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Yale SOM Class of 2018 Shows Increasing Diversity, GMAT Scores

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Up, up, up might be the best way to describe the incoming class at Yale School of Management (SOM) this year. The median GMAT score jumped to 730, up from last year’s 720, and the average GMAT rose from 722 last year to 725 this year. Women make up 43 percent of the Class of 2018, up from 40 percent last year. U.S. students of color comprise 28 percent of this year’s incoming MBAs (including 13 percent underrepresented minorities), compared to 22 percent (and 10 percent URMs) a year ago. And close to half (46 percent) of the Class of 2018 hold passports from a country other than the United States. (The school changed how it defines international students this year to include U.S. dual citizens and permanent residents, believing that to be more in line with how other schools are reporting this number and with guidelines issued by the Graduate Management Admission Council, DelMonico notes.)

“The group that arrived on campus is as diverse and accomplished as any we have welcomed to New Haven,” wrote Bruce DelMonico, assistant dean for admissions, in a post to the Yale SOM MBA blog last week welcoming students to orientation.

We spoke to DelMonico a little earlier in the summer, before the class had been fully set, and he described the incoming pool as not dramatically different than past pools. “A little bit bigger, a little more qualified,” he said. Application volume was up about 6 percent this year, quite good given that it rose a whopping 25 percent last year. “It is tough to maintain that level of increase,” he said, though he noted that the school has continued to be more aggressive in its outreach, not only with recruiting events but also virtually.

But it was the ever-increasing quality of the applicants that struck him even more. “I think that was the biggest thing—we have always had very strong applicants and a very strong pool, but I feel as though especially in the last couple of years our job has really been tough. This year in committee—more so than in past years—we have really had some serious conversations about where the line is and who is getting those last few seats because we have such a strong pool.”

Yale SOM Near the Very Top in Terms of Women
Back in June, DelMonico was cautiously optimistic, saying that the incoming class might be 42 percent but that he hoped it would be even more. And indeed, at 43 percent, Yale SOM now counts itself squarely among the handful of top-tier schools where women have the greatest representation in the full-time MBA class. The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School so far this year leads the pack, with 44 percent women reported in its Class of 2018. Harvard Business School, like Yale, came in at 43 percent. Kellogg School of Management, for its part, dipped just slightly to 41 percent (though it likes to point out that when combined with the 43 percent female Class of 2017, the school’s two-year MBA program now counts more total women than ever before).

In terms of what Yale SOM has done to help lure more talented women to its program, DelMonico points to increased collaboration with organizations like Forte, more women’s events both on campus and on the road. They also this year used a buddy system pairing current female students and prospective female students, in which the current students reached out to the prospective students to share their experiences as women at SOM. “It was really well received,” DelMonico said.

Diversity by the numbers was impressive, but as DelMonico shared in his blog post, the Class of 2018 brings variety of many, many other sorts as well. Musicians in the mix include those classically trained on no fewer than 10 different instruments, as well as jazz-inspired saxophone and trumpet players and a recreational ukulele player. “They dance—from ballet to ballroom to salsa to the Lindy hop to popping (but not locking),” DelMonico continued.

Champion athletes, too, help round out the class, as do individuals who speak Twi and Luxembourgish, among many more familiar languages. Add to that an Indian National Chess Championships silver medalist, a Chinese Physics Olympiad gold medalist, an ordained Zoroastrian priest and a finalist at Amateur Night at the Apollo, and it’s quite clear that there will be some fascinating conversations taking place in classrooms and study groups in the year ahead.

Deloitte was the pre-MBA employer who sent more students to Yale this year than any other, DelMonico reports. But there are also incoming students from financial firms including Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, other major consulting firms like McKinsey, Bain and Booz Allen Hamilton and a long list of other employers, ranging from Procter & Gamble to the Clinton Health Access Initiative, and Google to the International Monetary Fund and the White House. Not to be overlooked are the Army Rangers and Navy SEAL team leader, a scout for the Baltimore Orioles, a former Chez Panisse intern, a Sesame Workshop program manager and a professional singer-songwriter.

“Despite this incredible diversity, what the members of the Yale SOM Class of 2018 all have in common is their aspiration to fulfill the school’s mission of educating leaders for business and society,” DelMonico wrote in closing. Indeed, it seems like it will be a very interesting year ahead.

In case you missed it, check out our Real Humans of MBA Admissions post featuring Bruce DelMonico.