Yale SOM MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines
Although its application is the same as last year's MBA application, Yale School of Management is in transition. Its innovative, dynamic dean, Edward Snyder, is stepping down from the deanship at the end of the 2018-19 academic year. Dean Snyder oversaw the construction of Yale SOM's gorgeous new facility, launched Yale School of Management's Global Network for the Advancement of Management, and added a Masters of Advanced Management degree to Yale's degree options in graduate management education.
The application has little change from last year. As applicants have done for the last few years when applying to Yale SOM, you need to make the most of its single required essay, but you also need to take the time to make every box in the application a home run. They are not afterthoughts. Your job descriptions and activity history are very important. Write and edit them carefully. Focus on achievements. Quantify when possible and keep in mind Yale's commitment to "educating leaders for business and society."
My tips are in blue.
Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. (500 words maximum)
The question is based on the premise that actions speak louder than words. So if you make a commitment, do you follow through? Do you make big commitments? What are the results? What impact have you had as a result of your biggest commitment?
Your essay would do really well with an anecdotal response telling the story of the commitment you made. What was the challenge or problem that triggered it? How did you follow up? What was the outcome? The effect and significance? Did you successfully solve that initial problem or achieve your goals in meeting that challenge?
You can start with the moment of challenge or the moment of triumph. If you choose the latter, then go back, provide context, and tell your story of commitment, resolve, hurdles overcome, and challenge handled. If the impact has lasted - on you and others - succinctly include that part of the story too.
Yale SOM Application Video Component
Yale also has a video component to its application. The questions are not posted ahead of time and they vary from applicant to applicant. The key element to preparation here is practice. Practice talking into a webcam without feedback from another human being. Practice the 60-90 second time frame. Rehearse answers to typical interview questions in this format. Remember the STAR (Situation - Task - Action - Result) or CAR (Context/Challenge - Action - Result) framework in structuring your answers.
Yale suggests that you practice via Skype with a friend, but have them turn off their webcam and just provide feedback at the end of your response. I also suggest you put a smiley face somewhere so you can see it and remind yourself to smile.
If you would like professional guidance with your Yale MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Yale SOM application.
By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.
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