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In it to win it - Interact with Yale R1 admit

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In it to win it - Interact with Yale R1 admit  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Dec 2018, 21:46

Yale R1 Admit is Here to Answer YOUR Questions!



One of our forum members, ak99 recently got accepted at Yale SOM in Round 1. He accepted our invitation to interact with the new applicants, share his insights about the application process, and answer the queries of applicants.

If you have any questions about the application process of Yale SOM now is your chance to get them clarified by posting your questions here in this topic. ak99 is also drafting a post on his application journey. For follow up communication, we have a live chat with him on Wednesday, Dec 19, 10 AM PST in our chat room.


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Re: In it to win it - Interact with Yale R1 admit  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2018, 22:35
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Transcript from the Yale R1 admit chat with @ak99



Hi All, I am recent admit to Yale SOM from R1 and happy to share my journey and answer any questions about the admissions cycle to the best of my knowledge. I was a reapplicant this year after being dinged from the waitlist from R2 last year, so happy to speak to the waitlist process as well is need be. I am currently in Strategy consulting and will be matriculating with 5 years of WE from Canada, South Asian descent. Fire away!

Since you mentioned you were a reapplicant, can you tell us what has changed significantly in that one year that helped with your admit?


Sure thing. For starters, I’ll be transparent, but as with anything my experience is shaped by my experience. Last year, I applied with a 710 GMAT, I was able to bump my score up to 740. Secondly, I was at PwC in analytics, and transitioned to Strategy& - I think the GMAT had a bigger impact since their feedback last year to me was to bump up my score.

General guidance: Yale SOM’s application is pretty straightforward so I recommend avoiding overthinking the process and application. It really does boil down to whether you check the box on GMAT/GRE, demonstrate the leadership in your work experience - which I recommend comes out through the essay, if your goals make sense and have a natural link to your past experiences, and the impact you’ve had. Beyond that, there are factors outside control.

Do you think they give preference to GMAT/GRE scores even if someone has low GPA? Do you have any suggestions for applicants with low GPA?


Tough for me to personally speak for GPA since 1) I am an international candidate so my GPA would not impact stats because it was on a % basis rather than 4.0 scale 2) My GPA equivalent was 4.0. What I can say though is that having a 4.0 did not help my chances when my GMAT score was below average. I think low GPA is common, and perhaps the tactic there is to show how you have improved upon it - whether it's your higher GMAT score which is reflective of quants, or your work, or additional MOOC course. If there is a rationale explain why it’s low, don’t BS one. Long story short, IMO GMAT/GRE carries more weight.

Ash3105: As a waitlisted applicant myself, I am curious if and when Yale was open to providing feedback on your application? Not sure whether it is okay to ask them or not.


Hey Ash3105 - They will first reach out to you with a waitlist form to accept your waitlist. They provide feedback - they did to me and others last year and based on my results this time (they didn’t re-interview me) I can say that the feedback was honest. I would definitely reach out to get feedback for the waitlist - usually, it’s over emails but you can try for a phone call. I got mine over email. Definitely ask, and reiterate your interest.

Also, make a plan to see what you need to improve and do it fast. I decided not to take GMAT again because I needed time to prepare for it, maybe you can retake it sooner and land a higher score, but of course, get the feedback first.

Did you get waitlisted with an interview last year? How was your interview experience for Yale?


I got waitlisted after an interview. The interview is very straightforward - I actually had an admission officer interview me - as long as you know your story and prep for it like any other standard school interview, you’re fine. It is important to demonstrate Why Yale and your fit - ClearAdmit Interview posts help! I left the interview feeling good tbh, so I am quite certain it wasn’t my interview that got me on the WL but other aspects of the overall app.

You talked about demonstrating the leadership in work experience. What kind of leadership experiences and opportunities you have had in your career so far and how you portrayed them in your essays?


I think it is important for the essay to have a strong narrative. The one thing I learned through this process is how everything should tie in together. For example, I went the route of sharing my biggest commitment that aligns with my long-term goal. This allowed me to genuinely express how I have made strides towards it in the past. My biggest commitment was using technology to change the way we work. I was in analytics and business transformation consulting so had the opportunity to influence big scale change within my company. I spoke to those experiences while bringing in touches of teamwork and leadership opportunities that allowed me to drive change.

I think to give a response that will fit all applicants: Make sure your leadership stories involve people, I think they have a far greater impact than dollars, and cost savings etc.

Can you tell us which component of your Yale application you found most challenging?


