Why Did You Come to Yale?

Over Yale-insignia-ed plates of scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, and sweet potato hash, I grab brunch with my Women in Management (WiM) undergraduate mentee. We’re in the Berkeley College dining hall -- which I’ve been told by many a current student and alumni is the best dining hall on-campus -- and after describing her path so far and why she eventually thinks she’ll get an MBA degree, my mentee asks me “so, why did you come to Yale?” Considering it’s almost one year ago now that I heard of my admittance to Yale SOM, I thought I’d take a step back to answer that question here and see if the reasons I came to Yale actually were true:

November 27, 2013
  • 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.

  • Diversity of opinions. Besides having a unique integrated curriculum (that if you haven’t heard about already, you’ll hear about soon enough), SOM offered me a space to learn from a variety of perspectives both inside and outside the classroom. I wanted to attend a school where problems were not just finance problems or operations problems, but were looked at holistically as business problems, and when my study group analyzes the same case in Customer and then again in Sourcing and Managing Funds, I know I came to the right place to do exactly that.

  • Emphasis on leadership. I attended an admissions information session when I was considering applying to SOM, and former General Tom Kolditz was the guest speaker. Prior to that session, I knew leadership was something I would probably learn about in business school, but I hadn’t known how structured that element was in the SOM curriculum. The Leadership Development Program really surprised me as something I wanted to learn more about, and it made me re-prioritize what I was looking for in a business school.

While these are just the beginning of a long list of reasons for why I ended up here at SOM, I can say that what I came here for is exactly what I found. I have been amazed not only be the intellect of each of my classmates but also there many musical, artistic, and other talents, most recently featured at the SOM Coffee House, sponsored by the Arts & Culture Club. Further, this post would be remiss if I didn’t mention the amazing women in my class who made the WiM graduate/undergraduate mentee program happen (indeed the Class of 2015 is 39% women!), and thus, my delicious brunch plans in Yale’s Berkeley College. May there be many more brunches, networking events, and workout bootcamps with our "Careers" professor, Amy Wrzesniewski, throughout the year to continue to strengthen the culture of SOM that drew me here.

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Jennifer Peterson