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Introducing This Year’s MBA Application

Assistant Dean Bruce DelMonico discusses how the Admissions Committee has approached the 2023-2024 application to allow candidates to best showcase their skills, talents, and background.

As the 2023-24 admissions cycle begins, I wanted to share a few thoughts about the Yale SOM MBA application and some of its new aspects in the hope of helping you think about and prepare your Yale SOM candidacy.

I’ll start by saying that most of our application remains the same from last year, so there’s a good deal of continuity from year to year, but there are a few notable changes. First, and perhaps most obviously, we’ve updated our essay prompt for the first time in close to a decade. It’s not a complete change—we’ve kept our existing commitment essay prompt, but have added two other prompts (about community and challenge) and given you a choice of which one of the three topics to write about. The new essay prompts are:

1) Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made.
Why is this commitment meaningful to you and what actions have you taken to support it?

2) Describe the community that has been most meaningful to you.
What is the most valuable thing you have gained from being a part of this community and what is the most important thing you have contributed to this community?

3) Describe the most significant challenge you have faced.
How have you confronted this challenge and how has it shaped you as a person?

We made this change because we want to know what matters to you, and we felt that allowing you to choose which topic to write about will more effectively enable you to discuss the thing that speaks most strongly to you and about which you have the most enthusiasm. In answering the prompt—whichever one it is—you should think about the life experiences that have been most meaningful to you and that you most want to communicate to the committee, and pick the question that will best allow you to express that aspect of yourself. We find that the most compelling essays are the ones that are truly most important to you, so make sure that’s your guide in choosing what to write about; don’t try to guess what we’re looking for or what you think we want to hear. Importantly, regardless of which prompt you choose, you’ll want to support your essay with concrete examples.

In addition to our essay, many of the changes to this year’s application are intended to allow you to provide greater insight into the individual circumstances in which you’ve lived, studied, and worked. We know that an application process is an inherently artificial framework for learning about any individual, and that it gives us only a partial and incomplete glimpse into who you are. Because of these limitations, we seek to gain the fullest understanding of you possible within the constraints of the application process. To do so, this application cycle, we’ve enhanced various aspects of the application—most notably, the Background Information section and the Work Experience section (especially as it relates to entrepreneurship)—to get a better understanding of the context of your application. Elements of your personal background may provide crucial insights into the choices and opportunities that have shaped your academic, professional, and personal experiences. Reviewing and making a decision on your application is a highly individualized process, and knowing as much as we can about you as an individual is incredibly important to that process, which is the animating principle behind all of these changes to our application this year.

As you explore your MBA options and begin to work on your application, we invite you to learn more about Yale SOM and how to navigate the MBA application process. We have a host of in-person and online events, a blog series, and even the opportunity to visit campus. Our MBA newsletter contains lots of information about the school as well as a just-in-time series of tips and advice for you as you’re preparing your MBA application. And of course, if you still have questions, you can always contact us directly.

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