Yale SOM 2015 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

Check out the rest of our 2015 MBA application essay tips!Yale is down to one essay this year from two last year. 500 words max. What does this shrinkage imply? You need to make the most of that single essay, but you also need to take the time to make every box in the application a home run.  They are not after-thoughts. Your job descriptions and activity history are increasing in importance. 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. 

Essay Question:

The Yale School of Management educates individuals who will have deep and lasting impact on the organizations they lead. Describe how you have positively influenced an organization—as an employee, a member, or an outside constituent. (500 words maximum)

This essay would do really well with an anecdotal response telling the story of how you positively affected your department, team, club, company, client or any entity that benefited from your contribution.  You can start with a moment of challenge or triumph. Then go back, provide context, and tell your story of contribution, hurdles overcome, and complexity handled. If your impact has lasted, say so.

Video Questions:

As part of your application, you will be asked to answer three video questions. These questions are intended to give you another opportunity to tell us about yourself. These questions are not meant to be difficult and should not require extensive preparation or special knowledge to answer. After hearing each video question, you will have 20 seconds to formulate a response, followed by up to 60 seconds to respond.

After August 15th, you will see a link in your applicant status page checklist that will allow you to complete the video questions once you have submitted your application and fee. To answer the questions, you simply need an internet connection and a webcam. These questions will take roughly 15 minutes to complete, and you will have the opportunity to test your connection and respond to a sample question before answering the questions. Once you have completed the questions, your responses will be added to your application and we will begin the review process.

To prepare for your webcam session, you need to practice for the experience of talking to a video camera with no responses from another human being. It is a weird experience. For tips on how to prepare and behave during the webcam session, please see: Tips for Video MBA Essay Questions.

Optional Information:

If any aspect of your candidacy needs further explanation (unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, academic performance, promotions or recognitions, etc.), please provide a brief description here. (200 words maximum)

You can use the optional essay to explain or provide context as Yale SOM suggests or you can use your optional essay to highlight something in your experiences, background, personal or professional life that didn’t fit into the required essay and that you want the admissions committee to know about. Consider relating a diversity element, a unique area of interest or an accomplishment that you don’t feel is adequately described elsewhere.

Don’t use this optional essay as a grand summary of your application or reasons for wanting to attend Yale. Make sure the optional adds value.

Required for Reapplicants Only: 

Since your last application, please discuss any updates to your candidacy, including changes in your personal or professional life, additional coursework, or extracurricular/volunteer activities. (200 words maximum)

If you would like professional guidance with your Yale SOM 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 MBA application.  

Yale SOM 2015 Deadlines:

Round 1
September 18, 2014
Decision: December 8, 2014
Round 2
January 8, 2015
Decision: March 27, 2015
Round 3
April 23, 2015
Decision: May 25, 2015

MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Great Tips - Download your free copy!

Linda Abraham By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

  • Jjd212

    Do you think it would be more beneficial to respond to the essay question with positive impact to an organization as an employee rather than as say a member of a college sports team?

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


      I can’t give you a blanket answer. It would depend on the nature of the impact and your specific role in each case.


  • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

    If any readers would like a profile evaluation for Yale SOM, please provide the following info:

    1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.
    2) Your GMAT or GRE. Percentiles preferred.
    3) College info: The name of the college, your GPA or grade average, your major, year of graduation. For any graduate degrees, please provide the same info. If you grades are low, please indicate if there were extenuating circumstances.
    4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.
    5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.
    6) Your post-MBA goal.

    Or if you just have a question about MBA admissions, I’ll do my best to answer it.

    • YaleFromIndia

      Hi Linda,

      Below is my profile

      I am a business analyst with 3 years of work experience in business intelligence, analytics and IT. I am from India. Some of my responsibilities at work include

      – Identified emerging market trends and recommended strategy for the management team of a global manufacturer of physical infrastructure solutions. Conducted extensive market research as part of the Business Intelligence & Strategic Research team
      – Evaluated the entry strategy into the $6B cabling segment of oil & gas industry and presented the recommendations to senior management.

