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Yale School Of Management Essays On Success

Yale School of Management Essay Analysis, 2017-2018

by mbaMission

How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough analysis, our friends atmbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out.


The Yale School of Management (SOM) is staying the course this year with its single application essay, joining both Harvard Business School and Columbia Business School in using the same essay queries as last season. The school has made no modifications to its one prompt, whose 500-word limit does not offer a lot of room to make an impression on the admissions committee. Having commented last year in a Yale SOM blog post that the “seemingly simple and straightforward question” was composed with assistance from one of the school’s organizational behavior professors, Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions Bruce DelMonico added in a more recent post that the admissions committee “is interested not just in the commitment itself but also in how you [applicants] approach the commitment and the behaviors that support it.” Clearly, the Yale SOM has invested some truly purposeful effort into constructing a query that will reveal something specific from and about the individuals targeting its MBA program. In our Yale School of Management essay analysis, we explore how you can maximize your opportunity to shine with this forthright prompt…

Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. (500 words maximum)

You may initially think that this prompt is rather narrow in scope, allowing you the space to share the story of just a single professional or community project and nothing more. Although you can certainly discuss your dedication to a particular project or cause, you are definitely not restricted to this approach. Consider this: you can also be committed to an idea (e.g., personal liberty) or a value (e.g., creating opportunity for others), and approaching your essay from this angle instead could enable you to share much more of and about yourself with the Yale School of Management admissions committee. For example, you might relate a few anecdotes that on the surface seem unrelated—drawing from different parts of your life—but that all support and illustrate how you are guided by a particular value. Or, to return to the example of personal liberty as a theme, you could show how you take control of your academic and professional paths, adhering steadfastly to your values and vision. Whatever you choose to feature as the focus of your commitment, your actions and decisions, manifest via a variety of experiences, must allow you to own it as a genuine part of who you are as an individual. Identifying a theme that you think no one else will ever use is not your goal here; presenting authentic anecdotes that powerfully support your selected theme is what is important.

However, if you prefer to focus on a single anecdote, the commitment you claim must be truly inordinate. Being particularly proud of an accomplishment is not enough to make it an effective topic for this essay. You need to demonstrate your constancy and dedication in the face of challenges or resistance, revealing that your connection to the experience was hard won. Strive to show that you have been resolute in following a sometimes difficult path and have doggedly stayed on course, citing clear examples to illustrate your steadfastness. Nothing commonplace will work here—you must make your reader truly understand your journey and leave him or her more impressed by your effort than the outcome.  

For a thorough exploration of the Yale School of Management academic program/merits, defining characteristics, crucial statistics, social life, academic environment, and other key features, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to the Yale School of Management.

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PricesWright wrote:

Per an email sent out this morning:

Essay prompt: Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. (500 words)

This will be our second year using this prompt, which we developed in collaboration with Amy Wrzesniewski, a professor of organizational behavior here at SOM and one of the lead faculty in the core leadership courses within our integrated curriculum. In asking this question, the Admissions Committee is interested not just in the commitment itself but also in how you approach the commitment and the behaviors that support it.

I think this is a great question! It reminds me a bit of the "what matters most"
question at GSB but this is more results oriented. The commitment should have some meat behind it- in other words- there should be some results from the commitment you have made. That means it can't be a new commitment- it should be something where you have a track record. It sounds like it could be personal or professional and just that it should be something where you can discuss the impact and also what you have learned. It would be great to tie into your post MBA goal- as in this MBA is part of your commitment to this goal that you have been committed to and let Yale know how the MBA will help you be even more effective or one step closer to being able to fulfill this commitment that you care so much about. Maybe you need to learn how to scale the startup that educates kids from higher risk backgrounds and then you tie into how the MBA and the Yale environment also help you do that. In any case- great that it is out now so you can work on this! Stratus has some great bench strength in helping candidates prepare for top MBA programs and we welcome the opportunity to do a free consult with you to learn how we can help you be successful in Yale applications or in other top programs. To reach out for the free consult, the best way to do that is through this link: https://stratusadmissionscounseling.com ... b-visitor/ and because of your connection with GMAT club if you use this link it will give you 5% off any services with us. Best wishes and I look forward to hearing about what big commitments you have made!
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Donna | StratusMBACounselor | Stratus Admissions Counseling