This post is marked as OLD. The advice provided is still sound; Haas cares a lot about career goals and that's not going to change. For a list of their current essay questions and a discussion of where they're at today, check out our UC-Berkeley Haas page here on the blahg.
We haven’t done an essay critique in some time, and we’ve got a pretty good career goals essay that came through a few weeks back for Haas. The Haas career essay is a voluminous 1,000 words so we’re not posting the whole thing. We’ll give you just the first few paragraphs and then say what…
Here's what others have said about this:
@EsaySnark: Is it a bad idea to state a career goal which is the most common goal stated by applicants in my pool, which happens to be a highly subscribed pool.
@ccatcher, not necessarily. If it's a common goal, then that means bschools admit a lot of BSers with that goal. A standard goal is often easier to gain admission with than one that requires a lot of explaining. That being said, for most schools, the more specific you can be with your goals, the better – that's one very easy way to differentiate yourself, is by having a very detailed and precise set of goals. This helps the adcom buy into your plans since they seem more "real" if you have thought them through to such a degree.
Thanks ES. Got another question.
Is it true that one is supposed to waive the rights to view the recommendations? I never gave much thought to this earlier and didn't waive my rights.
This is not a rule, but strategically yes, it's a good idea to waive your rights to view it. It shows you have complete confidence in anything your recommenders say. This doesn't make or break an application but it is standard advice.