Yale SOM MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines [2023-2024], Class Profile
As all applicants must do when applying to the Yale SOM, you need to make the most of its single required essay, but you also need to take the time to make every box in the application a home run. Do not treat them as afterthoughts; your job descriptions and activity history are very important. Write and edit these portions carefully. Focus on achievements. Quantify when possible, and keep Yale’s commitment to “educating leaders for business and society” front and center in your responses.
Ready to get to work on your Yale SOM application? Read on.
Yale SOM application essay tips
We want to know what matters to you, and our essay question is designed to help us gain insight into your background, passions, motivations, responsibilities, ideals, identities, challenges, or aspirations, depending on where you take your response. To ensure that you’re able to write about something important to you, we offer you three essay prompts from which to choose.
Choose the prompt that speaks most strongly to you and about which you have the most enthusiasm. In answering the prompt – whichever one it is – you should think about the life experiences that have been most meaningful to you and that you most want to communicate to the committee, and pick the question that will best allow you to express that aspect of yourself. We find that the most compelling essays are the ones that are truly most important to you, so make sure that’s your guide in choosing what to write about; don’t try to guess what we’re looking for or what you think we want to hear. Importantly, regardless of which prompt you choose, you’ll want to support your essay with concrete examples.
Importantly, regardless of which prompt you choose, you’ll want to support your essay with concrete examples.
Essay option #1
Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. Why is this commitment meaningful to you and what actions have you taken to support it?
This essay question is based not only on the premise that actions speak louder than words but also on the premise that past behavior predicts future behavior.
So, in your essay, you want to show that you are a person who follows through on commitments. Think about times when you make a significant commitment and fulfilled it. Do you tend to make big commitments? What are the results? What impact have you had as a result of your most important or consequential commitment? What was the impact on you?
An anecdotal response, in which you tell the story of the commitment you made, could be very effective. What was the challenge or problem that triggered the commitment? How did you follow up? What was the outcome, and why is it meaningful to you? Did you successfully solve the initial problem or achieve your goal(s) in meeting the challenge?
You can start with the moment of challenge or with the moment of triumph. If you choose the latter, be sure to go back, provide context, and recount your story of commitment, resolve, hurdles overcome, and challenges handled. If the impact has lasted – on you and others – succinctly include that part of the story, too.
Essay option #2
Describe the community that has been most meaningful to you. What is the most valuable thing you have gained from being a part of this community and what is the most important thing you have contributed to this community?
If you choose to respond to this prompt, start by thinking about a community you either currently belong to or belonged to in the past, and choose the one in which and from which you believe you have learned the most, or to which you contributed the most.
This could be related to a volunteer activity you regularly participate in, a network or community of like-minded people you belong to, or even a professional organization you are part of.
We recommend dedicating the first third of the essay to describing the community and the nature of your involvement. Then, spend the second third discussing what you have learned from your experiences in – and potentially from other members of – that community, focusing especially on the one or two most important ones. In the final third of the essay, highlight the most important contributions you have made to the community.
Essay option #3
Describe the most significant challenge you have faced. How have you confronted this challenge and how has it shaped you as a person?
Using the SAR (Situation, Action, Results), STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result), or CAR (Context/Challenge, Action, Result) framework, describe for the admissions committee the most important challenge you have had to address in your life, either personal or professional. In the first part of the essay, clearly describe the issue and why it was or has been difficult for you. Then, discuss how you confronted the challenge, what you specifically did to deal with and overcome it. Finish with how the experience helped shape you into the person you are today. Explain for the adcom what you learned and how you grew as a result.
The Yale SOM application also includes a video component. The questions involved are not posted ahead of time, and they vary from applicant to applicant. The key element to preparation here is practice. Practice talking into a webcam without feedback from another human being. Practice delivering question responses within the school’s 60- to 90-second time frame. Rehearse answers to typical interview questions in this format. Consider using the SAR (Situation, Action, Results), STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result), or CAR (Context/Challenge, Action, Result) framework to structure your answers.
The Yale adcom suggests that you practice via video chat with a friend, but if you do this, have your friend turn off their webcam and just provide feedback at the end of your response. You might also want to consider posting a smiley face somewhere near your computer’s camera you can see it as a reminder to yourself to smile.
Watch: Bruce DelMonico, assistant dean and director of admissions at Yale SOM, talks about common application mistakes.
Yale SOM application deadlines
|Application deadline||Admissions decision|
|Round 1||September 12, 2023||December 5, 2023|
|Round 2||January 4, 2024||March 26, 2024|
|Round 3||April 9, 2024||May 16, 2024|
Source: Yale SOM website
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with the Yale SOM directly to verify its essay questions, instructions, and deadlines.***
Yale SOM class profile
Here is a look at the Yale SOM Class of 2024 (data taken from the Yale SOM website):
Total enrollment: 347
International passport holders (includes U.S. permanent residents and dual citizens): 48%
First-generation college students: 17%
Joint-degree students: 12%
Average years of work experience: 4.7
U.S. students of color (% of U.S. students who identify as American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Other Pacific Islander, Asian American, Black/African American, or Hispanic/Latinx): 54%
U.S. underrepresented students of color (% of U.S. students who identify as American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Other Pacific Islander, Black/African American, or Hispanic/Latinx): 24%
Median undergraduate GPA: 3.69
80% range of undergraduate GPA: 3.34-3.90
Median GMAT: 725
Middle 80% GMAT range: 690-760
Median GRE-V: 164
Middle 80% GRE-V range: 159-169
Median GRE-Q: 165
Middle 80% GRE-Q range: 160-170
Students with GRE scores: 39%
Countries represented: 48
Citizenship by region (based on primary and secondary citizenship):
- North America: 62%
- Asia Pacific: 27%
- Mexico, Caribbean, and Latin America: 4%
- Africa and Middle East: 3%
- Europe: 3%
- STEM: 38%
- Business: 25%
- Humanities and Social Sciences: 19%
- Economics: 18%
- Financial services: 20%
- Consulting: 19%
- Nonprofit: 12%
- Technology: 12%
- Government: 9%
- Healthcare (including products and services): 7%
- Manufacturing: 5%
- Energy: 4%
- Media/Entertainment: 4%
- Consumer packaged goods: 3%
- Real estate: 2%
- Retail: 2%
- Other: 1%
- Consulting: 32%
- Other: 24%
- Finance/Accounting: 18%
- General management: 10%
- Marketing/Sales: 7%
- Operations/Logistics: 5%
- Information technology: 3%
- For-profit: 74.6%
- Government: 13.7%
- Nonprofit: 11.7%
Former associate director of admissions at the Yale School of Management, director of MBA admissions at MSU Broad, and consultant at Cardiff Business School in the United Kingdom, Esmeralda Cardenal has guided Accepted clients to acceptance in various graduate programs since 2014, including MBA and master’s in finance, business analytics, data science, sustainability, and public policy. Want Esmeralda to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!