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Essay topics and application deadlines

Hi from the admissions office! It's been quite a while since I last posted -- I'm hoping to correct that this year by posting much more frequently. This summer has been very busy so far -- I've been on the road at conferences much of the time, including down in Dallas for the Consortium Orientation Program representing SOM as the newest member of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management; in Chicago for the Graduate Management Admissions Council Annual Industry Conference, for which I was on the advisory committee; and in New York for the Forte Foundation Annual Meeting, for which I sat on a panel. Now that I'm back in New Haven and have a chance to catch my breath, I wanted to take a moment to announce the essay questions for the upcoming application season. We've had a number of people ask about the questions, so we thought it would be helpful to post them for you here. The application itself should be live in early August, but for those of you who want to get a jump on the essays, here are the questions:

1: Why a Yale MBA? 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)

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: Personal Statement 1 Choose one (1) 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 – leadership that helps to address a significant problem in a new way – is necessarily personal. It is only when personal passion aligns with meaningful aspirations that individuals are able to inspire others to act in support of an important goal or cause. What are you most passionate about, and how have you demonstrated a commitment to this passion?
(2) What personal achievement are you most proud of and why?
(3) Describe a situation in which your values were challenged. How did you respond to the situation and what did you learn from it?
(4) A phrase often heard among SOM graduates is that they aspire to lead a life that is an “SOM Story” – that of a broadly engaged, values-based leader who owns and solves hard problems that matter. How will you create your own SOM Story? Describe a situation in which you devised and implemented a creative or innovative solution to a difficult problem. What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
(5) The Yale School of Management is a community of individuals with diverse backgrounds and interests. What unique attributes would you bring to the Class of 2011
(6) What is the most difficult feedback you have received and how did you address it? Looking forward, what skills are you most eager to build or improve upon in business school?
(7) Required for reapplicants: What steps have you taken to improve your candidacy since your last application?

4: Personal Statement 2 Choose one (1) of the other topics listed in Personal Statement 1, or create a topic of your own about a subject that is meaningful to you, and answer it in essay form. Please indicate the topic number (or state the topic if it is not one of the ones listed) at the beginning of your essay. (500 words maximum)

Optional Essay 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) I hope having these questions is helpful. We have also just announced our application deadlines for the upcoming year. You can find the deadlines on our website. Once we have additional information to share -- such as our fall recruiting schedule and to tell you when the application goes live -- I will be sure to post that information as well. I also plan to keep in touch throughout the year to let people know what's happening here in the admissions office. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the essay questions! Bruce