Welcoming New Students, Deans Offer Advice and Aspirations 

Orientation for 419 new master’s degree students at the Yale School of Management began on August 14, with school leaders urging students to embrace the many opportunities for both intellectual and personal growth that come with a Yale SOM education.

“This formal beginning of your educational program at Yale marks an important new chapter in your lives,” Acting Dean Anjani Jain told the students who filled Zhang Auditorium.

“The mission of the school, as you know, is to educate leaders for business and society, and your presence here is a testament not only to your intellect … but also to your aspiration to make a lasting contribution to both private enterprise and the public good.”

New students in Yale SOM’s full-time MBA and Master of Advanced Management programs, as well as the inaugural class of students in the school’s Master of Management Studies in Systemic Risk program, began the school’s weeklong orientation, during which they will be introduced to the school and to each other, while also taking part in their first group projects.

Students inherit Yale SOM’s proud traditions and deeply held core beliefs, Jain said. Primary among them is the cultivation of ethical leaders who understand that management problems require rigorous intellectual engagement combined with creative problem-solving skills.

“We look forward to teaching and learning from you,” Jain said. “This is the beginning of an exciting adventure whose course you do not yet know and which will transform you in ways you cannot predict.” 

Students also heard from Deputy Dean Edieal Pinker, who encouraged them to use their time at Yale SOM to engage deeply with issues, tuning out the many distractions of modern life. He also advised students to get involved across the Yale campus. 

“We all see ourselves as part of the larger institution and we draw upon that,” Pinker said. “After your first year of the core here, you will be able to take advantage of that and take courses in different parts of the university… Take advantage of that, be a citizen of the university and pursue the knowledge that you want to seek out.”

Student should also take advantage of the learning opportunities embodied in their diverse classmates, Deputy Dean David Bach told the students. 

“We have 419 extraordinary emerging leaders for business and society across our three programs who are represented here,” Bach said, including 349 full-time MBA students, 64 Master of Advanced Management students, and six Master of Management Studies in Systemic Risk students. 

The MBA class, which is 43% women, includes individuals hailing from more than 40 different countries, Bach said. Among these students, 13% are pursuing joint degrees at other Yale schools, in programs in law, public health, medicine, drama, architecture, divinity, forestry and environmental studies, and global affairs.

“You will realize how much you can learn from the diversity in this group and from the differences in your classmates’ backgrounds and life experiences,” Bach said. “We very much believe, we know, that these differences are what gives this school it’s vibrancy. Difference mean that you don’t agree with everyone on everything, and that’s great… You learn more from people you disagree with than from people you agree with… provided this happens in the spirit of mutual respect, civility, and solidarity that we try to model here at the school and that we are confident you will exhibit.”