TheYale School of Management has left the one required essay unchanged this year. “In asking this question, the Admissions Committee is interested not just in the commitment itself but also in how you approach the commitment and the behaviors that support it,” Assistant Dean Bruce DelMonico writes in the Yale Admissions Blog announcement.
Keep in mind the Yale community values: “The [Yale SOM] community is united by the belief that acting on our mission requires us to address the biggest and most pressing challenges in the world today. Such problems can’t be solved through solitary gestures—it takes teamwork, an ability to leverage human capital, and the building of active connections between people, ideas, and resources.”
Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. (500 words maximum)
This is an open-ended question which is often intimidating to begin. As you approach this essay remember the type of MBA student Yale is most interested in admitting. Ideally you are coming across as an intellectually curious student with a diverse background deeply interested in the integrated curriculum.
Yale prioritizes diversity of background so highly that the tuition for the MBA program is on a sliding scale based on your pre-MBA salary. This helps Yale attract people from non-traditional backgrounds and geographies, which leads to a true diversity of experiences in your class. How will you bring your own values and unique background to the community and classroom?
Behavioral questions like this one (the tip off is “describe”) seek to understand how you actually operate in various situations. Think about what a commitment is to you. Was it a job or an organization that you were involved in? Maybe your commitment was to a value or a person. Try to be as specific as possible your commitment and why it qualifies as the biggest commitment you have made. What did you think or say when you were determining what to do? What did you actually do? How did you feel about the result?
You may decide to focus on a solo commitment, and that may be entirely appropriate since most MBA applicants are individual contributors. However, ideally you can demonstrate how you work with others as a leader. Regardless of whether you choose an individual or team commitment, try to show how you have made a significant positive impact on an organization or people within the organization.
If appropriate to the commitment, you may want to highlight specific projects at work or in community service that have most excited you and shaped your future goals. This could align with your resume and projects that recommenders comment upon. Strategically designing all of the application components to showcase your best qualities will enhance your candidacy.
Because this is the only essay question available to highlight your personal qualities and leadership ability, make sure your resume and recommendations can answer any questions about your career and accomplishments.
The 500-word limit may be daunting. Instead of censoring yourself on the first draft and limiting what you write, start by describing each step in of your accomplishment in detail in terms of what you did, the reaction of others and your own reaction. From there you can cut out anything that is too detailed or too superfluous to the story to maintain the 500-word maximum. Using an outside reader to help you determine what is most important to the story may help you streamline your essay.
Contact us to learn more about designing the best Yale application possible with Stacy Blackman Consulting.
This entry was posted in Application Tips, Yale SOM Advice and tagged Fall 2018 MBA Essay Tips, mba essay tips, Yale, yale essay, Yale SOM, Yale SOM advice.
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Round 1: September 13th, 2017
Round 2: January 4th, 2018
Round 3: April 18th, 2018
When Edward “Ted” Snyder took over as dean of the Yale School of Management in 2011, expectations soared. And for good reason. Snyder was essentially a miracle worker during his decade-long stint at Chicago’s Booth School–catapulting the school into a world B-school power. Nearly five full years into the job at the SOM and Snyder has somehow surpassed those lofty expectations.
The stats speak for themselves. The SOM’s entering class size for the full-time MBA program has leapt from 231 when Snyder took over to 326 this past fall. Average GMAT for the entering class of 2015 was 721–two full points higher than 2014. Meantime, the acceptance rate dropped three full percentage points to 20.7% during the same timeframe. All the while, the school has been inching up in the rankings and jumped back into the top 10 in the most recent edition of the U.S. News rankings.
Snyder has also focused on diversity. Some 10% of classes at the SOM are reserved for students outside of the school. Not to mention, he has tapped into the global resources of the larger university to increase international presence within the SOM. To top of the global emphasis of the greater B-school community, Snyder and the SOM created the Global Network for Advanced Management in 2012 to link top B-schools around the world. Four years later, the network now has 22 of the world’s most elite B-schools.
“We had a big global brand at the university level, but not at the school level,” Snyder told Poets&Quants at the end of 2015, when he was named Dean of the Year. “The organizing idea was to move us as far away as possible from a standalone business school. Being at Yale made that relatively easy, and that was the big idea coming in.”
And applicants have taken notice to the improvements. In 2014, applications jumped nearly 25% and through Round One of this year’s application cycle, applications turbocharged another 29%. Internationally speaking, applicants from Global Network Countries have jumped a whopping 51.6% from 2012 to 2015.
Of course, Snyder and the global emphasis have also altered curriculum for full-time MBAs. Starting this semester, all full-time MBAs are required to take Global Virtual Teams. The first-year course will focus on team dynamics and then place Yale students on teams with other students at partner schools in Mexico and France. Students will learn to work across countries, cultures and languages.
Other recent changes include a Leadership Development Program–required for all Master’s students, growing the number of entrepreneurship courses to about a dozen and increases in dual degrees and partnerships across schools at Yale. The SOM offers what is probably one of the only dual degrees with a School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
And employers are taking notice of the changes at the SOM, too. Once thought of a B-school that produces primarily social sector MBAs, the SOM has managed to maintain some of that social integrity while also producing graduates taking high pay private sector positions. For the graduating class of 2015, the median salary was $120,000–up $10,000 from the previous year’s class. What’s more, 96.4% of the class had received a job offer within three months of graduating. “We are closing the gap with the best best schools on employment,” Snyder says.
Clearly, the Yale SOM is trending among pretty much all key stakeholders in the MBA world. Applicants are taking notice, academics are taking notice and employers are taking notice. It will be intriguing to see just how far the school can leverage its current upwards momentum.
From 2011 to 2013, Yale SOM slipped from 13th to 17th in the Poets&Quants‘ composite rankings. The school has more than rebounded to 12th in 2014 and 10th in 2015. In the volatile Businessweek rankings, the school surprisingly maintained a consistent ranking of 21st for 2011 through 2013 before surging to sixth in 2014 and settling back to 11th in 2015. Over the past five years, Yale SOM has for the most part steadily climbed in the reputable rankings.
MBA Program Consideration Set:
Stretch Schools: Columbia, Dartmouth, Northwestern’s Kellogg School, MIT Sloan, Berkeley
Match Schools: New York University, Virginia, Duke, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon
Safe Schools: UCLA, North Carolina, Texas at Austin, Emory
Yale SOM does not publish in its employment report its top employers, preferring to list all of the firms that hired the school’s graduates.
Note: MBA Program Consideration Set: If you believe you’re a close match to this school–based on your GMAT and GPA scores, your age and work experience, you should look at these other competitive full-time MBA programs as well. We list them by stretch, match and safety. These options are presented on the basis of brand image and ranking status as a general guideline.
Can ‘Ted’ Snyder Work His Magic on Yale’s School of Management?
Yale’s Big, Audacious Global Bet
Yale’s Global Network for Advanced Management