The name ‘Yale’ itself is synonymous with prestige, distinction, and the Ivy League. Yale MBA graduates are considered among the most elite in the USA (and around the world).
In this interview, we cover questions on selection criterion that the Yale MBA looks for in applicants, employment opportunities for international students in the current visa environment, advice for reapplicants to the Yale MBA, and insights into scholarship for international students.
Laurel Grodman, Managing Director of Admissions, Analytics, and Evaluation
Yale School of Management
GyanOne: What are the key employment opportunities for international students? What sectors are the most popular/feasible for them to get into post the Yale MBA?
Laurel: I believe that regardless of the school, the biggest driver of opportunity within the post-MBA landscape for the international student is visas. Traditionally, Consulting, Financial Services, Technology, and Retail (in that order) have been the most popular post-MBA options for Yale MBA graduates, and I see that to be the case irrespective of immigration status (US student v/s international student). If I could think a bit more philosophically about it, I would assume that this is the case because these are service industries, and their business models require them to look at human capital as their top resource. Therefore, they will hire talent irrespective of its source. So, along these sectors is where I see hiring trends for international students to be strongest too.
GyanOne: What are the must-haves in one’s profile for an application to the Yale MBA?
Laurel: We are looking primarily for three things. First, your academic potential, as that is an indicator of success in a rigorous program such as the Yale MBA. Second, your professional impact and your ability to be a leader and a collaborator, as that is a sign of potential success in your career later. Third, your ability to be able to engage with others in the Yale community and contribute to the overall Yale experience.
This requires a certain degree of commitment to the program and to your peers, and that is why in the Yale MBA admissions essay, we ask you to describe the biggest commitment you have ever made. Business school is a big commitment too so we like to see how you have made commitments before. We also have video questions and we were one of the first schools to use this component in the MBA admissions process. This is an opportunity to hear a member of the team ask a question and get a live response. It is meant to be a human face to the process, not meant to trip you up.
One other piece we will be rolling out to every single applicant this year is Behavioral assessment. This will be a 20 minute online module, and it assesses interpersonal and intra-personal skills.
This has been developed and is administer in conjunction Educational Testing Service (ETS, the creator and administrator of the GRE). This year we had only those who had been selected for interviews take it, but next year everyone will. This will allow us to better predict if you will do well once you get into the program. It helps us take chances on people and identify students who have faced challenges (say, low GMAT scores or low GPAs) but still will perform well in the program.
GyanOne: Please tell us about funding and scholarships for international students at Yale SOM
Laurel: In terms of loans, we have a number of options, including Prodigy and Quorum, that don’t require a co-signer, and students find these useful. Both allow international students to borrow upto 80% of the cost of attendance. Our financial aid office has decades of experience in working with international students.
In terms of scholarships, we have a merit-based scholarships here and all international students who are accepted are automatically considered for them.
Specifically, we have a scholarship for global leaders from India, which provided 5 half or full tuition waivers.
We have scholarships for students from other regions of the world too, and also partner with organizations for regional scholarships. We have partnered with Harambe for scholarships for African entrepreneurs, and with Sponsors for Educational Opportunity in London for British students. You don’t need to apply for these scholarships as an international student. Based on your credentials and competitiveness, we automatically consider you for them.
In awarding scholarships, we consider academic preparedness and potential Yale community impact as key factors. We also think of where this is exemplified within the class, and those areas are the ones we will prioritize for awarding scholarships in.
GyanOne: What advice would you give to Yale MBA reapplicants?
Laurel: We have a culture of feedback, and even at the point that you are waitlisted, you will get feedback from the Yale MBA admissions team in-round (before a final decision is made).
For those who do not ultimately make it, but would like to understand why in preparation to their reapplication, we offer the option to get feedback from a community member on the application over the summer. Overall, applicants who look honestly at their applications and where they can make improvements are typically the most successful in a subsequent application.
A summarized transcript of the initial part of the interview is reproduced here. For the entire interview, plug in your headphones, and listen to Laurel talk about Yale SOM and its programs.
Table of contents
0:18 – Best jobs for international students
3:58 – Profile must-haves for Yale MBA admissions
7:26 – Scholarships for international students
10:02 – Advice for reapplicants
11:24 – Tech and management
12:00 – The raw case approach
15:19 – The most sought after professors at Yale
17:14 – The Yale Silver scholars program and how to get in
20:25 – Employability after Silver Scholars