Tuesday Tips: Yale MBA Essay Tips for 2020-2021

Yale MBA essay tips

The Yale School of Management has published its required MBA essay for the 2020-2021 admissions season. Today, we’re sharing our Yale MBA essay tips to help you create a positive impression through your application materials.  Consider the essay question carefully and research the Yale MBA admissions criteria. One excellent resource is the Yale MBA admissions blog.

As one MBA 2020 student advises, “Make sure to spend some time reflecting on your story and how what you’ve done, what you want to do in the short term, and what you want to do in the long term aligns.”

This essay should clearly highlight your personal qualities and leadership qualities. With only one essay question in the application, you’ll need to make sure your resume and recommendations can answer any questions about your career and accomplishments.

Read through our Yale MBA essay tips, and don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about designing the best Yale application possible with Stacy Blackman Consulting.

Yale MBA Essay Tips for 2020-2021

Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. (500 words maximum)

Behavioral questions like this one (tip-off word: “describe”) require you to describe how you act in specific situations. Choose an example from your past experiences, and think about what a commitment meant to you. Was it a job or an organization that you were involved in? Or, maybe your commitment relates to a value or a person.

Provide detailed specifics about your commitment and why it qualifies as the biggest one you have ever made. What did you think or say? Describe the actions you took. How did you feel about the result? The commitment should be large enough to show the admissions committee at Yale SOM who you are and what motivates you.

Solo commitments might be appropriate since many MBA applicants are individual contributors. However, ideally, you will demonstrate how you work with others as a leader and team member. Leadership and commitment often go hand-in-hand because the best leaders commit to making the team and organization better.

Remember, Yale SOM students focus on making a difference in the world. The topic of this question demonstrates your values. Those values ideally include actions that impact the greater community. Regardless of whether you choose an individual or team commitment, make sure you show how it made a significant positive impact. Keep in mind the Yale SOM’s mission while writing this essay.

As Dean Edward A. Snyder explains: “Yale SOM is persistent and disciplined in our efforts to connect to big issues, to integrate with Yale, to be distinctively global, and to work across all sectors. All of our efforts are guided by a strategy that accounts for how the world has changed over the last several decades and the implications for leadership. The success of our efforts depends entirely on extraordinary alignment and superior teamwork—internally and externally.”

A note on word counts

The 500-word limit can be daunting. Don’t censor yourself on the first draft and limit what you write. Instead, start by describing each step of your accomplishment in detail. Describe what you did, the reaction of others, and your feelings. From there, cut out anything too detailed or too superfluous to the story.

This will help you maintain that 500-word maximum. Another great tactic is to use an outside reader. Someone removed from the application can help you decide what is most important to the story and streamline your essay.


If, after reading these Yale MBA essay tips, you still find it challenging, then don’t hesitate to contact Stacy Blackman Consulting for guidance through the process.

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