Our Thoughts on Yale SOM’s Application Essay for 2015-2016


Application season at the Yale School of Management is officially underway with the release of the school’s 2015-2016 essay question. Let’s discuss from a high level some early thoughts on how best to approach this year’s single essay prompt from Yale:

The Yale School of Management educates individuals who will have deep and lasting impacts on the organizations they lead. Describe how you have positively influenced an organization as an employee, a member, or an outside constituent (500 words maximum).

Again, Yale only has one essay this year so candidates must make sure to really double down on this aspect of the application. The first step should be to sift through anecdotes within your personal, professional and academic careers to discuss in this essay. It’s not enough to simply select an example where you made a big impact, but instead, one where the full breadth of your interpersonal skills are on display. The ideal social skills to highlight are ones that jive with the Yale SOM mission. This year, Yale brings back their same essay prompt as last year, so if you are a candidate who applied in the 2014-2015 application season or got a head start on your essays by bench-marking against that essay, you are in luck.

This is a hybrid “influence”/“impact” essay where applicants are asked to describe a unique personal, professional, or academic situation where they have made a difference. Also, it would be wise to leverage some of the clues within the prompt itself. Words like “deep”, “lasting”, “lead” and “influence” should serve as elements of the story you should lean on to make your case. Make sure the example(s) selected have a bit more staying power –Yale is looking for sustainable impact you have had on an organization.

The typical candidate will tell the Admissions Committee how they influenced an organization. Breakthrough candidates won’t just tell the AdComm how they influenced an organization, but instead will show the underlying process in how it happened. Introspection will be a key element to any successful Yale SOM essay, relating why this specific anecdote is significant to YOU. Finally, consider if and then how this experience will allow you to make a similar impact on the greater Yale SOM community as a whole.

Just a few thoughts on this year’s essay from Yale, hopefully this will help you get started.

If you are considering applying to Yale SOM, download our Essential Guide to Yale, one of our 13 guides to the world’s top business schools. Ready to start building your applications for Stern and other top MBA programs? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. As always, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

Dozie A. is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His specialties include consulting, marketing, and low GPA/GMAT applicants. You can read more of his articles here

Yale SOM Application Essay and Deadlines for 2014-2015

Yale School of ManagementToday we dig into the Yale School of Management’s admissions essays and application deadlines for the Class of 2017. Last year, Yale was one of the most aggressive movers in reducing its essay count, dropping from four required essays down to two. This year, the Yale admissions team has gone even further, announcing just one required essay for the 2014-2015 admissions season. Note that Yale has kept its video questions, which the school added last year.

Here are Yale SOM’s application deadlines and admissions essay for the coming year:

Yale SOM Admissions Deadlines
Round 1: September 18, 2014
Round 2: January 8, 2015
Round 3: April 23, 2015

Yale’s Round 1 deadline has crept forward by a week this year, although its Round 2 and Round 3 deadlines are virtually unchanged. Note that, if you apply to Yale in Round 1, you will receive your decision by December 8. This gives you plenty of time to get your Round 2 applications deadlines together for other MBA programs if you don’t get good news from Yale.

Yale SOM Admissions Essay

  1. The Yale School of Management educates individuals who will have deep and lasting impact on the organizations they lead. Describe how you have positively influenced an organization —- as an employee, a member, or an outside constituent. (500 words)

    Very interesting. Yale SOM has narrowed down its slate of essays to just one, and for that one essay the Yale has chosen a topic that focuses on one of the defining attributes of a leader — the ability to have a positive impact on those around you. When you hear the term “leader” it’s normal to envision an elected official or a CEO, but leaders exist at every level of an organization, even if they don’t have any people reporting directly to them. And, one of the best ways to spot a leader in a group is to find the person who is able to positively impact those around him or her.

    Note that the Yale admissions team not only wants to know what you accomplished, but also wants to understand exactly what you did to make it happen. Examples where you went above and beyond the call of duty, or went beyond your standard job description, will be the most powerful here. For this essay you can use the classic SAR (“Situation Action Result”) format: Describe the challenge or opportunity you identified, explain in detail what you did, and then be sure to spell out exactly how your actions positively influenced those around you.

