Ola Oyetayo ’17 reflects on his experience as an orientation leader.
This August I had the privilege of serving as one of the student orientation leaders who helped to welcome the new classes of MBA and MAM students to Yale School of Management—and what an experience it was. It had been a year since I was seated in the same auditorium, nervously anticipating meeting my fellow classmates and anxiously waiting for the start of what everyone had said would be a transformative experience. A year in to the MBA program at Yale School of Management, I can confirm that my time has in fact been transformative.
There is no traditional student who fits the SOM profile. Students representing diverse backgrounds, professions, and nationalities make up the SOM fabric.
As an orientation leader, I had the opportunity to partake in a similar program to what I had gone through, but this time around I could truly soak in how special a moment it was. From the welcome address from Dean Snyder to the presentation by Yale security to the career immersion panel featuring recent and past alumni, it all felt familiar and new at the same time. When the week ended, I couldn’t help but to reflect back on how much had happen within my year here at Yale SOM and how I was now viewed as an “elder statesman” by the incoming class. This was especially brought into sharp focus when I had students asking questions about what life is like here at Yale SOM and what type of community the school represents. There was a sense of pride and ownership when I provided my take on what my Yale SOM experience has been like. While I have only been a member of the community for a year, it felt like I had been here a decade—like I was providing my take on what home felt like.
I came to SOM from a non-traditional SOM background (pharmacy and academia), but as I met the incoming class it dawned on me that there is no traditional student who fits the SOM profile. Students representing diverse backgrounds, professions, and nationalities make up the SOM fabric.
The highlight of the week was the same for me as when I went through orientation last year: the alumni presentation. Hearing alumni talk about their experience at SOM 20 and 30 years ago and comparing it to mine, it was clear the experience SOM provides transcends class years, and I was heartened to note that I was a member of a community that leaves a lasting impression on its students.
Being an orientation leader is without doubt one of the highlights of the year for me, and I couldn’t be more excited to welcome the new class of students.