Over the last 21 months, I’ve become accustomed to catching up with our Class of 2016 every other weekend. I adore hearing about their new insights and learning in the classroom; their families, travels, and workplaces; and industry trends and new professional opportunities. As they left after class this past Saturday, it suddenly struck me: they only have two more class weekends before graduation. Their aptly named “Commencement” as Yale SOM alumni is suddenly right around the corner. And this will be a very special graduating class.
The Yale MBA for Executives Class of 2016, as its members themselves declare, is a class of “firsts.” The first class to arrive after the program’s expansion in 2014, the Class of 2016 will include our first graduates from the asset management and sustainability areas of focus. These pioneers are the first to experience the brand new curricula so brilliantly developed by faculty directors Prof. William Goetzmann and Prof. Paul Anastas. I’ve seen these students come together to learn and grow; along the way, they have provided feedback that helped shape the program for future students. They have become the face of the program for prospective students and have represented it tirelessly. Simply put, they understood our vision, took a stake in it, and played their part with grace and passion. I deeply respect their ongoing commitment to the school.
As a director of admissions, your first class is always special. The Class of 2016 is the first that I assembled and launched at the Yale School of Management. Members of the class trusted me and my team to deliver outstanding classmates who would accompany them on an unprecedented journey. That leap of faith forged a rare bond between staff and students.
My colleague Hillary Larsen and I recently had the privilege of attending commencement speech auditions, where several members of the class shared the speech that, if chosen, they would make on behalf of their classmates at their graduation ceremony. We were so moved, proud, and gratified to have brought together such a talented, collaborative community of unique individuals with diverse perspectives, all of them determined to lead at the nexus of business and society. Mission accomplished? Watch this space to see what comes next for them.
Director of Admissions, Executive MBA and Global Programs