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Answers to Your Questions about Yale SOM and the Admissions Process

We posed some of your most frequently asked questions to Assistant Dean for Admissions Bruce DelMonico and current Yale SOM students.

We get a lot of questions from prospective students on topics ranging from academics and life in New Haven to the strengths of SOM and how to stand out in the application process. So, we decided to tackle some of your more frequently asked questions with help from some current students and Assistant Dean for Admissions Bruce DelMonico.

What is living in New Haven really like?

“I love New Haven! I love that it has such a diverse food and arts scene. It's also an easy train ride to NYC, but not too close to it that it would distract me from studying and spending quality time with my classmates.”
—Wira Ramanto ’20

Can I really take classes all over Yale?

“Yes! I’m currently taking a class called Producing for the Commercial Theater at the Yale School of Drama, and I love the class. I’m a big theater nerd, and it’s mind-blowing that I’m taking a class taught by a multi-Tony Award-winning Broadway producer. For one of the class sessions, he invited the class to his office in NYC, where we met with leading Broadway ad agencies and press agents.”
—Wira Ramanto ’20

How do you go about picking electives?

“Generally, you can look at the course catalogs for classes outside of SOM and the SOM course list to see what sounds interesting to you. I would say second-year students are very good resources— I definitely asked some second years about their class experiences and for their recommendations last year. Specifically for SOM classes, you could also talk to SOM professors for their thoughts and check out the previous course bidding history to get more ideas, as well!”
—Ruojuan Yu ’20

Yale SOM is known for having a strength in nonprofits. What are Yale’s other strengths?

“The Yale School of Management is known as—and absolutely should be known as—the best business school to come to if you want to make a difference in society. I think this sometimes gets expressed as strength in nonprofit management. Yes, we have great faculty, alumni, and programs in that area, but we bring the same mission-driven spirit to every part of the school.
“Our integrated curriculum is designed to educate our students to be successful and to make a positive impact in whatever role or industry they decide to pursue post-MBA. About 33% of our graduates pursue a role in consulting immediately after graduation, which I think speaks to the broad preparation they get. We also see a significant number of students pursuing niche roles—from impact investing to education—which I see as further evidence that SOM can prepare you to pursue any aspiration. 
“But you asked about our strengths. Well, the school is a university-wide hub for entrepreneurship courses and activity, while our Program on Entrepreneurship supports student founders as they turn their ideas for tech companies, social enterprises, and other startups into real businesses. We have leading faculty in all areas of asset management and close relationships with the Yale Endowment that have enabled our students to go out and lead all kinds of investment funds. Our Center for Business and the Environment at Yale is a leader in developing business solutions to climate change. The list could go on and on, but the bigger point is this: whatever your passion, you’ll find faculty and classmates who will help you pursue it.”
—Bruce DelMonico, assistant dean for admissions

How do you view entrepreneurial work experience when evaluating candidates?

“Entrepreneurship experience comes in many shapes and sizes. Some of our students have sold their companies, others have ceased operations, and some are handing over operations to their cofounder(s) for the duration of the program. Thus, we look at each experience with a slightly different lens. But we would look at all the things you would expect: how much capital have you been able to raise, how your company has scaled over the years, what impact you are having—all of these questions are certainly important. I know another question we tend to get from founders is whom you should ask to write your recommendation. A cofounder is certainly a nice option, as is a client, investor, or advisor. Anyone who can speak to the work you are doing would be a valuable resource to us.”
—Bruce DelMonico, assistant dean for admissions

How and where do I communicate my interest in SOM? I see you don’t have a “Why SOM?” essay prompt.

“This is certainly a question the admissions committee gets often. In many cases students ask if they should include this information in their commitment essay. My question to the latter is, no, you do not need to answer “Why SOM?” at any time in the application. We are very intentional about the questions we ask in the application (read more about the philosophy behind our approach), and for that reason our application does tend to be shorter than other applications. While we don’t ask this question in the written application, that doesn’t mean we don’t want to hear what you hope to get out of your Yale SOM experience. We do ask about your reasons for wanting to join us here at Yale in other parts of the application process. This is all part of our overall construction of the application. Just know that you don’t have to address this issue in the essay; we will ask for it elsewhere.”
—Bruce DelMonico, assistant dean for admissions