Emily Whitehouse shares tips for a seamless application submission.
While we are still a few months away from the start of the admissions cycle for the Master’s Degree in Asset Management program, I know that many prospective applicants are beginning to think about the application process. The summer is an ideal time to begin considering the next step in your professional journey by familiarizing yourself with the program, engaging with our admissions team, and preparing your application.
I’d like to help make the application process as seamless as possible for you by providing a timeline of action items building toward your application submission.
June to July: Managing the Process
Preparing to apply to business school can bring about anxiety in even the calmest and most self-assured applicant. Some sage advice I received during my own education journey is to take larger to-do list items and break them down into manageable pieces. Sometimes it helps to complete an easier item first thing to build confidence, followed by something more difficult and time-consuming.
Take as an example preparing to take the GRE or GMAT exam: As you select a test date, you’ll want to remember to give yourself plenty of time to study so that you don’t feel rushed or ill-prepared when you take the test. Preparing for the test is likely to be less stressful if you work backward from the test date and think honestly and realistically about how much time you plan to dedicate to studying. Try breaking this timeline down into how many times each month, week, and day you can reasonably commit to studying. For added personal accountability, block these study sessions on your calendar to eliminate possible distractions.
When selecting your test date, keep in mind that we begin reviewing applications immediately after the deadline. You’ll want to take the test far enough in advance of the deadline that if you wish to take it again, you’ll have time to do so before the application deadline. That way you’ll have your best scores represented in your submitted application. And of course, remember to designate Yale SOM as a score-report recipient.
July to August: Defining Your ‘Why?’
The application will not go live on the Yale SOM website until later this summer, but there are some application components you can begin preparing in the interim. Last year’s application required two 300-word essays, one asking applicants to describe their career goals in the short term and one asking them to reflect on the long term. Whether these essay topics remain for the coming cycle is yet to be determined. However, reflecting on these questions may be helpful in focusing your desire to apply—your “why” for pursuing this program.
A tip I like to offer candidates is to ask a friend to read your essay, not just to check for errors, but also to ensure that you’ve remained on topic. Don’t tell them our prompt, and if they can guess it after reading, you’re conveying your story.
August to September: Getting a Jump Start on Application Items
By this point, the application will be live soon. You can anticipate that we will continue to require two letters of recommendation—preferably one from a person who can speak to your academic background and one from someone who can speak to your professional achievements. Now may be the time to begin thinking about who your recommenders will be. I suggest requesting a letter from someone who knows you well and can speak to your strengths and impact in the classroom or the workplace. Schedule some time to speak to your recommenders to talk through your goals of pursuing the Asset Management degree. When the application goes live and they receive the recommendation request, they’ll be prepared to offer a thorough and thoughtful letter of recommendation on your behalf. Be sure they know the deadline for submission, verify they’ve received the request for a recommendation from admissions, and let them take care of the rest.
Now would also be a great time to update your résumé with your most recent academic and professional achievements and any activities or interests you would like the Admissions Committee to be aware of. We kindly ask that you keep your résumé to one page.
Reach out to your undergraduate institution and request unofficial copies of your transcript. Be sure these include your name, degree, dates of attendance, and your graduation date. This program is open to those in their senior year of undergraduate study; if you have not yet received your degree, please send us transcripts along the way to keep us abreast of any updates.
September and Beyond: Adding the Finishing Touches
At this point, the application will likely be live and you can begin uploading your documents and firming up your application before hitting “submit.” In October or November, it’s a good idea to check in with your recommenders if they haven’t submitted their recommendations. Offering a friendly reminder of the deadline ahead of the busy holiday season will likely be appreciated.
The last part of your application, the video questions, will be made available to you once you submit the rest of your application and pay the application fee. You will be responding to one or more questions, so you should set aside 20 to 30 minutes to complete this step. Please note that if you submit your application on deadline day, you will have a little less than a week after the deadline to complete the video questions.
Hopefully, this guide offers a helpful way to think through the application. We will have a number of events in the coming months to introduce you to our community and guide you through the process, so continue to check our website frequently. If you have any questions along the way, please don’t hesitate to email us. We look forward to receiving your application and getting to know you.
Associate Director for Admissions, Management Master’s Programs
Yale School of Management
PO Box 208200 l 165 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06520