With roughly three weeks remaining before our September 12 Round 1 application deadline, many of you may be turning in earnest to your application and looking for advice on how best to approach it. We have a range of tools for you to help in this regard, from our Application Guide to our Inbox Application Insights series (part of our overall admissions email series) to our Best Application Advice event, and other upcoming events. These resources will help you think through the various elements of our application and how approach the process more generally.
I want to also take a moment now to share one, overarching piece of advice that I hope will be a guiding principle for you as you prepare your application. It’s inspired by one of my favorite cartoons, of a family sitting outside a door labeled “Admissions.” The father, speaking to the child, says: “Now, remember, be the yourself we talked about.”
In addition to being a clever cartoon, there’s a real insight here: Any application is necessarily a partial and incomplete picture of you, and you could realistically present many different versions of yourself. You may be tempted to change your profile for each school you apply to based on what you think that school is looking for in an applicant. My advice: Don’t.
In preparing your application, you shouldn’t try to predict what schools are looking for and you shouldn’t present a picture of yourself that is different from who you actually are. From a competitive perspective, trying to stand out like this is a sure way to look just like everyone else who’s doing the same thing, and from an application standpoint you will present a much stronger, clearer, more compelling candidacy if you are guided by what you care about instead of what you think will position you best in the process. Be guided by what matters to you and what you truly care about, not what you think schools want to see. It sounds like simple advice, but it can make a big difference in the application process.
I hope this advice is helpful as you think about your candidacy and I hope it helps inform how you approach each element of the application itself.
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