Keep careful track of Yale SOM’s MBA deadlines if you’re submitting an application during its 2021-2022 cycle.
Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. (500 words)
While only having to answer one essay question for an application can be relieving, it also means you have only 500 words to convince Yale SOM of your application.
Begin by considering what Yale is really asking for with this question. By asking about the biggest commitment you have made so far, the admissions team is looking to understand an important past action, your follow-through since then, and what this has to say about your character. You should feel free to write about personal or professional commitments, as long as they have been impactful on yourself or others, and clearly illustrate commitment.
Given the wide spectrum of examples that can fit in this criteria, it may also be helpful to narrow down your topic choice based on what aspects are otherwise missing from your application. Is there an important aspect of your personality or values not present in your CV or recommendation letters? Highlighting a commitment that mirrors Yale SOM’s values is also important, notably your capacity for leadership, teamwork or, if it so happens to be the case for you, your ability to handle a global commitment.
After submitting your written application, you will be asked to answer a set of video questions in 60 to 90 seconds, depending on the question. You will have the option of stopping the recording earlier and, before starting, will be given the option to complete a practice question.
Initially conceived as an English language proficiency replacement test, SOM’s video questions have grown to serve as basic behavioral interview questions to help the admissions team better assess your potential for leadership and your communication skills. Thus, they are not expecting the same highly-constructed, thoughtful answers one might see in written format. Rather, they want to gage how well you can express yourself and your ideas in a natural, “face to face” way. The best way to prepare is therefore to practice, practice, practice. Get comfortable speaking out loud to deliver 60-90s of a response, while remaining wary not to fixate on communicating a fixed script but rather to focus on appearing natural.