Yale SOM or Re-apply?

Hi all,

25-year old
Asian Male
Transferred from a top 50 undergrad (3.9GPA) to a top 10 undergrad (3.4GPA),- definitely does not help my story
Graduated in 2015
3.4 GPA
331 GRE (168Q 163V) (740 GMAT equivalent or 95th percentile)
3 years work experience
worked at hedge fund project management/middle office out of college, with some IM internships in college

Short term: Looking to break into IB
Long term: return to Asia to grow family's bank

I started my application for Fall 2018 during October 2017. I applied to R2 to 3 schools:
- LBS - Ding without interview
- Tuck - Ding, had student-initiated interview
- Yale - accepted, no $

My role paid well but I was not too interested in making a career out of it, and wanted a more client-facing, strategy, and results driven industry.

I didn't apply to M7 schools as I thought I was (1) too young and my (2) work experience was not attractive, and (3) GPA is a blimp. The ding from Tuck and LBS somewhat confirms this.

I got into Yale for a 2018 start, but now I am wondering whether I should have at least tried for Booth/CBS/Kellogg(went here for undergrad).

Thoughts on:
1.) Trying to defer Yale (I know, its a gamble that might backfire)
2.) Going to Yale this year
3.) Letting go of Yale, hoping for better schools.

1.) Yale is good enough for short term goals. Banks recruit and they have good yield. I've spoke to several alums/current students + Yale employment report supports this.\

2.) I went to a good undergrad, but not quite top 5. Yale SOM seems to be similar where it is good, but not among the best. Part of me really wants to pedigree myself with a top school, and B-School may be my last chance to do so. Even if I get into IB through Yale in 2 years. having a Columbia/Booth MBA might carry greater weight in 10 years. Am I being irrational here?

3) If I apply next year, I might have 0 schools. A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush.

Open to everyone's thoughts!

Thank you!

Comments (21)

May 1, 2018

Yale SOM is up and coming, and honestly it sounds like things are going towards M8 soon with them. Yale is also decent with finance recruitment and it's alumni base beyond SOM is likely better than quite a few peer schools.

Costs is a bit on high side though, are you okay with that?

Speaking from a young m7

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May 1, 2018

I knew I was going back to school and lived on the frugal side of things for the past 3 years in NYC. I've managed to save up ~90k, which would be half the cost all in. I'll be taking out a loan, either through 3rd party or from a relative, in the hopes that the IB sign on bonus + 2 year salary would allow me to pay it off.

Speaking from SOM students, yield at SOM for IB has been 38 (serious applicants) / 30 (internship offers) or roughly 80%. I'm not sure how this compares to Columbia / Booth but given the small size, it might be even better for me. A small class size + less interest in IB + me coming from a better undeergrad might tilt recruiting in my favor. Or maybe it would be a similar/better case from Columbia?

May 1, 2018

There are only two business schools I want to attend. Yale SOM / HBS... why? Both of them have clubs in superb locations in New York. No other reason to attend business school.

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

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May 1, 2018

haha the Yale Club in Manhattan is certainly a bonus, but I'm not sure whether I'd base my 2 years + tuition on this alone

I understand that this could be a sarcastic post obviously, but you did recently started that funny thread about getting fired from IB.

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May 1, 2018

For what it's worth I would like to also point out that despite its kinda bad rep, New Haven is fucking awesome, and YSOM recently built a beautiful new "campus".

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May 1, 2018

if "pedigree" is your only reason for deferring, then I'd suggest you simply go. Not sure there's as much a chasm between the M7 and Yale as you seem to imply. Yale's a top 10 school and will get you into IB. Up to you whether a marginal difference in prestige (and a chance at striking out next year) would be worth waiting another year. This is all contingent on you being able to eat that cost-there are only a tiny handful of schools for which I'd pay $200K all in to attend.

In response to your other consideration, in 10 years no one will care where you got your MBA outside of it just checking a box. Dude, your family owns a bank! That's prestigious enough!

May 1, 2018

Thanks for the feedback. Pedigree is one part, but I would assume it's also less riskier to attend Columba (for example). I'm not sure what IB yield is at Columbia, but I assume it's equal or better. The difference would be that Columbia probably has strong ties with other financial firms that Yale does not, and so if I did not make it through IB recruiting, I would have others to fall back on. Yale still has a strong name that you could leverage, but structured recruiting dies heavily outside of consulting/banking.

If you don't mind, what schools would you be willing to pay for / did you also attend an MBA?

