In from Yale SOM’s waitlist [admit #4]


I started out last fall with my heart set on Yale SOM. When I first started exploring business schools, SOM called out to me…even before I found out that it was “the” bschool for nonprofit folks. And once I discovered that fact, I felt like my mind was all made up. I didn’t know what kind of chances I had at admission, but if Yale let me in, I would GO. I was that sure that SOM was The School for Me.

Then I found out I was waitlisted. It was the first bschool decision I received of all my apps (well, except for GSB, but that didn’t ever really register with me), and I was crushed. I thought that if I had a chance anywhere, it would be SOM…and even they weren’t sure if they wanted me. I started to think I had little to no chance of admission at all my other schools.

But then things started looking up. Way up. Not only did I receive admission from Anderson, I also received a scholarship. I was floored. I started out this process thinking mayyyybe I’d have a shot at scholarship money, but in no way did I expect it. But I got some, and suddenly my expectations shot upward. I started to need more than an admit to consider enrollment.

In the meanwhile, I was learning more and more about Johnson, my dark horse candidate. And I liked what I learned. I liked it a lot. SOM started to look very far away, and Johnson looked more and more within reach.

And that’s what brings me to where I am today. I found a little over a week ago that I was admitted with all the other round 2 admits at SOM. I was really happy, of course, but I also did not receive any funding from them. And even though Yale has an outstanding loan forgiveness program…I’m sticking with Johnson. For all those of you who have been going following the SOM saga with me (machichi, AG, tinkered, everyone else out there), I have truly appreciated swapping stories and going through all of it with you, and I’m sad we won’t be classmates next year. But I’m sure you’re all destined for greatness, and I’ll always have a special place in my heart for SOM 🙂

And that, ladies and gentlemen, concludes my bschool application drama. I hope you enjoyed the show!

I’ll still be blogging when inspiration hits me, probably mostly complaint-filled posts about the relocation process. (Did I mention I hate moving? Yes, I think I did, but I’ll say it again. I hate moving.) No promises once the fall semester starts at Johnson, though. From what I hear, I’ll barely have time to breathe, much less blog…though I do love blogging.

I want to thank all of you out there who have been reading my posts and virtually traveling the bschool application journey with me. This blog is well on its way toward its 30,000th view since my first post this past September! I’ve tried to be as transparent as possible, and I hope you guys have gleaned something from it all, whether it was a smile, a nod or a muttered “god I hate her she is so annoying.” I’ll take it all.

For those of you asking, “How did you get off the Yale waitlist?“, I honestly don’t think I did anything special. I was kind of lazy about the whole thing because I was hedging my bets. I didn’t visit campus or reach out to more students/alumni. I’m pretty sure my case was “Pretty good, but not awesome. Let’s put her off until round 2 and reevaluate her within the context of that group.” And maybe yield was lower than they expected for round 1. But here’s what I did:

  • Asked for feedback: SOM will give you feedback on your application if you ask for it (other schools won’t). I asked, and their feedback was that they had no specific feedback, so that didn’t really help me much. But they might give you something actionable that you could work on.
  • Demonstrated interest: When I received an offer from another school, I let SOM know about it and said that I’d still pick them if they let me in.
  • Submitted another rec: I had another previous supervisor submit a character-driven rec for me. I never saw the rec, so I don’t know what it really said. Maybe it was crazy fantastic and that’s what got me in (?) But I also hear recs from current students and alumni can help a lot.

I also submitted a two-sentence update saying that I had completed a pre-MBA math course and received an A+ in it, but I doubt this had anything to do with my admission. I don’t think quant was a real concern on my app.

I’ve heard stories of people putting together pages and pages of supporting content and sending it to admissions. I didn’t do any of that. I probably sent SOM three or four short (3-4 sentences each) emails total during the four-month waiting period. And I didn’t really get a response to the messages I sent, so I don’t even know if they read them, really. I actually wonder if what I contributed had any influence at all on my admission. I mean, it was probably better than staying completely silent, but in and of itself I don’t believe the content was that compelling.


11 thoughts on “In from Yale SOM’s waitlist [admit #4]

  1. I have to say I was definitely intrigued to figure out who you were at Destination Johnson. It seems there was another three people facing the same decision between Yale SOM and Johnson, I met one person at DJ and one on the gmatclub forum. Myself and another friend I made are leaning towards Yale SOM. As much as I loved Johnson, I have received a very warm welcome from Yale SOM and felt a good fit with those who may be my future classmates as Yale SOM.

    I do have to say thanks for the tips on the video essays, they were really helpful! I still have my sticker on my camera from the interview craziness. In fact, some pre-MBA opportunities will have me recording videos again and I don’t feel so worried about them anymore.

    Good luck to you!

    • Sorry for my late reply–Did we meet at DJ?? Maybe you can email me with your name so we can connect. I can totally understand picking SOM over Johnson; it’s a really tough call. If I didn’t have the scholarship offer from Cornell, I’m not sure where I would have ended up.

      I’m so glad the blog has helped in some way! All the best to you 🙂

  2. Pingback: Stacy Blackman’s B-School Buzz | The GMAT Club
  3. Hi !
    It was a pleasure reading each and every one of your posts. I really wish you good luck at Johnson. I have a non-profit / government background and live in a foreign country. I really want to get into Yale and applied for round 3… Thanks to you I found the strength to go through the process and even if I get dinged, your insights helped me to carefully plan for R1 of next year !
    Thank you so much. You don’t know how much your posts are helping.

    • Hi Gen! Thanks so much for your comment. I’m really glad I’ve been able to reach other nonprofit-ers like you…everything about business school can feel so foreign and strange, and it helps to know there’s more people out there like us. Good luck with your applications!

  4. *SOB* We’re not gonna be classmates?!!!
    But, no, I’m happy for you & that you’re happy with your decision 🙂
    Cornell & Yale aren’t that far so who knows, our paths might cross one day!

  5. Hi! I discovered your blog just a couple of days ago — a very amusing and endearing blog! I enjoy your writing.

    Yale SOM is one of the programs I’m looking at alongside their joint degree with Jackson Institute of Global Affairs. I’m seriously thinking that my future career lies in non-profit, think tank, public sector managing. The program most aligns with my interests, future hopes and personality. If there’s one program I hope to get in it’s Yale SOM.

    Looking back at what I enjoyed most in university and at my current job was/is my leadership roles and the duties/pressure that comes along with them. I’m currently making a major career change (I’m in the music field currently; how I ended up here is a long story) so I’m doing much self-reflection on what I really want and its the sectors I’ve listed. Once I get into the non-profit world, gain a few years of experience and whatnot, I’m not sure how I’ll incorporate my experience in the music field in my applications. It’s an odd situation.

    Anyways, I hope you’re doing well at Cornell.

    • Thanks for your comment GRA! I can certainly say that 2nd year is much more enjoyable than the first 🙂 You sound like you have a fascinating background–that can definitely work in your favor as you make your transition if you tell the right story. Good luck with everything!

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