    Finally, note that this question focuses on the impact that your actions had on your organization, not the role you were in. In other words, admissions officers care about what positive impact you truly have on those around you much more than they care about your job title.

Thoughts on Yale SOM’s Video Questions
As Yale SOM Admissions Director Bruce Delmonico wrote earlier this year, the work that goes into your application overall should prepare you well for the video questions. That means knowing how to deliver a short “headline”-type introduction of yourself, being able to succinctly explain why you want a Yale MBA, and being prepared for basic behavioral questions (the kind that start with “Describe a time when you…”). As Delmonico mentions in that article, the school isn’t looking for a perfect level of polish. In fact, the more off-the-cuff your remarks seem, the more likely you are to come across as authentic. You shouldn’t ramble for 90 seconds, but your answers should be just as they probably would be in an in-person interview — imperfect, yet succinct and convincing.

Want to earn a Yale MBA? Get yourself a copy of our Essential Guide to Yale SOM, one of our 14 guides to the world’s top business schools. For even more personalized advice, sign up for a free profile evaluation by one of our MBA admissions experts. And, as always, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

By Scott Shrum

Yale SOM Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2013-2014

Yale School of ManagementThe Yale School of Management has released its MBA application essays and deadlines for the 2013-2014 admissions season. Building on the trend that we have seen at other prominent MBA programs so far this year, Yale has reduced its essay count, going from four last year to just two this year. Yale did beef up the word limits on the individual essays, though, so your total recommended word count wasn’t cut in half — it drops from 1,050 to 750.

Without further ado, here are Yale SOM’s admissions deadlines and essays for the Class of 2016, followed by our comments in italics:

Yale SOM Application Deadlines
Round 1: September 25, 2013
Round 2: January 9, 2014
Round 3: April 24, 2014

The big change here vs. last year is that Yale’s Round 1 deadline has moved up from early October to the last week of September, making Yale the latest MBA program to inch its Round 1 deadline forward yet again. Note that applying to Yale in Round 1 means that you will receive a decision by December 9, giving you plenty of time to put alternate Round 2 plans into action if you don’t receive good news from Yale. The school’s Round 2 and Round 3 deadlines have barely changed, although Yale actually pushed its Round 3 deadline even later for this coming application season, giving Yale one of the latest final admissions deadlines among top business schools.

Yale SOM Application Essays

  1. What motivates your decision to pursue an MBA? (300 words)

    This question replaces a similar “Why MBA?”-type question that Yale used last year. That one actually was more specific and gave applicants more guidance, but had a word limit of only 150 words. Now, it’s more wide-open and gives you much more room to work with, although 300 words is still pretty tight.

    Note that there is no “Why Yale?” component to this essay; that comes in the second essay. Here you want to show that you have specific, credible reasons for wanting to pursue an MBA, and that you have realistic expectations for what the degree will help you achieve. You don’t need to spell out exactly where you think you will be in ten years — that’s not the point of this essay — but you do need to show that this is not something you’re doing on a whim. Also, keep the focus on what you want to move toward (e.g., “I want to grow as a general manager”) and not what you want to get away from (e.g., “My boss doesn’t understand my brilliance and I’m bored”). Finally, keep it succinct… The Yale admissions committee wants to know why they’re reading your application, and doesn’t want too much fluff and drama here.
  2. The Yale School of Management provides leadership education for broad-minded, rigorous, and intellectually curious students with diverse backgrounds; a distinctive integrated curriculum; connections to one of the great research universities in the world; and the broad reach of an innovative and expanding global network of top business schools.

    What motivates you to apply to the Yale School of Management for your MBA? What will you contribute to Yale and Yale SOM? (450 words)

    Yale used a very similar essay last year, but has tweaked it and added words for this application season. At its core, it’s a “Why Yale?” question that asks you to demonstrate that you have done your homework on Yale and are passionate about the program. They have a particular vision for Yale SOM and its student body… Help them see that you share that vision and will fit in at Yale. Also, note that the school gave you 300 words for the “Why an MBA?” question and 450 words for this one… We’ll leave it to you to determine which one is more important in the admissions officers’ eyes.

