Category Archives: Yale

Yale SOM Admissions Essays for 2012-2013

The Yale School of Management has released its MBA application essays and deadlines for the Class of 2015. Continuing the trend we’ve seen emerge among top business schools over the past month, Yale has changed a lot this year. However, in Yale’s case, once you dig down a bit deeper you realize that Yale is still mostly looking for the same attributes in its applicants this year.

Here are Yale’s essays for the coming year, followed by our comments in italics:

Yale SOM Application Essays

  1. What prompted your decision to get an MBA? When did you realize that this was a step you wanted –- or needed -– to take? (150 words)

    This may be the most specific example of the “Why an MBA?” question we’ve ever seen. (Last year, a similar question read, “Why are you choosing to pursue an MBA and why now?”) It still is definitely the “Why an MBA?” question, but the emphasis on “When did you realize you needed an MBA?” is an interesting wrinkle that we haven’t seen much before. Obviously, this is a very short essay. They’re not looking for a novel, but rather a brief headline as to why you’re taking this potentially huge step now. There’s no right answer here… You don’t need to start with, “Ever since I was 15 I knew I wanted a Yale MBA.” (No one would believe it!) The admissions committee just wants to understand where you’re coming from, make sure that you’re being realistic, and know that this is more than a snap decision on your part. (Bye the way, this paragraph is exactly 150 words, not including this sentence!)
  2. Describe a difficult professional decision you had to make. What were the consequences, and what, if anything, did you learn? Would you make the same decision again? (300 words)

    This question is entirely new this year, and it provides a great opportunity for you to demonstrate maturity and depth in your application. For essays like this, we encourage applicants to use the “SAR” (Situation-Action-Result) method, with a lot of emphasis on the “Result” part. In this case, the result addresses the second and third questions in the essay prompt: What happened? How did it change your view of the world and how to work with others? How did you take what you learned and put it into action in another, later situation? You on;y have 300 words here, so don’t get too bogged in describing the situation. Tell admissions officers what they need to know to understand the situation you were facing, and then move on to the real meat of the story.
  3. The Yale School of Management provides a leadership education characterized by broad-minded and intellectually curious students with diverse backgrounds, a distinctive integrated curriculum, connections to one of the great research universities in the world, and the broad reach of an innovative and expanding global network of top business schools. What will you contribute to the Yale SOM community, and how will being part of it help you extend your professional vision? (300 words)

    This question is an evolution of one that Yale asked last year. At its core, it’s a “Why Yale?” question that asks you to demonstrate that you have done your homework on Yale and are passionate about the program. They have a particular vision for Yale SOM and its student body… Help them see that you share that vision and will fit in at Yale.
  4. What do you consider to be your most significant accomplishment? Why? (300 words)

    Ideally the story you choose will demonstrate at least one or two of the key themes in your application. Is it your leadership abilities, your analytical skills? Be sure to work in those themes here, especially since Yale’s essays give you very few other places to do that this year. All things being equal, a story from your professional life will serve you best, but don’t feel that your significant accomplishment MUST be from the workplace.

To stay on top on all of the latest news about Yale and other top-ranked business schools, be sure to find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Yale SOM Admissions Essays for 2012-2013

The Yale School of Management has released its MBA application essays and deadlines for the Class of 2015. Yale has made a lot of tweaks this year, but once you dig deeper you’ll see that Yale is still mostly looking for the same attributes in its applicants this year. Here are Yale’s new essays, followed by our comments in italics:

Yale SOM Admissions Essays

  1. What prompted your decision to get an MBA? When did you realize that this was a step you wanted –- or needed -– to take? (150 words)

    This may be the most specific example of the “Why an MBA?” question we’ve ever seen. (Last year, a similar question read, “Why are you choosing to pursue an MBA and why now?”) It still is definitely the “Why an MBA?” question, but the emphasis on “When did you realize you needed an MBA?” is an interesting wrinkle that we haven’t seen much before. Obviously, this is a very short essay. They’re not looking for a novel, but rather a brief headline as to why you’re taking this potentially huge step now. There’s no right answer here… You don’t need to start with, “Ever since I was 15 I knew I wanted a Yale MBA.” (No one would believe it!) The admissions committee just wants to understand where you’re coming from, make sure that you’re being realistic, and know that this is more than a snap decision on your part. (Bye the way, this paragraph is exactly 150 words, not including this sentence!)
  2. Describe a difficult professional decision you had to make. What were the consequences, and what, if anything, did you learn? Would you make the same decision again? (300 words)

