Everything You
Need to Know About
the MBA at Yale School
of Management

Everything You Need to Know About the MBA at Yale School of Management

The MBA at Yale School of Management (“SOM”) provides a rigorous, Ivy League business education in New Haven, Connecticut. On a mission to “educate leaders for business and society,” Yale School of Management is defined by its collaborative community, close-knit class size (approx. 350), and unique Integrated Curriculum, which teaches core business concepts through different organizational perspectives and disciplinary lenses.

When it comes to their MBA program, Yale School of Management seeks purpose-driven leaders who are deeply committed to making the world a better place. You get a glimpse of this guiding principle in their admissions essay, which requires applicants to describe “the biggest commitment [they] have ever made” (in only 500 words!). Much like its application, the Yale SOM MBA will encourage you to consider the causes you value most and the real difference you want to make with your career.

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Why we love Yale School of Management

Integrated core curriculum

One thing that sets Yale School of Management apart from other top U.S. MBA programs is the unique approach to management education embodied in its first-year core curriculum. The Yale SOM MBA introduced its Integrated Curriculum during the 2006–2007 academic year. Its implementation represented an innovative pedagogical shift away from the siloed approach of teaching business through separate functional management disciplines—think accounting, marketing, finance—and toward a more cross-disciplinary approach.

With Yale’s Integrated Curriculum, MBA students examine foundational business concepts through the organizational perspectives of various stakeholders—customers, investors, and executives. Studying core business concepts across disciplines, SOMers receive a management training that grows them into well-rounded leaders. They understand not only how business decisions will affect the various levels within an organization, but also how those decisions could impact society and the common good.  

Multidisciplinary breadth

One of the pillars of a Yale School of Management education is the belief that students can better understand business and society by looking at challenges through the lens of multiple disciplines. SOMers can enroll in an unlimited number of elective courses across Yale’s graduate and professional schools. Popular second-year elective course options include language courses at Yale College, sustainability courses at the Yale School of the Environment, and visual storytelling courses at the famous Yale School of Drama. In order to facilitate cross-disciplinary discussions in the MBA classroom, Yale School of Management courses are also open to other Yalies.

Strong offerings in sustainability and nonprofit management

Yale SOM’s academic offerings in sustainability through the Yale Center for Business and the Environment and nonprofit management through the Program on Social Enterprise (PSE) have earned the institution a reputation for attracting MBAs committed to making a positive impact in those sectors. Both centers offer elective courses, conferences, guest speaker series, mentorship opportunities, and research experiences that connect students, faculty, alumni, and practitioners.

Curious about your chances of getting into the Yale School of Management? Meet MBAmo – an MBA admissions calculator that will help you determine whether the Yale SOM MBA should be considered a reach, a match, or a safety.

Want to know your odds of getting into Yale SOM?

Meet MBAmo – the best MBA admissions calculator out there!

Creating leaders for society

Yale School of Management requires every MBA student to complete a Leadership Distribution Requirement, which is designed to develop a student’s leadership ability across 4 dimensions:

  1. Individual
  2. Team
  3. Organization
  4. Global & Society

Students enroll in at least one elective that focuses on leadership in a particular industry, or in a course that examines leadership approaches to certain ethical and societal challenges.

Courses like Interpersonal Dynamics help SOMers further cultivate their emotional intelligence and refine their communication skills (e.g., giving effective team feedback). School of Management students also learn directly from top executives who share the strategic challenges they faced in their careers through Yale’s Strategic Leadership course.

New SOM facilities

Yale SOM’s Edward P. Evans Hall, located at the northeast corner of campus, opened its doors in January 2014. The building features 16 state-of-the-art classrooms, 13 interview rooms, 22 breakout rooms, 3 library spaces, additional meeting spaces, academic centers, an auditorium, and faculty offices, all centered around an enclosed courtyard.

Evans Halls boasts a sustainable design and the latest technology, making it equipped to support the demands of an ever-evolving curriculum centered on collaboration. It also features an impressive art collection, with works by Amy Pryor, Adrian Schiess, Keith Milow, and Sol LeWitt. The hall even has two long-term exhibits: Calligraphy and the Art of Business and the Historical Securities Collection.

