The MBA degree provides candidates with the tools, skills, networks and opportunities to advance their current career or switch their career path in a new direction. For those looking to use the degree to expand their career opportunities, understanding which business school programs provide the greatest access to which careers is critical.
It's always tough to score an interview invitation to Harvard Business School, and even tougher to get through the MBA admissions interview! But fear not, Clear Admit's admissions experts, Graham Richmond and Alex Brown, are here to help you prepare.
Candidate Status: Applied, visited but not interviewing
Visit Details: I had recently been extended an interview invitation.
I was in London for the week and visited campus 3x.
Monday I had a coffee chat with a student near the campus.
Wednesday I attended a class and afterwards got coffee with another student who was my "chaperone" throughout the day.
On Friday I had a coffee chat with an admissions manager (not mine because she was in NY).
The Yale School of Management MBA recommendation questions are below. Yale uses the Common Letter of Recommendation from GMAC.
2019-2020 Yale SOM MBA Recommendation Questions
In this section, you will find 12 competencies and character traits that contribute to successful leadership. The competencies and character traits are grouped into five categories:
– Personal Qualities
– Cognitive Abilities
For each competency, please select the one button that corresponds to the behavior that you have seen the applicant most consistently exhibit. We acknowledge that all applicants have both areas of strength and areas of development. Your candid and honest appraisal will assist in evaluation of the applicant. Please assume that each level builds upon behaviors of the previous level.
Achievement 1. Initiative: Acts ahead of need/anticipates problems
2. Results Orientation: Focuses on and drives toward delivering on goals, objectives, and performance improvement
3. Communication, Professional Impression & Poise: Delivers messages and ideas in a way that engages an audience and achieves buy-in; uses listening and other attending behaviors to reach shared understanding; remains calm and measured even in time of crisis or conflict
4. Influence and Collaboration: Engages and works with people over whom one has no direct control
People 5. Respect for Others: Acknowledges the value of others’ views and actions
6. Team Leadership: Manages and empowers a team of formal or informal direct reports, including virtual teams
7. Developing Others: Helps people develop their performance and ability over time
Personal Qualities 8. Trustworthiness/ Integrity: Acts consistently in line with or follows explicit values, beliefs or intentions
9. Adaptability/ Resilience: Adapts to changing demands and circumstances without difficulty. Maintains calm optimism in the face of challenge, problems, or apparent failure
10. Self Awareness: Aware of and seeks out additional input on own strengths and weaknesses
Cognitive 11. Problem Solving: Frames problems, analyzes situations, identifies key issues, conducts analysis on the issues, and produces acceptable solution
12. Strategic Orientation: Thinks beyond one’s span of control and into the future to reshape the approach or scope of work
Based on your professional experience, how do you rate this candidate compared to her/his peer group?
Unable to assess
Very Good (well above average)
Excellent (top 10%)
Outstanding (top 5%)
The best encountered in my career
Do not recommend this applicant
Recommend this applicant, with reservations
Recommend this applicant
Enthusiastically recommend this applicant
Below is a list of some of the qualities that describe Yale SOM students and alumni. Please review the list and check off the three (3) qualities on the list that you feel best describe the applicant. Please note that we are not looking for any specific qualities; instead, we are simply trying to get a better sense of the applicant’s strengths.
Please write an assessment of the applicant that addresses the prompts below. We are looking for your candid and accurate assessment of the applicant’s potential to be a successful leader and the specific traits the applicant possesses that evidence this potential. Please be as specific as possible and use concrete examples where applicable. Do not incorporate anything drafted by the candidate in your recommendation or have the candidate submit the recommendation on your behalf. Please note that Yale SOM welcomes you to upload and submit letters of recommendation written in English, Chinese (Mandarin) or Spanish. Yale University will be responsible for providing a translation to English for review by the Office of Admissions.
Please provide a brief description of your interaction with the applicant and, if applicable, the applicant’s role in your organization. (Maximum word count: 50 words)
How does the performance of the applicant compare to that of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? (E.g. what are the applicant’s principal strengths?) (Maximum word count: 500 words)
Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (Maximum word count: 500 words)
Are you in a position to know whether the applicant is sponsored for the MBA by his or her current employer? If so, please comment.
(Optional) Is there anything else we should know?
I am submitting my recommendation letter in this language:
I found your description of the Wharton guide to be spot-on: it does a good job of consolidating and contextualizing all the relevant info about Wharton in one succinct document. The Wharton history section was new info and interesting to me. I also thought that the guide did a better job of covering the specifics of the academic program than Wharton does in its own materials! I liked the geographic and industry job placement comparisons between schools too.
Praise from a Wharton applicant
I highly recommend reading the Clear Admit School and Interview Guide. The School Guide is good for brushing up on the program, classes, clubs, school strengths, etc, — whereas the Interview Guide explains their typical interview, with questions other candidates have been asked.
Praise from a Top-10 MBA Applicant
Purchasing the Clear Admit HBS School Guide was one of best decisions I made in the application process. I visited HBS three times and was certain that I acquired all the necessary information about the school. After reading the guide, it became clear that I was wrong!
Praise from an HBS applicant
A thorough, objective, and accurate synopsis of the school, student composition, coursework, and admissions information. I remember all too well the leg work involved in rounding up school-specific info prior to making my application decisions -- I wish these guides were available when I was applying!
Comments from a current CBS student
It's important for applicants to learn as much as they can about a program before applying so that they can find the program that is the best fit for them and present themselves in the best possible light. The SOM School Guide does a really nice job of digging beneath the surface and pulling together a lot of useful information about the School in a way that can serve as a helpful resource during the pre-application due diligence process.
Feedback from Bruce DelMonico, Director of Admissions, Yale School of Management
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