    This question is entirely new this year, and it provides a great opportunity for you to demonstrate maturity and depth in your application. For essays like this, we encourage applicants to use the “SAR” (Situation-Action-Result) method, with a lot of emphasis on the “Result” part. In this case, the result addresses the second and third questions in the essay prompt: What happened? How did it change your view of the world and how to work with others? How did you take what you learned and put it into action in another, later situation? You on;y have 300 words here, so don’t get too bogged in describing the situation. Tell admissions officers what they need to know to understand the situation you were facing, and then move on to the real meat of the story.
  3. The Yale School of Management provides a leadership education characterized by broad-minded and intellectually curious students with diverse backgrounds, a distinctive integrated curriculum, connections to one of the great research universities in the world, and the broad reach of an innovative and expanding global network of top business schools. What will you contribute to the Yale SOM community, and how will being part of it help you extend your professional vision? (300 words)

    This question is an evolution of one that Yale asked last year. At its core, it’s a “Why Yale?” question that asks you to demonstrate that you have done your homework on Yale and are passionate about the program. They have a particular vision for Yale SOM and its student body… Help them see that you share that vision and will fit in at Yale.
  4. What do you consider to be your most significant accomplishment? Why? (300 words)

    Ideally the story you choose will demonstrate at least one or two of the key themes in your application. Is it your leadership abilities, your analytical skills? Be sure to work in those themes here, especially since Yale’s essays give you very few other places to do that this year. All things being equal, a story from your professional life will serve you best, but don’t feel that your significant accomplishment MUST be from the workplace.

To stay on top on all of the latest news about Yale and other top-ranked business schools, be sure to find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

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.

“Coopetition”
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.

Diversity
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).

To stay on top on all of the latest news at Yale and other top-ranked business schools, be sure to find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Yale’s 3-Year JD/MBA Program to Become Official

For the past two years Yale University has offered a three-year joint JD/MBA degree, offered between Yale Law School and the Yale School of Management. Last month, after a nearly year-long review, the Yale Law School faculty has voted to make the joint degree a permanent offering. While the business school’s faculty has yet to vote, it is expected that it will also vote in favor of making the program permanent.

The Yale JD/MBA program is only six semesters long, with no summer component, making it one of the shortest such programs in the country. Students spend two academic years in the Law School and one year in the School of Management. While this is not the first such program in the nation — Northwestern, Duke, and Penn also offer similar programs — the fact that Yale Law School has finally embraced this model means that it’s probably not going away, and it could mean that more top universities will soon follow.

Note that for a while now Yale has offered a more traditional JD/MBA that spans four years. Nine students are currently enrolled in the three-year program, and many of them have stated that the accelerated program’s lack of a summer term attracted them to the program. While Yale has not yet created new, specific courses that merge the two disciplines (as Columbia has done), it may start developing such courses now that the program will be permanent.

Visit the Yale website for more information about Yale’s three-year JD/MBA program.

To stay on top on all of the latest news and analysis of Wharton admissions, be sure to find MBA Game Plan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Yale SOM Application Essays and Deadlines for 2011-2012

The Yale School of Management has released its MBA application essays and deadlines for the Class of 2014. Yale has made some tweaks this year, and we’ll dig into each of them below. Here are the school’s deadlines and essays for the coming year, followed by our comments in italics:

Yale SOM Admissions Deadlines
Round 1: October 6, 2011
Round 2: January 5, 2012
Round 3: April 12, 2012

Yale’s Round 1 and Round 2 deadlines are virtually unchanged, but Yale has pushed back its Round 3 deadline by almost a month this year. Perhaps the school recognizes that very few North American MBA programs have deadlines past late March, and wants to keep its doors open for as long as possible so that strong candidates don’t have to turn to European programs (which tend to have later or different deadline cycles than U.S. programs). We still advise that you aim for Round 1 or Round 2, but this is a subtle signal that Yale truly does consider applications that come in after Round 2.

Yale SOM Admissions Deadlines

Short Answers

Please answer each of the four (4) questions below with a short paragraph of no more than 150 words. This is an opportunity to distill your core ideas, values, goals and motivations into a set of snapshots that help tell us who you are, where you are going professionally, and why. (600 words total)

  1. What are your professional goals immediately after you receive your MBA?
  2. What are your long-term career aspirations?
  3. Why are you choosing to pursue an MBA and why now? (If you plan to use your MBA experience to make a significant change in the field or nature of your career, please tell us what you have done to prepare for this transition.)
  4. The intentions of our students to engage in a broad-minded business school community and to connect to an eminent and purposeful university greatly influence the Yale MBA experience. How do you plan to be involved in the Yale SOM and greater Yale communities?

These super short questions carry over unchanged from last year, with the exception of #4, which is new and replaces a more straightforward “Why Yale?”-type question. These essays really challenge you to be succinct and get right to the point in answering the school’s questions. But, that’s okay. Each of these “micro-essay” questions covers a topic that you should be well prepared to answer by now. Yale just wants you to cut the fat and get right to the point, so the best thing you can do is answer these questions head-on. Career switchers should take special note of the additional instruction in Question #3. In this economic climate, Yale SOM, like all schools, is especially interested to know how well you will do in the post-MBA job market. Career switching is fine, and is even a great reason for pursuing an MBA, but you need to show that you’ve done your homework and are realistic about your intended career. The new question (#4) is a little wordy and “highfalutin” in our opinion, but at its core, it’s still a “Why Yale?” question that asks you to demonstrate that you have done your homework on Yale and are passionate about the program.

