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Thursday, August 26, 2004

Yale 

Although I've decided not to apply to Yale, I've been keeping an eye on their information. This year they've gone for two essays:

Why MBA - Please describe your short- and long-term goals and how your previous experience and an MBA will help you to achieve these goals. (500 words maximum)

Personal Statement - Please develop an question / topic of yuor choice and answer it in essay form. (500 words maximum)

To me, that doesn't seem like a whole lot of opportunity to really give a rounded picture of yourself, especially as all career and extra-curric information has to be given in a resume of 1 or 2 pages. I can't help feeling that it disadvantages those with a non-US and/or non-traditional background, where things might need a bit more explanation. I know I'd certainly find it really difficult to portray a strong candidacy. And as they only interview c30% of applicants, it's not as if large swathes of people are going to have the oporunity to present themselves face to face.

I also noticed that in the 'international' section they state that people with a three year degree need to make it equivalent to a US four year one by taking a post-gradute diploma in the same subject area, taking a two-year masters, being a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountancy, or transfering courses to a US university degree. My first degree was four years, but that's relatively unusual for the UK. Most UK degrees are three years, and it seems that most other US institutions regard them as at least a equivalent to a US four year one, because of the differences in the education system. Maybe Yale does too, but isn't expressing it very well. I suspect a lot of UK potential applicants will be put off by the face value of the statement though.

I guess they know what they're doing, but I'm even more convinced that I made the right decision when I crossed Yale off my list.

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