May 1, 2018

I'd definitely pay full freight for HSW...and maybe MIT. I attended Tuck but was able to leverage scholarships from other schools while negotiating. But cost was my #1 factor as I applied to B-school relatively later than average.

Yale has a terrific network when you include its undergrad and Law programs, and quite honestly at this level (top 10-20) schools outside of HSW will be fairly interchangeable. I've made so many friends/contacts from folks outside of my initial network it's provided its own career boost. That has more to do with personality and your resume.

That said, what are your goals beyond IB? Planning 10-15 yrs ahead now will prove a mostly fruitless exercise.

May 1, 2018

In Asia, Yale is likely to have more prestige than Booth/Kellogg.

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May 1, 2018

^ This, too

May 1, 2018

Definitely true but at the same time, if I ended up staying in the US, it might be good to go with the stronger MBA name, regardless if it's a household name or not. But I agree with your point.

Feb 13, 2019

Not necessarily true. Yale may have a better "street name," but if you stay in finance industry, even in Asia, people would know Yale SOM is not the same as Yale University. Currently, Yale SOM is just not in the first tier.

May 1, 2018

I am in no way an admission consultant or anything, but if I were you I would probably go to Yale SOM and not waste another year on applications for marginally better schools. Also from my experience seeing Asian coworkers getting access to Top 10 schools, their GPAs are generally above 3.8 so it might be a big bet on your part to apply to schools with a lower GPA compared to Asian demographic.

May 1, 2018

Good point. My GPA doesn't help, but averaging out 4 years gives me a 3.65~. Even just looking at the final 2 year GPA at my actual college where I got my degree (since I transferred), a 3.4 at a top 10 school I'd say is still pretty good. I assume that maybe your co-workers went to less academically rigorous schools (I could be wrong).

While Asian, I pile under Southeast Asian (Indonesia/Malaysia) so that might actually help in my favor since there are not that many compared to East Asians (Chinese).

May 1, 2018

Surprised you made it into Yale TBH

May 1, 2018

I think people overestimate hard stats, and underestimate the recommendations and your actual essays. I'm not going into detail but my references went to great lengths and my story was well crafted and genuine. Those probably offset any material weakness I have.

May 2, 2018

Wasn't the deposit deadline in April?

May 1, 2018

I paid the deposit but that does not mean I have to go.

Best Response
May 7, 2018

My advice runs against the grain. Wait and reapply, perhaps even two more years in a row.

You are 25. I am aware that the median years of experience at matriculation is now 3.4 at HBS, for instance, but I believe that is getting pulled down by two things: an increasing amount of attention paid by adcom to students from fields other than finance and consulting, as well as the growing proportion of each incoming class who got in through 2+2.

Your success will boil down to your progression of leadership. B-schools want to see that you're maintaining a strong upward trajectory. Working at only one company is okay, but you need to have either gotten a promotion there or somehow otherwise expanded your responsibility (and have that non-promotion expansion reflected in your recommendation letter[s]).

If I'm reading it correctly, you have only been in one role and do not mention any promotion. If I add that to your downward trajectory in academic performance, I'm not surprised at your dings.

You can turn this all around by doing one of two things: switching jobs to a place that gives you a title bump and new sexy bullet point fodder for your resume, or committing to a long (6-month plus) grind to building out a new product, project, or feature at work or even a non-profit organization of your own.

You need an "I saw an opportunity, took the initiative, threw myself at the objective, and unlocked XYZ result and $123 outcome" type output. You can do this either inside work or outside it. The beauty is that you don't have to rush it.

B-school is everyone's one last shot at a rebrand. Reading your comments, you recognize this. Applying as a 26-year-old does not make you old, it puts you on the other side of the 50/50 split of the median years of experience. Applying as a 27-year-old does not make you old ... as long as you've done something that demonstrates you were solidifying your trajectory.

If you think you can do something meaningful inside your current place of employment, you have a real shot at R2 for the class of 2021 (six months of calendar runway). If you think you need to switch employers to get a title and responsibility boost, you are looking at the class of 2022 since you need to be employed somewhere for a year before applying.

Failing all that I just wrote, Yale is going to be the equivalent of the M7 (or arguably better) for perception outside of the States. Yes, people in the elite coastal professional communities are going to know that Booth and Kellogg are better. People in Indonesia or Malaysia are never going to react to either of them, but they'll light up at the mention of Yale.

So, in short, roll the dice on the application process for either R2 for the class of 2021 or R1 for the class of 2022 ... or attend Yale now.

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Feb 9, 2019