Yale SOM 2016 MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

Check out the rest of our 2015 MBA application essay tips!Yale has retained its one essay from last year with no change. As Bruce DelMonico explained in a blog post, “this question really gets to the core of what Yale SOM is about and embodies our founding mission of educating leaders for business and society. So we decided that we would keep this essay question in place for another year.”

As you did last year, 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 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. 

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.

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 and listen to this interview with Yale’s Bruce DelMonico, Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions at Yale SOM.

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)

This is the key question that every re-applicant has to answer. Why should Yale SOM admit you this time around? What’s changed? What’s improved?

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:

Check out our other school-specific MBA Essay Tips

Click here for more school-specific MBA application essay tips!

 

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

Related Resources:

Yale SOM Zone Page
• Bruce DelMonico on The Yale School of Management
• Tips for Video MBA Essay Questions

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

    Gurucharan,

    You have a competitive profile for Yale. Also consider Michigan Ross, Georgetown, and UCLA.

    • Gurucharan B

      Dear Linda,

      Thank you very much for your response! Deeply appreciate it!

      I was thinking of applying to HBS, Haas, Kellogg and to Stanford for the MBA/MA Education dual degree. Do I have a shot at these programs? are they all reach?

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

        They are in reach, but they are hard to get into and probably harder than Yale. You may want to also consider Columbia, which is no easier, but it has a great teacher’s college and MBA program. Darden also has a joint MBA/ MEd

  • Chechesh

    Dear Linda. Request you to evaluate my profile.

    Male 26 from India.

    5 years of work experience.

    Industry – Investment Banking. 2.5 years at a bulge bracket investment bank and 2.5 years at a boutique investment bank in India.

    GMAT – 760 (Q 50, V 42).

    Undergrad – Bangalore University (Bachelors in Business Management) 63%/First Class.

    I have also done an advanced diploma from the one of the top UK universities (Oxford, Oxbridge, LSE, Cambridge, etc). I was awarded a merit scholarship to pursue this. I have completed this degree with a ‘Merit’ grading.

    Volunteer work – I work as the lead volunteer at a local non profit where I teach class 12 students, while also helping them prepare for competitive exams such as CA. In addition to this, I am a career counselor for the students there and lead the fund raising efforts of the non profit. I have been working here for the last 3 years. Prior to that, I led my team’s non profit efforts at the bulge bracket investment bank.

    Post MBA – To continue working in Investment Banking, albeit in the US.

    My target schools are Yale, Booth, Stern, Kellogg and LBS. What are my chances ?

    Also, I have 2 specific questions – Do I need to write the optional essay for my GPA ? It might seem on the average side, however, it is still technically in the ‘First Class’ range for an Indian school. I do not have any specific circumstances for the average GPA.

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

      You have a competitive profile for your target programs with Yale probably being the most likely admit, but you have a chance at all.

      Your grade percentage is a little low. Whether you should add write an optional essay depends on what caused the grades to be lower than they should be. If you don’t have anything specific to say, then I would say nothing. :-)

      Linda

      • Chechesh

        Thanks Linda :-). That really helps my confidence.

        Curious, but why would you say I have a better chance at Yale than say Stern ? Or LBS, where the average GMAT is around 700 ?

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

          Chechesh,

          My gut feeling is that Yale is working hard to up its average GMAT where LBS doesn’ focus on it quite as much. No evidence to point you to, but that’s my gut feeling.Your 760 will shine a little more then.

          You have a competitive profile for CBS and Fuqua. For CBS I’m a little more worried about the grades, but that GMAT is impressive.

          • Chechesh

            Thanks Linda :-). Finally, please evaluate it for HBS and Wharton. I would like to decide on my schools based on the ones which are in reach.

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

            Chechesh,

            You’re welcome. HBS is a stretch because it’s HBS. Wharton (like CBS) is not easy, but you do have a chance.

            Best,
            Linda

  • PKJ

    Hi Linda,

    I’m a 26 year old medical doctor from India. I have work experience (~3 years full time) as a management consultant (one of the MBB firms), a social entrepreneur (with 3 enterprises over the last 5 years) and a physician.

