The tips for Yale SOM 2011 MBA Application are now available online. Please post questions and comments to the new post.
My comments are in red:
Please answer each of the four questions below with a short paragraph of no more than 150 words. This is an opportunity to distill your core ideas, values, goals and motivations into a set of snapshots that help tell us who you are, where you are headed, and why. (600 words maximum)
1. What are your professional goals immediately after you receive your MBA?
2. What are your long-term career aspirations?
3. Why are you choosing to pursue an MBA and why now? (If you plan to use your MBA experience to make a significant change in the field or nature of your career, please tell us what you have done to prepare for this transition.)
4. What attracts you specifically to the Yale School of Management’s MBA program?
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.
However, this year, they have broken down the questions and ask specifically about Yale. You need to explicitly connect the Yale MBA experience to the achievement of your goals. Yale’s curriculum emphasizes the integration of business functions. In your essays discuss how an integrated, general management approach is important to you. How will a 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.
PERSONAL STATEMENT 1
Describe an accomplishment that exhibits your leadership style. The description should include evidence of your leadership skills, the actions you took, and the impact you had on your organization. (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.
PERSONAL STATEMENT 2
Choose one of the following topics and answer it in essay form. Please indicate the topic number at the beginning of your essay. (500 words maximum)
1. A central premise of our teaching about leadership at the Yale School of Management is that true leadership—leadership that helps to address a significant problem in a new way—is necessarily personal. It is only when personal passion aligns with meaningful aspirations that individuals are able to inspire others to act in support of an important goal or cause. What are you most passionate about, and how have you demonstrated a commitment to this passion?
2. What achievement are you most proud of and why?
3. What is the most difficult feedback you have received from another person or the most significant weakness you have perceived in yourself? What steps have you taken to address it and how will business school contribute to this process?
4. Describe a situation in which you devised and implemented a creative or unique solution to a difficult problem. What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
5. Required for reapplicants: What steps have you taken to improve your candidacy since your last application?
Which option should you choose? The one that fits you like a well-made suit. The one that enables you to relate the story you are dying to tell. The one that allows you to show what is distinctive about you and important to you. Choose one that will allow you to write revealingly and easily about yourself and go for it! Also make sure that your essays complement each other, including the Optional Essay, if you write it. Disclose another facet of your life experience that shows you are a values-driven leader.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (OPTIONAL)
If any aspect of your candidacy needs further explanation, please provide any additional information that you would like the Admissions Committee to consider. (250 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.
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