The Yale School of Management recently released its application essays and deadlines for the 2008-2009 admissions season. Our comments are in italics:
Yale SOM Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 22, 2008
Round 2: January 7, 2009
Round 3: March 18. 2009
Yale SOM Application Essays
- Why a Yale MBA?
What is the impact that you wish to have on the world? How will your previous experiences and a Yale MBA enhance your ability, in the short-term and long-term, to pursue a career that will allow you to achieve this impact? (500 words maximum)
(This is very different from last year’s more standard “Why an MBA?” question. Like many other top schools, Yale seems to be moving away from that common question and trying to dig deeper. But don’t reach too far here… Be honest about what impact you see yourself having on the world. Yale does not expect to fill its class with a couple of hundred people who will stop global warming and end famine. Be honest about what you think an MBA will help you achieve, and why this is so. In that respect, this question is still the same as last year’s. We think Yale is simply looking for a more personal introspective bent, beyond just your career goals.)
- Leadership Example
Describe a professional accomplishment that exhibits your leadership style. The accomplishment should include evidence of your leadership skills, a description of the actions you took, as well as the impact you had on your organization. (500 words maximum)
- Personal Statement 1
Choose one of the following topics and answer it in essay form. Please indicate the topic number at the beginning of your essay. (500 words maximum)
(1) A central premise of our teaching about leadership at the Yale School of Management is that true leadership – leadership that helps to address a significant problem in a new way – is necessarily personal. It is only when personal passion aligns with meaningful aspirations that individuals are able to inspire others to act in support of an important goal or cause. What are you most passionate about, and how have you demonstrated a commitment to this passion?
(2) What personal achievement are you most proud of and why?
(3) Describe a situation in which your values were challenged. How did you respond to the situation and what did you learn from it?
(4) A phrase often heard among SOM graduates is that they aspire to lead a life that is an “SOM Story” – that of a broadly engaged, values-based leader who owns and solves hard problems that matter. How will you create your own SOM Story? Describe a situation in which you devised and implemented a creative or innovative solution to a difficult problem. What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
(5) The Yale School of Management is a community of individuals with diverse backgrounds and interests. What unique attributes would you bring to the Class of 2011?
(6) What is the most difficult feedback you have received and how did you address it? Looking forward, what skills are you most eager to build or improve upon in business school?
(7) Required for reapplicants: What steps have you taken to improve your candidacy since your last application?
- Personal Statement 2
Choose one of the topics listed in Essay 3, or create a topic of your own about a subject that is meaningful to you, and answer it in essay form. Please indicate the topic number (or state the topic if it is not one of the ones listed) at the beginning of your essay. (500 words maximum)
(This is reworded from last year’s question, but the substance is very similar. You need to describe a time when your being there made something happen — something that wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for you.)
(Last year Yale asked for a personal statement and let the applicant choose the topic, which they still do this year, in the next question. The fact that they now give you a menu of questions is a strong hint that they’re looking for at least some of the above traits and experiences in your application.)
(You still have this chance to exercise your own creativity. It’s completely fine to use one of the above questions if you don’t have a more interesting topic of your own. Ideally your choice here will allow you to touch on a dimension of your application that you haven’t fully covered with the above questions.)
For more advice on applying to Yale, visit the Veritas Prep Yale SOM information page.