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Yale Som Mba Essays

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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Yale SOM wants to know who you are beyond the application, what makes you tick and to what you are devoted.  The best way to understand this is by asking about your biggest commitment.

The Yale SOM essay prompt, “Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made” is a great platform to unveil to the admissions committee who you are.  This will be the second year asking this question; a question which was developed in collaboration with Amy Wrzesniewski, a professor of organizational behavior at SOM.  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.  The underpinning of “commitment” includes four elements: being genuine, identifying a passion, explaining the challenges you faced, and what you learned.

So as you look to structure your essay, here are the four points to remember:

1. Be Genuine

Commitments can come in many forms. While “saving mankind” might be the ultimate commitment, few of us actually spend time doing this.  Instead think “smaller” and more authentic; maybe your biggest commitment is playing the piano, improving your spoken English, helping your parents as they age.  Don’t be afraid to share this.

2. Identify an interest or passion

Think about the biggest endeavors you have embarked on and why you have remained steadfast to them. Think about what excites you and what your passion is. Remember, the admissions committee admits individuals, not accomplishments, so how has this commitment shaped who you are as a professional and as a person.

3. Capture the Challenge

Ask yourself why was this commitment made? What were the challenges you may have faced?  How has this commitment evolved over time?  What challenges were the most difficult for you?  Why?

4. Share the lessons learned

What were the developmental takeaways from the experience?  What learnings have you gained from making this commitment?  What learnings can you share with your classmates?  Commitment implies growth over time, how did you grow?

You have a mere 500 words to share a passion and tell how it has shaped you into who you are.  Only then will the admissions committee will be able to see you as a person, not as a resume.

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Topics: MBA Admissions Insights, MBA Application Tips, School Specific Articles | Tags: Yale School of Management

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