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Yale SOM 2016-2017 Essay Tips and Application Deadlines

Posted by Chioma Isiadinso

For the 2016-2017 MBA application season, Yale School of Management is doing something a little differently. The school has released a new essay question for the first time since 2014.

This year’s essay continues the Yale SOM trend of paring down their essays to the bare minimum, from  four separate questions for the 2012-2013 to a single, two-sentence question in 2014, to this year’s sparse eight-word question:

Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made.

Admissions director Bruce DelMonico used the essay question announcement to mention one other piece of news, that the school would be retaining their sliding-scale application fee, but the focus for the post was clearly on the essay.

Yale SOM 2016-2017 Essay Tips and Application Deadlines

If you’re looking for help in writing your 2016-2017 Yale SOM essay, here are a couple of tips to keep in mind:

– Don’t underestimate the complexity of the question. The phrase to keep in mind for this essay question is “deceptively simple”. When it comes to something as important as Yale SOM applications, you can be sure that weeks of time went into developing this question, and each word was carefully chosen. Note that the question doesn’t just ask you “What was your biggest commitment?” It asks you to describe your biggest commitment.

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In your allotted 500 words, you’ll need to address not just what the commitment was, but how you felt about it, how you came to make that commitment, where you were in your life when you made it, and how you followed through on the commitment. The more fully you can describe this commitment and your response to it, the better the admissions committee will understand you and what you bring to Yale.

– Give yourself plenty of time to write and revise. If you want to do well with your application essay, you’ll need to allow yourself plenty of time to go through the process: brainstorming, writing, getting feedback from peers and mentors, and revising your essay. Your essay needs to reflect the depth of thought and complexity that is evidenced in the prompt.

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– Do your research before you begin. Every successful MBA application essay begins with a thorough understanding of the school you’re applying to, and how your personal brand meshes with what they are looking for in their students. This is especially true in the case of the 2016-2017 Yale SOM essay prompt.

In his announcement post, DelMonico indicated that the admissions team worked with SOM faculty member Amy Wrzesniewski to develop this year’s question. Wrzesniewski teaches organizational behavior and core leadership courses at Yale, giving applicants a strong indication about the values and attributes the adcom is looking for.

– Don’t try to come up with the answer you think they’re looking for. The application essay is your chance to show the admissions committee what makes you a good fit for Yale. Don’t be afraid to be a little bit vulnerable in your response. They are asking about the biggest commitment you’ve ever made; it’s only natural for you to have felt some concern, even fear, around making that commitment. It’s a good idea to have a friend who knows you well read over the essay to see if it comes across in your authentic voice.

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Yale’s essay question this year reflects the values the school offers up in their mission: “educating leaders for business and society”, and “connect[ing] to big issues”. Your essay should illustrate your own desire to emerge as a leader, and your personal commitment to big issues, in an honest and genuine way.

Application deadlines are:

– Round 1: September 24, 2016

– Round 2: January 10, 2017

– Round 3: April 19, 2017

If you need help with your 2016-2017 Yale SOM essay, email EXPARTUS.