    GMAT score is 710 (92%) Q49/V36.
    Med school (MBBS / MD equivalent in the US) GPA: 3.96/4 from Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (India)

    Social enterprises include one in nutrition (scale: ~1.5 million fortified meals sold in ~1 year), one in primary eye care (35,000 children treated over 3.5 years), and one in livelihoods (~300 unemployed women employed meaningfully).

    Management consulting experience mainly in the social impact practice area, mainly in healthcare, nutrition, education and CSR sectors. Clients including multilaters, leading international foundations, UN agencies, etc.

    Post-industry choice: management consulting and entrepreneurship

    • John James

      Hi Linda, another request to evaluate a profile,

      1.) worked in the business licensing section for the attorney general (internship) and a year running the client success department at a startup that was successfully acquired (managed a small team of five and essentially built the department and work under the executive team) (2.5 years in total as of now)

      2.) 690 (94% V and 58% Q /3.01 at UCI (upward trend). Also, top 40% at law school where I was on substantial academic scholarships and focused on business law (corporate governance, tax. IP)

      3.) I do legal consulting for fledgling startups and am leading a project that aims to provide widely accessible legal services to entrepreneurs. (Neither are community service, but extracurricular)

      4.) Member of the California Bar

      5.) Entrepreneurial venture that focuses on the intersection of business and law.

      I was planning on applying to:

      CBS- J term
      nyu- part time
      UCLA-part time
      Berkeley-part time
      Northwestern- part time
      Booth-part time
      Yale
      USC
      LBS
      Oxford

      Any suggestions? Any other additional schools I should look into. Many thanks in advance :)

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

        John James,

        CBS Jterm is a big stretch. They’ll be concerned about your quant skills, same with Yale and LBS and probably Oxford. USC may be more forgiving.

        You have a competitive profile for the part-time programs.

        • John James

          Hi Linda!

          Thank you for your candid response, I really appreciate it. Would taking and performing well in extra math classes assuage those concerns? Or should I just focus my attention on the part-time programs.

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

      You have a competitive profile for Yale. Also consider UCLA, Duke, UNC, Ross, Darden, UT, and Cornell Johnson.

  • John James

    Hi Linda, another request to evaluate a profile,

    1.) worked in the business licensing section for the attorney general (internship) and a year running the client success department at a startup that was successfully acquired (managed a small team of five and essentially built the department and work under the executive team) (2.5 years in total as of now)

    2.) 690 (94% V and 58% Q /3.01 at UCI (upward trend). Also, top 40% at law school where I was on substantial academic scholarships and focused on business law (corporate governance, tax. IP)

    3.) I do legal consulting for fledgling startups and am leading a project that aims to provide widely accessible legal services to entrepreneurs. (Neither are community service, but extracurricular)

    4.) Member of the California Bar

    5.) Entrepreneurial venture that focuses on the intersection of business and law.

    I was planning on applying to:

    CBS- J term
    nyu- part time
    UCLA-part time
    Berkeley-part time
    Northwestern- part time
    Booth-part time
    Yale
    USC
    LBS
    Oxford

    Any suggestions? Any other additional schools I should look into. Many thanks in advance

  • Vinay Gupta

    Hi Linda ,

    I will be precise:
    1- GRE 321 – Q 168 V153
    2- Btech CSE CGPA Aprx 3.8
    3- 3 yrs Sofware Engineer in Techmahindra
    1 yr Manager IT in Indian Overseas Bank ( Government Undertaking bank of India)
    4- Nyc set of extra cirlrs ( Street plays, Karate, painting , anchoring etc )

    your take and valuable advice plz :)

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

      Vinay,

      Before I respond, what is your post-MBA goal?

      Thanks.

  • Adeboye Idowu

    Hello Linda,
    1)Work Experience
    Investment Banking-2 years
    Team Lead Corporate, Planning and Investment in an Insurance company -2 years
    Research and Strategy Consulting – About 2 years
    Accounting- 1 year

    2)GMAT intend to take in next two months

    3) University of Lagos with a major in Insurance. CGPA of 4.17/5 while i was an undergraduate I prepared for the professional accountancy exams, graduating in 2007 and qualifying as a professional accountant in the same year.

