Yale School of Management

#VirtualYale: Learning, Working, and Teaching at a Distance

During this time of social distancing and remote learning, we invited members of the Yale SOM community to share the ways they are maintaining and forging new connections.

The #VirtualYale series shares how members of our community are learning, working, and teaching in our virtual world. . Grace Liu Happ, MBA ’21 . Clubs & Affiliations: Asian American & Pacific Islander Association President; Women in Management, and Welcome Weekend Committee . Current Classes: Besides the required core classes (Executive, Innovator, State & Society), I’m taking Introduction to Art History, YCCI Discovery Project, Supply Chain Management, & Survey Design . What are you doing to stay connected to SOM? Virtual lunches, happy hours, & game nights (Jackbox and the multiplayer Nintendo games are a big hit); additionally, being physically apart has forced me to text/Slack more with my SOM friends, reminding me not taking any of our relationships we’ve made at SOM for granted. . What do you miss most about campus? I miss spontaneous plans that pop up in hallway conversations between class, whether that’s to try a new restaurant for dinner or work on a random venture capital idea. . Are there ways you are volunteering or resources that are getting you through this challenging time? I’ve been volunteering with mental health responses to help others cope with stress during these uncertain times. The National Alliance on Mental Illness has a great number of resources that are useful; it is important to also prioritize your mental health in addition to your physical health! Personally, I have been finding the time to go on a long-isolated walk, hike, or run every day with my husband to take care of my own mental health. #yalesom #yale #virtualyale

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”Hi! My name is Snigdha Rao and I’m in the full-time MBA Class of 2021. . I’m involved in Student Government, Admissions, and Women in Management. I’m currently taking core classes and a few electives. State & Society (one of the core classes) is one of my favorites so far. We’re able to have engaging discussions virtually and the professors do a great job of bringing in relevant topics to discuss. Our last class focused on the varieties of democracy and what political structures were more conducive to long-term impact – super interesting stuff! . **What are you doing to stay connected to SOM?** . I have had many Netflix watch parties, Zoom happy hours, and game nights to stay connected. I’m also hoping to start hosting virtual small dinners with friends. SOM continues to host events virtually – I attended a virtual panel on how to work on a political campaign and will be attending a panel this week on the macroeconomics of COVID-19 hosted by our professors. There are a lot of cool things continuing to happen as we all figure out how to thrive in this new reality. . One of my cohort-mates is helping organize volunteer efforts in New Haven through NewHavenHelpWithCovid.com, a volunteer management platform. Another one is leading a nonprofit called MasksOn.Org to build protective equipment for healthcare providers. Seeing my classmates immediately spring to action is really inspiring. I’ve also been taking this time to reconnect with friends I haven’t spoken with in a while, watching funny TV shows, listening to good music, and taking long walks (see picture!). . **What do you miss most about campus?** . When I’m back on campus, I’m looking forward to walking around Evans Hall again and seeing everyone in the hallways rushing to class. I’m definitely not taking the little things for granted anymore!” . #VirtualYale #YaleSOM #Yale

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”Hi, I'm A. J. Wasserstein, Eugene F. Williams, Jr. Lecturer in the Practice of Management. I am teaching Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition (MGT 671) this semester online. I have learned that SOM is nimble and resilient. I am amazed by how quickly technology was implemented to facilitate online teaching—a special shoutout to Enoc Reyes, Justine Jarvie, and Trish Resio for teaching me all things Zoom. Students have been committed to a rich learning experience and are prepared and engaged.” **What are you doing to stay connected to SOM during this time of social distancing?** . ”Once a week, I host a voluntary virtual lunch with six students. I have about 60 students in the official Zoom class, and this smaller venue is a way to connect and have a deeper conversation about course content, entrepreneurship, post-MBA choices, and life in general. With six people, we can have a dynamic and engaging conversation. It's been productive and fun.” . **What do you miss most about campus?** . ”Online learning has been better than I have expected, but it cannot replace the buzz and energy in Evans Hall. I miss the spontaneous conversations with faculty members and students—the moments before and after class when students pepper me with questions and creative ideas. I miss the quizzical looks on students' faces, and their confirming nods in the classroom. When back on campus, I am looking forward to seeing people, being in a crowded classroom with curious and challenging students, and walking through New Haven after class.” . **What resources or habits are helping you through this challenging time? . ”This is a very challenging time, and I feel lucky that my family is healthy right now, I am very grateful for that. I am enjoying time with two sons in college who are back at home (I am not sure the feeling is reciprocal). My eighth-grade daughter spearheads a family activity every evening. I have been writing quite a bit with some newfound free time – that has been enjoyable and therapeutic.” . #VirtualYale #YaleSOM #YaleFaculty

