Wilma Lam ’16

Post-MBA Position: Consumer Solutions Lead, Johnson & Johnson Global Strategic Design Office

Each time new entrepreneurial opportunities came up, I was open to taking them—my background in the first year of across all different aspects of the business made me feel so confident. 

One of the things that’s amazing about Yale SOM is how diverse it is. More than a third of my classmates are international. They’ve helped me understand how business is done in other parts of the world and opened my eyes to just how interrelated the global economy is now. Then there’s the professional diversity—I get to listen to what my friend, who comes from a nonprofit, thinks about a particular industry, and how another friend, who comes from banking, looks at what’s happening in world politics. It’s been instrumental in terms of understanding diverse viewpoints and learning how to build coalitions around ideas and get buy-in.

The Design and Innovation Club has been fundamental to my experience at Yale SOM. The majority of people who go into design and innovation are career-switchers because the industry is so new. The club provides a full curriculum, workshops, and a network, and it formed the baseline of my recruiting and my ability to understand the field. The Innovator course, which is part of the integrated core curriculum, fit perfectly with my interests because it’s all about the development of new products and services and how to design organizations geared towards creating them.

That interest led to my internship with the MetLife Innovation Center. We were focused on developing MetLife’s new products and services in Asia, and I got to explore some of my own entrepreneurial interests. I created a project called Rememory Stories. It’s an intergenerational digital story-telling platform, and it’s now part of MetLife Innovation Center’s portfolio in Asia.

I didn’t come into the MBA thinking I was going to become an entrepreneur and that was going to be my focus. But since Rememory Stories, I’ve moved to a different organization—I’m on the founding team of design.co. Each time new entrepreneurial opportunities came up, I was open to taking them—my background in the first year of across all different aspects of the business made me feel so confident. 

Hometown
Seattle, Washington
Undergraduate institution
Cornell University
Pre-MBA position
Architectural designer, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects
Post-MBA position 
Consumer solutions lead, Johnson & Johnson Global Strategic Design Office
Favorite Yale SOM class
Startup Founders Practicum
Favorite New Haven eatery
Favorite professors
Favorite Yale SOM community event
Top Chef
Favorite campus speaker
Ivy Ross, vice president, design and user experience for hardware products, Google

Interviewed on May 4, 2016.

Wilma Lam

Post-MBA Position: Consumer Solutions Lead, Johnson & Johnson Global Strategic Design Office