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How To Approach Your Business School Application

It’s about two months before the Round 2 application deadline, and many of you are beginning to think in earnest about your Yale SOM application. As you do so, I want to offer a few insights that will help you frame how you think about the application process.

Your application should be a process of self-discovery.

You should know more about yourself after you complete our application than you did before. Be open to this aspect of the process. Don’t start with a fixed idea of want you want to tell us. If you approach the application with a spirit of openness and introspection, you will get much more out of it.

Business school is not the finish line.

People frequently ask me, “What do I need to do to get into business school?” (Or they ask, “To increase the chances of being accepted, what courses should I take in college?” Or, “What job should I take after college?”) My answer is always the same: do what you enjoy the most. I mean this in two senses. First, business school is a short stop on what will likely be a long professional career, so don’t make decisions with just this short-term outcome in mind. And second, you will do better at things you like than things you don’t, and that stronger performance more than anything else will position you well for business school. We’re less concerned about what you studied or where you work than we are with how well you’ve done in your studies and career.

Stay true to yourself.

Simply put, be yourself. Don’t try to be someone you aren’t just to get an advantage in the application process. In some ways this advice operationalizes the two points above. Schools are not looking for any one profile, so trying to fit into a mold that doesn’t exist is futile. And your application will be stronger—clearer, more confident, more connected among its various elements—when it reflects who you really are rather than the person you think a  particular school is looking for. Trust yourself and trust the process.

I hope this advice offers a useful approach for thinking about the application process. You can get more specifics on November 29, when our Admissions officers host a live online Application Tips Panel. It  will cover the various elements of the Yale SOM application and offer advice on how to address each of them. We invite you to join us for this and other events as you prepare your Yale SOM application.

Bruce DelMonico
Assistant Dean for Admissions
Admissions Office
Yale School of Management
165 Whitney Avenue
Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
203.432.5635, Admissions Office
203.432.6380, Visitor Center
fax 203.432.7004