For more advice on getting into Yale, get yourself a copy of our Essential Guide to Yale SOM, one of our 14 guides to the world’s top business schools. For even more personalized advice, sign up for a free profile evaluation by one of our MBA admissions experts. And, as always, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

By Scott Shrum

Four Things That Make Yale SOM Different

Yale MBA Admissions GuideWe work with dozens of Yale School of Management applicants every year. Given the school’s tight-knit culture and its strong reputation in progressive fields of study, it’s no wonder that Yale is popular among our admissions consulting clients. What does surprise us, though, is how many Yale applicants don’t really know whether the school is good fit for them. We always urge these applicants to go back and do their homework a bit more before they start crafting their applications.

Are you thinking about applying to Yale SOM this year? If so, why? How do you know if it’s really is a good fit for you? More importantly, how do you know the Yale admissions team will think you’re a good fit for the school? Today we present four things that make the Yale SOM experience unique:
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Yale Moves to Make Its Three-Year JD/MBA Program Official

For the past two years Yale University has offered a three-year joint JD/MBA degree, offered between Yale Law School and the Yale School of Management. Now, after a nearly year-long review, the Yale Law School faculty has voted to make the joint degree a permanent offering. While the SOM faculty has yet to vote, it is expected that it will also vote in favor of making the program permanent.

Yale’s JD/MBA program is only six semesters long, with no summer component, making it one of the shortest such programs in the country. Students spend two academic years in the Law School and one year in the School of Management. While Yale’s accelerated JD/MBA is not the first such program in the nation — Northwestern, Duke, and Penn also offer similar programs — the fact that Yale Law School has finally embraced this model is big deal, and it could mean that more top universities will soon follow.
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Yale SOM Is a Good Fit for You If…

Yale School of ManagementIf you’re researching top MBA programs, chances are that the Yale School of Management is on your radar. We get countless inquires about the school every year. But, besides knowing that it’s a top-ranked school that is especially known for attracting civic-minded applicants, how well do you really know Yale? How do you know if Yale really is a good fit for you? And, perhaps more importantly, how do you know if the Yale admissions committee will decide that you’re a good fit for the school?

Today we look at five things that might make Yale your first choice among MBA programs:
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Yale Announces $50 Million Gift to Name New Campus

Yale MBA Admissions GuideYesterday the Yale School of Management community was buzzing with news that Yale University has received a $50 million donation to help finish the new SOM campus. The school will recognize Yale College alumnus Edward P. (Ned) Evans (Class of ’64), the former Chair and CEO of publishing house Macmillan, for his gift by naming the new building Edward P. Evans Hall.

The new building, which is scheduled for completion in 2013, sits on a 4.25 acre campus for the new and improved School of Management. It will feature the full complement of state-of-the-art classrooms, comfortable meeting spaces for students, and “green” building technology. The architects, Foster + Partners, have taken special care to design the new building to have a distinctive 21st-Century look that will fit in well with the rest of Yale University’s distinguished architecture.
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Veritas Prep’s Chad Troutwine Speaks at Yale

Chad Troutwine
Veritas Prep Co-Founder and CEO Chad Troutwine
Last Thursday, Veritas Prep co-founder and CEO Chad Troutwine had the honor of addressing a group of aspiring entrepreneurs at the Yale School of Management. Chad, a Yale SOM Class of 2002 alum, spoke to the group about the drive he always had to be his own boss.

Chad went into great detail about how Veritas Prep got its start in David Cromwell’s entrepreneurial planning class while Chad was at Yale. He arrived in New Haven with the seed of an idea for a new kind of test preparation company, but he credits Cromwell’s class for helping him to fully flesh it out and begin putting the pieces together to form what would eventually become Veritas Prep.
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Yale MBA Application Essays and Deadlines for 2010-2011

Business School GuidesThe Yale School of Management has released its application deadlines and admissions essays for the coming admissions season. Here they are, followed by our comments in italics.

