2022-2023 MBA Essays: Tips for Yale SOM

Yale School of Management

The 2022-2023 Yale MBA essays were released! Most MBA programs will highly value the personal statement in your application. So don’t slack on it! Writing a unique essay that captures your individuality while responding to the prompt is a challenging task, but here at Menlo Coaching, we have a comprehensive guide to perfect it.

Yale SOM is looking for students with a well-rounded background and lots of experience that can be translated into a concise and compelling statement. One of the essential tips for an impactful essay is asking yourself why you chose to highlight a particular experience. Did it show significant professional development? Did it show how you overcame a personal struggle? Connecting your essay to the prompt, especially how it shows why you are pursuing an MBA, will make your essay stand out. No matter what the essay prompt is, these tips are broadly applicable. With that being said, the two different types of essays you will see on Yale SOM’s MBA applications are personal and career goals.

Yale SOM’s Personal Essay

Personal essays encompass your moral character, passions in and out of work, and the relationships you have fostered with friends and mentors. This essay type is where you can show the MBA program who you are as an individual and the intrapersonal impacts you have made on people around you. Yale is looking to recruit students who show compassion and enthusiasm in the office and with the people in their lives. Tailoring which attributes you write about to each program is essential. Yale prioritizes personal connections, teamwork, collaboration, real-world experience, and integration with the community. 

Make sure to emphasize where you have shown empathy in your life while explaining how you will contribute positively to the on-campus experience. One of the biggest mistakes students make when writing a personal essay is focusing too much on their professional expertise. This essay is where you can move away from talking about your work and speak about who you are outside of your job. The personal Yale SOM essay prompt for last year was: Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made.

Yale SOM’s Career Goal Essay

The career goals essay is the space to emphasize your post-MBA plans. MBA programs want to accept students who have concrete, achievable career plans and a roadmap to success. MBA programs want a glowing post-grad report that proves they produce successful graduates with many job prospects (and who will donate money in the future)! Yale also wants students to promote their program to friends, co-workers, and prospective applicants. The career goals essay combines your hard statistics (ex: GMAT score) with your interpersonal skills (ex: recommendations) to formulate the case for getting an MBA. 

Make sure to state your achievable short-term and long-term goals explicitly. Explain why an MBA would help you achieve these goals and how Yale is essential to your plan. Connecting the positive attributes from your personal essay to your career goals essay is critical to forming a well-rounded application. Yale SOM students enter the consulting, finance, and investment banking industries, so emphasize your findings in the essay to show you’re genuinely interested. Last year, the Yale SOM career goals prompt was: Post-MBA Career Interests. How did you arrive at these career interests? How have you or how will you position yourself to pursue them?


Overall, honesty and growth are the most important parts of a successful MBA application essay. In addition, applying the lessons you learned shows improvement in your interpersonal and professional skills, making you a more attractive candidate for MBA programs. At Menlo Coaching, we are prepared to help you take the next step and perfect your essays. Visit our process page to understand how Menlo Coaching can help you.