Last month, I offered some advice to MBA aspirants as we approached the final month before our January 6, 2022, application deadline. Now that we’re in the home stretch before the deadline, I want to share some last-minute thoughts as you put the finishing touches on your application.
- Check in with your recommenders to remind them of the deadline and confirm that they are able to submit their recommendation by then.
- Pay attention to the application form itself. Make sure you fill it out fully and accurately. Your instinct may be to spend as much time as possible on other, more substantial-seeming parts of the application, such as your essays, but don’t ignore the application form. Errors and omissions here are completely avoidable and can present you in an unfavorable light.
- Update your résumé! Don’t rely on an old version of your résumé that you used for a different purpose. Make sure your resume is MBA application-ready. In particular, make sure to include not just roles and responsibilities, but impacts as well. And if you’re at a smaller organization or are pursuing something entrepreneurial, take a line or two to explain your organization to us. Doing so will greatly help us understanding your professional profile. Finally, be sure to avoid typos. One piece of advice: read your résumé (and your essay) backwards, which is an excellent way to spot mistakes.
- Take the essay seriously, but don’t make it all-consuming. You may feel the need to write and re-write and then write some more until the very last minute, but you don’t need to devote a disproportionate amount of time to the essay. You won’t be admitted or denied on the strength of the essay or any other single element of the application. So do a good job, but don’t obsess. (One thing you may want to do is have a friend or relative read it without telling them the prompt to see if they can guess what it is—if they can, it will tell you that you answered the question well.)
- Don’t wait until the last minute to submit your application. There’s no benefit to submitting your application well in advance of the deadline because we won’t start reviewing it until after the deadline, but it’s also not a good idea to wait until the end of deadline day to submit. Give yourself some time so that you don’t feel you’re rushing up to the very end. Being calm and measured as you finish and submit your application can make a big difference both in the finished product and in how you feel about it.
Beyond these specific pieces of advice—and the additional guidance in our more detailed Application Tips Panel from December 10—my parting recommendation to you is to try to embrace the process as much as possible. I know that’s easier said than done. But if done well, completing your application is an exercise in introspection and self-discovery that will allow you to reflect on where you are currently both personally and professionally and where you see yourself going. Considered in this light, the application process has the potential to be a useful guidepost for you as you contemplate the next phase in your professional development. I hope you don’t lose sight of this bigger picture as you work on the final details of your application.
Best of luck as you prepare your application for the Round 2 deadline. We look forward to receiving your application and reviewing it after January 6!
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