6. What do you look for in recommendation letters? How important is it that the letter's writer has worked regularly with the candidate in an office or school setting? Do you put much weight on letters from prominent public figures who may not know the applicant well?
We look for two professional recommendations from individuals who know that candidate's work well. We want recommenders who can speak concretely and in detail about the candidate's qualities and performance.
The best person to ask to write a recommendation is an immediate manager, a client, or a senior colleague you've worked with closely. We want to hear about projects you've worked on and specific examples of leadership and innovation. While some candidates may be tempted to ask a prominent public figure, if that person doesn't know you very well, it's a missed opportunity to add valuable depth to your application.
7. Can you give a brief description of the life cycle of an application? What's the timeline applicants should expect?
Each application is reviewed by two members of the admissions committee. Most applications are then brought to the entire committee and decided upon as a group. We don't select files to read in any particular order, so your application may be reviewed at any point in the round.
Interview invitations typically begin going out shortly after the application deadline and continue until the end of the round. While we try to release decisions as soon as possible, most applicants will hear on or around the decision deadline.
8. Which firms recruit heavily from your school? Which firms hire the highest percentage of your graduates?
The diversity of firms that recruit at the school match the diverse career interests of our students. The highest percentages of our students take jobs in finance, consulting, and general management. For the class of 2011, the top 10 recruiters were Barclays Capital, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Boston Consulting Group, Citi, Deloitte, Credit Suisse, General Electric, McKinsey & Co., and UBS.
9. What are some of the most common mistakes that applicants make that hurt their chances of being accepted?
Applying to business school is a very personal and reflective process. It's an opportunity to assess your strengths and areas of growth. Most applicants understandably shy away from identifying growth areas (or, more concretely, weaknesses) in their application for fear of looking less attractive to us. In many ways, the opposite can be true. Although it certainly isn't a mistake not to mention weaknesses, it can also make your application much stronger if you show that you have a realistic and balanced sense of yourself and compelling reasons for wanting to get an M.B.A.
10. Can you describe the archetypal student for your school?
Because diversity is one of the hallmarks of the Yale SOM experience, there is no archetypal student. Our students come from many different industries and backgrounds from around the world, and each brings something unique to the community. The things that unite them are their broad-mindedness, intellectual curiosity, and support for the mission of the school, which is to educate leaders for business and society.
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