Personal Statements

Choose two (2) of the following topics and answer them in essay form. Please indicate the topic number at the beginning of your essay. (500 words maximum)

  1. At the Yale School of Management, we believe the world needs leaders who:

    – Understand organizations, teams, networks and the complex nature of leadership;
    – Understand markets and competition in different contexts; and
    – Understand the diversity of economies throughout the world and the relationships between business and society.

    What experiences have you had that demonstrate your strength in one or more of these areas?

    This question is new this year. It asks you to demonstrate at least one of the following: teamwork, leadership, a global outlook, and a philanthropic, “do good” bent. At first glance it looks like this questions asks you to pack A LOT into your (approximately) 250 word response, but keep in mind that it asks you to demonstrate your strength “in one more more” of those areas. We recommend picking one story from your past that adequately describes at least one of these traits, and then telling it in the Situation-Action-Result (“SAR”) format that we always write about. No need to get too ambitious here… Simpler is better!
  2. What is the most difficult feedback you have received from another person or the most significant weakness you perceive in yourself? What steps have you taken to address it and how will business school contribute to this process?

    This question carries over from last year. We like this one because it gives you a chance to really show off your self-awareness. Applicants are understandably uneasy about discussing their weaknesses and failings, but being able to show how you maturely and constructively handled tough feedback — and then how you put that feedback to use in a later situation — is a terrific thing for your candidacy.
  3. Imagine yourself meeting your learning team members for the first time in Orientation. What is the most important thing your teammates should know about you?

    This question is new this year, and is similar to the “Introduce yourself to your future classmates” essay prompt that other schools (most notably HBS and Ross) have used. Think of this essay as the quintessential “elevator pitch.” You have just a couple of paragraphs in which you can highlight what the admissions committee absolutely must know about you. This is not an exercise is seeing how much information you can cram into approximately 250 words. Instead, your challenge is to distill down your candidacy to no more than a couple of key points. What do you think are your most memorable experiences or attributes? How do you want to be known by your classmates? It will be interesting to see how applicants tackle this one, but we recommend erring on the side of being less formal — friendly, written in the first person, and maybe even a little humorous. That tends to work better (when done well, of course) than many applicants realize.
  4. Required for Reapplicants: What steps have you taken to improve your candidacy since your last application?

    This question says it all when it comes to describing what every top MBA program looks for in reapplicants. Ideally you will have at least one or two significant achievements or experiences that will bolster a weakness that may have kept you out of Yale last year. The most obvious examples are a big promotion at work, a higher GMAT score, or strong grades in some post-college coursework, but anything that demonstrates leadership, teamwork, maturity, or innovation — if one of these was a weakness in admissions officers’ eyes last year — can help your candidacy.

Want to stay on top of news from Yale and other top-ranked MBA programs? Be sure to find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Four Reasons Why You Should Consider the Yale School of Management

The Yale School of Management is one of the top-ranked MBA programs in the world, and we get inquiries about it from prospective applicants all the time. Given its climb in the rankings in recent years, odds are that you’ve considered it, too. But, how well do you really know the school? How do you know if you and Yale are a good fit? How do you know if the Yale admissions committee will decide that you’re a good fit for the school?

Today we look at four reasons why you might want to apply to Yale SOM this year:

You want to enter the public sector or nonprofit world.
This one is already very well known, of course, but to leave this unmentioned would be sacrilege. Yale is considered the best program for nonprofit, and SOM is right up there with Ross and Stanford in scoring on the social responsibility and corporate ethics scales.

Consulting and finance appeal to you.
Despite the common wisdom that Yale is the school for non-profits and other bleeding-hearts, the fact is that SOM places more graduates into consulting than any other field except finance. And this is hardly a surprise: With the unique cross-functional approach to its education, Yale creates strategic thinkers with nimble minds, who are able to deal with ambiguity and consider multiple perspectives as they work through problems – all ideal qualities in a good consultant. Yale’s proximity to Wall Street means that plenty of graduates move to the next state south when they are ready to begin their careers.

You prefer a small, tight-knight class.
Partly because of the small class and the close bonds that form during the business school experience, and partly because of the tilt towards “doing good” that attracts many to Yale in the first place, Yale students can expect to receive a lot of help, both while completing their studies and when looking for that key internship or first job — or second, third, or fourth. The faculty and administration remain directly involved in their students’ careers and are well connected with industry, making for win-win relationships that benefit the entire SOM ecosystem.

