As 2017 draws to a close and we look ahead to the new year, it’s a natural time to think of fresh starts and new beginnings. In the business school context, that often means a new career trajectory, since many students come to business school to make a change in their professional paths. In fact, at Yale SOM more than 75% of our students are industry switchers, and more than 50% of alumni have careers that span multiple sectors. So it is very much the norm for students at Yale SOM to be doing something different when they graduate than they did when they enrolled.
What I find exciting about these numbers is the degree to which our students’ ability to change their career trajectories is seen as a community effort, not just an individual undertaking. Everything starts with our Career Development Office (CDO), which has a full range of programming and support for students to enter whatever post-MBA field they desire. And with more than 3,500 individual coaching sessions last year—on top of a full CDO curriculum that helps students through every aspect of the job discovery, search, and execution process—Yale SOM’s career service offerings are the hub of students’ job search activities.
Beyond the CDO, there is a wide network of peers, alumni, and even faculty to help students achieve their career goals. Through formal support structures like the consulting and finance clubs, through which second-year students prepare first years for their internship interviews, and informal conversations on the phone or over a cup of coffee, members of the Yale SOM community feel responsible for helping each other reach their goals. That is one of the hidden benefits of being a small, diverse community: everyone gets to know their classmates’ backgrounds and career aspirations, so that as students conduct their job searches they are thinking not just about their own target firms and industries, but about their classmates’ as well. It is not uncommon for me to hear of students who initially learned of their internship or full-time position from another student. What is even more remarkable is that faculty often take on this role, too—I hear from many alumni who feel that they owe their professional start to the referral of a faculty member. This sense of shared commitment to helping students achieve their diverse career aspirations is, I think, an essential aspect of the Yale SOM experience.
I’m looking forward to meeting many of you, and hearing about your career goals, in the new year.
Assistant Dean for Admissions
Yale School of Management
165 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
203.432.5635, Admissions Office
203.432.6380, Visitor Center