Jonathan Beauford '12
Director of College Programs, Harlem Village Academies
Part of the education reform movement is recruiting professionals with world-class management skills in everything from finance and accounting to strategy. Business schools are playing a large role in training students for these positions.
Putting together the Education Leadership Conference is a lot of pressure, but it’s also a great practical experience. I was the chair of conference logistics this year. Part of being in business school is learning the operational side, and this was a good opportunity to do so.
We had 700 attendees, and there were a lot of stakeholders involved. When your event includes the governor speaking, heads of state education departments speaking, as well as leading entrepreneurs, managers, and school district leaders, it’s truly an honor. This is more than a class or a case study; it can have real-world consequences for my reputation, my connections, and career options.
At Yale SOM we have such a diverse community of students who are passionate about education. You have someone with a banking background who now wants to go into education or the nonprofit sector, and you have someone who went into Teach For America right from college and now wants to go into consulting. The Education Club has monthly dinners where we talk about the current debates going on in education—how should technology be used in the classroom, teacher-effectiveness reforms, pay for performance. We all get to influence and inform each other and then use our connections in order to impact education on a larger scale.
A lot of people interested in education go for a PhD in education, but for me the MBA was a better route. The biggest gap I see in this field is the management talent gap. Part of the education reform movement is recruiting professionals with world-class management skills in everything from finance and accounting to strategy. Business schools are playing a large role in training students for these positions.
Interviewed spring 2012.