Yale MBA Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 7, 2010
Round 2: January 6, 2011
Round 3: March 17, 2011

These deadlines are virtually the same as last year’s, with the exception of Yale’s Round 3 deadline, which is one week later than it was last year. Note that, like some other top MBA programs, last year Yale pushed its Round 1 deadline up to early October, which enables the school to render decisions on Round 1 applications before the holidays (and before the Round 2 deadlines come in early January). If Yale SOM is your top choice — or one of your top choices — this gives you a chance to take a strong shot at the school early and apply to your backup schools in Round 2, if needed.

Yale MBA Admissions Essays

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. (600 words total)

  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?

These short (and we do mean short!) questions carry over unchanged from last year. These essays really challenge you to be succinct and get right to the point in answering the school’s questions. But, we think that’s okay. Each of these “micro-essay” questions covers a topic that you should be well prepared to answer by now. Yale just wants you to cut the fat and get right to the point, so the best thing you can do is answer these questions head-on. Career switchers should take special note of the additional instruction in Question #3. In this economic climate, Yale SOM, like all schools, is especially interested to know how well you will do in the post-MBA job market. Career switching is fine, and is even a great reason for pursuing an MBA, but you need to show that you’ve done your homework and are realistic about your intended career.

(By the way, the above paragraph is exactly 150 words, by design. Notice that you really can say a lot in just 150 words!)

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)

While last year Yale asked everyone to answer the “leadership style” question (#3 below) and then choose from a short list of other questions, this year that question is just one of five questions that applicants can choose from. Since Yale has kept the question, it must give the school what it wants, but Yale must have gotten enough good info from the other questions that it now wants to give every applicant the chance to choose which two essays will work best for him or her.

  1. What achievement are you most proud of and why?
  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
  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.
  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.
  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?
  6. Question #1 is similar to Harvard’s “three most substantial accomplishments” essay. Of course, here you can devote 500 words to just one accomplishment, allowing you to go into more detail. The “why” is really what matters here — in your life until now, if you can pick just ONE thing, it had better be good. And not just impressive, but also consistent with the overall story you present in your Yale SOM application.

    We like Question #2 because it gives you a chance to really show off your self-awareness. Applicants are understandably uneasy about discussing their weaknesses and failings, but being able to show how you maturely and constructively handled tough feedback — and then how you put that feedback to use in a later situation — is a terrific thing for your candidacy.

    Question #3 gives you the chance to put the Situation-Action-Result (SAR) framework to use, although for many applicants, the best example to use here may overlap with Question #1, so we expect that many applicants will find themselves having to choose between #1 and #3. Question #4 may reflect an evolution in Yale’s thinking… Two years ago, the question was “What unique attributes would you bring to Yale,” but now the school is interested in seeing how you worked with and brought together people with different viewpoints. This ability to work well with (and lead) others is a trait that Yale SOM really prizes in its applicants.

For more advice on applying to Yale SOM, download our free Veritas Prep Annual Reports! And, as always, be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow us on Twitter!

Four Things that Make the Yale MBA Program Unique

Business School GuidesContinuing our series of admissions insights clipped from Veritas Prep’s Annual Reports, our in-depth insider’s guides to 15 of the world’s top business schools, this week we look at four traits that make the Yale School of Management unique among top business schools. (Our Annual reports are absolutely free with registration, but we thought we’d share some snippets here to help get you started in your Yale SOM research.)

The Yale School of Management discovered that the “silo” approach to teaching –

Yale SOM Names Edward A. Snyder New Dean

This morning the Yale School of Management announced that Edward A. Snyder, currently Dean and George Shultz Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, has agreed to become the next Dean of the Yale School of Management. Snyder, who last fall announced his decision to step down from the role of Dean at Chicago Booth on June 30, 2010, won’t actually begin his term immediately. He will take a year off, and then step into the Dean’s office at Yale SOM on July 1, 2011. Current Yale SOM Dean Sharon Oster will continue on in her current role until then.

