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Yale MBA Essay Samples
We asked the Yale experts on our Stacy Blackman Consulting team, “What does Yale Admissions look for?” They advised, “Be true to who you are.”
SBC has several former Berkeley Haas MBA Admissions Officer on our team. We know the nuances of applying to Yale SOM successfully. If you’d like to speak with one of our Principals about your candidacy, please request a free analysis here.
In the meantime, please see sample Yale MBA application essays here from past successful Yale admits.
The Individuals with Disabilities Act mandates that school districts must provide a “free and appropriate public education” that meets a child’s unique needs. However, I didn’t pledge a mere “appropriate” education when I met students’ families each year at Back to School Night. As a special educator, I made a commitment to provide services that allowed my students to reach their fullest potential. In a society that often underestimates students with disabilities, I was determined to keep my promise.
The first step to providing those services was securing a high-quality assessment of the cognitive processes underlying each student’s performance. The more specific an evaluation, the more evidence there is to justify better-aligned services. However, the quality and thoroughness of assessments differs widely based on what families can afford. Free public testing often consists of a three-page report, while outside evaluations can surpass thirty pages and use much more sophisticated assessment measures. Due to the cost of these evaluations and the socioeconomic status of many of my students’ families, only a handful of students had ever received them.
To work against these unfair disadvantages and ensure that each student received services that surpassed “appropriate,” I developed a system to pursue outside evaluations when necessary. I researched and spoke to mentors, then contacted clinics, hospitals, and nonprofits to compile a comprehensive list of free and low-cost providers. If parents opted for outside testing, I connected families to providers, worked to arrange transportation when needed, and called daily to check on wait-lists. After five months, I’d connected eighteen families with high-quality evaluations.
In the majority of cases, those high-quality evaluations served as a sufficient basis for negotiating ideal interventions and services on a child’s Individualized Education Program. However, occasionally the services granted did not align with what students ideally needed. When this occurred, I continued to push to fulfill my commitment to obtain optimal services for each student.
For one child, our school’s administrative team and the child’s parents did not feel that the educational options granted by the city would allow him to reach his fullest potential.
During my research, I’d learned about a nonprofit that provided free legal advocacy services to families. I contacted the nonprofit, and because of the high-quality evaluation, there was enough information for the legal advocate to make a case that the student required more than the city could currently offer. Over three months, I worked in tandem with the advocate and the child’s parents to compile evidence needed for hearings. After many hearings, this student was granted a spot in a highly specialized school for free, and was one of two XYZ charter school students ever to receive these services.
This commitment reflects my conviction that it is my duty — whether as a leader, manager, teacher, or friend — to support others in accessing the resources they need to be successful. In this case, I fulfilled my commitment to securing top-quality services by working with others beyond my role, organization, and sector to reach a desired outcome.
As an educator, I sometimes find myself up at night thinking about the business-minded education reforms that affect my day-to-day work, such as new school models, value-added teacher evaluations, merit-based pay, or school funding changes. I see value in some but am critical of others. While I’ve always been excited by education innovation and reform, I believe that new ideas must be rigorously examined and tested before broader execution. In addition, I’ve often observed even the most promising new models or initiatives derailed in their effort to scale.
I want to be a leader who influences the strategic planning and management of innovative education reforms. To evaluate the costs and benefits of new ideas and scale them successfully, I need multidisciplinary knowledge across private, public, and social sector perspectives. Yale’s integrated approach across disciplines will provide the knowledge and analytical tools needed to address these leadership challenges.
After Yale, my goal is to influence education reforms as a social impact consultant helping cross-sector clients scale K-12 education initiatives, starting at a firm such as AAA, BBB, or CCCC. With my education experience and new business perspective after Yale, I will be well-equipped to have an impact in this role.
Consulting will enhance my ability to think strategically about innovative change models to determine which are scalable, efficient, and impactful. This will help me pursue my long-term goal of launching or leading an organization which identifies and assesses innovative social enterprise models and support their growth.
