Yale School of Management

From the Director of Admissions: How to Make Progress on Your Application During the Holidays

Joanne Legler offers advice on how prospective students can use winter downtime to assemble the strongest possible application for admission to the Yale SOM MBA for Executives program.

December 9, 2020

As the calendar year 2020 comes to an end, the MBA for Executives team is prepping for the final class weekend of what has certainly been an interesting year to say the least! We are thrilled to have welcomed the Classes of 2021 and 2022 to Evans Hall this past summer, and are grateful for their patience and understanding as the university moved to a remote learning model to close out the year (first-year student Kate Fuentes ’22 reflected on building community in the time of COVID in a recent blog post).

While we hope you will also get a restful break at the end of the year—and that you’ll spend most of your time off relaxing, eating, and catching up on your DVR or Netflix queue—this is also a perfect time to keep working (or get started!) on your Round 2 application for the Yale SOM MBA for Executives program. The deadline is January 28, 2021.

The time off from work, if you’re fortunate enough to have it, is a great opportunity to do some deep reflection about your career, your goals, and your next steps toward leadership in your organization or industry, and how the MBA for Executives fits into that plan. More practically speaking, if you’ve decided an application is in your near future (and since it’s the perfect time of year for a list!), I offer up some suggestions of things you can work on in preparation for a Round 2 application:

Get familiar with the MBA for Executives application. Most of our application is easy and straightforward, but if you haven’t already, start an application and begin to click through the various elements of what’s required for submission. You don’t have to actually submit anything just yet, but knowing what’s expected will help you formulate a plan for the coming weeks.

Reach out to your recommenders. Use this time to draft an email to your two recommenders, with deadline dates, a copy of your resume, and a proposed time to talk through your accomplishments, perhaps via Zoom or an old-fashioned phone call. Send it before they turn on their out-of-office notifications for the holidays or save it in your drafts folder and set a reminder to send it out when everyone returns from the New Year’s holiday.

Talk to your team/supervisors. While the official Employer Approval is required a little later in the process, this is a great time to formulate some talking points for your supervisors and your team about how they can support you through a potential 22-month EMBA journey. Put together a game plan for coverage on days you’ll be in school, create bullet points for the value of the degree to your employer and team, and, if it’s available in your company, look into sponsorship opportunities.

Draft your essays. Start framing your ideas and create an outline that includes thoughts on how to answer each essay (there are two for Yale SOM), and how to answer each element of both essays. This prep will go a long way toward creating a final version later on.

Prep for the Executive Assessment (EA). Haven’t taken a required standardized test yet? Get on the EA website to find out more, and watch our recent webinar, featuring yours truly, my colleague David Daniel, and our friend Eric Chambers from GMAC. Yale SOM also accepts the GMAT and the GRE.

Speaking of webinars… Watch our other, previously recorded webinars. Not only are they just as entertaining as anything playing on Netflix, but they also provide great info on topics like application tips and financing your EMBA. We have also been fortunate to dive deeply into some unique topics with our faculty—for example, we hosted a conversation about the gender gap in housing returns with Professor Kelly Shue earlier this year. Each webinar includes a Q&A, so pop some corn and stick around until the end of each one.

Read our blog. We have a series of terrific blog posts written by staff and students. Check out Class of 2022 student Niki Marin’s post on her accomplishments in the military, including a combat deployment to Afghanistan.

RSVP for a virtual Saturday information session. There’s one more information session before our Round 2 deadline! RSVP on our website to join us on January 9; you’ll hear from admissions staff, join a virtual lunch with our students, and sit in on an EMBA class via Zoom.

Yale SOM’s MBA for Executives team wishes you and yours the very best for a wonderful holiday season and a happy and healthy start to 2021. We’ll be back in January and look forward to connecting with you then.

Best wishes,


Director of Admissions

Joanne Legler
About the author

Joanne Legler

Director of Admissions