      – Produced insights on customer behaviour for CMO of fortune 50 retailer in US.

      GMAT: 720 [94](Q51[97],V36[81])

      Top 10 college in India.
      Major: Chemical Engineering and Physics

      Extracurricular: Captain of college volleyball team, Starting Bloc Fellow, Strong NGO work for 3 years involving PR and being a soccer coach for kids in the slum.

      Post MBA goal: Product development in the analytics area.

      • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

        Your GMAT and work experience are competitive at Yale. Your grades seem a little low for Yale. Your extra-curriculars show commitment and that ‘s good.

        Overall, you have a competitive profile for Yale, but also consider Darden, Rotman, UNC, Ross, Cornell Johnson, and Duke.

        Linda Abraham

    • Anon12345

      Hi Linda,

      1) For the past two years I’ve worked in a for profit education company in one of the post-soviet states (I mostly do business development, along with some test prep for the SAT, Toefl). Before that I worked at one of the big four accounting firms for one year. And before that I worked in South Africa in the hospitality business. I am Indian and grew up in Delhi.

      2) GMAT – 730 Q(49, [85%]) V (40, [89%])

      3) Williams College, 3.65, Economics and History, 2010. Study abroad – Oxford University, 3.83.

      4) Associate agent for college – 2 years. Volunteered at a halfway house for recovering drug addicts – 1 year. Work with underprivileged students as part of a program i started in my current position – 1.5 years.

      5) None

      6) Work in Education policy

      • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

        Assuming that the work you did and are doing is MBA quality, I believe you have a competitive profile for Yale. They will like the international nature of your experience.


  • Anarchy

    Hi Linda,

    Thanks if you can evaluate my profile:

    1. 1 year as an associate in a think tank working on energy and environment projects with state government. completely in charge of field office, communication with government, research, hard core data analysis, writing reports etc. 2 years at an analytics company in Mumbai, India working for major CPG company . Promoted from Analyst to Senior Analyst.

    Worked for short durations in 3 countries outside India.

    2. 730 (96%) V40 (89%) Q49 (86%)

    3. One of the “lower” IITs. 6.55/10. Engineering

    4. Captain of Debate Team. Multiple awards in Debating and ‘Quizzing’. Attended UN conferences. Run 3 Marathons. Volunteer work for 4 environmental organizations. Can speak in Spanish

    5. n/a

    6. Work in the capacity of a consultant in the private or not-for-profit sector.

    Apart from Yale, which other schools may I be competitive at?

    Thanks for your advice.

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      Your GPA is a little low, but otherwise you have a competitive profile for Yale. Also consider Darden, Ross, Duke, Cornell Johnson, and Tuck.


  • Mohra

    Hi Linda,

    Would really appreciate if you can provide your feedback on my profile :

    1) Professional Experience

    Working in a management consulting of a Big Four since 2011. Working in metals and mining sector. Key projects include – Social benefit studies, Operational Improvement for steel companies, commodity demand forecasting for the economy, Impact of policy changes on the mineral output of the economy

    Won award for quality execution at client engagements in 2011, 2012,2013 & 2014

    2) Social Endeavors
    Independently managed fund raisers for a drinking water project in coastal rural areas.Mentored a female high school student, extended financial support during adverse family conditions.Worked with company’s CSR division to conduct tree plantation and cloth collection drives. Won CSR Champion thrice since 2011. Designed the model for pro-bono consulting in the firm.

    3) GMAT – 740, Q 51(97) & V 38 (85), AWA – 5, IR – 8 (92)

    4) IIT Delhi – B.tech in Mechanical Eng – 7.5/10. Awarded Best B.tech project award among the graduating class.

    5) Multiple awards in B plan contest – Won IIT Delhi B plan contest twice, Won PWC Business Contest, Runner up CIMA Global Business Challenge.

