Essay prompt: Describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. (500 words)
This is one of the most unusual questions we have seen in MBA Application. The first obvious question that comes to an applicant's mind - should I include a personal or a professional experience for this essay?
Personal Commitment can vary from the relationship with a partner to pursuing a skill – music, stand-up, acting or pro-sports. If you have a substantial list of achievements to show, include a personal commitment to your skill, provided the recommendation letters, transcripts, and resume will help the admission team understand your career path. The trajectory and peak in your career should be obvious. If there is a hint of confusion on whether your pre-MBA journey is enough to achieve your post-MBA goals, use the essay to capture your professional experience.
Let us look at the MBA Application elements for Yale SOM. For 2017-18, the application includes a Video Essay, two recommendation letters, and one essay. The Video Essay is designed to test your ability to think on the feet. The recommendation letter validates what you have written and brings a perspective from your team lead or your supervisor.
The 500-word written essay becomes a snapshot of your personality. We recommend that you include a professional experience for this Essay.
Yale SOM MBA Essay Tip #1: Include Leadership Experience in your Commitment Essay
Yale SOM MBA is Leadership heavy and believes in the power of internal motivation and purpose in your work.
The core of the Yale SOM full-time MBA program, unlike other top MBA programs is not divided into themes based on job function or industry but strategically looks at the foundation of management program through fundamental expertise – accounting, managing groups & teams, economics, negotiation, and probability.
Following the foundation courses, Yale SOM trains students on roles – Customer, Competitor, Investor, Employee, The Executive, Innovator, and from the perspective of the state and macro economy.
A defining characteristic of Leadership is an ability to think from the other person’s point of view and create incentives for each personality type. By assigning roles, candidates learn to think from multiple angles and understand the problems faced by each role.
The second year through 60+ elective courses is designed as a traditional MBA program with themes on real estate, big data, policy, non-profit management and Global Corporation, standing out as unique for the program.
Yale SOM MBA Essay Tip #2: Include Patience and Discipline
Any worthwhile goals require patience and discipline. Applicants with a military background are trained to perform with rigor and focus. Discipline is expected. For other applicants, the commitment essay is a chance to showcase what it takes to perform at the highest level.
Although the essay is on commitment, include indirectly the responsibilities you are entrusted and how you hope to take on greater commitments with the MBA. A pattern of setting goals and persisting should be highlighted to indicate your motivation.
Commitment is an empty promise without a goal. Yale SOM attracts some of the best Employers in Finance, Consulting, Technology, Energy, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Real Estate, and Consumer Packaged Goods.
They hope to attract candidates who are naturally good at goal setting and persisting through setbacks. Your essay is a recruitment tool, not just for an MBA, but also for Employers who want to bet on candidates with the right attitude towards work and goals.
Yale SOM MBA Essay Tip #3: Match Values with your Commitment
Download F1GMAT's Yale SOM MBA Essay Guide for Complete Essay Tips and 5 Sample Essays
Yale SOM MBA Essay Guide - Reviews
"Yale SOM MBA Essay Guide is a practical book with storytelling techniques, sample essays and insider secrets on capturing the attention of the admission team. I improvised on the techniques offered in the book and found a unique voice. " - Verified Purchase (3rd August 2017)
"As an applicant applying for Round 1, I found the tips and tricks in the essay guide to be very valuable. They are also written in an engaging way, with sample essays, research behind attention and with anecdotes on how essay reviewers think. " - Verified Purchase (5th August 2017)
"I bought this book after reading F1GMAT's Essay Writing Tips and Sample Essay for Yale. The storytelling tips and Leadership traits stood out, but the many thought-provoking observations on MBA Admissions gave me excellent ideas on writing my Essays. " - Verified Purchase (12th August 2017)
Download Yale SOM MBA Essay Guide - Sample Essays, and Writing & Editing Tips
Writers Workshop: Writer Resources
Writing Tips: Thesis Statements
Defining the Thesis Statement
What is a thesis statement?
Every paper you write should have a main point, a main idea, or central message. The argument(s) you make in your paper should reflect this main idea. The sentence that captures your position on this main idea is what we call a thesis statement.
How long does it need to be?
A thesis statement focuses your ideas into one or two sentences. It should present the topic of your paper and also make a comment about your position in relation to the topic. Your thesis statement should tell your reader what the paper is about and also help guide your writing and keep your argument focused.
Questions to Ask When Formulating Your Thesis
Where is your thesis statement?
You should provide a thesis early in your essay -- in the introduction, or in longer essays in the second paragraph -- in order to establish your position and give your reader a sense of direction.
Tip: In order to write a successful thesis statement:
- Avoid burying a great thesis statement in the middle of a paragraph or late in the paper.
- Be as clear and as specific as possible; avoid vague words.
- Indicate the point of your paper but avoid sentence structures like, “The point of my paper is…”
Is your thesis statement specific?
Your thesis statement should be as clear and specific as possible. Normally you will continue to refine your thesis as you revise your argument(s), so your thesis will evolve and gain definition as you obtain a better sense of where your argument is taking you.
Tip: Check your thesis:
- Are there two large statements connected loosely by a coordinating conjunction (i.e. "and," "but," "or," "for," "nor," "so," "yet")?
- Would a subordinating conjunction help (i.e. "through," "although," "because," "since") to signal a relationship between the two sentences?
- Or do the two statements imply a fuzzy unfocused thesis?
- If so, settle on one single focus and then proceed with further development.
Is your thesis statement too general?
