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Bringing Together MBAs for Innovation

Andrea Mak ’16 looks back at the Fourth Annual D&I Club MBA Innovation Summit

When I first came to Yale SOM, I had no idea that I would get so involved in the Design & Innovation club. I barely had any idea what that field even meant… and then I met Rebecca Blum at the club fair during welcome weekend and we dorked out over loving infographics.

Fast forward almost a year, and I was in NYC at Studio 450 in midtown, standing in front of 200+ Yale SOM, Wharton, and Columbia Business School students, introducing our keynote speaker from IDEO. This was on April 10, at our 4th Annual MBA Innovation Summit.

It was a roller coaster to get there, but thankfully, I was on the most AMAZING team: Emily Harris was our fearless and ever-patient 2nd year guide, Sam Haddaway was our Marketing/PR/website/swagmaster, Erin Kelly led the way on logistics and everything neon, Jason Williams was my partner-in-crime organizing speakers and sponsors, and Adit Basheer kept us all on track, which was no small feat.

This was just our team at Yale, since the MBA Innovation Summit also gave us all a chance to work with students from Wharton and Columbia. The ability to work across schools was one of the most valuable experiences from organizing the summit. Not only did I get to meet some incredible people at other schools, but it also validated that Yale SOM was the right choice for me. My team at Yale was the glue in organizing between the three schools and brought everyone together. Our enthusiasm for making the event as interesting and relevant to our attendees as possible kept us going, to the point that planning continued to happen all through our spring break travels. I went to South Africa for GNW and then the deserts of Namibia on my post-trip, and though internet was extremely spotty for me, those who had internet really stepped up for those who didn’t because we were a team.

Event day was a beautiful culmination of all of the work that we had put into it. Starting by taking over a train car on the 9 a.m. Metro North, we started the event theme of The Innovator’s Journey with a party train for the 60-ish Yale SOM-ers who attended, complete with breakfast and more. For the day, we had more attendees than any previous iteration of the event and we had a really ambitious lineup of speakers, including frog, ?WhatIf!, IDEO, CVS, Capital One, Warby Parker, Betterment, and more.

The MBA Innovation Summit was such a wonderful experience to learn about how we can innovate no matter what field we are in, interface with standout companies, and bond with each other. I can’t wait to see what the class of 2017 does with the legacy next year.


The annual Innovation Summit brings together practitioners, clients, and MBA students for a full day of panels. More...

Posted by Yale School of Management on Wednesday, April 29, 2015