Jessica Aldridge '13
Joint Degree: Forestry & Environmental Studies; Post-MBA Position: Associate Director, New York State Green Bank
One of the most valuable things I’ve learned at Yale SOM is that defining the problem is much more important than going straight for the solution.
I worked in financial services before starting at Yale. I came here looking to leverage my aptitude for finance and my passion for investment into the development of clean energy systems.
Yale SOM has changed the way that I define the bounds of a problem. Usually when you look at a case or try to understand an investment or a big social or political problem, the first step is to try to come up with a solution. One of the most valuable things I’ve learned at Yale SOM is that defining the problem is much more important than going straight for the solution.
This year I was on the team that won the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings case competition, which was half students from the forestry school and half from the School of Management. Within the SOM group, there were people with legal backgrounds, engineers, people from the real estate sector, and people from energy consulting. It was a great opportunity to manage the problem-solving process, saying, “How do we bring these points of view into a productive framework for analyzing this problem?”
That integration into the broader Yale community has been one of my favorite things about the university. I’ve taken classes with law students and worked with engineers to help get new technologies get off the ground. It’s a fantastic way to get to know people whose perspectives are very important for what I want to do moving forward.
Interviewed on April 12, 2013.