    6) Post MBA Goal – To work in the CSR division for a metals and mining firm in India, post that i hope to start my own CSR consulting firm in India.

    Bummers – “E” grade in a Statistics course at college.

    My questions-
    Shall i be explaining the low grade/GPA in additional information or no need to divert attention to this ?

    Apart from Yale, Which other colleges can be my target and which can be stretch?

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      I’m sorry, but what is an E grade? do you mean an F?

      What was the context?


      • Mohra

        Yes an equivalent to F grade.

        • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

          What caused the F? What was going on that caused the F?


  • Hari Govind

    Should the video question be responded to before the deadline?

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      I checked with Yale. The response: “Applicants have until a week after the deadline to complete them.”

      So you have a little leeway. My advice: Don’t wait until the last minute. The servers may get overloaded.

      • Hari Govind

        Thank you for checking! I did not get a response from them on this. A week is fine, it would just have been a little hectic to wrap up the final revisions of my essays as well as do this by the deadline.

        • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

          Glad to be of help!

  • Ramalo

    Hi Linda the following is a snapshot of my profile.

    27 years old Indian male (I know over populated applicant pool, can’t help it).
    I have just over 6 years of experience in business development and strategy implementation at a firm with interests across hydropower, textiles and education in India (revenues over USD 100m). I’ve worked across all three verticals. Currently leading a team in implementing the expansion/diversification of the education vertical. The initial concept was my idea and I was allowed to form my own team of 14. I’m also the youngest at my firm in a senior managerial role.

    GMAT- 710 Q49 (81%) V39 (88%)

    I did my undergrad in accounting and finance from cardiff university. Graduated in 2008. Topped my class in year 1. Ended up with an upper 2.1 (grades fell in final year as I missed classes for 1.5 months due my dads illness). 3 weeks after final term ended my dad passed away and I was forced to move back to take care of family affairs (personal + financial reasons). Hence the lack of international work experience.

    I’ve volunteered with one of the most renowned environmental ngo in the country for over 4 years. Also running a cancer foundation in the memory of my late father (organized numerous blood donation camps and raised money through charity runs, etc). Also worked in strategy development for a member for parliament in the last 2 national elections in India (2009 and 2014).

    Post my MBA my goal is to transition to strategy consulting and work in new geographies (preferably the US or Western Europe).

    Besides Yale I’m planning to apply to Insead, emory, darden and sloan. Please feel free to recommend other schools. Regards

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham

      Sloan is a stretch, but you have a competitive profile for the other programs. You may also want to consider Cornell Johnson and Duke.


      • Ramalo

        Thanks for the reply Linda. Will a higher a GMAT score help at Sloan? Retaking the gmat next week, hoping to score 730+. Also if you don’t mind can you also please evaluate my chances at LBS, Columbia and Tuck? Really appreciate your advice so far.

        • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


          yes a higher GMAT score will help at Sloan, but obviously still doesn’t guarantee acceptance. You have a competitive profile for LBS, Tuck, and Columbia, but a higher GMAT will help other too.


          • Ramalo

            Hi Linda,

            Thank you so much for your insight. Just one final question. Seeing how I’m not planning to apply to too many schools. Which 3-4 of the schools discussed do I have the best shot at getting into? Thanks

          • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


            Yale, Darden, Duke, and Emory.

            Linda Abraham

  • Anon

    Hi Linda,
    I had a very basic query. Does Yale require the GMAT scores to reach them before the deadline, or is it merely required to have taken the GMAT and the scores can be a week late?

  • Anon

    Hi Linda,
    I had a very basic query. Does Yale require the GMAT score to reach them before the deadline, or is it merely required for the applicant to take the GMAT before and the scores can be a week late?

    • http://www.accepted.com Linda Abraham


      I believe, but am not positive, that you can self-report your GMAT score, but the official score can reach them later. Please confirm with Yale.