In May 2015, seven future Yalies met in front of the Fontana della Barcaccia, having traveled to Rome from Germany, Italy, Romania, Azerbaijan, and the UK. All of us were also preparing to relocate to New Haven in a few short months as Yale SOM students and partners. We were meeting ahead of time to tour the eternal city, get to know one another, share our thoughts about Yale, and talk about the professional and personal experiences we had had so far. It was a group that was, for obvious reasons, very passionate about Europe, and all of us were excited to share our knowledge and enthusiasm for the region with our new classmates when we arrived on campus.
The group on the European Breakout was a diverse set of students, but we were also representative of the increasingly global nature of Yale’s MBA program. The Class of 2017 is 40% international, and an even greater percentage of the class has worked or studied outside of the U.S. prior to business school. Over the years, Yale SOM students have formed many strong affinity clubs representing various countries and regions, but currently there was no group representing Europe at Yale because there were traditionally fewer candidates matriculating from the region. But European students have become a more sizable portion of the class in recent years, growing to 6% of the Class of 2017. Because of the changing face of the student body, there was increasing momentum and a few preliminary attempts to form a European club in the last few years. In the fall of 2015, 35 European and non-European students met under the leadership of Fabian Farkas to officially create a plan for the new club in what would be the first meeting of EuroSOM.
Though only a few months old, the EuroSOM Group already has a strong membership, with over 90 students and faculty signed up (including our very own Dean Ted Snyder). Our community boasts students from Germany, Russia, Ireland, France, the UK, Greece, Spain, and Israel, as well as members from the U.S. and other countries who are eager to learn more about European culture, society and business. For our first two official events we hosted Yale World Fellows—an NGO leader from the UK and a famous rock star from Ukraine—to speak to students about their achievements and experiences.
The group also has multiple events planned to promote European culture to the Yale community, and we are strengthening the school’s connection to the region in other meaningful ways. SOMers heading to Europe in the fall and winter will hold coffee chats to speak one-on-one with prospective students. We are working with the Career Development Office to connect with European and multinational firms and provide support for students interning or working in the region—these efforts include a career trek to Ireland, currently in the planning stages for this spring. Lastly, we want to strengthen the school’s relationship with Europe-based alumni, to better leverage the existing network.
EuroSOM leadership is thrilled by the warm and enthusiastic reception to the new group. We hope that our upcoming events and activities will help strengthen the school’s relationship with Europe and encourage more prospective European students to consider pursuing their MBA at Yale SOM. Anyone interested in learning more about EuroSOM should reach out to us at email@example.com.