    4)Extra curricular- Facilitate trainings on corporate finance over 7 years, Pro-bono trainings on the use of excel and developing a financial model. Entrepreneur with a restaurant that retails to about 200 people on a daily basis. Currently increasing capacity as i have gotten another chef with the intention of retailing to over 1000 people before year end and 5000-10000 over the next two years .

    5)Professional Qualifications ACA-the Nigerian equivalent of a CPA in the US and ACCA in the UK and also a level 3 CFA examination candidate.

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

      Adeboye,

      If your GMAT is competitive you have a competitive profile for Yale. Also consider Duke, Wharton, Booth, NYU, and CBS, again depending on your GMAT.

      • Adeboye Idowu

        Thank you

  • Adeboye Idowu

    6) My post MBA goal is to build a deal team to acquire an Insurance company in Nigeria.

    Also to add, you did not request for this but i think it is quite important I am 34 going on 35 got into undergraduate school late because i became ill and i had to stay at home for a while. However, i was the best graduating student in my class in 2007.

  • VKS

    Hi Linda,

    Please advise on profile below:

    Professional Experience: 3 years at Big 4 consulting firm primarily working on technology implementation and strategy projects. Various extracurricular
    activities include planning and executing team events at local animal shelter. Currently transitioning to work in education sector.

    Education: Dual degree in Supply chain and Finance at
    University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with 3.8 Cumulative GPA

    GMAT: 720 (Quant:49, Verbal: 40; AWA:6; IR:7)

    Post MBA goal: use mba education to make an impact in the
    nonprofit sector and more specifically education leadership.

    Target Schools: Yale, Duke, Kellogg, Ross

    Any advice would be appreciated!

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

      VKS,

      You have a competitive profile for your target programs and are applying appropriately. You may also want to consider UCLA and Georgetown.

  • lavender

    Hi Linda

    Appreciate your help with evaluating my profile. I’m a female Vietnamese, applying from Singapore.

    1) 2 years working experience as a Private banking analyst (3 years by the time of entering the MBA program) for a top Swiss private bank, working in the front office as support staff for RMs. The role itself is largely operational and does not involve leadership in the traditional sense (i.e. no direct reports), but does allow me to deal with clients directly and involves a lot of collaboration within the bank. If I stayed on with the bank, I would be nominated to start training as a junior RM next year, which is a relatively short timeline compared to other analysts in my year.

    2) GMAT 730 (96% Verbal; 74% Quant).

    3) Graduated from top university in Singapore, with a degree in Business with a Second upper class Honors (4.1 out of 5). Strong upwards trend from 3.1 in my first semester to 4.4 in my final year.

    4) not much extracurriculars due to busy work schedule. I do occasional volunteering at a food distribution charity. Also participated in a service trip to build a school in a low income region in Vietnam.

    5) Post MBA goal: to go into an area that incorporates finance with social enterprises, e.g. impact investing, fund raising for a social enterprise, etc.

    I’m applying to Columbia, Stern, Yale, maybe INSEAD and Wharton (are these reach schools?)

    Cheers

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

      Lavendar,

      Your GMAT and grades are competitive at your target programs. Your work experience is a little on the low side as on your extra-curriculars, especially given your social goals.

      You certainly have a chance at your target schools, especially Yale so there’s no harm in applying now, but I would also start working to beef up the community service perhaps in a way that ties to your social enterprise goals. Doing so will add credibility to your goals and probably give you more opportunity to show impact even by the time your interview. And if you don’t get in this year, you’ll have a lot to write about next year in terms of clarity of goals, impact, and change.

      Regards,
      Linda

  • YaleChina

    Hi Linda,

    Greetings from China!

    I am applying in round 1 for Yale at the moment. Here is my profile

    1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.

    2013.06 – Present:
    I am working for an Australian corporate advisory firm(sell side) headquartered in Beijing, China as Associate Director. Our firm is focused on providing M&A and fundraising services to listed companies in Australia in mining and energy secotrs. I am responsible for identifying and introducing Chinese institutional investors, arranging roadshows, evaluating projects and executing deals.

