This Yale School of Management 2012 MBA Application tip post is one of a series of posts providing MBA application and essay advice for applicants to top MBA programs around the world. Check out the entire 2012 MBA Application Tips series for more valuable MBA essay advice.
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 Yale MBA to make a significant change in the 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?
You've seen this before -- a classic MBA goals question. What do you want to do after your MBA short-term and long-term, and how will an MBA help you achieve that goal.
However, #4 provides a twist. How are you going to participate in Yale SOM and the larger university? You need to know about both and have an idea regarding how you will take advantage of the fantastic opportunity acceptance to Yale would present.
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)
Which questions should you choose? The ones that fit you like a well-made suit. The ones that enable you to relate the stories you are dying to tell. The ones that allow you to show what is distinctive about you and important to you. Choose the two questions that allow you to write easily about yourself, and go for it! Also make sure that your essays complement each other and that each discloses another facet of your life experience revealing you are a values-driven leader.
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 asking about leadership in different contexts. Choose the context where you have led. Tell that story and then provide insight into the experience and what it says about one of the three topics above.
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?
Can you learn from criticism? Do you view "difficult feedback" and criticism as something to be defended against and rebutted, frequently by discrediting the critic, or as a learning and growth opportunity. (Please see "Demonstrating a Growth Mindset." and "Admissions Tip from Dr. Pausch's Last Lecture (Part 2)") Show a growth mindset and resiliency when you relate what you have done to overcome a weakness or to respond constructively to criticism.
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?
Think of how you describe yourself in a social setting, meeting people for the first time. It's the first day of orientation. You're all a little lost, maybe nervous. How would you break the ice? What would you want them to know about you? Would your response depend on who was asking and the context? Or is there something, you know you would reveal?
4. Required 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?
In other words, why should they admit you this time if they rejected you last name? What have you don't to improve your candidacy? Take on a different role at work? Raise your GMAT? Add an international dimension to your experience? Clarify your goals and your reasons for wanting to attend Yale SOM? Whatever it is, tell them about it here.
This is the most common question asked of MBA reapplicants.You have to answer it well to change the outcome.
Optional Essay: Please provide any additional insight or information that you have not addressed elsewhere that may be helpful in reviewing your application (e.g., choice of recommender(s), academic background or performance, etc.). Complete this question only if you feel your candidacy is not otherwise fully represented by this application. (250 words maximum)
Why isn't your current supervisor writing your rec? Why did your grades dip during the first semester of your senior year? Why is there a eight-month gap on your resume? What are your responsibilities while working for a family business after having left a prestigious investment bank, and why did you make the change? Answering any of those questions (but not all) could be the topic of your optional essay. And of course an infinite number of similar subjects could merit discussion in the optional essay.
If you would like help with your Yale SOM MBA application, please consider Accepted.com's MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our Yale SOM School Packages.
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By Linda Abraham, President and Founder of Accepted.com.