Yale… should we call it the Berkeley of the East? Well, that might be going a biiiiiit far, but Yale is definitely offers a less traditional and “proper” learning environment than Harvard, it’s long-time scholastic and intramural nemesis. At the same time, a Yale education is still recognized around the world as offering one of the finest undergraduate and graduate educations available. What does this mean for you? It means the dinner bell is ringing and everyone’s running to get a seat at the table.
So, how do you make sure you’re not left hungry? You get a peek into the kitchen. Our MBA master Yaron Dahan is here to give you a glimpse into the things you need to know to help your chances of getting into Yale:
- Be Clever, Be Different. Yale is a VERY good college. Most of those who go to Yale would not attend HBS, even if HBS accepted them. Why? Because there’s something quirky, odd, unique, individualistic about the culture, which is different from HBS. Essentially, there is a “type” when it comes to Yale folks. So, what’s the key here? Finding your fit. What makes you a “Yale” person?
- The Best Nonprofit School, Period. Yale is ranked Number 1 in Nonprofit by US News & World Report Strong and is well-known for its emphasis on ethics and corporate social responsibility. They’re so gung-ho about nonprofit that they have loan forgiveness for Nonprofit students. Wow. Students who work full-time government or non-profit sector jobs, with incomes of $77,600 or less, receive full reimbursement for their annual debt repayment on need-based loans. What’s that mean for you? If you’re a non-profit guy, get your game face on and have a SOLID, STRONG plan for the future to sell the Yale adcom.
- “Educating Leaders for Business and Society.” Yale’s mission ties in not just to non-profits, but to the greater notion of “social responsibility.” What’s that mean for you? Well, you’ve got some career goals, right? (If not, DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!) You’ve gotta show how your goals tie in with the school’s social responsibility mission. Find the impact your plan will have on society at large… in a CONCRETE, realistic way, how are you going to “change the world?” Be confident, passionate, and authentic. Yale SOM is more than just about “closing that deal” or about single details… it’s about the big picture. In your essays, show the school that you can and will change the world, that you can do so through business, while keeping in mind a social mission, without trying too hard to impress. Just because you can and you want to.
- International Experience. Yale is all about “global,” in a way that many of the European b-schools are as well. So much so, that Yale SOM has a first-year mandatory trip integrated into the Yale Leadership Development Program. What’s that mean for you? They’re looking for people with international experience, international goals, and international connections. The more “worldly” the candidate, the better chance they have of making their case for fitting into the Yale culture.
- SOM Entrepreneurship Program. Yale has two university-wide entrepreneurship organizations dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship through seminars, contests, etc: Yale Entrepreneurial Institute (YEI), and Yale Entrepreneurship Society (YES). These are great programs to help you get the skills and resources you need in your post-graduate plans while you’re still doing your MBA program (cool, huh?). So, the key here is to get to KNOW this program ahead of time, and aim for it in the application process. If entrepreneurship is your cup of tea, then figure out how you fit into these programs from the start, and convince the adcom that you know what you’re talking about by reaching out to the programs in advance. No such thing as being “over-prepared.”
Now that you’re up-to-snuff on Yale, time to write those essays. Got questions about the essays themselves? Check out our 2012-2013 Yale SOM Essay Analysis.