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Advice for the Graduating Class of 2019 from Yale SOM Professors

With the Class of 2019 on the cusp of commencement, student photographers Laura Arrazola ’19, a graduating Master of Advanced Management student, and Joe Chao ’19, a graduating MBA student, asked some Yale SOM professors what advice they have for the graduating class.

Teresa Chahine“In life, you do not need to choose from the existing menu of options. My advice is that you create your own options for yourself and for others. Even if you do choose an existing option, you can change the underlying assumptions as well as the constraints. My point is, there is no path that has been laid out for you.”

Teresa Chahine, Sheila and Ron ’92 B.A. Marcelo Lecturer in Social Entrepreneurship

Michael Sinkinson“While the world is big, the world is also small. My advice to you all is foster your connections and stay in touch with the network you have created. As your career progresses, you will find yourself in a smaller and smaller group of experts. As this happens, your relationships and your reputation will matter a lot. So respond to every email and call for help, because you never know when you are going to find yourself sending it rather than receiving it.”

Michael Sinkinson, Assistant Professor of Economics

Florian Ederer“Strive to be different than other people, actively look for ways to differentiate yourself from the crowd. In economic terms, being different will allow you to extract more rents from your customers. If you are exactly like the others, you will not only face tremendous competition, but will also be exposed to other people driving down your price.”

Florian Ederer, Assistant Professor of Economics

A.J. Wasserstein, Jr“Have a compass for where you are going—a crisp set of personal values, a measurement for a successful life and a true sense of who you want to be.  Optimize around a life filled with joy, fulfillment, and enduring satisfaction.  Get your professional life to fit into your personal life, not the other way around.  Nurture meaningful personal relationships; they are precious.  Be of service and make the world a better place using your skills, education, and Yale experiences – you can do this in any role.”

A.J. Wasserstein, Jr., Eugene F. Williams, Jr. Lecturer in the Practice of Management

Zoë Chance“My biggest discovery in life has been the secret society of superheroes: a collective with influence over vast amounts of wealth and power, whose mission is to be helpful. We boldly help those in need, and to multiply our influence, we help helpers and amplify helpers’ good deeds. To get admitted, you find us and prove you’re one of us. You let yourself in.”

Zoë Chance, Assistant Professor of Marketing

Judy Chevalier“My main advice is to keep your skills fresh and to constantly try to learn new things. Keep your connections alive and come back to SOM to further expand your network. I would also say don’t be afraid to ask questions, especially the ones that seem to be the dumb questions.”

Judith Chevalier, William S. Beinecke Professor of Finance and Economics

Fiona Scott Morton“Use what you learned in Competitive Strategy.  Use your education.”

Fiona Scott Morton, Theodore Nierenberg Professor of Economics

Anjani Jain“Unaided common sense and intuition left to itself can lead us astray and make us the victims of misjudgments, logical fallacies, and biases. One can develop a more robust intuition, and in this regard, analytical sense can help expand our common sense. ”

Anjani Jain, Deputy Dean for Academic Programs & Professor in the Practice of Management