This application has changed very little from last year. As applicants have done for the last few years when applying to 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 homerun. They are not afterthoughts; your job descriptions and activity history are very important. Write and edit them carefully. Focus on achievements. Quantify when possible and keep front and center Yale’s commitment to “educating leaders for business and society.”
Yale SOM essay question
Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. (500 words)
The question evolved from a conversation with Professor of Organizational Behavior Amy Wrzesniewski, who noted, “Reading about future plans is helpful, but actions speak louder than words.” In your response, we are looking to learn about how you have approached a particular commitment, whether personal or professional, and the behaviors that support it. You should be less concerned about what we want to hear and instead focus on being honest with yourself in selecting and describing the commitment that has been most significant to you.
This question is based not only on the stated premise that actions speak louder than words, but on the additional premise that past behavior predicts future behavior.
You want to show that you are a person who follows through on commitments. So when did you make a commitment and follow through? Do you make big commitments? What are the results? What impact have you had as a result of your biggest commitment? What was the impact on you?
An anecdotal response, telling 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 significant? Did you successfully solve that initial problem or achieve your goals in meeting that challenge?
You can start with the moment of challenge or the moment of triumph. If you choose the latter, then go back, provide context, and tell your story of commitment, resolve, hurdles overcome, and challenge handled. If the impact has lasted – on you and others – succinctly include that part of the story too.
Yale SOM application video component
Yale also has a video component to its application. The questions 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 the 60-90 second timeframe. Rehearse answers to typical interview questions in this format. Remember the STAR (Situation – Task – Action – Result) or CAR (Context/Challenge – Action – Result) framework in structuring your answers.
Yale suggests that you practice via video chat with a friend, but have your friend turn off their webcam and just provide feedback at the end of your response. I also suggest you put up a smiley face somewhere so you can see it and remind yourself to smile. 🙂
Watch: Bruce DelMonico, Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions at Yale SOM, talks about the resume, essay, and video questions:
For expert guidance with your Yale SOM MBA application, check out Accepted’s MBA Application Packages, which include comprehensive guidance from an experienced admissions consultant. We’ve helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to Yale SOM’s MBA program and look forward to helping you too!
Yale SOM 2020-21 MBA application deadlines
|Application Deadline||Decisions Released|
|Round 1||September 15, 2020||December 8, 2020|
|Round 2||January 7, 2021||March 26, 2021|
|Round 3||April 13, 2021||May 18, 2021|
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions, and deadlines.**
Source: Yale SOM website
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