Skip to main content
Evans Hall in spring

First-Year Students Look Back at their Favorite On-Campus Events of the Year

Throughout the year, Yale SOM comes alive with speaker events, student-organized conferences, and countless other chances—both formal and informal—for the community to connect. While the pandemic has meant that many of these events convened virtually this spring, the spirit of community persists for SOM students. And it was in that spirit that first-year student life chair Stephanie Wayne ’21 reached out to us recently, wanting to share her and her classmates’ reflections on their favorite events with admitted and prospective students. 

Here’s what they had to say:

Stephanie Wayne headshot“I’m our first-year student life chair at SOM, so it’s my role on Student Government to plan most of the major community events at the school. November was a particularly fun and hectic month for me as I planned our Yale-Harvard tailgate, Dinner Around the World event, and winter formal all at the same time. The annual Yale-Harvard football game was at Yale this year, and we hosted a tailgate for 1,000 people, including HBS students. Coming from an SEC football school for undergrad, it seemed crazy to me to host the opposing school at our tailgate (at the University of Florida that would have definitely led to some conflict), but it was my absolute favorite event of the year, and even the governor of Connecticut [Ned Lamont ’80] showed up at the tailgate.

“Also in November was Dinner Around the World, which is an evening where international clubs submit their home recipes, and we choose a selection to be prepared in a multi-course dinner at SOM. My favorite part of the event was working with our SOM chef, Dave, and his team; we started planning for the event in September so that his team would have enough time to order all of the authentic ingredients necessary to prepare the dishes exactly to the students’ specifications.

“Finally, the month of November wrapped up with winter formal at the Omni Hotel. Coordinating that event involved keeping 600 students outside of the room while we tried to set up ice sculptures at the last minute, a fire marshal becoming my unofficial formal +1 because we needed him there all night so we could have the balloons that we wanted, and our new official SOM DJ, Amit, whom I’ll let you experience for yourself once you’re at SOM.”
—Stephanie Wayne ’21

Ariana Baurley headshot“My favorite event is Star Search, the annual talent show, proceeds of which benefit the Internship Fund. I ran the show this year, and I had the best time—and so did everyone in attendance, as far as I could tell. It was electric! And the Internship Fund itself is emblematic of the amazing community you will find here. I’m pretty sure I wrote about it in one of my admissions essays without even knowing that I would be involved in it just a few months later.”
—Ariana Baurley ’21

Max Weiss headshot“The Yale-Harvard tailgate was one of my favorite events of the fall, but I would be remiss if I did not mention the Closing Bell events that are held throughout the school year on Thursdays. Most Thursdays, a student club will host a Closing Bell, which is basically a massive happy hour where students can mingle and get to know one another after classes are done for the week. I found that the Closing Bells were one of the best ways to get to know other people in the class.”
—Max Weiss ’21

Amanda Taselaar headshot“One of my favorite community events so far has been Garstka Cup,  the first year versus second year hockey game. Prior to SOM, I had ice skated before, but had never played hockey. I had heard rumors that the hockey team was one of the most fun clubs at SOM—and it is. At the beginning of the year I joined the hockey team, went to practice every Wednesday, became a captain, and ended the season at the biggest hockey game and social event of the year! The entire school—first years and second years— come to watch the players face off on the ice. It was the most fun event because people were cheering in the stands with posters and bulldog hats, and the players were decked out in their Yale jerseys. basking in the camaraderie and team spirit. It was a night filled with absolute joy for being part of such an awesome community. We ended the night at Toad’s Place to cheers to a job well done.”
—Amanda Taselaar ’21

Nauman Charania headshot“I would have to say Closing Bells and Voices are two of my favorites. Both events offer so much and help build the community at Yale. So much of our daily lives are consumed with our internship search, classes, and grades. I think sometimes we forget that our personalities are shaped by the events that take place outside of Evans Hall. Voices is a great platform that acts as a weekly reset button and reminds us to remain humble throughout this process. I strongly believe that when people share their stories, it provides a unique perspective and reminds us that there is a bigger, broader problem that we all intrinsically care to solve outside of school through our careers post-graduation.”
—Nauman Charania ’21