Check Evans Hall out for yourself with the School of Management Virtual Campus Tour:

YouTube video

The beautiful Yale University campus

Beyond Evans Hall, there’s plenty to admire about the Yale campus. Unwind from your studies by playing golf on the campus’s acclaimed golf course, or take a leisurely bike ride through Farmington Canal Linear Park. Yale also has world-class museums like the Peabody Museum of Natural History and Yale University Art Gallery.

New England charm

There’s even more to explore off campus. New Haven is offers the best of both worlds: a classic New England college town with easy access to New York City and Boston for networking and recruiting. When fall rolls around, be sure to go leaf-peeping and apple picking with your section buddies. Hit the ski slopes in Vermont and New Hampshire during those long winter months. And when the weather warms up in the Spring, check out the views at East Rock, walk along one of the many beaches on the New England shoreline, or go sailing on Long Island Sound.

Did we mention the great pizza?

You could travel by train or car to grab a slice of New York’s famous pizza, but you can also stay closer to campus and share a great pie with your study group at one of Wooster Square’s finger-licking amazing pizzerias like Frank Pepe’s or Sally’s Apizza.

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What does Yale School of Management believe in and stand for?

Yale SOM began offering their MBA in 1999 with the mission “to educate leaders for business and society.” The measure of success at Yale SOM is how MBAs ultimately wield their graduate education and subsequent careers to “affect lives and strengthen communities.” Yale seeks diverse applicants who are big-picture thinkers, have a strong sense of purpose, and care a whole lot about making the world a better place.  

To model successful leaders for business and society, Yale SOM champions a cross-disciplinary approach in the classroom through team-taught core courses where faculty can contribute their diverse insights. SOM has also carefully crafted its first-year courses to ensure that students gain a broad view of management and learn to draw from different perspectives when solving the world’s business challenges.

The Integrated Curriculum molds SOM students into leaders who understand the impact of their decisions on the broader society around them—as well as how political, cultural, and social trends could affect their own organizations and ventures.

What will you learn at Yale and how? The Yale School of Management Curriculum

The integrated curriculum – required first-year core courses

Pre-MBA Math Camp

Beginning in August, some SOMers arrive on campus early to complete a three-day intensive Math Camp to strengthen and brush up on their quantitative skills.

Orientation curriculum: Orientation to Management (Fall Term)

After Math Camp, it’s full speed ahead with the rest of the MBA cohort for Fall term’s Orientation to Management, a series of foundational courses that cover the conceptual tools and frameworks necessary to understand business.

Managing Groups and Teams (a weeklong immersion) is the first course in this series, introducing students to the challenges and rewards of teamwork. Students bond with their assigned learning team via group exercises and challenges.

SOMers use Fall term to complete their remaining Orientation to Management courses:

  • Basics of Accounting
  • Probability Modeling and Statistics
  • Basics of Economics
  • Modeling Managerial Decisions
  • Introduction to Negotiation
  • Global Virtual Teams

Organizational Perspectives (Fall & Spring Term)

In the second half of the Fall semester and continuing through the Spring, first-year SOMers complete Organizational Perspectives, a series of multidisciplinary, team-taught courses that illuminate the perspectives of various stakeholders, including:

  • Competitor
  • Customer
  • Investor
  • Power and Politics
  • Sourcing and Managing Funds
  • State and Society
  • Workforce
  • Innovator
  • Operations Engine
  • The Global Macroeconomy
  • The Executive

Concepts introduced in one perspectives course are revisited in other courses, giving students the opportunity to understand how the same concepts influence internal and external stakeholder perspectives differently. By the end of the Organizational Perspective series students are better equipped to connect the dots of a business challenge and target potential solutions according to organizational priorities.

For a student perspective on the Integrated Curriculum and academic life at Yale School of Management, give this post a read: “My First 60 Days at SOM: Reflecting on Building Community in Fall 1.”

This video provides some additional background on Yale SOM’s Integrated Curriculum:

YouTube video

Elective courses

The School of Management is closely connected with its parent university, Yale. Beginning in the Spring of their first year, MBA students can enroll in as many electives (University-wide) as they want to supplement their business education. After completing the first-year Integrated Curriculum, SOMers can tailor the rest of their MBA education based on their fields of interest.

