Yale MBA Recommendation

I Letter of Recommendation
II Notable Recommendation Questions
III Assessment Grid

You can download a PDF of the exact form your recommender will see below.

[download id=”1974″]

This recommendation form is for the Yale SOM MBA 2016-17 application season. Generally speaking, recommendation forms do not change from year to year so it’s a safe bet to assume that the same recommendation form will be used during the 2017-18 application season. When the 2017-18 application goes live (summer 2017) the download file and this page will be updated.

Yale SOM requires that MBA applicants submit two recommendations.

The application requires two professional recommendations, one of which should ideally come from your most recent supervisor. Please select recommenders who know you well and can speak to your strengths. Do not choose recommenders simply because they are in high-level executive positions at your company.
– Yale SOM Adcom

Before you ask someone for a recommendation it’s best to understand what types of questions the school will put to them. Asking the CEO of your company for a recommendation may be tempting, but will he/she be able to convincingly convey your strengths and weaknesses to the Yale Admissions Committee? The best recommenders are those that have observed you interacting with others on a regular basis.

After you input your recommender’s name and email inside the Yale application, he/she will receive an email directing him/her to Yale’s online recommendation form.

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I Yale SOM MBA & Silver Scholars Letter of Recommendation

Please write an assessment of the applicant that addresses the prompts below.We are looking for your candid and accurate assessment of the applicant’s potential to be a successful leader  and the specific traits the applicant possesses that evidence this potential.  Please be as specific as possible and use concrete examples where applicable.Do not incorporate anything drafted by the candidate in your recommendation or have the candidate  submit the recommendation on your behalf.

Yale asks recommenders to upload their recommendation in the online form. There is no word limit.

  1. Please provide a brief description of your interaction with the applicant and, if applicable, the applicant’s role in your organization. (no word limit)

  2. How does the candidate’s performance compare to that of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples. (no word limit)

  3. Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant.Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (no word limit)

  4. Are you in a position to know whether the applicant is sponsored for the MBA by his or her current employer? If so, please comment. (no word limit)

  5. (optional)Is there anything else you would like us to know? (no word limit)

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II Notable Yale SOM MBA & Silver Scholars Recommendation Questions

Aside from the typical questions Yale SOM asks recommenders (Name, Address, Phone etc.) here are some notable short answer questions you should be aware of.

Based on your professional experience, how do you rate the applicant compared to her/his peer  group?

  • The best encountered in my career
  • Outstanding (top 5%)
  • Excellent (top 10%)
  • Very good (well above average)
  • Average
  • Below average

Overall Recommendation

  • Recommend enthusiastically
  • Recommend
  • Recommend with reservations
  • Do not recommend

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III Yale SOM MBA & Silver Scholars Recommendation Assessment Grid

Please assess the applicant on the following skills/qualities.

Results Orientation

  • Fulfills assigned tasks
  • Overcomes obstacles to achieve goals
  • Exceeds goals and raises effectiveness of organization
  • Introduces incremental improvements to enhance business performance using robust analysis
  • Invents and delivers best in class standards and performance
  • No basis

Strategic Orientation

  • Understands immediate issues of work or analysis
  • Identifies opportunities for improvement within area of responsibility
  • Develops insights or recommendations that have improved business performance
  • Develops insights or recommendations that have shaped team or department strategy
  • Implements a successful strategy that challenges other parts of the company or other players in the industry
  • No basis

Team Leadership

  • Avoids leadership responsibilities; does not provide direction to team
  • Assigns tasks to team member
  • Solicits ideas and perspectives from the team; holds members accountable
  • Actively engages the team to develop plans and resolve issues through collaboration; shows how work fits in with what others are doing
  • Recruits others into duties or roles based on insight into individual abilities; rewards those who exceed expectations
  • No basis

Influence and Collaboration

  • Accepts input from others
  • Engages others in problem solving
  • Generates support from others for ideas and initiatives
  • Brings others together across boundaries to achieve results and share best practices
  • Builds enduring partnerships within and outside of organization to improve effectiveness, even at short‐term personal cost
  • No basis


  • Sometimes rambles or is occasionally unfocused
  • Is generally to the point and organized
  • Presents views clearly and in a well structured manner
  • Presents views clearly and demonstrates understanding of the response of others
  • Presents views clearly; solicits opinions and concerns; discusses them openly
  • No basis

Information Seeking

  • Asks direct questions about problem at hand to those individuals immediately available
  • Personally investigates problems by going directly to sources of information
  • Asks a series ofprobing questions to get at the root of a situation or a problem
  • Does research by making a systematic effort over a limited period of time to obtain needed data or feedback
  • Involves others who would not normally be involved including experts or outside organizations; may get them to seek out information
  • No basis

Developing Others

  • Focuses primarily on own abilities
  • Points out mistakes to support the development of others
  • Gives specific positive and negative behavioral feedback to support the development of others
  • Gives specific positive and negative behavioral feedback and provides unfailing support
  • Inspires and motivates others to develop by providing feedback and identifying new growth opportunities as well as supporting their efforts to change
  • No basis

Change Leadership

  • Accepts status quo; does not see the need for change
  • Challenges status quo and identifies what needs to change
  • Defines positive direction for change and persuades others to support it
  • Promotes change and mobilizes individuals to change behavior
  • Builds coalition of supporters and coordinates change across multiple individuals; may create champions who will mobilize others to change
  • No basis

Respect for Others

  • Is sometimes self-absorbed or overly self‐interested
  • Generally treats others with respect; usually shares praise and credit
  • Is humble and respectful to all
  • Is respectful to all and generous with praise; ensures other opinions are heard
  • Uses understanding of others and self to resolve conflicts and foster mutual respect
  • No basis


  • Shows occasional lapses in trustworthy behavior
  • Generally acts consistently with stated intentions
  • Acts consistently with stated intentions even in difficult circumstances
  • Is reliable and authentic even at some personal cost; acts as a role model for the values of the organization
  • Is reliable and authentic even at some personal cost; works to ensure all members of the organization operate with integrity
  • No basis
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