Yale School of Management (SOM) Admissions Director Bruce DelMonico has been leading the charge at the New Haven business school since 2006. This past summer, Clear Admit’s Jeanette Brown had an enlightening conversation with the admissions gatekeeper. Read on for more about the ins and outs of admissions at Yale SOM, advice on essays, the application and interview processes, and more. The interview has been transcribed from a recording.
Clear Admit: Please tell us a little bit about your background. How long have you been at Yale? What brought you to business school admissions?
Bruce DelMonico: I have been at Yale, at SOM, for 13 years. I started in 2004. Before that I was a lawyer, a litigator. Which is a different career, but actually, interestingly in some ways, a similar career. Litigation uses some similar skills.
I don’t think being an admissions officer is the kind of thing you grow up wanting be as a child, unlike a firefighter or a policeman. It is more of a found role. I had different experiences in college and in law school doing selection process work, and I really enjoyed it. I had always tucked away in the back of my mind the thought that I would like to do something similar. Admissions was the most analogous thing to that.
As I was going through my career I got to a point where I thought I might want to give admissions a try. I ended up at Yale at the School of Management because I am from New Haven and I was in New Haven at the time. Law school admissions would seem like the most logical next step from being a lawyer. But actually the work I had done previously was very committee-based and was very consensus decision making oriented; I liked that. Law school is very single point decision making and a bit more straightforward. Business school made more sense for me. I happened to connect with SOM, and I really resonated with the school’s mission. It all came together nicely.
CA: What do you like the most about your job?
BD: There are a lot of aspects of the job that I like a lot. I came to SOM because of the mission. It really spoke to me. It is great to be part of a school that has a mission which really means something. Most importantly, in admissions, we help prospective students become students and then graduates, and then see their development and evolution. It is really rewarding. And to be part of this community is fantastic. That’s probably the part I enjoy the most. On top that, I have wonderful colleagues and enjoy the day-to-day work of working with wonderful people.
CA: How did you assemble this team? And is it pretty constant? Do you have lots of people coming and going? Or are you a family that’s worked together for a long time?
BD: It is a little of both. There is always turnover in admissions. But it is a team that I and others have built over a period of time. The thing that is probably most rewarding though, is the people who have left my office have done so to take other opportunities at the School of Management. They haven’t left the school, they have found other things that are a little more elevated, a little bit more in line with the things they want to do. I feel pleased that I have been able to influence the school, not just in admissions but also in other aspects of what we are doing through the people that come into admissions and then move onto other things.
Read on for more about cases and learning at Yale SOM.