For a list of elective courses offered at Yale School of Management, click here. For Yale-wide courses, click here

Raw case approach

Yale SOM advances the use of the raw case approach in business education, which is very different from MBA programs that utilize the case method approach (like HBS or Darden). Instead of a neatly packaged case study of 10-15 pages containing a linear narrative and accompanied by filtered data that reflect only the information relevant for that day’s class, SOM inundates its MBA students with all raw data and full primary sources (including multi-media sources). SOMers must collaborate with their small learning teams to sift through all that information and create their own narratives of the case, then analyze and apply the relevant information before brainstorming solutions to the business challenge presented in class.

The raw case approach more closely simulates real-world business challenges, where decisionmakers must act and think quickly while filtering through a mass of information and data. This approach also enables Yale SOM MBA students to develop a stronger understanding of various angles and perspectives within the same case, since data deemed “irrelevant” for one course might be relevant in another within the Integrated Curriculum.

Curious about the raw case approach? Check out the School of Management’s interdisciplinary case studies directory on the school’s website.

Global Studies Requirement

Yale School of Management prides itself on developing students’ global perspectives and mindsets. MBA candidates are required to complete a Global Studies Requirement, and have the opportunity to fulfill this requirement through several different avenues:

  • International Experience Course – a half-semester classroom study on the complexities of business in a certain country, culminating in a 10-day trip to that country to visit companies and meet political leaders.
  • Global Social Entrepreneurship Course – School of Management offers two global entrepreneurship courses where students either participate in an entrepreneurial consulting project abroad (partner country changes every year), creating solutions to a management challenge, or help social entrepreneurs in India drive their mission to impact society.
  • Global Network Courses – Students can work on virtual team projects with students from other Global Network schools, developing skills in international collaboration by navigating across cultures and time zones.
  • International Exchange Programs – spend a semester or quarter as an exchange participant studying at one of the 5 Yale-SOM partner school exchanges:
  • The London School of Economics and Political Science
  • HEC Paris
  • IESE Business School (Barcelona)
  • National University of Singapore Business School
  • Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management (Beijing)
  • Or propose your own custom semester or quarter-long exchange program at another school within the Global Network for Advanced Management.

Joint degree options

Most MBA students take advantage of School of Management’s close affiliation with Yale University to expand their understanding of business and society by taking classes in other professional schools. Anywhere from 9% – 15% of the MBA class take their intellectual curiosity even further by pursuing a dual degree. According to SOM, “[their] percentage of joint degree students is double or triple that of peer institutions.”

Most joint-degree programs at Yale require applicants to apply to each program separately and gain independent admission to both programs before they can be considered a joint degree candidate. Yale recommends that applicants apply to both programs in the same admissions round to get the most out of an integrated educational experience, but it isn’t unusual for MBA students to decide to pursue a joint-degree study or dual-degree path during their first year at Yale School of Management.

Below is a list of available joint/dual degree options:

Management Science Concentration

Yale School of Management also offers Management Science as an optional concentration that draws on Yale faculty’s broad range of expertise in applying quantitative methods and mathematical techniques to business challenges. This concentration is attractive to quantitatively inclined international students, because successful completion of the program (a minimum of 16 credit units of eligible courses at Yale) enables them to qualify for an additional two-year STEM extension of the Post-Completion OPT work permission.

For courses to be considered eligible for the Management Science Concentration, they must meet the standards set out in the U.S. Department of Education’s Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) and be approved by a school’s academic committee. According to the CIP,

“The Management Science concentration is a general program focusing on the application of statistical modeling, data warehousing/mining, programming, forecasting, and operations research techniques to the analysis of problems of business organization and performance. Includes instruction in optimization theory and mathematical techniques, data warehousing/mining, stochastic & dynamic modeling, operations analysis, and the design and testing of prototype systems/evaluation models.”

Yale SOM video resources

For more on the Yale SOM MBA program and first-year curriculum, be sure to check out the Yale SOM Admissions YouTube channel. It offers Yale insights through panels and presentations such as:

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Top 7 Must-Knows Before You Apply to the MBA program at Yale SOM

1. Application process quirks, Part 1: the Behavioral Assessment

Since the 2019-2020 admissions cycle, the Yale School of Management full-time MBA application requires applicants to complete a Behavioral Assessment. It’s a 25-minute online test administered by a research division of ETS (the GRE folks) that evaluates your interpersonal competencies. After you submit the main online application form, you will be presented with 120 pairs of statements from which you’ll choose the statement that best reflects your behavior.

