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Photos by Jiawan “Jill” Ni ’18

Lucky to Be a Student at Yale SOM

Michael Bergel ’19 was reminded of the unique opportunities available at Yale earlier this month, when the Brazil Job Fair he helped plan with fellow members of the Association of Hispanic and Latin American Students came to fruition.

On the first weekend of December, I realized quite how lucky I am to be a student at the Yale School of Management. On that weekend, SOM hosted the Brazil Job Fair, where I had the opportunity to hear Fernando Fernandez, CEO of Unilever Brazil, talk about the company’s strategies and the Brazilian economic landscape. I also met with executives from Banco Itaú, Lojas Renner, Heartman House, and Suzano, to name a few other companies. Moreover, I had the opportunity to connect with many Brazilian MBA students from different U.S. business schools.

On that Saturday in December, I felt lucky to be a student at SOM, not only because the Brazil Job Fair was happening just five minutes away from my house, but also because I had the opportunity to take an active role in planning the event. When, back in September, Andrea Rozenberg ’19 Lucas Silva ’19 came up with the idea to host a Brazil Job Fair at SOM, all the Brazilians from the Association of Hispanic and Latin American Students agreed to help. We first made contact with MBA Alliance and Into the Future, two companies that aim to foster the relationship between Brazilian firms and students in top business schools. From there, planning for the event took off.

For several weeks, we worked on the logistics, communication, and making connections with prospective participants and participating companies to ensure a successful event. It is hard to describe in words the feeling I had when I saw the first people arrive on Saturday morning. More than 50 Brazilian participants and seven Brazilian companies gathered at SOM that weekend. The companies presented their summer programs for MBA students, and we had a chance to build meaningful connections that could lead to a summer offer.

In a little over four months since the beginning of the MBA program, I have made friendships that will last forever. I have had the opportunity to help and be helped by some of the most brilliant people I have ever met. On a daily basis, I have been challenged to leave my comfort zone, and I have grown through the exchange of cultures and ideas I have experienced both in and out of the classroom. I feel so lucky to be a student at SOM.