Saturday, 29 September, 2012

Book Review: Clear Admit School Guide – Haas School of Business

I just finished the Clear Admit School Guide on Haas School of Business. I would like to thank Melanie from Clear Admit for giving me a complimentary copy of the guide and it has been a great experience reading this book especially given that I am running short on time for researching b-schools.
The guide covered almost everything that I would have wanted to know about Haas from an applicant’s perspective. The guide begins with program highlights which describes the most distinct features of the MBA program at Haas. I mean to say, as an applicant myself, whenever I consider a school I ask the question, “What are the most special things about the program”? The Clear Admit guide starts right with that note so that one can further do deeper research and ask more insightful and meaningful questions to current students/alumni while researching the school.
One notable feature of the guide is its comparison of key statistics (like Class Size, regional and industry-wise employment, class composition) with other comparable schools which in my opinion offers a sneak peek in to the other comparable programs too, if you have not thought of them previously (so much for the value added service here). The student demographic section discusses everything, from GPA, GMAT, Undergrad majors to Minority representation, International composition, and average work experience.
The section on Academics is simply great. It even tells the durations during which the school is closed i.e. no classes. Curriculum details are highlighted in their very minutest details with content descriptions about Pre-Term, Orientation, and Core Curriculum, Class structure, Electives and related guidelines. The curriculum comparison offers great insights into comparable MBA programs in terms of flexibility of the curriculum at Haas. Haas’s emphasis on Entrepreneurship and Innovation provides enormous opportunities for students interested in this area and details of all such resources are given in a special section dedicated to this topic.
For an international applicant like me for whom visiting the campus does not seem a feasible option, the section on Life at Haas offers great insights into the Infrastructure at Haas, City life, Life in San Francisco and Housing options. Personally, I’ve found that getting information on these topics is generally difficult and hence the guide is an excellent resource for this.
Among other things, Clubs and Professional activities section details various interesting conferences and competitions that happen on the campus. The Careers section titled is simply awesome. It has every detail of the entire recruiting process – timelines, school guidelines to companies etc. From an applicant’s perspective, now I know what I have to look forward to if I happen to secure an admit at Haas.
The guide also contains detailed Admissions section covering every detail of the admissions process like application requirements and Financing the MBA. As a final value addition, the guide concludes with essay analysis for the essays for current application cycle and an interview with the Director of Admissions at the Haas School of Business.
Bottom-line: If you have just thought of an MBA and are falling short of time to research schools, just go for this. While most of the information in the guide is available across thousands of forums and blogs over the web, researching through all of this is a very cumbersome process. The guide does an excellent job in consolidating all the info at one place. Now, if you are in the advanced stages of business school research, the guide may still offer some great insights, especially in terms of comparison of key statistics across similar schools. Personally, I also feel that some sections offer very interesting insights into the program and its constituents which may build a base for further deeper research to understand these components. It should make a case for asking more meaningful and insightful questions to alumni/current students/admissions office rather than general questions.
Coming up next are my experiences from the Yale SOM Bangalore Info Session..Stay Connected..!!!

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