Below is the second application essay that I wrote to get into the Yale School of Management to pursue my MBA. See the first one here.
Topic:What motivates you to apply to the Yale School of Management for your MBA? What will you contribute to Yale and Yale SOM?
I hope to contribute diversity and initiative to the Yale community. I grew up in a cramped two-bed, one-bath living space in my parents’ rundown Las Vegas motel frequented by drug addicts, prostitutes, and police. I remember as a six-year old walking in flip-flops along my “neighborhood” sidewalk trying to avoid shattered glass from broken beer bottles. After volunteering at a local emergency department, I was inspired to become a physician. I became intrigued with combined baccalaureate/MD programs that offered high school students a guaranteed spot in medical school. However, these programs had an average acceptance rate of 5% and SAT score of 2250. After receiving a 1760 on a practice SAT, countless hours studying combined with some test-day luck helped me achieve a perfect 2400. But my reluctance to share the upbringing I had been ashamed of as a child led to sub- par applications that didn’t truly convey my personal story. Despite multiple rejections, my acceptance into the USC Bacc/MD program made the other disheartening envelopes disappear. No longer embarrassed, I now hope to share my background with Yale classmates.
In college, I took initiative to write an SAT prep book. Unfortunately, most publishers dismissed my book proposal with one stating “I didn’t find Shaan’s writing or persona particularly engaging – he’s not a great writer.” After losing hope for a book deal, I decided to leverage my material and use extra scholarship money I had saved as initial capital to launch 2400 Expert SAT Prep. The 376-point average score improvement in the pilot class confirmed my “easy-to-read” text resonated well with students. When McGraw-Hill saw what I was building, the acquisitions editor offered me a book deal. Ironically, what I had originally wanted didn’t become a reality until I took initiative elsewhere. I plan to take similar initiative at Yale by assuming leadership roles and creating new student organizations.
In medical school, I continued to take initiative by developing an online SAT course. But there was one central challenge: McGraw-Hill now owned the copyright to my material. While most online test prep providers said “it won’t be possible to use that material in online SAT prep,” Yale alumni Chad Troutwine and Markus Moberg used their business acumen to secure a creative licensing deal with McGraw-Hill that packaged my book with every Veritas Prep online course. Similarly, I plan to enhance Yale’s academic community by creating meaningful partnership opportunities for students. For example, I’d like to help Yale medical students learn the business of health care through a lecture series in which Yale MBA students present topics such as hospital operations and physician leadership. I hope cross- campus collaborations such as this will enrich the greater Yale community beyond Evans Hall.
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