    2011.12-2013.06:
    Worked as investment manager and Chairman’s assistant for one of the largest privately held enterprise (buy side) in China, an international investment holding company with assets valued at more than USD 15 billion. The Chairman was ranked top 10 richest man in China in 2013 according to Hu Run Report.

    2011.9-2011.11:

    Intern at UBS Securities.Co.,Ltd, Beijing China

    2) Your GMAT or GRE. Percentiles preferred.

    GMAT 740(97%) M50 (87%) V41(94%)

    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.

    Bachelor of Commerce(Major in Finance), University of Toronto, GPA 3.4/4.0, graduated in 2011.06

    4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.

    -Established and managed a portfolio for myself since 2012 and has achieved an annual compund rate of return of 25% by employing value investing strategy.

    -Planning to set up a family trust in the near future, aiming to provide funding for education, healthcare and pension for our family and next generation in the long term.

    5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA, FSA, or CA.

    Candidate of CFA level 2. Planning to become chart holder in the next 5 years.

    6) Your post-MBA goal.
    Investment Banking or Investment Management

    I have a strong interest in investment management but I lack professional experience. However, my past expeirence prepare me a good fit for investment banking. So, I am still undecided which career path I should choose. Highly appreciate for your advice.

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

      YaleChina,

      You have a competitive (and interesting) profile for Yale and probably should also consider Wharton, CBS, NYU Stern, and Booth.

      I think either career path is credible and attainable given your past work. Write about the one that appeals to you more.

  • MBAHope

    Hi Linda,

    Thanks for taking the time to review our profiles. I’m looking to apply to Yale soon and was hoping for some feedback.

    1) Brief description of your full-time work experience.

    Worked at Big Four in Technology Startup Practice for 2 years
    and was selected as only associate out of pool of 65 to shadow Managing
    Director for 3 months in Leadership Rotation Program

    Founded a social enterprise in final year of undergraduate
    program that worked with diabetics living below the poverty line in Indian
    slums. Was interviewed and featured in leading magazines and news articles
    (think TechCrunch & Huffington Post). Secured leaders in NPO and Social
    Enterprise as advisors

    2) Your GMAT or GRE. Percentiles preferred.

    Writing later this year but have been scoring consistently
    between 710-720 in preparation classes.

    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.

    Top Ranked Canadian Business School in with CGPA of 2.98. Suffered severe
    head injury (from rugby accident) in second year and missed 6/8 months of final year working on social enterprise stated above.

    4) Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience.

    Founder & CEO of Social enterprise selected as 1 of 6 out of 10,000 teams, and only undergraduate team, to pitch for $1 million in seed funding at UN Week in New York to former US Presidents, US Surgeon General and Nobel Peace Prize Winner.

    Selected as one of Canada’s most Promising Young Entrepreneurs. Mentored by leading Canadian Entrepreneurs and academics through rigorous 8-month program.

    Junior Class Representative on Student Governing Body

    Founder of Campus Club in third year of university that grew into the second largest with community of over 50,000

    Presented with University’s President’s Impact Award (Top 15 accomplishments by student or alumni in fiscal year)

    5) Important certifications like CFA, CPA,
    FSA, or CA.

    None.

    6) Your post-MBA goal.

    To pursue a career at a leading technology start-up and gain leadership experience before pursuing my own venture (interested in the tech-sports industry, clean tech, medical devices)

    I know the GPA is on the lower end and that’s why I’m really interested in receiving some feedback. Would love to hear back Linda. I’ll also be applying to MIT, Berkeley, Tuck, Stanford, Ross, Oxford, Northwestern and CMU.

    Thanks Linda!

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

      MBAHope.

      If you take out the grades immediately after your accident or while you were recovering, what was your GPA while in college? Was there an improvement in your grades during the 3rd and 4th year of college?

      Are you OK now?

      • MBAHope

        Hi Linda,

        Recovery took a while; immediately after, my grades were straight 8/9 (A) the second semester of second year and my third year GPA was 6.7/9 (B+) in third year. My third and fourth year cumulative is 6/9 (B). As I mentioned, I started working on my social enterprise and was away from classes for most of fourth year working in India, Boston and New York.

