Playing in the Dirt: A Long-Term Investment Strategy

November 14, 2010

Just down the street from SOM there is a long blue tarp obscuring scores of construction workers "playing" in the dirt. Yellow Tonka trucks from childhood have been replaced by substantially larger Caterpillar trucks and cranes. Together, workers and architects strive to ensure a firm foundation for the new SOM campus. Earlier that afternoon, I had the joy of touring the construction site with someone equally important to the foundation of SOM, Bill Beinecke (YC'36), a longtime and loyal supporter of Yale -- and especially the School of Management. He was one of its original founders and has remained a part of SOM's very fabric, stewarding it ever since. As I marveled at the contributions that he has made to Yale, to business, and to society, I realized that he is in the enviable position of seeing the school built twice. Our new dean will start this fall and will oversee the completion of the new campus by summer 2013 (I have seen the drawings and it is going to be an incredible complex!) This world-class facility will allow everyone else to better see what we in New Haven already know -- that SOM has one of the finest MBA programs in the world. Because of this, I am confident that my MBA will continue to appreciate in value over the course of my career. Ten, fifteen, and even twenty years out, I expect my Yale MBA to be one of the best long-term investments of my career. The reputation for academic excellence and dynamic students will pay dividends throughout life as we go out into the world as better leaders and managers. Mr. Beinecke's inspirational vision of SOM is as true today as it was in his address decades ago to the class of 1978: “Our business leaders are among the ablest, most energetic citizens we have. We can use their brains and drive in every important thing that needs doing…. Speaking for myself and others for whom this School represents the fruition of our highest hopes, I will say that important as it is for you of the Class of ’78 to achieve much in your careers as managers, it is equally important for you to achieve much as citizens and as cultivated men and women. Only if you and your successors strive equally for all those goals will this School be truly a success. Only then will you be truly a success.”

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Justin Schoolmaster