Allen Liang '14
Post-SOM position: IBM General Manager Leadership Development Program
I came to Yale to broaden my mind and see how businesses operate in other countries. I can return to China to pursue my career with both local knowledge and global perspectives.
Before coming to SOM, I had spent nearly all my life in China, with career experiences in strategy consulting, corporate development, and private equity. I came to Yale to broaden my mind and see how businesses operate in other countries. Then I can be better prepared and return to China to pursue my career with both local knowledge and global perspectives.
The Leadership Development Program has been one of my most important experiences at SOM. Leadership sounds like a very vague concept, but there are specific skills that it requires, and through the program’s exercises inside and outside the classroom, I’ve gained a much deeper understanding of myself as a leader.The program is very inclusive. Every student participates. In the classroom, we give and receive feedback from peers, which is really helpful, because it allows us to see our own weaknesses and strengths reflected in others.
The LDP includes practicums in which you develop your skills though real leadership roles. For example, as co-leader of the Greater China Club, I organize career treks in China and speaker events at Yale that feature prominent experts on China-related topics. My co-leaders and I have drawn on the resources of the greater Yale community.
I also co-founded a nonprofit that arranges for promising Chinese high school students to visit Ivy League schools. Some of these students are very qualified but they lack access to a world-class liberal arts education. We want to boost their confidence and enrich their experiences. Running such a project as a full-time MBA student isn’t easy, but my co-founder Andy Jiang ’14 and I make it work. For me, it’s a great chance to explore my leadership potential by working on a live project.
Interviewed on February 10, 2014.