It has been brought to my attention that the essay word counter on the Haas application for admission to Fall 2012 full-time MBA program is TOTALLY F%C&ED. I suggest ignoring said word counter and letting common sense be your guide.
Unlike schools that allow for simple document upload, Haas has form for pasting in essays.
Unfortunately the word counter in the online essay form does the following:
1. Counts contractions as 2 words, so "I've" is now 2 words.
2. Counts possessives as 2 words, so "Adam's" is now 2 words.
3. Counts hyphenated words as 2 words, so "long-term" is now 2 words.
4. Counts numbers with commas as multiple words, so 10,000 is now 2 words and 156,895,123 is now 3 words.
I don't think applicants need to stress so much about this issue because of the Berkeley FAQ on word count:
The word count limits for the essays are established so we can see how well you can express your thoughts, points, and ideas concisely and effectively. Please try to stay within the word limits as much as possible. It is acceptable for an essay to be a few words over the limit. However, if an essay goes substantially over the word limit it could be detrimental to your application.
Still, this is totally lame.
Clearly their lame ass application causes all sorts of problems for applicants because they have this FAQ as well:
You may cut and paste formatted text into the Berkeley-Haas application. However, please note that the format of your responses may change. This happens because different web browsers and word processing applications all behave a little differently and interact adversely at times with our online application. Please consider these best practices:
- Type directly. When possible, type a response directly into the application and format using the online tools.
- Strip formatting before pasting. Do not copy and paste directly from a word processor (i.e. Word 2010, Outlook 2010) into the online application. First, copy and paste the response into Notepad (PC) or Textedit (mac) and from there into the Berkeley-Haas application. Your formatting will be removed but your text will all be preserved in the proper order. Rebuild your formatting, adding bullets, bold, etc., using the application tools.
This is the kind of stupid customer-unfriendly thinking that only a quasi-government bureaucrat, an employee of Haas, could think of. Instead of designing a form that is user-friendly and compatible with de facto standards for word processing, all Haas applicants should use some workaround because Haas can't be bothered to make an application form that is easy to use.
Can't such an "innovative" "close to Silicon Valley school" as Haas get a word counter on the application that does not violate the laws of common sense? Of course, the easy workaround would be either to eliminate said word counter or to allow for uploading of files like most other schools. I guess this all part of what makes Haas a special place. Maybe some future member of the Class of 2014 can fix this.
I am a graduate admissions consultant who works with clients worldwide. If you would like to arrange an initial consultation, please complete my intake form. Please don't email me any essays, other admissions consultant's intake forms, your life story, or any long email asking for a written profile assessment. The only profiles I assess are those with people who I offer initial consultations to. Please note that initial consultations are not offered when I have reached full capacity or when I determine that I am not a good fit with an applicant.