When Snyder announced that he was leaving Chicago Booth, it made a lot of waves in the education space, since he had put together one of the most successful tenures of any business school dean in recent memory. Under his leadership, Chicago Booth almost doubled its number of endowed professorships and more than tripled its scholarship assistance to MBA students. He transformed Chicago Booth by overseeing the move to the school’s new Hyde Park campus and establishing a new campus in London. The school is now expanding its presence in Singapore and is playing a significant role in the University

In a Rough Job Market, Some Business Schools Fare Better than Others

Last week BusinessWeek ran an article titled “MBAs Confront a Savage Job Market,” which painted a pretty rough picture for many grads of top MBA programs. At some top business schools, as many as 20% of grads were still unemployed three months after graduation. Furthermore, according to BusinessWeek, 16.5% of job-seeking students from the top 30 MBA programs did not get even one offer within three months of graduation (compared to 5% for the Class of 2008).

Salary numbers also suggested that the job market for MBAs isn’t great: Starting pay was down from about $98,000 in 2008 to $96,500 this year. For many of the top-30 business schools, this is the first time since the the dot-com crash that salaries haven’t increased, adding to the evidence that this is truly a once-in-a-generation (or once-in-a-decade?) downturn.

Fortunately for some grads, though, the world of top-30 business schools is not universally gloomy. Some schools’ career offices have been able to direct their students into more stable industries, such as government, health care, energy, and the non-profit sector. While becoming a mid-level government bureaucrat may not quite hold the same appeal as being a six-figure-making banker, many grads have opened their eyes and realized that these sectors are where the jobs are right now, and are taking these jobs when they can.

In other cases, hiring did happen, although it happened later than it normally does. The Kellogg School of Management, for instance, reported that 85% of of its grads received at least one offer, although many students received offers late in the spring — months later than they normally would. (To learn more about the Kellogg School of Management, download our free Veritas Prep Kellogg Annual Report.)

Other top schools have also been able to weather the storm pretty well. BusinessWeek ranked the schools in terms of how well they’ve held up job-wise in the recession, with Yale, Washington University, HBS, Stanford, and MIT Sloan coming out on top. At Yale, for example, only 8% of grads were without any job offers three months after graduation, just two percentage points higher than a year ago. While not all of these placed grads ended up in the careers they envisioned when they first applied to business school, you can be sure that they’re glad to have jobs at all.

If you’re just now starting to research business schools, download our 15 free Veritas Prep Annual Reports. If you’re ready to craft your own winning application, call us at 800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today!

Yale SOM Application Essays and Deadlines for 2009-2010

Yale SOM Director of Admissions Bruce DelMonico was kind enough to reach out recently and let us know that Yale has posted it application essays and deadlines for the coming season. It looks like Yale has significantly overhauled its essays for the coming year, going with shorter essays that will require brevity and focus.

Key information is below, followed by our comments, in italics:

Yale SOM Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 8, 2009
Round 2: January 7, 2010
Round 3: March 10, 2010

(Note that, like other top MBA programs, Yale will release its Round 1 admissions decisions in December, before the holidays. This is a tremendous help if Yale is your top choice, and you want to know your status with Yale before deciding to dive into a whole batch of Round 2 applications over the holidays. We expect this trend of earlier decision notifications will continue among the top programs.)

Yale SOM Application Essays
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 total)

  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

Yale Adds Three-Year JD/MBA Program

Big news coming out of New Haven, Connecticut, as Yale has announced the addition of a three-year JD/MBA program to its graduate school options.

The official name of the program is the “Accelerated Integrated JD-MBA Program,” which is certainly a literal title, as well as a mouthful. It is focused on students interested in “business law,” which sounds specific, but lends itself to all of the careers we typically see from a JD/MBA track, including transactional law, corporate governance, regulatory law, entrepreneurship, and a host of other professional paths. So the thrust of the program doesn’t sound dramatically different from the other three-year programs that are already available at elite universities (Penn, Northwestern, Duke).

