Last month, Yale SOM launched its inaugural Global Virtual Teams (GVT) course. GVT, which is a sequel of sorts to the Managing Groups and Teams course held in the fall, teaches SOM students how to work in teams across geographies, time zones, cultures, and languages. A few weeks later, they use those skills during a live project with students from other schools in the Global Network for Advanced Management. GVT is the latest example of how SOM continues to evolve the curriculum to prepare students to be effective leaders in an increasingly complex, hyper-connected, and boundaryless world.
It also, to me, speaks to two main strengths of the school: its ambition and its inclusiveness. Having been at the school since the introduction of the integrated curriculum, and having witnessed such innovations as the International Experience trip, two-year Leadership Development Program, raw cases, Global Network Week, and now GVT, I have seen a spirit of continuous improvement and desire to optimize the student experience. Like these other innovations, the animating idea behind GVT seems on the surface intuitive and even obvious: give students experience working in the kinds of teams they will need to navigate after they graduate. But even if it seems obvious, it is anything but easy and not something other schools have tackled. Amy Wrzesniewski, who leads the course, reports that the response from colleagues at other schools about what we are doing here at Yale is, “Wow. That’s ambitious.”
The course also highlights the school’s recognition that diversity by itself is not enough. Having a diverse team is meaningless unless you know how to unlock the power of diverse backgrounds and perspectives to achieve heightened outcomes. That is why the school works to help students think more inclusively, be comfortable with and celebrate difference, and understand the power of diversity. Assembling a high-functioning team is an incredibly difficult challenge (if you have any doubts, just look at today’s New York Times), but it is one the school is facing head on, which to me speaks to the fearless, innovative, and optimistic spirit here at SOM.
Assistant Dean for Admissions
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