The test is adaptive, so no two applicants will receive that same sequence of questions. And since the test measures behavior rather than evaluating your understanding of concepts, there’s really no way to prepare for it…which is good news because there’s no way to totally blow it either.

The Yale School of Management admissions committee considers your Behavioral Assessment alongside the rest of your application to gauge your leadership potential and likelihood for success in business school and beyond. It serves as another tool in the admissions process to help SOM better understand your leadership style and how you tend to operate in the face of challenges. With the Behavioral Assessment, Yale admissions officers can go beyond academic metrics and test scores, building a diverse MBA class by identifying high-potential candidates and taking chances on prospective students who are outstanding by other measures.

For more information on the School of Management Behavioral Assessment, review the school’s Application Guide and Inside the MBA Application: the Behavioral Assessment.

2. Application quirks, Part 2: the Video Essays

Another Yale MBA application requirement is the Video Essays. After submitting your written application and paying the application fee, you will receive a link to 3 video questions that take around 15 minutes to complete. The video essays tend to be typical MBA and job interview-type questions recorded by an admissions officer. They’re randomized such that no two applicants get the same set of questions.

Applicants can do a practice question first and can start over on that one as many times as they want (don’t worry – admissions won’t have access to those practice tests). Once you’re ready to record, you’re allotted 60-90 seconds (depending on the question) to record an official response.

While impromptu video essays may seem anxiety inducing (especially since there are no do-overs for the official response if you goof), there’s really no need to stress. SOM’s video essays were initially developed to replace the English language proficiency test requirement. The SOM admissions team is looking to assess your spoken English. If you’re fluent, you pass that initial requirement, and then admissions will look to assess your general communication skills and ability to think on your feet.

Focus on your presence and energy when expressing your answers. Are you confident, relaxed, and friendly? Be yourself. Let your personality shine. Smile and have fun. For more advice on the Yale SOM MBA video essays, watch these videos:

YouTube video
YouTube video

SOM also gives some Tips for Tackling Our Video Questions on their website.

3. SOM’s interview waiting game

Yale School of Management is fairly transparent about its MBA application review process. After you hit “Submit,” your application is reviewed by two admissions officers. Applications that don’t evoke a clear-cut decision are reviewed by the entire committee.

Each application is reviewed holistically (test scores, transcripts, recommendations, resume, career goals, and essays) to assess an applicant’s potential to meaningfully contribute to the Yale community during their MBA studies and after, as an alum.

No one element of your application will ultimately determine an admission or rejection.

Yale School of Management Admissions is known to send interview invites all the way up to the decision release date in each round. There’s no set interview invitation release date, so try not to panic if you’re waiting in silence for several weeks.

4. The Silver Scholars Program (for college seniors)

Yale School of Management accepts exceptional college seniors straight out of undergrad through its unique three-year Silver Scholars Program. (International students from 3-year universities are also eligible.)

The Silvers Scholars Program is different from deferred admissions at other top MBA programs. With deferred admissions, college seniors lock in their MBA admission now, but don’t start their MBA studies until after they’ve gotten some work experience. SOM doesn’t require Silver Scholars to work before joining the MBA class…they can jump into the first year right after graduation!

The program was initially intended to attract MBA students from non-traditional backgrounds. Silver Scholars should display a “combination of intelligence and common sense, maturity and curiosity, passion and compassion.” They spend their first year at SOM completing the Integrated Core Curriculum to develop foundational business skills. In their second year, they leave campus to complete a full-time internship and begin applying concepts learned in the classroom to real-world business scenarios. They return to SOM for their third year to finish the rest of the MBA degree requirements through elective coursework.

Students applying for the Silver Scholars Program use the same online application as the traditional MBA program and must provide 2 letters of recommendation—one from an academic instructor and the other from an employer (can be from a full-time summer internship or part-time job during the academic year). Applicants with no work experience can get a recommendation from someone who worked with them in an extracurricular setting or volunteer organization.