The biggest commitment I have ever made began in high school when I applied to participate in SSS, an organization founded to empower and cultivate global leaders in communities divided by conflict. I was raised with a strong sense of identity and an emphasis on my Jewish heritage. As I grew up, my interests gravitated toward the history of the Jewish people, Israel, and, subsequently, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. My first trip to Israel as a young adult piqued my curiosity as I witnessed a heated argument between my Israeli peers and the Imam of a mosque we were visiting. For the first time, I realized that this conflict was much more than opposing territorial claims, but instead about enemies that had been left bitter and resentful after centuries of war. From this experience onward, every history paper, research project, and course elective was focused on this conflict as I became determined to figure out its roots in order to better understand how to untangle them.
At seventeen, I learned of SSS and became passionate about their mission. I was accepted to participate as a camper in their summer camp where Israeli, Palestinian, Jordanian, Egyptian, and American teenagers are brought together to help illustrate commonalities and build bridges of understanding. Being introduced to peers that lived this conflict everyday broadened and transformed my perspective. The program challenged us to question our long-standing beliefs, empathize with our “enemies,” and work together to create trust. My time at camp led to a deep commitment to the organization’s mission, as it nurtured a hope that peace was obtainable in a region of the world I previously thought was impossible to change.
As a result, I pursued political science and history to advance my academic understanding of the conflict and remain connected to the organization during college. After moving back to New York, I was excited to participate in SSS as an adult. However, I quickly realized that there was a hole in programming for young leadership and that the strong community SSS is so successful in building becomes largely dispersed after finishing college. I immediately started working to revive the defunct Alumni and Young Professionals Group (AYPG), aiming to invigorate and reunite this group. I used the organization’s 25th anniversary gala as a springboard to organize the first ever “After Party” so that members of the AYPG could participate. Since then, we have renewed our mission as a group and have organized various functions like dialogue sessions and networking events to rebuild our young alum community.
For the last decade, I have remained committed to the SSS’s mission by enriching my understanding of Middle East conflict and working with the organization to advance peace in the region. I can now envision a way to combine my passion for peace building with my career aspirations through impact investing and consulting, and social entrepreneurship. I look forward to furthering this commitment through my professional pursuits.
Through SSS, I was introduced to RRR, a program that supports entrepreneurial ventures designed to advance social change and upend conflict. My outlook on business transformed after meeting social entrepreneurs like YYY,founder of “XXX Ventures.” YYY developed the first fund targeting investments in Palestinian technology companies and created internship opportunities for Palestinian youth at premier technology companies in Israel. Through his example, I saw how my financial skillset coupled with my passion for social impact could work in tandem in impact investing and in launching my own firm. I hope to join a global impact investment firm like Acumen, McKinsey’s social impact practice, or FSG, a boutique mission-driven consultancy, to gain exposure to the inner workings of international businesses and work closely with values-driven firms.
Eventually, I plan to lead or found a venture aimed at mitigating conflict in the Middle East with business-oriented solutions that correct for government and market failures. I will establish a company mission that equalizes the goals of both generating profit and influencing positive impact at its inception. When compared to governments and non-profits, the private sector has the unique ability to advance peace by integrating economies, creating trust through common goals amongst enemies, and centering the decision-making process around the community it serves. At Yale, I will be equipped with a multitude of resources to create a values-driven enterprise aimed at peace building and I look forward to being challenged by the diverse perspectives of my classmates to strengthen it.
When I started high school, I met exchange students from all around the world. I’ve always loved learning about new places, so I peppered them with questions about their language, their home, and how it differed from the US. Enthralled by their stories, I applied to a full immersion program abroad. My parents agreed to let me go if I raised $1,000. Over the next year I saved everything I could from working a $5/hour job, giving up normal teenage splurges like going to the movies with friends and buying clothes. I was able to raise the money, and moved to Mulhouse, France. But, it didn’t feel like France! Mulhouse borders Germany and is heavily influenced by German culture, and one-quarter of Mulhouse’s population are immigrants, primarily from North Africa. Navigating this extreme multicultural environment at sixteen was one of the most transformative experiences of my life.
