Every Monday evening during the school year, students gather for “SOM Voices,” in which two students share a personal story or experience with their peers. It’s an intimate setting, and the stories are often moving and inspiring, eliciting smiles, laughter, and sometimes tears. They are one aspect—both a cause and result—of the culture of mutual trust and respect that is an important part of the SOM fabric.
Last week, as part of “April Foolery” (a month-long celebration of the SOM community, not a series of practical jokes!), the school held a special “Voices” that included faculty and staff speakers in addition to the two student speakers. I was honored to be asked to share my story, although I have to admit I was a little nervous.
In addition to sharing several admissions anecdotes—some humorous (hopefully), some serious—I talked about ways in which I have valued being part of the SOM community that are outside my role in admissions: playing goalie for the SOM hockey team, dressing up as Jack Sparrow for a “Pirates of the Caribbean”-themed Internship Fund Auction, and (misguidedly) attempting to fit in at the annual Date Auction. Taking the time to reflect on how deeply faculty and staff are integrated into the community and the student experience here at SOM made me feel incredibly fortunate…and maybe a bit cooler than I know I am.
The other guest speakers shared similar stories about their strong connections to student life. One faculty member, I learned, carpools with a student to their Tuff Girl workouts off campus. I don’t presume to know exactly what the workout involves, other than that I wouldn’t survive it. The same faculty member shared the story of giving a talk at various schools about one’s work making the world a better place and finding the consistent response elsewhere to be laughter, while the response at Yale was an emphatic “we would NEVER laugh at this.”
Schools frequently use the words “community” and “culture” to describe their environments, to the point that these words tend to lose their meaning. The tradition of SOM Voices, the inclusion of faculty and staff, and the kinds of stories one hears there are, to me, an indication of the truly singular community here at Yale—one that you have to experience to fully understand. We hope you’ll choose to schedule your campus visit while classes are still in session in order get a glimpse of that community, and connect with Admissions Ambassadors and Student Club leaders who are available to you through email throughout the year.
Assistant Dean and Director
Yale School of Management
165 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
203.432.5635, Admissions Office
203.432.6380, Visitor Center