        Definitely doing better now, thanks for asking!

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

          MBAHope,

          I’m glad you’re doing better now!

          A lot will depend on your GMAT (your experience is impressive). If it is strong, you will have a chance. If it isn’t I fear the school will be concerned about your ability to perform.

          Also realize that it appears to me that the accident didn’t really cause your grades to decline as much as your prioritizing the other projects you were working over your classes. If I’m right, then schools, including Yale, will be concerned that you will have the same priorities this time around.

          Linda

          • http://www.crostitch.in Gaurav Singh

            Hi Linda,

            Thanks for taking your time and reviewing our profiles to give us guidance.

            Brief description of your full-time work experience.

            I have been working in the pharmaceutical industry for the past 2 and a half years. I joined the industry as medical representative. Got promoted to the post of regional sales manager by the end of the first year. I handle a team of 7 medical representatives. I was awarded the best medical sales representative for the year 2014 for my company.

            Apart from this, I also own a startup website in the fashion world. I am the head of marketing & sales in the startup. Our startup got listed in the 100 hottest tech startups of 2014 according to a startup magazine in India.

            GMAT:-

            My GMAT score is 700 (89th percentile) (49- Quant and 35- Verbal)

            GPA:-

            My college GPA was 3.93 (as per WES) in Commerce in Delhi University (premier university in the country)

            My college was among the top 10 colleges of the university.

            Significant college and post-college extra-curricular activities or community service, especially leadership experience:-

            1) Was the Vice president of the NSS (National Service Scheme) unit of my college. The unit had 400 students.

            2)Best volunteer for NSS for all the years in college.

            3)Additional diplomas in 1)women empowerment 2) Entrepreneurship 3) French

            Post MBA goal-

            To pursue a career at a leading pharmaceutical companies and gain leadership experience before starting my own company in the healthcare sector.

            I am also applying to Yale, NYU, UCLA, UC Berkeley, CMU, Ross, Booth, MIT, Tuck, Darden, Duke (Fuqua), Columbia, Olin, UNC, Mccombs, Cornell, Northwestern.

            My questions are:-
            1) Am I wrong to apply to so many B-Schools at the same time? (I am a strong believer of shotgun approach)

            2) What are my chances in all these B-Schools?

            3) When writing the essay for Yale, should I just mention my employment experience or should I mention my startup experience too?

            Thanks Linda!!

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

            Gaurav,

            Before responding can you clarify what you see yourself doing at the pharma company post MBA? More sales? General management? Business development? And what kind of company do you think you want to ultimately start?

            Linda

  • hello

    hello

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

    And what do you want to do post-MBA?

  • Himanshu sharma

    Post MBA i am looking for a career in Supply Chain or General Management.
    What are my chances of getting scholarship???
    thanks

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

    Himansu,

    You have a competitive profile for Yale. I’m not confident about the scholarship though. Also consider CMU Tepper, Ross, Darden, Penn State,Purdue, and Michigan Broad. The chances of a scholarship at these programs is probably better than at Yale.

  • John James

    Hi Linda, another request to evaluate a profile,

    1.) worked in the business licensing section for the attorney general (internship) and a year running the client success department at a startup that was successfully acquired (managed a small team of five and essentially built the department and work under the executive team) (2.5 years in total as of now)

    2.) 690 (94% V and 58% Q /3.01 at UCI (upward trend). Also, top 40% at law school where I was on substantial academic scholarships and focused on business law (corporate governance, tax. IP)

    3.) I do legal consulting for fledgling startups and am leading a project that aims to provide widely accessible legal services to entrepreneurs. (Neither are community service, but extracurricular)

    4.) Member of the California Bar

    5.) Entrepreneurial venture that focuses on the intersection of business and law.

    I was planning on applying to:

    CBS- J term
    nyu- part time
    UCLA-part time
    Berkeley-part time
    Northwestern- part time
    Booth-part time
    Yale
    USC
    LBS
    Oxford

    Any suggestions? Any other additional schools I should look into. Many thanks in advance