for positive impact.  Tell us how a Berkeley Haas MBA would enhance your leadership profile, incorporating specific examples (300 words max)

Perspective-Based Leadership


Haas MBA students selected for the IBD (International Business Development) consulting engagement, apart from sharing, the touristy getaways, share a poignant observation – while discussing about the client and their customers from thousands of miles away, they lacked the perspective on the ground realities. The statistics were too impersonal. When they reached on-site, the real-challenges for enterprises to overcome infrastructural limitations and price-sensitivity became apparent. The wealthy markets were most post-MBA employers operate is in stark contrast to the non-profit engagements in developing economy. The obvious question is, how does it improve your leadership profile?
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Q) At Berkeley Haas, we are redefining leadership. We value different opinions and perspectives, recognizing that we always have more to learn about others’ lived experiences and histories. We encourage speaking up and listening, and courageously use our power to address barriers and drive change for positive impact.  Tell us how a Berkeley Haas MBA would enhance your leadership profile, incorporating specific examples (300 words max)

Need-Based Leadership


Fast Moving Consumer goods manufacturers like Unilever and P&G struggled to find a market in developing economies with traditional American and European-themed promotional strategies. Poking the aspirational class with the hope of a better future or the sparkling smile of the celebrity didn’t help the market share. On the verge of giving up the drive to enter rural markets that represents the lion share in developing economies’, the executives called on ‘MBA’ consultants, many from reputed universities for solutions.


The initial recommendations skirted the familiar path. Focus on the color of the packaging or let celebrities with local recall promote the brands. Exhausting all the traditional placement and marketing strategy, student MBAs visited the shops to witness how local products are sold. While on an...

Q) At Berkeley Haas, we are redefining leadership. We value different opinions and perspectives, recognizing that we always have more to learn about others’ lived experiences and histories. We encourage speaking up and listening, and courageously use our power to address barriers and drive change for positive impact.

Tell us how a Berkeley Haas MBA would enhance your leadership profile, incorporating specific examples (300 words max)

Within the democratic form of leadership, three narratives that work are trust-based, need-based and perspective-based leadership

Trust-Based Leadership

If you look at early human’s incapability to rise from individual labor to collective wealth, it is from one debilitating flaw – lack of trust.
Communities that traded with their close kin were limited by geography. When catastrophe hit, traders with a wider network, found refuge in foreign lands and survived to pass on the genes that we all possess.

Trust became a fundamental virtue on which trade and institutions like the government flourished.

The problems that we solve now is beyond the essentials of food, clothing, and shelter but involve saving the world, changing energy sources, or inventing a new currency.

In such demanding circumstances, trust-based leadership is a virtue that...


At Berkeley Haas, we are redefining leadership. We value different opinions and perspectives, recognizing that we always have more to learn about others’ lived experiences and histories. We encourage speaking up and listening, and courageously use our power to address barriers and drive change for positive impact.

Tell us how a Berkeley Haas MBA would enhance your leadership profile, incorporating specific examples (300 words max)

We have captured three types of leadership in the essay guide – authoritative, delegative and democratic, with our preference for the delegative style of leadership, as it provides complete ownership to the team members and allows them to grow as an individual and leader through collaboration, failures, and new challenges.

However, for Berkeley-Haas, a theme consistent across the current class and alumni is a process of combining data-driven decision making with a practice of seeking insights from the entire team, before reaching a conclusion. For the ‘Haas enhance leadership profile’ essay, you must think about instances where a similar style of leadership bore fruit.

Before we go into the three types of democratic leadership, let us investigate the learning experiences at Haas that contribute directly in enhancing your Leadership profile. It is...


In this example, we look at an aviation enthusiast, who quotes flying as the activity that makes her alive. By connecting the germ of her interest to a childhood experience, she quickly explains the motivation for flying.

She narrates her transition from someone who is obsessed with personal milestones to someone who wants to see her contribution marked in history books. AI and Healthcare diagnosis became a channel for her obsession in fulfilling her ambition. The concluding paragraphs are her narrative on what makes her alive as a Product Developer for <y> - a healthcare diagnostics company.

Sample Haas What Makes you feel Alive (Flying and AI in Healthcare)(299 Words)

Essay #1: What makes you feel alive when you are doing it, and why? (300 words maximum)

Getting ready to challenge the laws of physics, and controlling a machine through the uncertainty of troposphere makes me feel alive. My earliest memory as a child is a field trip to the Buckley Air Force Base where my Dad, a military pilot, showed me the massive panels of the 777 cockpit – an assortation of switches, gauges, and buttons that always remained in my memory as an otherworldly image.

What...


In this example, we look at an applicant who was always drawn to design. His mother's clothing brand and father's book cover design, naturally build the curiosity in the profession. He took it a step further and helped governments and tech giants find the optimum results through design. The transition is towards a start-up he founded with a friend, tackling design in solar-panels and wind turbines.

Sample Haas What Makes you feel Alive (Design as a tool for Change) (294 Words)

Essay #1: What makes you feel alive when you are doing it, and why? (300 words maximum)

Figuring out the shortest path from the villages to the suburbs of Mumbai for the <x> pipeline project, to designing the shortest interactions before food is delivered to your doorsteps, I have been fortunate to engage with the Government of Maharashtra and also present my understanding of user resistance to the team at Uber. What makes me feel alive is when my designs could maximize the efficiency of routine interactions and projects.

Watching my mother reinvent the traditional ‘churidar’ with Victorian-era design and sitting with my father as he re-designed...

In this example, the applicant takes the admission team to his childhood when, as a 4-year old, he was responsible for looking after his twin sisters. The routine of pacifying her sisters and rationing the quesadilla became the early responsibility that led him to a path of Entrepreneurship.


The narrative transitions to his most passionate skill that makes him feel alive – ‘selling.’ The passion is shared with an example of how he attracted patrons to his uncle’s restaurant with storytelling on creating the best Burrito.


The concluding paragraphs demonstrate how the applicant is leveraging his ‘unique’ skill to address the struggle of low-income immigrant families in the US by building a network of donors for the start-up.

Sample Haas What Makes you feel Alive (Start-up in Cryptocurrency) (294 Words)

Starting the day with memorizing the photo of the mailman, plumber, and other essential handymen was a ritual that I was used to as a 4-year old. I was in charge of my 2-year old twin sisters. With two shifts and as a single parent, my mother was helpless. Finding small hacks on stopping my sisters cry, to rationing Quesadilla, I grew up...




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