• Scott Edinburgh

Yale School of Management 2018-2019 Application Deadlines and Essay Question Analysis

Yale School of Management has released essays for the 2018-2019 application year, leaving the question unchanged for the third year in a row. Yale asks students to:

“Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made (500 words)”

Bruce DelMonico, Assistant Dean for Admissions gave this advice to candidates in his recent blog post:

This year’s application essay question evolved from a conversation with Professor of Organizational Behavior Amy Wrzesniewski about how to get a better sense for what our applicants care about in the world. She notes, “Reading about future plans is helpful, but actions speak louder than words. What big commitments have applicants already made in their lives to date, how did they follow through on them, and what does this tell us about who they are? That is what is at the heart of this question.”

Below is Personal MBA Coach’s guidance on how to address this question:

As you craft your essay, keep in mind that Yale strives to “educate leaders for business and society.” With a passionate and committed student body, Yale takes pride in the small group learning teams and close-knit community. This question gives candidates a chance to provide admissions committee members with a glimpse of who they are and what matters to them, confirming they can and will live up to the school’s lofty mission.

The commitment can be personal or professional, though I prefer to see candidates share personal experiences in this essay. Whatever you choose, be sure that you focus on ONE thing; do not include multiple commitments here. Past examples have included causes, personal development areas, athletic achievements and professional pursuits. The commitment can be something completed in the past or on-going. However, if you select something that is on-going, be sure that you have already made significant steps to deliver against your commitment. A commitment you just recently made and your forward looking plans will not cut it here.

Yale SOM wants to see passion, dedication and follow-through. They want to assess how you think and how you plan effectively. Your commitment should be something that genuinely matters to you. Remember, think leader for business AND society here. The most successful answers will show how you have delivered against this mission in the past. However, the commitment does not have to be focused on volunteer work. There are countless ways to make an impact on society.

500 words is fairly short and this is your main shot to show who you are and why you will fit in on campus. Be focused and be genuine!

If you would like individual and personal support while applying to Yale SOM, please find information about Personal MBA Coach’s comprehensive packages or contact me to discuss your profile as well as how I can help! As a Wharton graduate, I regularly help many applicants navigate SOM and other applications each year. We also conduct mock interviews with former Yale SOM interviewers and other M7 interviewers on our team. Email me at: or call +1 617-645-2424 today.

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