Your thesis should be limited to what can be accomplished in the specified number of pages. Shape your topic so that you can get straight to the "meat" of it. Being specific in your paper will be much more successful than writing about general things that do not say much. Don't settle for three pages of just skimming the surface.
The opposite of a focused, narrow, crisp thesis is a broad, sprawling, superficial thesis. Compare this original thesis (too general) with three possible revisions (more focused, each presenting a different approach to the same topic):
- Original thesis:
- There are serious objections to today's horror movies.
- Revised theses:
- Because modern cinematic techniques have allowed filmmakers to get more graphic, horror flicks have desensitized young American viewers to violence.
- The pornographic violence in "bloodbath" slasher movies degrades both men and women.
- Today's slasher movies fail to deliver the emotional catharsis that 1930s horror films did.
Is your thesis statement clear?
Your thesis statement is no exception to your writing: it needs to be as clear as possible. By being as clear as possible in your thesis statement, you will make sure that your reader understands exactly what you mean.
Tip: In order to be as clear as possible in your writing:
- Unless you're writing a technical report, avoid technical language. Always avoid jargon, unless you are confident your audience will be familiar with it.
- Avoid vague words such as "interesting,” "negative," "exciting,” "unusual," and "difficult."
- Avoid abstract words such as "society," “values,” or “culture.”
These words tell the reader next to nothing if you do not carefully explain what you mean by them. Never assume that the meaning of a sentence is obvious. Check to see if you need to define your terms (”socialism," "conventional," "commercialism," "society"), and then decide on the most appropriate place to do so. Do not assume, for example, that you have the same understanding of what “society” means as your reader. To avoid misunderstandings, be as specific as possible.
Compare the original thesis (not specific and clear enough) with the revised version (much more specific and clear):
- Original thesis: Although the timber wolf is a timid and gentle animal, it is being systematically exterminated. [if it's so timid and gentle -- why is it being exterminated?]
- Revised thesis: Although the timber wolf is actually a timid and gentle animal, it is being systematically exterminated because people wrongfully believe it to be a fierce and cold-blooded killer.
Does your thesis include a comment about your position on the issue at hand?
The thesis statement should do more than merely announce the topic; it must reveal what position you will take in relation to that topic, how you plan to analyze/evaluate the subject or the issue. In short, instead of merely stating a general fact or resorting to a simplistic pro/con statement, you must decide what it is you have to say.
- Avoid merely announcing the topic; your original and specific "angle" should be clear. In this way you will tell your reader why your take on the issue matters.
- Original thesis: In this paper, I will discuss the relationship between fairy tales and early childhood.
- Revised thesis: Not just empty stories for kids, fairy tales shed light on the psychology of young children.
- Avoid making universal or pro/con judgments that oversimplify complex issues.
- Original thesis: We must save the whales.
- Revised thesis: Because our planet's health may depend upon biological diversity, we should save the whales.
- When you make a (subjective) judgment call, specify and justify your reasoning. “Just because” is not a good reason for an argument.
- Original thesis: Socialism is the best form of government for Kenya.
- Revised thesis: If the government takes over industry in Kenya, the industry will become more efficient.
- Avoid merely reporting a fact. Say more than what is already proven fact. Go further with your ideas. Otherwise… why would your point matter?
- Original thesis: Hoover's administration was rocked by scandal.
- Revised thesis: The many scandals of Hoover's administration revealed basic problems with the Republican Party's nominating process.
Do not expect to come up with a fully formulated thesis statement before you have finished writing the paper. The thesis will inevitably change as you revise and develop your ideas—and that is ok! Start with a tentative thesis and revise as your paper develops.
Is your thesis statement original?
Avoid, avoid, avoid generic arguments and formula statements. They work well to get a rough draft started, but will easily bore a reader. Keep revising until the thesis reflects your real ideas.
Tip: The point you make in the paper should matter:
- Be prepared to answer “So what?” about your thesis statement.
- Be prepared to explain why the point you are making is worthy of a paper. Why should the reader read it?
Compare the following:
- Original thesis:
- There are advantages and disadvantages to using statistics. (a fill-in-the-blank formula)
- Revised theses:
- Careful manipulation of data allows a researcher to use statistics to support any claim she desires.
- In order to ensure accurate reporting, journalists must understand the real significance of the statistics they report.
- Because advertisers consciously and unconsciously manipulate data, every consumer should learn how to evaluate statistical claims.
Avoid formula and generic words. Search for concrete subjects and active verbs, revising as many "to be" verbs as possible. A few suggestions below show how specific word choice sharpens and clarifies your meaning.
- Original: “Society is...” [who is this "society" and what exactly is it doing?]
- Revised: "Men and women will learn how to...," "writers can generate...," "television addicts may chip away at...," "American educators must decide...," "taxpayers and legislators alike can help fix..."
- Original: "the media"
- Revised: "the new breed of television reporters," "advertisers," "hard-hitting print journalists," "horror flicks," "TV movies of the week," "sitcoms," "national public radio," "Top 40 bop-til-you-drop..."
- Original: "is, are, was, to be" or "to do, to make"
- Revised: any great action verb you can concoct: "to generate," "to demolish," "to batter," "to revolt," "to discover," "to flip," "to signify," "to endure..."
Use your own words in thesis statements; avoid quoting. Crafting an original, insightful, and memorable thesis makes a distinct impression on a reader. You will lose credibility as a writer if you become only a mouthpiece or a copyist; you will gain credibility by grabbing the reader with your own ideas and words.
A well-crafted thesis statement reflects well-crafted ideas. It signals a writer who has intelligence, commitment, and enthusiasm.