Amid the ongoing uncertainty of the global pandemic, we’re thrilled to welcome the 349 members of the Yale School of Management MBA Class of 2023 to New Haven this month. August 16 marked the beginning of orientation for the Class of 2023, with classes beginning on August 23. After a year of hybrid instruction, it was wonderful to have everyone back in Evans Hall to begin their MBA journey—and the class that has arrived is special in so many ways.
Among them are musicians who play trombone, euphonium, ukulele, piano, guitar, saxophone, violin, clarinet, accordion, pipa, cello, mono-string, and Chinese dulcimer, among many other instruments.
The Class of 2023 is athletic, with the majority of students participating in some sport, including road biking (one student biked from Vietnam to Cambodia for a charity fundraiser), soccer, swimming, skiing, tennis (lawn, table, and otherwise), hiking, basketball, Muay Thai, weight training (including an Olympic weightlifting trainee), go-kart racing, surfing, snowboarding, fishing, running (including the Athens, Boston, Tata Mumbai, Dallas, Berlin, and New York City marathons), aerial dance, yoga, alpine ski racing, mountain climbing, trail running, field hockey, hiking fourteeners (mountains with at least 14,000 feet of elevation), ultra-running, badminton, golf, karate, ballet, rowing, sailing, CrossFit, squash, frisbee, kayaking, volleyball, boxing, scuba diving, triathlons, bouldering, synchronized swimming, fencing, dancing (bachata, ballroom, Bollywood, hip-hop, Garba/Raas, Bhangra, salsa), figure skating, lacrosse, mountain biking, and cheerleading.
Roughly three-quarters of the class speaks two or more languages, and more than 30% speaks three or more, including Arabic, French, Mandarin, Hindi, Urdu, Gujarati, Yoruba, Twi, Ga, Azerbaijani, Turkish, Russian, Spanish, Bengali, German, Italian, Hebrew, Portuguese, Greek, Japanese, Hakka, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Filipino, Chichewa, Bulgarian, Amharic, Javanese, Swahili, Tigrinya, Korean, Dutch, American Sign Language, Punjabi, Sindhi, Indonesian, Mohawk, Polish, Farsi, Haitian Creole, Tamil, Belarusian, Persian, Malayalam, and Shanghainese. They’ve traveled widely, with one student having visited 83 countries.
Their hobbies include knitting sweaters, travel planning, quantitative trading, calligraphy, pallet carpentry, LEGO, reading novels with unreliable narrators, participating in gender-equity initiatives, experimental electronic music, women’s empowerment and social justice, being a self-proclaimed MasterChef, church choir singing, watching alternate reality TV, coffee brewing, bartending, aeromodelling, amateur meteorology, beekeeping, exploring national parks, making ice cream with experimental flavors, urban farming, protesting against bullfighting, competing in spicy eating challenges, keeping up with renewable energy research, participating in reforestation activities to preserve local flora, Iroquois beadwork, having Nerf wars with their children, and training for the World Juggling Federation beginner competition.
Members of the Class of 2023 have achieved fame across a range of media. Students have published their work in newspapers, magazines, and research journals. Their publishing success also extends to newspaper crossword puzzles, restaurant reviews, and a popular K-pop fan site with more than half a million followers. One student is “writing a satirical beach novel about two beach novelists who fall in love,” while two other students have written and developed their own TV pilots – with one becoming a “quarterfinalist in the 2018 Austin Film Festival script competition for an original TV pilot” and the other writing a “pilot for a fictional TV series about a nun sent to rehab.” Yet another is a “filmmaker of two documentary shorts on post-incarceration rehabilitation through art therapy and baking.”
They are equally as comfortable in front of the camera as they are behind it. One student’s résumé says, “Ask me about my brief fame on The Real Housewives of New Jersey.” Another was a “Jeopardy Tournament of Champions semi-finalist, five-time regular season winner (season 29).” We also have a former Wheel of Fortune contestant in the class. And one student was “cast for a ballroom dance reality show (pilot) by Bravo TV.”
By the numbers, 44% of the Class of 2023 holds passports from a country other than the United States, with 38 different countries represented overall. Women make up 43% of the class. Forty-nine percent of the U.S. students are students of color, and 20% are underrepresented U.S. students of color. The average GMAT for the class is 726 (the average GRE is 165Q/165V), and the average GPA is 3.66 on a four-point U.S. scale. Students come from a range of academic institutions (176 different schools are represented) and backgrounds, from engineering to the arts. Nine percent are first-generation college graduates, while 14% have earned a previous graduate degree. Another 9% are pursuing a joint degree here at Yale at one of eight other Yale schools. They’ve received various academic awards and honors, from summa cum laude to Phi Beta Kappa to Fulbright Fellowships and Gates Millennium Scholarships.
Their professional credentials are equally diverse and impressive, covering all sectors and a range of industries and companies. Seventy-five percent of the class comes from the private sector, while 25% comes from the nonprofit and public sectors. Employers range from Abt Associates to ZS Associates. In all, more than 200 different employers are represented, including Bain, Alibaba, Intel, Cemex, American Enterprise Institute, Shell, Schlumberger, LVMH, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Museum of Modern Art, Deloitte, International Finance Corporation, Unilever, Acumen Fund, McKinsey, Hong Kong Monetary Authority, JP Morgan, Baku Stock Exchange, United Airlines, Uncommon Schools, and the Walt Disney Company. The class includes veterans from all branches of the United States military, as well as a record number of Silver Scholars.
What brings these incredibly diverse members of the Yale SOM Class of 2023 together is their aspiration to embody the school’s mission of educating leaders for business and society. We are so excited for them to begin this journey!