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Getting Into Business School As A College Senior

Yale Considers Expanding Silver Scholars Program for Young MBA Applicants

Getting into business school as a college senior can be a daunting tasks, but many programs are increasingly tailoring offerings for young MBAs.

The Yale School of Management is considering significantly expanding its Silver Scholars program for young MBA applicants as interest has grown over the past several years.

The Silver Scholars program, which was established in 2001, offers a three-year MBA degree option for rising college seniors. Applicants apply during their senior year and, if accepted, spend the next year completing Yale SOM’s core MBA curriculum.

Getting Into Business School

The second year is spent completing a Yale-approved internship, before returning to campus for a third year of classes. MBA application numbers have risen at Yale, there were 15 Silver Scholars admitted in this year’s class, and admissions sources say they want to increase those numbers in coming years.

Competitive Alternative to HBS 2+2

Yale’s Silver Scholars program gives young MBA applicants a competitive alternative to Harvard Business School’s 2+2 program, in which students are accepted to HBS as undergraduates but defer their attendance for two years to gain work experience in an HBS-approved position.

Both programs offer younger MBA students a tailored way to transition from university to graduate school, while gaining valuable work experience with top companies including Boston Consulting Group, Booz Allen Hamilton, Coca-Cola, Dow Jones and the U.S. State Department (all places where previous Silver Scholars have worked).

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Are these programs right for you?

These programs are not a catchall, one-fits-all solution. That is why they are typically fairly small- not every student can easily transition from university to an MBA, and not every student needs to. So, how do you know if this is the right move for you?

Clear Sense of Direction: Young MBA applicants who chose to enroll in an MBA program directly after college must be able to clearly articulate their reasons for getting an MBA now, not later. It helps to have clear career goals in mind and to have a practical plan for your school-sponsored internship.

Unusual Maturity and Leadership: These programs are typically looking for young MBA applicants who display unusual maturity and leadership. Silver Scholars and 2+2 students are immersed in the classroom with students who have many more years of experience, and they must have prodigious leadership skills and experiences to compete. To be successful in this application process, you must be able to prove that your work experiences and skills are well above those of your average college graduate.

Practical Goals for the Internship Year(s): It is your responsibility to define what you want from your program-approved internship and to make enquiries as to how you can achieve those goals. Careers services offices at the program that you chose will provide some support, but it is important that you already have positions, companies and goals in mind.

Conclusion

If you meet these criteria, either Yale’s Silver Scholars program or HBS’s 2+2 could be a very good fit for you, and there is still plenty of time to apply in Round Two! Are you considering it? Let us know in the comments, and feel free to get in touch with any questions.

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Chioma Isiadinso

Chioma is a former Harvard Business School admissions officer and the CEO and Co-Founder of EXPARTUS, the first MBA admissions consulting company to use personal branding as a key part of the b-school application process. Chioma is the author of The Best Business Schools' Admissions Secrets, one of the leading books on how to successfully navigate the MBA admissions process.

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