You have a high GMAT score.
While we don’t want to discourage an otherwise strong candidate from considering Yale, the truth is that, with such a tiny class size, the admissions committee really cannot afford to admit more than a handful of students with scores below a 660. Because the GMAT scores of its students factor in, rightly or wrongly, in some of the rankings methodologies, we believe Yale is especially vigilant about this metric and will be hard pressed to admit a candidate who is sub-par on the test side. There are of course always exceptions, but just know that other schools with larger classes can more easily absorb candidates with a wider spectrum of profile statistics.

To learn more about Yale SOM and other top-ranked MBA programs, be sure to find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Yale SOM Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2010-2011

The Yale School of Management recently released its application deadlines and admissions essays for the 2010-2011 application season. Here they are, followed by our comments in italics:

Yale SOM Admissions Deadlines
Round 1: October 7, 2010
Round 2: January 6, 2011
Round 3: March 17, 2011

Yale’s deadlines have changed very little since last year. The one exception is Yale’s Round 3 deadline, which is one week later than it was last year. Note that, like some other top MBA programs, last year Yale pushed its Round 1 deadline up to early October, which enables the school to render decisions on Round 1 applications before the holidays (and before the Round 2 deadlines come in early January). If Yale SOM is your top choice — or one of your top choices — this gives you a chance to take a strong shot at the school early and apply to your backup schools in Round 2 if you don’t get good news from Yale.

Yale SOM Admissions Essays

Short Answers
Please answer each of the four questions below with a short paragraph of no more than 150 words. This is an opportunity to distill your core ideas, values, goals and motivations into a set of snapshots that help tell us who you are, where you are headed, and why. (600 words total)

  1. What are your professional goals immediately after you receive your MBA?
  2. What are your long-term career aspirations?
  3. Why are you choosing to pursue an MBA and why now? (If you plan to use your MBA experience to make a significant change in the field or nature of your career, please tell us what you have done to prepare for this transition.)
  4. What attracts you specifically to the Yale School of Management’s MBA program?

These short essays carry over unchanged from last year. These essays really challenge you to be succinct and get right to the point in answering the school’s questions. But, we think that’s okay. Each questions covers a topic that you should be well prepared to answer by now. Yale just wants you to cut the fat and get right to the point, so the best thing you can do is answer these questions head-on. Question #3 is especially interesting… Yale SOM, like all schools, is especially interested to know how well you will do in the post-MBA job market. Career switching is fine, and is even a great reason for pursuing an MBA, but you need to show that you’ve done your homework and are realistic about your intended career.

Personal Statements
Choose two (2) of the following topics and answer them in essay form. Please indicate the topic numbers at the beginning of your essays. (500 words maximum per essay)

While last year Yale asked everyone to answer the “leadership style” question, now that question is just one of five questions that applicants can choose from. Since Yale has kept the question, it must give the school what it wants, but Yale must have gotten enough good info from the other questions that it now wants to give every applicant the chance to choose which two essays will work best for him or her.

  1. What achievement are you most proud of and why?
  2. What is the most difficult feedback you have received from another person or the most significant weakness you have perceived in yourself? What steps have you taken to address it and how will business school contribute to this process?
  3. Describe an accomplishment that exhibits your leadership style. The description should include evidence of your leadership skills, the actions you took, and the impact you had on your organization.
  4. An effective leader for business and society is one who is able to hear, understand and communicate with people from all segments of society. In order to educate such leaders, Yale SOM is committed to promoting diversity and creating a community that cultivates a wealth of perspectives. In this spirit, describe an instance when, as part of a team, you played a role in bringing together individuals with different values or viewpoints to achieve a common goal.
  5. For Reapplicants (answer this topic plus one (1) of the other topics): What steps have you taken to improve your candidacy since your last application?
  6. Question #1 may remind you of Harvard’s “three most substantial accomplishments” essay. Of course, here you can devote 500 words to just one accomplishment, allowing you to go into more detail. The “why” is really what matters here — in your life until now, if you can pick just ONE thing, it had better be good. And not just impressive, but also consistent with the overall story you present in your Yale SOM application.

    Question #2 really gives you a chance to show off your self-awareness, making it one of our favorites. Applicants are understandably uneasy about discussing their weaknesses and failings, but being able to show how you maturely and constructively handled tough feedback — and then how you put that feedback to use in a later situation — is a terrific thing for your candidacy.

    For many applicants, the best example to use here may overlap with Question #1, so we expect that many applicants will find themselves having to choose between #1 and #3. Question #4 may reflect an evolution in Yale’s thinking… Two years ago, the question was “What unique attributes would you bring to Yale,” but now the school is interested in seeing how you worked with and brought together people with different viewpoints. This ability to work well with others is a trait that Yale SOM really prizes in its applicants.

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