Bruce DelMonico on the ways students have maintained the spirit of the Yale SOM community amid the challenges of a global pandemic.
If there is one thing that has remained constant in my 15 years at Yale SOM, it’s the spirit of the student body. Graduates leave us each year at commencement and new students join us each year at orientation, but the heart of the community remains unchanged.
If you asked me for one word that always comes to mind to describe our students, it would be optimistic: they want to make a difference in the world around them and they feel as though they can. This optimism becomes apparent in many ways each year–whether it is through students taking the lead in developing new conferences, engaging the New Haven community, or working on their own venture, or even just pursuing a personal path to their perfect internship. This optimism keeps our students motivated through the challenges they navigate throughout their MBA journey.
None of us would have guessed that a global pandemic would have been one of these challenges. Nevertheless, despite tremendous obstacles, our students remain seemingly unflappable. As I wrote this post, for example, I got word that our annual Internship Fund Auction— one of the most integral events in fundraising for our Internship Fund, and also one of the most anticipated students events of the year —raised the largest amount since I have been at SOM, despite moving from an in-person, black-tie event to an online Zoom gathering.
I have heard quite a few stories like this—about the optimism of our students and how our community has risen above the current circumstances. Although our students are missing the interactions that social distancing has made impossible, they have found ways to infuse the enduring spirit of the community into every situation.
As always, I am proud to be a part of this community. Here are a few stories about ways in which our unique spirit has manifested itself in these difficult times:
- A second-year student using her expertise in education to help parents meet the challenges of homeschooling
- Classmates coming together to celebrate the graduation of a fellow student
- Members of the Yale SOM community forging new connections while learning, teaching, and working at a distance
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Yale School of Management
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