Make It Personal for Yale

Admissions Director Anne Coyle says your B-school application essay should make you jump off the page

BusinessWeek Online's guest for a live chat on September 11, 2003, was Anne Coyle, director of MBA admissions at the Yale School of Management, No. 14 in BusinessWeek's latest B-School rankings. Coyle took over admissions in July, 2003, after most recently coordinating executive searches for Phillips Oppenheim, an executive search firm that places execs in nonprofit organizations. Her career has taken her from government -- she was once a Presidential management intern at the Senate Budget Committee -- to Cornell University's Johnson School of Management as an admissions director, to McKinsey & Co., where she managed recruiting for non-MBA associates.

Coyle received an MPA (master's in public administration) from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and a BA in biological anthropology from Harvard College. Coyle spoke with BusinessWeek Online reporter Mica Schneider, who hosted the online chat.

Q: How does your recruiting experience lend itself to MBA admissions?


For the past five years, I've worked on several [executive] searches at once, and at McKinsey, I saw how the company made decisions about where to recruit. I had to sift through thousands of résumés to get down to hundreds of people to interview. That experience helps me because I have the employer's perspective [when I look at applications]. I know how to look at a résumé and what employers are looking for. That's important in admissions at a professional school. Academics are a big part, but so are someone's career prospects.

Typically -- and on our staff -- admissions officers come from all sorts of backgrounds, so we can all use our perspectives when we're reading an application or interviewing applicants. One person might have a question about [an applicant's] work experience, and someone else will say, "I was in that industry, and that experience is a positive thing."

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