Yale School of Management

#SOMBFF: These ‘Friend Soulmates’ Found Each Other at Yale SOM

Generations of students have made lifelong friends at Yale SOM. Laura Melendrez ’16 and Debra Broberg ’16 share their #SOMBFF story.

February 9, 2021

Debra: Laura is an incredible BFF! Her laughter and positive energy are contagious; no one can make me laugh quite like her. She is always there to celebrate wins, and be supportive through tough times.

Laura is an entrepreneur and her work is driven by her passion and social mission. We met in 2015 online while looking for a place to live during the SOM Master of Advanced Management program. We immediately realized we had a lot in common. We found a house right near SOM, clicked instantly, and were inseparable throughout our program and summer fellowship.

“We have been roommates, classmates, best friends, and also co-founders! During our MAM program we started an ethical fashion company, Amor & Rosas.”

In so many ways we believe we are friend soulmates. We have been roommates, classmates, best friends, and also co-founders! During our MAM program we started an ethical fashion company, Amor & Rosas (certified B Corp), that we launched with the help of a Yale Entrepreneurial Institute (now TSAI City) fellowship. Laura still runs the business as CEO out of her home country, Mexico. We have been in each other’s weddings, traveled the world together, and remain very close. Even our parents are friends—when my parents visited Mexico from Canada, Laura’s parents drove hours to that city to take them out to dinner.

It is rare for someone to come into your life and make you feel seen and loved, and push you to be better. I am so grateful to have Laura as my best friend.

Laura: We agreed to live together over emails and Facebook. Then we met at our house a few days before the beginning of the SOM MAM program. Since the first day we got along very well. I remember we went to Miya’s for sushi that night, and we were having a great time getting to know each other. This was the start of many other fun adventures and experiences.

Debra is a great companion, and having her around when we were in New Haven made me feel at home. We would do almost everything together. We laugh too much when we are together. Debra would motivate me to wake up at 5 a.m. to do Crossfit or organize last-minute getaway weekends to New York, and of course, I was always in.

Now that we have been friends for almost six years, I can see how our friendship continues to grow despite the distance (Debra lives in Seattle, and I live in Mexico City). We have found ways to stay in touch and keep each other present in our lives, so much so that her friends from Canada are now my friends, and my friends from Mexico are now her friends, as well.  

Do you have a #SOMBFF story you want to share? Email us.
About the author

Debra Broberg

About the author

Laura Melendrez