1) Goals: I felt last year in general I did not appreciate the impact your goals can have on your application, but truthfully you are choosing your competition with your goals. It is important to be pragmatic, yet visionary with your goals. It is absolutely critical for the goals to seem achievable and if you are really keen on consulting, then ask yourself why, and how it still ties to your previous experiences, because you are picking a goal many others are. Don’t mean to discourage, just think through this and tie it to your narrative.

2) Essay: Yale’s essay question can lead people to overthink a bit - it’s odd. But I think the strategy here is - truly describe your biggest commitment - but pick something that demonstrates those pillars of leadership, impact, teamwork - Yale’s values. Weave it into that story - Your story makes you different, beyond general stats.

Did you go on campus for your interview?


Yes. I think North American applicants don’t have an off campus choice. Not that I remember, but I wanted to absolutely show interest. Tbh, it won’t change a ding to an accept, it just shows you are interested.

Why did you apply to Yale?


I applied to Yale because of its strong consulting recruiting and global name. In Canada, it is well recognized beyond rankings, that being said, I am researching recruiting in other fields like Tech before I enroll. In terms of culture, both times I got a very good feel for the people, down to earth but smart. The mock lecture was amazing and really got me hooked on as well.

what was your GMAT score?


740. It’s listed on his profile

How long did you prepare to get 740? and what do you think would be an acceptable decent gmat score for Yale (if the application and everything else is strong)? I mean one below 700


I’ll be honest. No one can accurately answer that - it makes it an uphill battle if you’re in a competitive pool, but there is no magic number. People with 740s get rejected. I myself, got dings from 5 schools with 740. I have written GMAT 4 times over 2 years, so I have studied a lot.

Did you visit Yale both this year and last year?


I visited last year and for the interview in Feb, though I refer to my application from last year, it was really my application from Jan 2018 (R2 last year).

In terms of visiting campus, Yale SOM has probably the best campus aside from Kellogg. I think the visit really solidified my connection to the school - interview day was very well organized so I recommend visiting if its doable and in budget.

Regarding Optional Essays: Use them if you need them. An example of how I used it when I reapplied was to explain my job switch, I literally got the new job 1 month before I applied - my recommenders were the same from before and my title on paper sounded worse. So I explained that in the optional essay.

what are your immediate post MBA goals as well as long term goals and how do you think Yale MBA would help you in achieving them?


My post MBA goals either to return to my strategy consulting job, look for another one in the field - I am still assessing whether this is what I want to do beyond just a few years, or looking for corp strategy roles in tech space. Yale can help me achieve that because the target companies I am looking at all recruit at Yale. The added benefit that I am hearing now is that the brand helps you get into alums and companies that don’t necessarily have structured hiring. So that gives added comfort. Long term - I mentioned progressing to Partner and leadership position within my consulting company - it was pragmatic and made the most sense given I have worked at the same place for 4 years and had some stories to support that. Given I’m in strategy consulting already, long-term gain is greater to me than short-term and I think in the long term Yale brand, network and presence will continue to appreciate. My colleague from Kellogg mentioned, she sometimes felt that despite high rankings and being an amazing school the brand didn’t carry as well. But hey, some is hearsay some is real. Reality is probably in between.

Who did you choose to write your recommendations?


Both professional from my workplace. Technically, since Strategy& is owned by PwC, it’s not exactly a full company switch...my email address still ends with pwc.com so it was easier to rationalize. My recommenders were a Director and Partner, both of whom can really speak to my contributions at work. I guided them - prepared a package with strengths and weaknesses (I noticed recommenders particularly struggle with the weakness part) it is important to have something strong and meaty there and not some BS.

This is a great takeaway message. I wonder not many people work with recommenders regarding an applicant’s strength and weakness. Thanks for sharing that.

What do you feel does Yale admission team look in an applicant?


Definitely GMAT/GRE, background - all schools are going to profile you based on your experience etc. and then compare you to others in your bucket. At the end of the day, they want a diverse class so that comes in the way of getting in- but in terms of controllables, they definitely look at your essay, goals statement, and work experience. A lot of these are about not going overboard and BSing, but rather being pragmatic and practical in the writing stage. If you think your essays are amazing because of this amazing world-changing the story - chances are everyone is actually thinking that. Get personal, get into the details. Not "I influenced 3,000 people" but HOW I influenced them. What did I do. That is what will make your essay different.

It’s also well-roundedness. So let’s not forget community and extra-curriculars.


If questions come to mind later, always happy to share my two cents. Good Luck All! It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and if it’s a sprint for you, aren’t you lucky ;)
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Re: In it to win it - Interact with Yale R1 admit &nbs [#permalink] 19 Dec 2018, 22:35
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