5. Strong reputation for social impact and nonprofit management

SOM’s pedagogical emphasis on molding societally minded leaders is one of the key reasons why many students choose Yale over other top MBA programs. Yale School of Management’s mission to “educate leaders for business and society” and its Integrated Curriculum attract a strong community of students who care a whole heck of a lot about creating positive social impact. SOMers are the types of students who go to business school not for the money and prestige, but because they want to leverage their leadership and career to make a difference in the world. Read more about why MBAs choose SOM.

Yale School of Management consistently tops the U.S. News & World Report rankings for “Best MBA in Nonprofit Management.” What sets SOM apart from other top MBA programs is the Integrated Curriculum, which helps SOMers develop a more nuanced understanding of how business decisions impact society and—vice versa—how social factors and movements can affect the decision-making process in business. Popular electives on social impact include “Strategic Management of Nonprofit Organizations” and “ESG Investing.”

With SOM’s strong reputation for nonprofit management and social impact, it may come as a surprise that most SOM graduates go into Consulting (34.2%), Finance (25.1%), and Technology (10%). Only 3.4% of the Class of 2021 went on to work in the public sector (nonprofit sector + government) immediately post-MBA. Although this seems like a small percentage, it’s higher than other top MBA programs. At HBS, 3% of the Class of 2021 went into the public sector. That number is 2% at Stanford GSB and 1.4% at Columbia. 

One of the reasons many SOMers go into more traditional private industries is that it’s the most practical way to repay their educational loans in the short term (a top U.S. MBA is mighty expensive!). But many study social impact and nonprofit management during their two years at SOM with the intention of doing nonprofit or social impact work later in their careers.

Here are just a few opportunities for students to get involved in social enterprise at SOM:

Yale SOM even has a Program on Social Enterprise. For a student perspective on the school’s broader social commitments, read this 2020 article from the Yale Daily News.

6. Yale School of Management is now a Consortium-member school

In keeping with its mission “to educate leaders for business and society,” Yale is committed to increasing diversity and representation in the business world by providing greater opportunities and resources to underrepresented groups. In 2008, SOM joined The Consortium for Graduate Studies in Management (“Consortium”)—an alliance of 21 business schools dedicated to bringing more diverse perspectives to American business (est. 1966).

The Consortium aims to enhance diversity in top MBA programs by providing full-tuition scholarships to select Consortium Fellows who have demonstrated a strong commitment to advancing historically underrepresented minority groups in America. In addition, the Consortium sponsors networking events to connect students and corporate partners to increase hiring diversity and promote inclusion at Fortune 500 companies, especially at the managerial and executive levels.

Eligible applicants (see eligibility requirement here) can apply to the Yale SOM MBA program and up to 5 more schools using the streamlined Consortium application. This application carries a significantly reduced application fee and has Consortium-specific deadlines (Oct. 15 for Round 1 and Jan. 5 for Round 2). Applicants who use the Consortium application do not have to complete SOM application materials separately, but they will still need to complete the Behavioral Assessment and Video Essays. The application review process and admission standards remain the same for Consortium applicants.

For more on the Consortium application, check out the Consortium FAQs. This brochure details the benefits of applying to MBA programs through Consortium. You can also watch the Yale SOM Admissions 2020 Consortium Student Perspectives panel and these video webinars to learn about the value of Consortium membership.

7. Yale School of Management is giving the M7 a run for its money

According to John Bryne’s Poets & Quants article, “How Yale SOM Crashed the M7 Party,” SOM is a rising star in the MBA world:

  • Yale SOM broke into the Top 10 in 2016 and continues to gain momentum
  • From 2011-2017, applications to SOM went up by 46% during a period when MBA applications were in a general decline
  • SOM has a mission to be the most global U.S. business school and joined a network of 30 schools in the Global Network for Advanced Management
  • SOM has a low student-to-faculty ratio (under 8:1) compared to peer schools
  • Although the alumni base is smaller than rival schools, its alumni-giving rate was strong, standing at over 50% and coming in just behind Tuck’s infamously strong alumni network (~70% alumni giving rate)

Jeff Schmidt’s Poets & Quants article, “Meet Yale SOM’s MBA Class of 2023,” points out that applications to SOM for the 2020-21 cycle rose 12.3% while the average increase at Top 25 programs was only 3.2%. The applicant pool has become more competitive over the years, with a 6-point increase in GMAT scores for the last cycle, up to an average of 726 (range: 640-780). SOM’s acceptance rate was 24%.

