Get to Know: Yale SOM

The Yale School of Management has generated a lot of buzz recently, given its soon-to-open new campus and the school’s hiring of Wonder-Dean Ted Snyder last year. Not surprisingly, we get a lot of inquiries about the school. What does surprise us, though, is how many Yale applicants don’t really know whether the school is good fit for them. We always urge these applicants to go back and do their homework a bit more before they start crafting their applications.

Are you thinking about applying to Yale SOM this year? If so, why? How do you know if it’s really is a good fit for you? More importantly, how do you know the Yale admissions team will think you’re a good fit for the school? Today we present four things that you should know about Yale SOM before you apply:

“Raw Case” Approach
Yale SOM offers a unique version of the popular case method teaching style, known as the “Raw Case” approach to management education. Most case method programs use what are commonly referred to as “cooked” cases (or “closed” cases) that are packaged and synthesized before use. Yale SOM has developed its own set of cases which are housed on a multimedia platform and feature the types of open-ended, “fuzzy” source materials that a professional might encounter while analyzing a problem. Sometimes, the opportunity to tackle a “live” case presents itself, for example, when a high-visibility corporate issue is being actively followed in the media. These cases require students to sift through all the data and information to find what is pertinent and what can be ignored. Distilling information is often one of the most challenging aspects of real-world problem-solving, and Yale SOM attempts to teach students how to jump over this hurdle before diving into an analysis.

Many schools emphasize teamwork and a collaborative culture. Yale is a friendly school where generally, people are trying to help each other succeed. The term of art for this is “coopetition” (SOM Professor Barry Nalebuff even wrote a book on it) and you can find it in action both inside and outside the classroom at Yale.

Required International Experience
First-year students are required to travel to one of several destinations in the world as part of the International Experience Destinations program. (Stanford introduced a similar requirement after Yale launched theirs.) These ten-day trips allow students to study their businesses of interest within another culture and setting. The trip is linked to the spring course State and Society and the year-long Leadership Development Program. This furthers SOM’s long-standing history of maintaining a global perspective.

Most top programs have some level of outreach to underrepresented groups (women, African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans). However, Yale is much more proactive in their diversity initiatives. The new Pre-MBA Leadership program is a fully-sponsored summer session for minority college students, which is designed to introduce them to the MBA experience – and hopefully help them choose Yale when they are ready for their MBA. Yale has also participated in The Consortium, a joint effort among many good schools that offers a streamlined application for minority candidates (though note that Consortium applications have different deadlines, and at Yale, all Consortium candidates are evaluated together, with decisions released for all of them in mid-February).

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