My First 60 Days at SOM: Reflecting on Building Community in Fall 1
Emma Conover-Crockett ’23 looks back on a “whirlwind” introduction to student life at Yale SOM.
Writing this in mid-October, just a few days before the start of our first set of final exams and a year to the day since I had my admissions interview, it’s hard to believe that I’ve been a Yale School of Management student for 60 days. After the whirlwind of diving into the integrated core curriculum, building a community within my cohort, and learning about the myriad of career opportunities, I often feel I’ve been here for a lifetime already.
I first stepped into Evans Hall in mid-August, for Math Camp: a three-day crash course for those of us who may be less quantitatively inclined. Not only did Math Camp set me up for success in first-quarter coursework, equipping us to solve for NPV and build out probability trees, but it was also a wonderful first introduction to many of my thoughtful, smart classmates.
Our first core curriculum class, Managing Groups and Teams, saw us developing deeper bonds with our learning teams, talking about vulnerability, and considering how to run efficient, communicative teams. We learned about our synergies by embarking on a series of exercises and challenges (have you ever seen a group of seven MBA candidates with no sailing experience try to think through how to survive a shipwreck and hurricane?) and recognized how to grow from team failures.
Through the last few months, my classmates have been a constant. In the lecture halls, they ask insightful questions and bring their diverse range of backgrounds into discussions in rich and meaningful ways. When I began considering attending business school, I knew a priority was finding a collaborative community. From the start, my classmates have proven that I made the right decision to come to Yale. They have demonstrated deep generosity—whether I’ve had trouble building out a model in Modeling Managerial Decisions or needed to talk through a recruiting game plan, I’ve always found my classmates happy to help me get on the right path.
Beyond the classroom, I’ve found numerous ways to engage with my classmates and the New Haven community. From going on an apple-picking excursion to competing in an orientation-week field day (go Silver cohort!), at every turn there has been an opportunity to connect over shared values, future goals, and vision for building intentional community.
Underlying all of the excitement and liveliness of Fall 1 has been a real awareness of the privilege we have to be here in person, learning in lecture halls and chatting over lunch in the Evans Hall courtyard, after a year and a half of pandemic life. Through all of my interactions at SOM so far, there has been a thread of real gratitude to be able to be in this place, with such a supportive community, as we reflect on the challenges of the last year and anticipate moving forward as future leaders in business and society.