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Application Tips from Our Admissions Team

We are excited to announce that the 2016-17 Yale SOM MBA application is now available on our website. The Round 1 application deadline is September 14, and we have a full slate of events across the globe before then where you can learn more about our community. Among these events is an online Application Tips Panel on August 16 that will offer insights and advice from members of our Admissions Committee on preparing your Yale SOM application.

In advance of that panel, we asked members of the committee to share a few tips to consider as you work on your application.

Melissa Fogerty

Melissa Fogerty

Director of Admissions

Be genuine. We want to hear about something meaningful and distinctive in your life, in your own voice.

The MBA application process is a time to reflect on who you are, and who you’d like to become. In this year’s application we’re looking to get to know you through our essay prompt, which asks you to describe the biggest commitment you’ve made. Your time in business school and the path you take from there represent significant commitments, and it is valuable for us to understand how you’ve previously approached a commitment of major importance in your life. The commitment you discuss can be personal or professional, specific or expansive. We care most about how you approached that commitment. 

Laurel Grodman

Laurel Grodman

Director of Admissions, Analytics and Evaluation

The optional essay is just that—optional.

In most cases, we get all the information we need from the various components of your application, but there are times when an aspect of your candidacy could benefit from further explanation. For example, consider providing additional context if it will allow us to better understand your academic performance or work continuity. If you’ve taken steps to mitigate a weaker element of your application, you might include that here. You also may want to provide an explanation if you do not have a recommendation from a current supervisor.

Jared Liu

Jared Liu

Associate Director of Admissions

Hold yourself to one page.

Keep it readable, but aim for a one-page resume. Although we don’t require a specific resume format, you’re more likely to quantify achievements and say what is core if you hold yourself to one page.

Maria Derlipanska

Associate Director of Admissions

Reach out to your recommenders well in advance, share your resume with them, and make sure to tell them why you’ve decided to pursue an MBA and what your post-graduation aspirations are.

Recommendations can be stressful because that’s one part of the application you have very little control over. The key is to approach the right people. Ask not those who can write you a letter of recommendation, but those who can write you a strong one and confidently endorse your candidacy to business school. So, instead of choosing a distant manager with an impressive title who has had limited interactions with you, approach a supervisor who can provide a substantive evaluation and can really help us understand who you are both personally and professionally. Lastly, no ghostwriting! We want to hear directly and candidly from the recommenders, so let them submit a letter on your behalf but in their own words!

Kristen Mercuri

Senior Associate Director of Admissions

Practice answering typical interview questions with a friend via Skype.

Become comfortable speaking into a computer camera, and have a sense for the 60- to 90-second time frame to provide your answers (use your cell phone!). Remember, the virtual platform we use allows you to practice before the official recordings. Take advantage and practice using the technology before you go live.The video question component of the application tends to cause the most anxiety for applicants, which is understandable. However, many applicants tell us that they found the exercise a nice opportunity to speak directly to the admissions committee and create a more three-dimensional profile of their candidacy.