I imagine that many of you applying to business school this upcoming fall will spend a considerable amount of time this summer working on your applications. And I’m certain that many of you have been planning for this stage for quite some time: studying for the GMAT or GRE, reflecting on your career ambitions and how the MBA will help you achieve those goals, and maybe visiting business school campuses or attending regional events to get acquainted with your target schools. While submitting your application will not mark the beginning of your MBA journey, it will have much of your attention this summer, so I hope the guide below will help serve as a checklist and timeline of sorts for preparing your Yale SOM application.
I find that when I have a deadline to meet, a good way to think through all the steps is to reverse engineer my way through the process. In this instance, start with our September 12, 2018, deadline and work backwards to the present—what do you want to accomplish, and in what order, to allow yourself enough time to meet the deadline?
Of course, you can submit your application at any point you feel it’s complete and ready, beginning after the application becomes live in July, and ending at 5 p.m. ET on the deadline date. No matter when you submit your application, we won’t begin reviewing applications until after the deadline passes. In the meantime, here are some thoughts on how to approach the process.
If you haven’t taken the GMAT or GRE, or if you’re contemplating taking an exam again, now is the time to sign up for the test and begin your preparation. You’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to study so that you don’t feel rushed or ill-prepared when you take the test. When selecting your test date, keep in mind that we begin reviewing applications immediately after the deadline, and you’ll want to have your best scores represented in your submitted application. Ideally, you’ll want to take the test well enough in advance of our deadline so that if you wish to take it again, you’ll have time to do so before our mid-September deadline. And of course, if you haven’t designated Yale SOM as a score-report recipient, be sure to have your test scores sent to us.
You may also want to spend June brainstorming ideas for your essay. You can read about the essay topic in this blog post.
And now may be time to begin thinking about who your recommenders will be. You should select people who know you well and have had time to observe your successes and growth in your role.
Members of the SOM community will be hosting events around the world this summer. I encourage you to take a look at our events calendar and register for an event to meet alumni, faculty, and admissions officers in a city near you. More events will be posted throughout the summer.
The moment you’ve all been waiting for—the application will be made live in early July! Take some time to look through and complete the basic personal information sections. Start brainstorming your answers to our short answer questions. If you want to really get ahead, aim to have all the application questions answered by late July.
Now is a good time to request transcripts from all schools and universities you have attended. For the application, we allow students to upload scanned transcripts. This makes it a quick process for most students. Many of you may need to have your transcripts translated to English if your school doesn’t provide a copy. Start this process early—at the very least it’s an easy item to cross off your checklist!
Schedule some time to speak with your recommenders. When at all possible, meet with them in person or schedule a phone call to talk through your goals for your MBA program and the schools to which you are applying. Once the application goes live, send your recommenders the link to complete and make sure they know the deadline for submission. Confirm they received the link after you have it sent to them.
Sign up for and tune into the live Application Tips Panel on July 27 at noon ET. Admissions officers will share more in-depth tips for completing your application and will answer your questions live.
Ideally, you should use August to complete your essay. You can read more about the essay topic in this blog post. The topic is unique to Yale SOM, so it may require more of your time to complete than essays for other programs. A tip I like to offer students is to ask a friend to proofread your essay, not just for errors, but also to ensure you’ve remained on topic. Don’t tell them our prompt, and if they can guess it after reading, you’re conveying your story.
Update your résumé with your most recent professional achievements and any activities or interests you’d like represented. Unless you have more than 10 years of work experience, keep your résumé to one page.
In late August, it’s a good idea to check in with your recommenders if they haven’t submitted their recommendations, just as a friendly reminder of the impending September deadline.
Our Round 1 deadline is September 12, 2018. I recommend leaving the week and a half or so before that open to do some last-minute proofreading of your application and essay.
The last part of your application, consisting of the video questions, will be made available to you once you submit your application and pay the application fee. These questions should take between 20 and 30 minutes to complete, and you will have a little less than a week after the deadline to complete them.
We wish you all the best as you prepare your application for the Round 1 deadline. My parting advice to you is to be yourself throughout the process and to convey your individual story. We look forward to receiving your application or meeting you at an admissions event this summer.
Assistant Dean for Admissions
Yale School of Management
165 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
203.432.5635, Admissions Office
203.432.6380, Visitor Center