Haas MBA Recommendation

I Letter of Recommendation
II Notbale Recommendation Questions
III Assessment Grid

You can download a PDF of the exact form your recommender will see below.

Download Berkeley Haas MBA Recommendation Questions 2016-17

This recommendation form is for the Berkeley Haas MBA 2016-17 application season. Generally speaking recommendation forms do not change from year to year so it’s a safe bet to assume that the same recommendation form will be used during the 2017-18 application season. When the 2017-18 application goes live (summer 2017) the download file and this page will be updated.

Berkeley Haas requires that MBA applicants submit two recommendations. Your recommenders will need to copy and paste his/her answers to the recommendation questions directly into Haas’s online form.

Submit two recommendations from people who can speak directly about your senior management potential, as well as your aptitude and capabilities for graduate study. For the Full-time MBA Program, the Admissions Committee strongly prefers professional recommendations from current or former supervisors. Academic and peer recommendations are strongly discouraged.
We are looking for people who can provide detailed examples of your professional experience, leadership potential, your strengths, weaknesses and what you would bring to our business school program. The title of your recommender is far less important than the quality and content they’re going to provide. We prefer that your recommender fill out our form. Your recommender may ask, ‘Can I just write one long essay?’ While certainly that is an option, we do ask our questions for a reason and we hope that in giving your recommenders enough time to prepare, they’ll be able to address all of those questions.
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Before you ask someone for a recommendation it’s best to understand what types of questions the school will put to them. Asking the CEO of your company for a recommendation may be tempting, but will he/she be able to convincingly convey your strengths and weaknesses to the Berkeley Haas Admissions Committee? The best recommenders are those that have observed you interacting with others on a regular basis.

After you input your recommender’s name and email inside the Berkeley Haas application, he/she will receive an email directing him/her to Haas’s online recommendation form.

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I Berkeley Haas MBA Letter of Recommendation

Please write an assessment of the applicant that addresses all the prompts below. We are looking for your candid and accurate assessment of the applicant’s potential to be a successful leader and what specific traits the applicant possesses that evidence this potential. Please be as specific as possible and use concrete examples where applicable. Do not incorporate anything drafted by the candidate in your recommendation or have the candidate submit the recommendation on your behalf.

Rather than upload a document, Haas asks recommenders to copy and paste their letter/answers directly into the online application form. There is no word limit.

  1. Please provide a brief description of your interaction with the applicant and, if applicable, the applicant’s role in your organization. (no word limit)

  2. How does the candidate’s performance compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples (E.g. what are the applicant’s principal strengths?) (no word limit)

  3. Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (no word limit)

  4. In the Berkeley MBA program, we develop leaders who embody our distinctive culture’s four key principles http://mba.haas.berkeley.edu/community/culture.html one of which is “confidence without attitude” or “confidence with humility”. Please comment on how the applicant reflects this Berkeley-Haas value. (no word limit)

  5. (optional) Is there anything else we should know? (no word limit)


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II Notable Berkeley Haas MBA Recommendation Questions

Aside from the typical questions Haas asks recommenders (Name, Address, Phone etc.) here are some notable short answer questions you should be aware of.

  • If you are a Berkeley-Haas alum, please let us know from which program and year you graduated.
  • To what degree do you recommend this applicant be admitted to the Berkeley Full-time MBA Program?
    • Enthusiastically recommend
    • Recommend
    • Recommend with reservations
    • Do not recommend
  • I certify that this recommendation was written entirely by me using my own words. The applicant was not involved in crafting any portion of this written recommendation. Yes/No


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III Berkeley Haas MBA Recommendation Assessment Grid

Please give us your appraisal of the applicant in terms of the traits listed below. Compare the applicant with others whom you know have applied to business school or with individuals who are being groomed for leadership positions within your organization. It should be extremely rare for any candidate to receive truly exceptional in all areas.

The Haas assessment grid includes a number of qualities. Recommenders are asked to rate the applicant using one of the following five responses:

  • Truly Exceptional (top 1%)
  • Superior (top 5%)
  • Very Good (top 10%)
  • Good (top 25%)
  • Average (top 50%)
  • Below Average (below 50%)
  • No opportunity to observe

The Qualities in the assessment grid are as follows:

  • Self-confidence
  • Communication skills
  • Self-awareness
  • Maturity
  • Open to different viewpoints
  • Empathy
  • Ability to influence without authority
  • Ability to accept constructive feedback
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Analytical ability
  • Quantitative ability
  • Ability to question the status quo
  • Initiative
  • Adaptability
  • Resilience
  • Personal integrity/ethics
  • Relationship-building skills
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