Two days ago
Yale's integrated curriculum is often cited and conceptually easy to appreciate but the true power comes to life in the classrooms and learning. Two days ago, we were discussing the Royal Bank of Canada and its opportunities for implementing CRM in my Customer class. At the head of the room stood three promiment professors.
Strong community & small class size. I’ll lump this into one point, since they go hand-in-hand. SOM’s homey feel initially attracted me to consider the school. I knew I wouldn’t get lost at sea surrounded by classmates who knew me and had my best interests at heart. Likewise, the outreach I received from students and alumni when I was an applicant (huge shout-out to Dennis ’14 here) and now, as a current student, signaled to me that by joining the SOM community, I was joining a place that would be a part of my life long after I left the Yale campus.
I am 1.5 weeks of classes away from finishing my first semester at SOM. Time has gone by rapidly and slowly at the same time. I couldn’t tell you what I did on half of the 17 weekends I have been here at Yale, mostly because it seems like so many less. However, I can tell you that this past weekend I won’t forget (more on this later) and that I feel a whole lot wiser than 4 months ago. I sincerely believe that the last four months have been the period of most intense learning in my life. Not only do I now know what a balance sheet actually looks like and how to value a company, but I also now have a much better idea of how I will go about achieving my professional and personal life goals and what are the tradeoffs I am willing to make (because no, you can’t have it all).
The cohort experience is fundamental to one’s first year at SOM. After the class is admitted, each of us is carefully placed into one of four “statistically indistinguishable” cohorts – Blue, Silver, Green, or Gold – of about 70 people each. The cohort is primarily an academic construct – we attend every class of the core together in the first year and spend a great deal of time with one another preparing assignments after class hours. But the cohort experience at SOM reaches far beyond the classroom in its ability to shape the larger Yale SOM experience.
I came to Yale SOM in part because old shoes drive me crazy.
Before you dismiss me as the crazy shoe lady, perhaps I should clarify a bit. As someone who once took a 67 percent pay cut to serve the urban poor, I’ve spent much of my life thinking about ways to maximize social impact. In addition to joining Peter Singer’s campaign to give to the bottom billion, I pretty much donated everything I could get my hands on as a child, to my mother’s chagrin: jewelry, jackets, shoes, clothes, toiletries, books, CDs, canned goods, toy, etc. You name it, I probably tried to donate it at one point or another—though I tried most vigorously if the item happened to be, say, my piano workbook.
I’ll be honest. The first eight weeks has been nothing short of a whirlwind. I definitely do not feel totally settled (and I’ve lived in New Haven for the past two years and completed a Masters program here at Yale). But, maybe that is part of finding one’s place within the fabric of the school. At least that is my current conclusion. Yet, despite the fact that I am still settling into life here at SOM, there have already been numerous experiences that will be forever ingrained in my memory. What sorts of experiences, you ask? Here, let me give you a few examples.
Objective: Maximize my time at SOM by exploring my interests, satiating my unflagging curiosity, and extracting as much knowledge and understanding as I possibly can from interactions inside and outside of the classroom. Decisions: Breadth and depth of commitments. Constraints: Only 24 hours per day available. Seven days/week; Sleep requirements between 5.5-7 hours per day; ~1 hour gym time each day; Retaining good relationships with non-SOM friends and family back home.
In observance of the inauguration of Yale President Peter Salovey, Yale University threw open its doors this weekend with special events and festivities for university affiliates as well as the greater public. While most of the second-year MBAs were out of town for fall break, my Monday flight meant that I could join my friend from the School of Public Health in exploring the campus Open House today.
These 1st Year students, man. They just blow me away. I have been so extremely impressed with the Class of 2015 so far. In every effort I've seen from them, whether it's football, chili, impressing recruiters, or rocking their first quarter of classes, they have poured their hearts and souls into making this year a truly exemplary year for all of us.