However, on closer inspection, there are two significant differences between Yale’s program and the others mentioned above:

1. There is more focus on the law. At the other elite three-year JD/MBA programs, the emphasis is often on the management or finance aspects of the program. This is evident in the way the program is built, but even more so in the way the applications are set up. In particular, the application for the Northwestern three-year program is basically a minor deviation from the Kellogg application, and nearly all of the questions are about leadership, teammwork, work experience, and other “MBA” issues. In the case of Yale, it seems that the program is anchored more in the law school curriculum and I suspect that the application process will reflect that as well.

(Note: This makes sense on an intuitive level, since Yale’s law school is the top ranked law school in the country and is quite a bit more prestigious — relatively speaking — than the School of Management. Certainly, the pairing of Yale Law and Yale SOM represents the greatest disparity in relative ranking strength. In fact, in the case of Penn and Wharton, it is the business school that enjoys the greater ranking prestige relative to its peers. From this, one could surmise that the law school will also be driving the admissions decisions.)

2. No summer classes. I’m not sure how Yale is going to pull this magic trick off (early indications are the complete elimination of electives and “non essential” coursework), but the three-year program is truly three academic years (six semester). In other words, no summer course work. This is a huge deal, because it should reduce tuition costs (for more on the tuition considerations of a JD/MBA, see here), while freeing up both the first and second summers to seek out either legal or business employment experiences.

All told this is a major addition to the three-year JD/MBA options currently available to interested candidates and yet another sign (coming on the heels of Penn announcing its own program last fall) that this degree is enjoying an increase in both popularity and accessibility.

For those interested in learning more about JD/MBA programs, exploring whether the degree might be a good fit, or looking for assistance with a JD/MBA application, please explore our JD/MBA admissions consulting services.

MBA Admissions Tips from Yale

Recently the Yale School of Management admissions office posted some admissions tips for those applicant who are working on their Round Two deadlines. Among the tips that they offered:

  • Review Your Essays — Before you submit your application, it’s important to review your essays to be sure your goals are well articulated and you’ve covered all the points you want to convey. You may also want to have a friend or family member proofread them because it’s always helpful to have a second pair of eyes to catch things you may have missed. Just remember essays should be entirely your own work.
  • Send Your Official Test Score Reports — If you haven’t already, designate Yale SOM to receive your score reports electronically. If we don’t receive your report close to the admissions deadline, the review of your application may be delayed.
  • Make Your Resume Stand Out — Instead of just listing your job responsibilities, be sure you’ve highlighted special projects and new initiatives that have contributed to the success of your office.

Also, the Yale admissions office reports that they have sent out about two-thirds of the total candidates whom they plan on interviewing from Round One. So, if you haven’t yet heard anything from Yale about an admissions interview yet, don’t worry — they may just not have reviewed you application yet. And, they may keep sending out interview invitations right up until the decision deadline, so there’s still plenty of time to hear from Yale!

Just a reminder that Yale SOM’s Round Two deadline is January 7, 2009. If you would like some last-minute help on your Yale essays, take a look at Veritas Prep’s MBA essay editing services.

Yale SOM Applications Rise 4% in Round One

Take Yale Daily news reported on Thursday that Round One applications to Yale SOM increased by 4% vs. Round One last year.

According to Yale SOM Director of Admissions Bruce DelMonico, the school received 928 applications by its October deadline, compared to 894 received in October, 2007. That puts Yale on pace to pace to receive more than 3,000 applications in the 2008-2009 MBA admissions season.

On top of the growing numbers, DelMonino also reports that the admissions office is “seeing not only greater numbers, but also greater quality.” As one indicator of this quality, the average GMAT score of Yale’s Round One applicants was 698, two points higher than last year’s average.

Yale SOM’s Round 1 pool also included 78 applicants from The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, reflecting the results of a push by the school to attarct more minority candidates. And while Yale has actually been shrinking its class size recently, the school has publicly stated that it may take on a few more students to increase tuition revenues to offset declining returns from Yale’s endowment. DelMonico expects next year’s class to have up to 200 students, up from 193 students this year.

For more information on applying to Yale, visit the Veritas Prep Yale SOM information page. And if you’re working Yale essays now, see Veritas Prep’s sample MBA essays.