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Is Yale a fit for you? The Yale SOM MBA Class Profile

Genuine SOMers

Yale SOM’s class size of ~350 fulltime MBA students is small enough to foster a close-knit student community centered on teamwork and collaboration. It’s also large enough to represent a diverse class in terms of personal, academic, and professional experience and background.  According to SOM’s Class of 2023 Profile, 40% of its 349 students are women and 20% identify as underrepresented U.S. students of color (Black, Hispanic, Native American/Islander, Multiethnic). 44% hold international passports (representing 38 countries), and 9% identify as LGBTQ+. 

YALE SOM MBA
CLASS OF 2023
Class Size
349
Average Age
Not provided
Average Years of Full-Time Work Experience
4.4
% Women
40%
% International
44%
Countries Represented
38
% U.S. Students of Color
49%
% U.S. Underrepresented Minority
(Black, Hispanic, Native American, Islander, and Multiethnic)
20%
% LGBTQ+
9%
% First-Generation College Graduates
9%

% of Class of 2023 by World Citizenship:

Diversity – academic and professional background

Yale School of Management’s focus on the intersection of business and society creates a strong class of socially minded business leaders, with 9% of the Class of 2023 pursuing a joint degree. The school’s heavy emphasis on interdisciplinary education also allows it to draw significantly more MBA students from academic backgrounds in the Humanities & Social Sciences (28%), as well as a significant percentage of folks working in the non-profit sector pre-MBA (14%). While they do seek “substantial work experience” in their applicants, the average years of work experience (4.4 years) is lower at SOM than other top MBA programs (usually 5-6 years). Because many SOM students come from the Humanities & Social Sciences, SOM also has the highest percentage of applicants submitting GRE scores over GMAT (36%) out of all business school that accept the GRE.

Undergrad Major:

Pre-MBA Industry:

Partners & families

While the Yale SOM MBA class is slightly younger in terms of age (partly due to the Silver Scholars), more than a third of students bring their partners and families with them to SOM. SOM partners are welcome to use campus facilities like the Payne Whitney Gym as well as the Yale shuttle service. They can also audit classes at SOM and other schools (pending special permission from the professor).

The SOM Partners Club provides career resources to assist with adjustment/relocation to New Haven for two years. It also coordinates child-friendly events and playdates to help little SOMers adjust to life on campus with new friends as well. The International Spouses and Partners at Yale (ISPY) is another community on campus that provides resources and support for partners of international SOMers.

Clubs & extracurriculars

Student life at SOM is dynamic, with 50 student clubs covering a wide span of interests – from shared industry to cultural or geographic affiliation or even a shared passion for sports. SOM Voices is one of the most popular traditions on campus. Every week students gather with their peers to share their personal stories (like a SOM version of TED Talks), fostering a space of mutual respect and trust.

One of the main highlights every year is the Internship Fund Auction – a student-led initiative featuring a talent show and live auction that raises money for internships in the public or nonprofit sectors. 20% of first-year students benefit from the internship fund.

Veterans & military students

SOM’s first-year curriculum, mission, and community attracts many strong veteran and military candidates to the school. SOM counts U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and even international military members among its MBA students. To attract military applicants, SOM waives its application fee for active-duty service members and qualified veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. It also offers enrollment deferrals to currently deployed military applicants. These military-minded policies have earned SOM the GMAC designation of a “Military Friendly School.”

Yale SOM is also a Yellow Ribbon participating school, contributing the maximum amount to be matched by the VA for eligible veterans under the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. Under the Yellow Ribbon Program, students who qualify for 100% benefits under the G.I. Bill will have their full tuition covered through a combination of VA and school-matching contributions. For more information, read our article on the Yellow Ribbon Program.

