The mission of the Yale School of Management is to educate leaders for business and society.
We believe that to be an effective leader in an increasingly complex world, you’ll need to leverage connections across boundaries of function, industry and region. That’s why Yale SOM developed an integrated curriculum that uses diverse disciplines and areas of expertise to better understand management challenges. The school is closely linked to our parent university, giving you the chance to take courses throughout campus, collaborate with Yale scientists on a startup, or even get a second degree in law, environmental management, or medicine. And it is a founding member of the Global Network for Advanced Management, through which you’ll study with faculty and team with students at 27 other top schools around the world.
The integrated Yale MBA curriculum is designed to teach fundamental business tools and give you the context to understand how your whole organization works and how it impacts the larger society. In unique MBA courses taught by multiple professors, you’ll learn to take multiple perspectives and draw on multiple business disciplines as you confront a problem.
YALE SOM MBA CLASS PROFILE
YALE SOM MBA PLACEMENT STATISTICS
YALE SOM sample ESSAY
Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. (500 words maximum)
Dropping out of high school was the most difficult decision I had to make as a teenager, but a medical condition did not leave me much choice. While the taste of failure was bitterly devastating at first, it dawned on me that dropping out of school was not going to be how my story ends. I resolved to take charge of my learning process, eventually achieving a perfect SAT score and receiving admissions letters from top universities in the US and Korea. I chose to pursue joint degrees in law and business in college, and to serve as an officer in the Korean Air Force to capture the opportunity to play an active role in Korea’s defense and diplomacy sector.
It was during my military service that I became deeply fascinated by the aerospace industry with its knowledge intensive nature and reliance on multinational cooperation. I realized that while Korea was an economic force in industries such as consumer electronics, it was lagging behind in the aerospace arena. I decided to I embark on my biggest life commitment and pursue my passion by joining Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), where I served as lead negotiator in the largest joint aerospace program in the history of Korea and Indonesia to develop over 100 fighter jets.
In the course of the negotiations, I learned that the Indonesian officials felt disrespected due to the apparent indifference of the Korean government which appointed a private entity (KAI) to negotiate on their behalf. With this knowledge, I managed to persuade the company leadership to seek a more proactive engagement from the Korean government beyond their supervisory role. While I was criticized for my unconventional approach from the standpoint of an Asian corporate culture, I steered the direction of this multi-billion dollar negotiation toward a mutual agreement. As a result, the company stock hit a record high, increasing four times in value within three months. KAI was decorated with the 1st Class Order of Industrial Service Merit and two Presidential Awards, and my team received the CEO’s recognition for the most outstanding performance of the year. I was promoted 4 years in advance.
My role in leading multi-billion dollar international contract negotiations made me realize my lack of knowledge in core business skills like finance, marketing and entrepreneurship. At Yale, I seek to navigate my path toward fulfilling my commitment to nurturing Korea’s aerospace industry by developing business insight and building a strong professional network that will form the foundation to enable me to lead the growth of Korea’s aerospace industry in the future. Beyond the classroom, I look forward to engaging with likeminded students who share my passion for the aerospace industry in the Yale aerospace/aviation club.
Above all else, I want to grow as a business leader and to harness the possible, the available, and the feasible to create the impossible, the unavailable, and the unfeasible. I am ready to take the first step to fulfilling my vision to steer the Korean aerospace machine toward its golden age.
YALE SOM MBA APPLICATION ESSAY TIPS
The Yale School of Management has left the one required essay unchanged this year. “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 behaviours that support it,” Assistant Dean Bruce DelMonico writes in the Yale Admissions Blog announcement.
Keep in mind the Yale community values: “The [Yale SOM] community is united by the belief that acting on our mission requires us to address the biggest and most pressing challenges in the world today. Such problems can’t be solved through solitary gestures—it takes teamwork, an ability to leverage human capital, and the building of active connections between people, ideas, and resources.”
Essay 1 –
Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. (500 words maximum)
This is an open-ended question which is often intimidating to begin. As you approach this essay remember the type of MBA student Yale is most interested in admitting. Ideally you are coming across as an intellectually curious student with a diverse background deeply interested in the integrated curriculum.
Yale prioritizes diversity of background so highly that the tuition for the MBA program is on a sliding scale based on your pre-MBA salary. This helps Yale attract people from non-traditional backgrounds and geographies, which leads to a true diversity of experiences in your class. How will you bring your own values and unique background to the community and classroom?
Behavioral questions like this one (the tip off is “describe”) seek to understand how you actually operate in various situations. Think about what a commitment is to you. Was it a job or an organization that you were involved in? Maybe your commitment was to a value or a person. Try to be as specific as possible your commitment and why it qualifies as the biggest commitment you have made. What did you think or say when you were determining what to do? What did you actually do? How did you feel about the result?
You may decide to focus on a solo commitment, and that may be entirely appropriate since most MBA applicants are individual contributors. However, ideally you can demonstrate how you work with others as a leader. Regardless of whether you choose an individual or team commitment, try to show how you have made a significant positive impact on an organization or people within the organization.
If appropriate to the commitment, you may want to highlight specific projects at work or in community service that have most excited you and shaped your future goals. This could align with your resume and projects that recommenders comment upon. Strategically designing all of the application components to showcase your best qualities will enhance your candidacy.
Because this is the only essay question available to highlight your personal qualities and leadership ability, make sure your resume and recommendations can answer any questions about your career and accomplishments.
The 500-word limit may be daunting. Instead of censoring yourself on the first draft and limiting what you write, start by describing each step in of your accomplishment in detail in terms of what you did, the reaction of others and your own reaction. From there you can cut out anything that is too detailed or too superfluous to the story to maintain the 500-word maximum. Using an outside reader to help you determine what is most important to the story may help you streamline your essay.