Yale Dean Joel Podolny to Step Down

Big news at Yale… Yesterday the Yale School of Management announced that Joel Podolny will leave his post as dean of the school to join Apple as vice president and dean of the company’s coming Apple University. Effective November 1, Professor Sharon Oster will take the reins as interim dean while the school conducts a search for Podolny’s permanent replacement.

It’s an understatement to say that Podolny has made a big impact on Yale in his three and a half years there. The number of applications to Yale has increased by 50% over the past five years and the school’s full-time faculty has grown by 20% (even as the school has deliberately reduced its class size). And while a school is so much more than its building, Yale SOM’s new campus (scheduled for completion in 2011) will stand as a testament to Podolny’s last impact on the school.

In an email to the Yale SOM community, Podolny expressed his bittersweet feelings about leaving behind Yale for Apple:

So even as I am excited about this new chapter in my life, I am very sad to be leaving SOM. However, I can state unequivocally that I would not consider leaving if I did not feel that the school was on a strong footing. As a school, we know who we are. We have embraced our distinct mission, and are singularly and fundamentally focused on cultivating a distinct model of leadership, a model that can and should be applied across industry and sector. We know we will soon have a spectacular new campus that will support and sustain our educational model. As a community of faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends, we know what we must do to execute on the unique and necessary MBA curriculum that we have pioneered.

Podolny won’t actually join Apple until early 2009, and will stay on the Yale faculty and will continue to teach until then. He and the school are doing the right thing by getting the transition started now.

While we at Veritas Prep were mainly asking “What does this mean for Yale?” when we first heard the news, it also makes us wonder about Apple and its education initiatives. The company has in some ways returned to its education roots by embracing how colleges use its iPod and iTunes system to allow students to access a library of course lectures. While many in the press have speculated that the company’s Apple University will be a training program for employees, we wonder if it’s actually a much broader digital education play that Apple may make in the next couple of years.

For more advice about applying to Yale, visit the Veritas Prep Yale School of Management information page.

Yale SOM Application Essays and Deadlines for 2008-2009

The Yale School of Management recently released its application essays and deadlines for the 2008-2009 admissions season. Our comments are in italics:

Yale SOM Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 22, 2008
Round 2: January 7, 2009
Round 3: March 18. 2009

Yale SOM Application Essays

  1. Why a Yale MBA?

    What is the impact that you wish to have on the world? How will your previous experiences and a Yale MBA enhance your ability, in the short-term and long-term, to pursue a career that will allow you to achieve this impact? (500 words maximum)

    (This is very different from last year’s more standard “Why an MBA?” question. Like many other top schools, Yale seems to be moving away from that common question and trying to dig deeper. But don’t reach too far here… Be honest about what impact you see yourself having on the world. Yale does not expect to fill its class with a couple of hundred people who will stop global warming and end famine. Be honest about what you think an MBA will help you achieve, and why this is so. In that respect, this question is still the same as last year’s. We think Yale is simply looking for a more personal introspective bent, beyond just your career goals.)

  2. Leadership Example

    Describe a professional accomplishment that exhibits your leadership style. The accomplishment should include evidence of your leadership skills, a description of the actions you took, as well as the impact you had on your organization. (500 words maximum)

  3. (This is reworded from last year’s question, but the substance is very similar. You need to describe a time when your being there made something happen — something that wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for you.)

  4. Personal Statement 1

    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

Tony Blair to Teach at Yale

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair was recently appointed the 2008-2009 Howland Distinguished Fellow at Yale. He will lead a seminar on faith and globalization, which is going to be a joint effort between Yale’s School of Management and the Yale Divinity School.

You can read the full post from Yale here.

And if you’re planning to apply to Yale for the 2008-2009 school year, visit our Yale School of Management information page.


In the interest of being environmentally aware, both Harvard and Yale have announced new plans for LEED-certified buildings. Harvard has been working with a German company to develop a new science center that will be gold-certified and twice as clean in regards to greenhouse gases as other similar research facilities. Yale has been working with a London-based company, developing a new building for their School of Management, which will triple the size of their business school.

Perhaps some environmentally-savvy businesspeople were behind this?

Source: Harvard & Yale Go Green