The Yale SOM Veterans Club is dedicated to supporting military students at SOM through community support, peer mentorship, and networking events with potential employers. For more information on the military student experience, check out this Yale SOM Military Student Panel:

YouTube video

Other SOM cultural must-knows

A popular haunt for SOMers to get spirited with some friends after a long week is Yale’s Gryphon's Pub. SOM team spirit rallies every October during the Yale SOM Cup – a soccer tournament that attracts clubs from many top business schools. In November, SOMers let their inner Bulldogs out for the infamous Harvard-Yale football game (“The Game”), which alternates each year between New Haven and Cambridge.

Will a Yale MBA increase your salary?

96% of the Class of 2021 (312 MBAs) was fully employed within 3 months of graduation, with a median base salary of $140,400 and median signing bonus of $30,000. Here’s a post-MBA industry breakdown for the recent graduating class (according to the Yale SOM MBA Employment Report):

Industry
%
Median Salary
Median Signing Bonus
Consulting
34.2
$165,000
$30,000
Finance: Investment Banking
13.8
$150,000
$50,000
Technology
10%
$140,000
$25,000
Retail: E-Commerce
9.6
$130,000
$45,000
Consumer Packaged Goods
5.8
$120,000
$32,500
Media/Entertainment
3.8
$120,000
*
Finance: Venture Capital
3.3
*
*
Energy
2.9
$125,000
*
Healthcare/Pharmaceuticals
2.9
$123,800
$30,000
Finance: Private Equity
2.5
$125,000
Government
2.1
$95,000
*
Nonprofit
1.3
*
*
Finance: Investment Management
1.3
*
*
Law
0.8
*
*
Transportation
0.8
*
*
Real Estate
0.4
*
*
Retail: Other
0.4
*
*

*Insufficient data for reporting

Somewhat surprisingly, given Yale SOM’s strong reputation for social impact and nonprofit, only 3.4% of the Class of 2021 pursued public sector careers in nonprofit and government immediately post-MBA. Many SOMers landed in Consulting (34.2%), Finance (25.1%), and Technology (10%).

Not included in the numbers above are the 3.5% Yale graduates who founded their own businesses, 6.1% who went on to pursue another degree, and 7.4% who were company-sponsored and returned to their employers post-MBA.

Wondering where SOMers work post-MBA? Here are the top employers recruiting at Yale (broken down by industry).

While the Yale SOM Employment Report does not indicate how students secured their post-MBA employment (e.g., Career Services, other campus resources, personal or alumni networks), student-led professional clubs offering peer mentorship (like the Consulting Club and Finance Club) drive much of the recruiting success for MBAs who pursue positions in those industries.

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What Writing the Yale SOM MBA Essay Will Teach You About Yourself

Don’t be fooled! While the Yale SOM MBA’s main application essay is shorter than those of other schools (500 words), it requires careful self-reflection, planning, and care to strike the right balance of confident humility.

For the past few years, Yale SOM’s admission essay has remained the same:

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

This prompt may seem deceptively simple on the face of it. The best approach is to write about something that is truly meaningful in your life and be genuine about it.

Laurel Goodman (Managing Director of Admissions at SOM) offers “Application Tips” on the SOM website, including some great advice on how to approach this essay topic:

  • “The prompt is intentionally broad to allow for a wide range of topics. Your commitment can be personal or professional, specific or expansive. One type of commitment is not inherently better than another, and we have received strong, compelling essays covering each of these types of commitments.” 
  • “What we care about most, and what helps provide the most insight into you as an applicant, is how you have approached the commitment. Let us know what it is you set out to do and how you have gone about doing it. Whatever topic you choose, you should be specific and detailed in describing that approach.”

Bruce Delmonico (Assistant Dean of Admission at SOM) also offers great advice in his “Tips for Using the Application to Tell Your Story”:

  • “The Admissions Committee cares less about the commitment you choose and more about the behaviors surrounding the commitment. You can choose a commitment from either your personal or work life—and each year there are many excellent essays on varied topics—but what makes them all great is that we come away learning something new about you as a person that helps us understand your values and motivations”.

Want to know your odds of getting into Yale SOM?

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Applying to Yale SOM?

Applying to the MBA program at Yale School of Management? We’d love to help! Our Authentic MBA Package supports applicants who want to authentically shine in their written and video essays.

Already been invited to interview at Yale School of Management? Find out how to rock your MBA admissions interviews, and check out our New MBA Interview Edge package.

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