Yale SOM MBA Essay Tips 2014-15

Yale SOM MBA Application Essay Tips 2013-14Yale School of Management has continued downsizing the number of mandatory essay questions. For 2014-15, the number of required essays has come down from two to one. The word count has also reduced to 500 words from 750.

In this article, we cover tips and strategies to answer the Yale SOM MBA Application Essay. The question specifically asks about your impact in multiple contexts.

Essay: The Yale School of Management educates individuals who will have deep and lasting impact on the organizations they lead. Describe how you have positively influenced an organization—as an employee, a member, or an outside constituent. (500 words maximum)"

Yale SOM attracts students from diverse backgrounds who are Broadminded, Hardworking, and Intellectually Curious. With 500-word limit, you don’t have the opportunity to explain three examples. The best strategy is to pick one instance where you have demonstrated your contribution towards the employer. Professionals are expected to meet expectations so it won’t move the admission committee when you explain how you completed the project before the deadline.

Think about a time when you did more than what you were asked to do. A time when you were responsible for a project that influenced future cash flow for the company, a time when you mentored someone when the whole team was against the less experienced team member, a time when you motivated a vendor to go beyond what was asked for, and changed his outlook about “terms of services”.

So what contributes towards a positive influence?

1) Openness

You cannot have a positive influence in an organization without creating an open environment for exchanging ideas. Creativity is sparked when each team member feels empowered. As a team leader or as an individual when you welcome constructive criticism, and look at project outcomes objectively, other team members will also respond to your ‘objectivity’. The focus is less on politics, and more on productivity, and problem-solving. How did you influence the organization by introducing openness?

2) Pro-Active Troubleshooting

It is easy to solve a problem when the data is confined to the traditional sources, and decision-making defined within the framework. Yale SOM case based teaching follows the non-traditional route with the RAW Case Approach, an approach that requires you to find relevant data from an extensive set of reports, interviews, videos, and charts. The school would prefer to have a candidate who is good at mining large data sets, and finding relevant ones for decision-making. Demonstrate how you anticipated problems, and parsed through large data. If you have followed the process, explain it.

3) Leadership

Yale SOM looks at leadership at four levels: Personal, team, organization, and global. Articulate how you impacted all these levels. Numbers matter when you talk about leadership. How much revenue did your team contribute? What was the impact on team spirit? Did your team building exercise improve productivity? Did you develop a new framework for communication that helped you personally? How did you replicate the framework for the team? What was the impact of your product/service – globally with productivity and value for money?

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