Yale SOM Deadlines, Essays & Analysis (Class of 2013, Starting Fall 2011)

DEADLINES [table id=47 /]


Short Answers 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. (150 words maximum per question)

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?

Analysis: A typical Goals Essay, broken down into components. Yale doesn't specifically ask for a career analysis or summary (though they do want to know the steps you've taken to change career paths) but I suggest squeezing in your goal-related professional and personal experiences anyways. If you don't have the space, consider those same accomplishments and experiences as potential essay topics for the "Personal Statements" below to relate the source of your goals and your potential for achieving them.

Please also see: Why MBA School X?

Personal Statements Choose two (2) of the following topics and answer them in essay form. Please indicate the topic numbers at the beginning of your essays. (500 words maximum per essay)

Analysis: Yale has changed some of its choices from last year, but with the exception of #2, the questions still heavily emphasize different forms of initiative and leadership.

1. What achievement are you most proud of and why?

Analysis: In addition to a typical MBA leadership accomplishment essay, the scope of this essay can include something you take great personal pride in, perhaps learning a language, leading a sports/debate team to victory, running a family business, overcoming illness - the possibilities are endless. If you've covered a work accomplishment in Personal Statement 3, writing about a personal achievement could provide good balance.

2. 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?

Analysis: Usually, the kind of difficult feedback or self-awareness that Yale is interested in comes from a failure or setback, making this question similar to a typical MBA failure essay. In addition, Yale wants you to identify what aspects of their program will accelerate your growth. Avoid the natural temptation of writing about a "non-failure", such as one stemming from a lack of technical skills that you hope to gain at Yale. If the weakness is something you can eliminate by reading a book and doing some homework, chances are it is not a good topic. Be sincere in your self-assessment. Judging by Yale's other questions, they want applicants with the self-awareness to confront their own weaknesses and the determination to overcome them.

3. 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.

Analysis: Please see: The MBA Leadership Essay

4. An effective leader for business and society is one who is able to hear, understand and communicate with people from all segments of society. In order to educate such leaders, Yale SOM is committed to promoting diversity and creating a community that cultivates a wealth of perspectives. In this spirit, describe an instance when, as part of a team, you played a role in bringing together individuals with different values or viewpoints to achieve a common goal.

Analysis: Another form of Leadership Essay, but with an "internal focus" on developing a strong, successful team from among diverse participants as a pre-condition for success. As I wrote about in this blog post related to interviews, your actions can be either pro-active (i.e., developing a team from scratch) or reactive (i.e., fixing a "broken" team), but the core of the essay should describe in detail your actions to promote a positive, inclusive and successful team, along with your reasons for those actions.

5. For Reapplicants (answer this topic plus one (1) of the other topics): What steps have you taken to improve your candidacy since your last application?

Analysis: Please see: The MBA Re-applicant Essay

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)

Analysis: Please see: The MBA Optional Essay