UPDATE- THE TIPS FOR YALE SOM’S 2009 MBA APPLICATION ARE NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE. PLEASE POST QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS TO THE NEW BLOG POST.
Round 1 Oct. 24, 2007
Round 2 Jan. 9, 2008
Round 3 Mar. 12, 2008
Yale has added a question this year, which will allow it to make more informed admissions decisions than its rather skimpy two essays last year allowed. My tips for questions 1 & 3, which are unchanged, are also unchanged. #2 is the new question. Use it to present additional elements of your qualifications, personality, and character to Yale SOM.
My comments below are in red.
1. Why an MBA? (Required)
Please describe your short and long term goals and how your previous experience and an MBA will help you to achieve these goals. (500 words maximum.)
You’ve seen this before — a classic 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.
Now this question does not ask specifically about Yale, but it is here so that you can really show fit with the program. Yale’s curriculum emphasizes the integration of business functions. In your essays discuss how an integrated, general management approach is important to the achievement of your goals. How will a highly structured, but innovative program, with a required international project help you arrive at your desired professional destination? That program just happens to be Yale’s.
2. Leadership Example (Required)Describe a situation in which your leadership and/or teamwork had a significant impact. (500 words maximum.)
When have you made a significant contribution to an organization or team? What was the challenge? How did you lead? What was the impact and outcome? A PAR approach to this question could work well.
3. Personal Statement (Required)Please develop a question/topic of your choice and answer it in essay form. Please state the question/topic at the beginning of your essay.
Yale provides a list of sample topics for this essay:
• What personal achievement are you most proud of and why?
• What activities/interests do you enjoy outside the office and/or classroom and how would you integrate these activities/interests into the Yale SOM community?
• What is the most difficult feedback that you have received and how did you address it?
• Where is the most exciting place you have ever been and what did you learn from being there?
• Describe a situation where you questioned your values and/or beliefs.
• What does leadership mean to you?
• If you are reapplying: How has your candidacy changed since your last application?
Yale is being really nice and making your life easy by providing this list. It gives you a wide choice of topics. Choose one that will allow you to write revealingly and easily about yourself and go for it! This essay should complement Essay 1, 2 and the Optional Essay, if you write it. Pick the topic that will allow you to present yourself at your best.
Optional Essay. If any aspect of your candidacy needs further explanation, please provide any additional information that you would like the Admissions Committee to consider. (200 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 six-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 be worthwhile discussing in the optional essay.