A Busy April

April 23, 2007

Though it's the last month of school and summer is rapidly approaching, life at SOM remains busy. Like many other bloggers, my experience of the weeks of April have seen lots of headline events coming and going - from the successful internship fund auction a few weeks ago (more to come on that in this entry), to SOM Star Search (a very cool show that really showcased the hidden talents amongst the SOM community), to a fantastic welcome weekend for the class of 2009, to the Garstka cup (annual first year versus second year hockey game), to random pub crawls and other such parties. Aside from the fun and games, a tremendous burden has been lifted off my shoulders too, as my summer internship hunt has finally come to an end. With great fanfare, I'm happy to announce that I'll be at the United Way this summer, at their headquarters in Virginia. For those who have been following my posts on the SOM blog, you'll know that in my previous life before SOM I was an investment banker. I came to business school with the intention to switch into the nonprofit world, and I'm very, VERY excited that this summer the grand master plan is turning into reality. Like most people who are looking to enter the nonprofit sector, the job search didn't really see much action till April (fairly late considering that offers for some MBA internships usually start trickling-in around February) , but I'm very happy with the way things turned out. The internship itself will be in an internal strategy/business development type role, with a particular focus on knowledge management across the United Way organizations all over the US. I'll definitely get to know the "heart of the nonprofit beast" with the United Way being the largest nonprofit organization in the country, and I really think the job will develop an entirely new skill set to compliment that pre-SOM ibanking experience already on my resume. As for the summer earnings at a nonprofit organization, while I look forward to working for a mission-driven organization that does lots of good things, I do need to take care of things like rent and food for the summer months. The internship is of the paid variety, and the weekly pay is at the industry standard though lower than typical MBA private sector type internships. Luckily for those who pursue nonprofit internships, Yale SOM has an internship fund that subsidizes students who pursue internships in the nonprofit sector. Last year the fund supported over 25 students, bringing up their weekly pay to something more comparable to other MBA internships. Early in the year I knew that I would probably need to tap into the fund, and so I signed up for the marketing committee of the Internship Fund. It was a great experience as the internship fund raises tons of money for summer do-gooders, culminating with a live auction featuring donated prizes from alumni, students, and professors. The auction is promoted heavily at school and through initiatives like a 3 minute short film (which I had the pleasure of writing, directing, and participating as an actor), a student pledge drive (which raised $13,000 this year), an alumni drive, a silent auction, the school's in-house coffee shop (called Food for Thought), and a contribution from the Dean. The Internship Fund is truly an initiative that involves all members of the SOM community. The theme to this year's auction was "Treasure Island", which made for a great opportunity to come dressed as pirates while raising money. With 2 other professors, and another student, I also had the pleasure of serving as a co-host/auctioneer of the event I did my best to look the pirate, complete with a pirate's "puffy shirt". Overall the event was a great success, and we raised over $40,000 for the fund that night. Pictures from the event, including our surprise costume change featuring an SNL-inspired outfit are below.


Hanging with some fellow Internship Fund Execs before the start of the event


Ironing out some last minute details before the start of the auction


The show begins on the stage


The Crowd Begins to Bid


Costume Change at the End of the Show

All in all April has been a month to remember. To all admitted students who attended Welcome Weekend, I hope you all had as much fun as we did.... Though I'm a first year student, welcome weekend was definitely a great time for us too.

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Patrick Ma