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My Journey to the MAM Program

Poonam Chhabra headshot

Poonam Chhabra ’22 reflects on what led her to the MAM program at Yale and the unique opportunities she’s enjoyed during the first semester.

As an MBA student at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) in Manila, Philippines, with a background in computer science and engineering, I wanted to explore the intersection of business, technology, and human behavior in more depth to create sustainable and customer-oriented digital solutions. Once I learned about the Yale School of Management’s Master of Advanced Management (MAM) program, I knew I had discovered my path to pursue my passion.

I had my first interaction with Yale School of Management (Yale SOM) while at AIM during Global Network Week (GNW) in 2020, completing a week-long Behavioral Management course. I was fascinated by the depth of the discussions with other students and faculty during the week, intersecting human cognition in a variety of disciplines such as finance, negotiations, marketing, and more. The excitement and engagement in the sessions had no bounds, even though the event happened to be virtual due to unforeseen circumstances posed by the pandemic. During that week, I learned about the rich and flexible curriculum offered at Yale and began planning my own list of desired courses.

One of the enriching experiences I had before joining the MAM program in August was with the Career Development Office (CDO), which offered to start our career coaching even before we arrived on campus to help us better understand the challenges of a year-long program. (A big shoutout to our dedicated career coach, Christine Grieco!)

It has now been around 80 days since my first day in the MAM program. I am awestruck by the vibe, diversity, and inclusivity of the community. The generosity and approachability of professors are beyond my expectations. Despite the high volume of requests and queries, the response time is within minutes to a couple of hours.

The MAM program has provided me access to an infinite number of elective courses, not only within the School of Management but across all schools at Yale University, such as the School of Art, Divinity School, the David Geffen School of Drama, and many others. I see this as a unique opportunity at Yale, one that fosters creativity and futuristic thinking.

I also had an amazing opportunity to work with one of the best professors and speakers, Professor Zoe Chance, as a teaching assistant. It was a mesmerizing experience learning from such an accomplished yet humble and lovely professor.

Yale SOM has also provided me a platform and an abundance of opportunities to hone my leadership skills. By having a leadership role in both the Data Analytics Club and Marketing Club, I can interact with like-minded scholars and speakers and give back to the community, as well.

As I finish my first term, I look forward to more opportunities unfolding in the coming year.