I learned how much your environment shapes your perspectives and beliefs. Coming from a small town in Wisconsin, I had never seen women wearing hijabs before, but many of my friends in France did. I asked them how they felt being forced to wear them, expecting them to feel disempowered and marginalized. Instead, they told me how it was their choice, and how they were proud to be able to physically demonstrate their commitment to their faith.
My time abroad forced me to let go of many of my preconceived notions- things that I assumed “everyone” believed, just because the majority of people where I grew up believed them. It taught me the most valuable lesson of my life, that everyone’s beliefs are right. You have to uncover what experiences have shaped their perspective. Now, I go into situations asking myself “why do they think they’re right?” as opposed to “how do I prove them wrong?”, enabling me to learn more and find commonality between seemingly dissimilar people.
Living in France fueled my natural curiosity, and I’ve stayed committed to ensuring I have experiences that throw me into new environments and push me outside my comfort zone. I’ve moved cross-country and cross-Atlantic solo four times after France. Each time I leave behind friends and family, knowing I’ll experience culture shock, loneliness, and homesickness during the first few months. However, I also know it’s worth it for what I learn from meeting people whose backgrounds and viewpoints are different than mine.
Yale shares the same values I do, and demonstrates it through its mission to be the most global and most integrated with its home university. Having students from different graduate programs on my team will give me perspectives on business problems I wouldn’t be able to get at any other program. I will dig deep into their past experiences to learn what diverse strengths they bring, recognizing that their knowledge will lead to a more creative business solution. I’ll further broaden my global exposure by spending a semester in Beijing, immersing myself in an unfamiliar culture.
With Yale’s unique assets, I’ll have the resources to stay committed to broadening my perspective and challenging my own beliefs- things that are increasingly important in today’s society.
My greatest commitment is to the creation of communities around art. I believe that art is a catalyst for dialogue about personal, political, and social issues. By starting at the ground level in museums, making financial sacrifices to pursue learning opportunities, and devoting my time and energy to initiatives outside of work, I have dedicated myself to facilitating impactful connections through art. As an intern at a museum in Venice, Italy, my duties ranged from presenting talks to managing the daily operations of the Museum, which included working the coat check and guarding the rooms. But seeing how an exceptional arts organization serves a diverse international public was an incomparable learning experience. Whether I provided a point of entry by selling someone a ticket, engaged in a conversation about a work while I was guarding, or made the collection accessible to a young family through a tour, I thrived on these daily connections. I took a leap of faith when I joined the first large-scale European exhibition of the work of an American photographer who explores issues of race, class, and gender in Paris. Although the role began as an unpaid internship, I knew that working alongside such a talented team would be a valuable growth opportunity. I even began as a live-in au pair to support myself. My gamble proved more rewarding than I could have ever imagined. In addition to playing a key role in every aspect of a world-class exhibition and finding a mentor in the show’s curator, I was able to see the impact of our efforts in an opening symposium. The dialogue about this work created a nuanced exploration of African American identity that was particularly affecting at a moment of tension surrounding the North African immigrant population in France. In addition to supporting global exhibitions in my current role at an artist foundation, I create space for exchange through art on a volunteer basis. With several former colleagues, I founded a networking platform for hundreds of arts professionals in New York. I have been astounded by members’ eagerness to host tours of their spaces, ranging from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the Kickstarter Headquarters. And as co-chair of the young patrons group at a New York art museum, I work with Development staff to rethink how we engage members and enable intimate connections with artists, most recently through a small dinner with artist Josh Kline. Josh’s presentation of his work over spaghetti and meatballs invited provocative conversation about the effects of technological innovation on politics, labor, and the human body. My commitments to building community have been motivated by my fierce conviction that art’s potential for impact upon society is limitless. Through its integrated approach to educating leaders for business and society, Yale SOM is the ideal place for me to acquire the skills to create and sustain the organizations that make art and its influence accessible to the world.
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Meet Anthony, who served as the Associate Director of MBA Admissions at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he dedicated over 10 years of expertise.
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