Admissions Director Q&A: Bruce DelMonico of the Yale School of Management
CA: Can you please tell readers one area of the Yale School of Management MBA program that you wish applicants knew more about? Maybe a misconception you would like to correct or highlight an unsung virtue or treasure or strength.
BD: Two things.
People know about the integrated curriculum and how we teach. People don’t always know about the raw cases and the way we teach the material at the School of Management.
We have our own case writing team at Yale. We teach the material in a very different way. It is not the traditional case that you would get at other business schools, where the case writing team will distill down all the relevant information into a single seven to ten page document, and remove all the extraneous material that you don’t need to know. Our cases are much more real world. You get the primary materials you would get out in the real world as a professional. The 10-Ks, 10-Qs, regulatory filings, interviews with key stakeholders, media coverage. Those types of things. It really helps you develop a skill set that you need in terms of understanding how to sort through materials, understand conflicting or incomplete information. It builds an important skill set that I think other schools don’t give. I think that’s not necessarily appreciated as much as it should be. Candidates don’t know the power of the raw cases and the method by which we teach at the School of Management.
In terms of misconceptions, I can add on one other thing; people think of different schools, they think, that’s the finance school, the consulting school, the marketing school. We tend to get either finance or non-profit depending on who you are; that is limiting. We are strong in those areas but we are strong in lots of other areas, as well, in terms of marketing, health care sustainability, and down the line. We think of ourselves very much as a general management school. We train our students to be leaders in whatever field, whatever sector, whatever industry they choose. To the extent that people think of us as being strong in just one area, that’s a major misconception that I hope that people can get past.
CA: Does the raw case come at a cost? Do you cover fewer cases as a result but you learn this valuable real world skill of sorting through the information rather than having it spoon fed to you?
BD: You might see fewer cases. But what’s interesting, it’s actually a little bit more powerful. In the sense that traditional cases lead up linearly to a single punch line. It teaches on point. You can teach many different points, and that’s one of the powers of the raw case, is that no single discussion is going to be the same as any other discussion. It’s just where the class and where the faculty take the conversation.
What is even more powerful is the same case can be taught in different courses for different purposes to teach different concepts. You can see how the same set of facts, when you turn it and look through it through a different lens, you get different insights. Our courses are taught according to what we call our organizational perspectives. They are not in discrete silos, like marketing, and finance, and operations. We look at the stakeholders that leaders need to engage, like the customer, the innovator, and the employee. The same raw case can be taught in each of these courses for different points. You see how multidimensional those fact sets are. It helps you connect the different stakeholder perspectives, which I think amplifies and heightens the power of the learning through raw cases.
It also helps our students to get past the idea that a problem or an issue is just a single area, this is just a finance issue or this is just a marketing issue, for example.
So we are teaching our students to break down those silos and think across boundaries, which is very powerful. It is going to be very helpful to them because that is how things are in the real world. One nice thing about the raw cases and our integrated curriculum generally is it is teaching you the skills that you will need after you graduate. It is also almost experiential learning in the classroom. You don’t have to go and do a consulting project. Although we have those. But even just sitting in the classroom working through a case is giving you very, very real world skills.
Go on to the next page to learn about the contributions of Dean Snyder.