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Get to Know: Amanda Martinez ’22

In this series, Yale SOM’s Student Ambassadors ask their peers some quick questions about life outside the classroom.

Where are you from?

I grew up in San Jose, California, but spent the past two years in Portland, Oregon. New Haven is great, but I miss the West Coast.

What did you do pre-SOM?

While living in Portland, I worked for an educational nonprofit called College Possible, an organization that supports students from communities impacted by poverty in their journeys to and through college. I was the senior program coordinator of the Navigate program, which meant that I led the team that serves students in rural communities in Oregon.

What interested you in pursuing an MBA and what led you to choose SOM?

I was interested in pursuing an MBA to advance my career in nonprofit management and I chose SOM specifically because of its focus on educating leaders for society. It is important to me to choose personal and professional opportunities that advance social justice and equity, and I knew SOM would help me to do that.

What can we find you doing on a weekend?

I love to explore, so, as long as I don’t have too much homework, you can usually find me driving somewhere that is unfamiliar to me. These mini day trips usually involve going on a hike and finding good food.

Who is your role model and why?

One of my role models is Julie Mancini, the former executive director of College Possible Oregon. Julie has had a lifelong career serving various nonprofit organizations, most recently in Oregon. She is best known for her human-centered leadership approach and for throwing professionalism out the window—she loves giving people hugs and pep talks and she cusses like a sailor. Julie is my role model because I believe that she prioritizes what matters and she follows through on her commitments. She actually inspired me to get an MBA, and I hope to make her proud.

When the world reopens up, where is the first place you’ll go?

Home! To see my family and friends. Most of them live in the Bay Area, but my mom and brother live in Boise, Idaho, so I’ll have a couple of trips to make. After that, I’d love to go somewhere tropical. I’ve been dreaming of sandy beaches and warm water.

What advice would you give prospective students?

I highly recommend exploring the student organizations at SOM. Getting involved with groups like the Education Club, the Yale Philanthropy Conference, Social Impact Consulting, and Student Government has been one of my favorite parts of my SOM experience so far. If you don’t see a group that you want to join, you can create one. Some classmates and I recently started a group called the Business Students for Racial Equity, for example. Imagining what groups you’ll be involved with, and who you’ll meet through those opportunities, can help you to make your decision about where to enroll—it did for me!