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I’m Roxane Debaty, a second-year MBA student. I’m taking Managing Sustainable Operations; Game Theory (Round 2, because Round 1 was too good); Financing Green Technologies, Topics of Macroeconomy (Round 2, same reasoning); and Strategic Leadership Across Sectors. . Much of the credit for staying connected goes to this incredible spring weather we’ve had! There have been many walks and runs with friends and conversations shouted across empty streets, and I’ve held Friend Office Hours on my stoop. Baking has also been a good way to share love with friends. . **What do you miss about SOM?** . I miss the train-station effect that campus had, where a 15-minute conversation took no planning/calendar-snooping—nothing but a serendipitous run-in in the student lounge or a swing down to Closing Bell. I miss hearing scrambled bits of really intense conversations and completely light-hearted one-liners in the cacophony of Charley’s at lunch, and I miss looking out over East Rock from the fourth floor as the sun went down. . I have been so thankful for all the energy students are bringing to online classes, the effort professors have put into teaching dynamically, and the creativity with which my peers have started volunteering opportunities, launched social activities, and been there for each other. I can’t wait to celebrate our graduation eventually, because these friends are real and I have many, many bear hugs to give out. . (Photos: A previous SOM Closing Bell, the wonderful spring weather, and one of my stoop sessions.) . #VirtualYale #YaleSOM #Yale

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Hi, I am Vicky Zhang, MBA Class of 2020. I am the Economic Development Club Co-Chair and Net Impact Co-Chair. (Pictured with @handsomedanxviii) . **What classes are you taking?** . Game Theory & Market Design, How to Design and Run Business Experiments, Healthcare Operations, Managing Sustainable Operations, Strategic Leadership Across Sectors. . **What are you doing to stay connected to SOM during this time of social distancing?** . Virtual game nights and happy hours have been a great way for me to keep in touch with my friends! I’ve also been spending a lot of time talking to admits and potential applicants through personal outreach and webinars hosted by admissions. Their enthusiasm about SOM serves as a reminder that I am incredibly lucky to be a part of this community. . **What do you miss most about campus?** . I miss running into people and learning about the fun travel that they have planned and interesting projects that they’re working on. I can’t tell you how much of my time at SOM has been shaped by serendipitous conversations that have snowballed into amazing experiences. . **What are some resources that are getting you through this challenging time?** . On a personal note, my partner and I have been spending a lot of time working our way through 1000-piece puzzles. They’re a great way to tune out the rest of the world and you get a lot of satisfaction when you finally find the piece that you were looking for! . #VirtualYale #YaleSOM #Yale

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Michael Bang MBA Class of 2020 . **What classes are you currently taking?** . Healthcare Finance & Economics, Human Capital Strategy, Real Estate Finance for Institutional Investors, Social Media Analytics, and Strategies for Land Conservation. . **What are you doing to stay connected to SOM?** . I’m fortunate to have a wonderful group of roommates that play board games with me (Exploding Kittens, Settlers of Catan, Pandemic, CAMBIO), throw a frisbee with me both in our kitchen and our backyard, and take turns on a weekly basis cooking dinner for all the housemates. I run a lot more so my routes in East Rock have allowed me to cross paths with SOM students and faculty, allowing me to share a quick smile, wave, and encouraging words. Classes have actually been an enjoyable way to see friends and they have also led to impromptu Zoom gatherings to catch up on life. . **What do you miss most about campus?** . I really miss going to Fit For Thought to work out in between classes and watch people fight over the Peloton. I miss watching Nate Schorr walking around the courtyard on his 200th phone call of the day. I miss listening to the excitement and weekend planning during Closing Bell. I miss going to The Gryphon when nobody knows where else to go and realizing when we get there that 100 other students also decided to show up to enjoy the weekend festivities. Rona probably won’t let me come back to campus, but if I could come back, I would thank every friend and express my gratitude for having these past two years to share with them, learn from them, and live through this once-in-a-lifetime experience together. . **What are some resources that are getting you through this challenging time?** . Weight-adjustable dumbbells. Van Leeuwen ice cream. Waterloo Sparkling Water. Hot Cheetos. These are a couple of my favorite things. I’m prepping for a social distancing friendly marathon on May 2. Lastly, my heart goes out to all the families suffering because of sick or lost loved ones, health providers working on the front lines to combat the pandemic, and those that are facing financial instability. I will keep you in my prayers. . #VirtualYale #YaleSOM #Yale

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Hi, I'm Lina Kacyem, Class of 2021. I am a Blue Cohort Representative, the President of the Africa Business and Society Club and a member of the Black Business Alliance Liaison, and VC/PE Club. . **What classes are you currently taking?** . Typical 3 core classes: State and Society, Innovator and Executive. Electives: International Business Transactions at the Law School (highly recommend, the material and the professor.. amazing!), Survey Design and Analytics (recommend as well, very practical class) . **What are you doing to stay connected to SOM during this time of social distancing?** . Zoom and sometimes to spice things up, FaceTime! Even did WhatsApp video once just for the fun. The little things… I have about 2 to 3 one-on-one “coffee chat” with different classmates. I have most of my family living in different parts of the world, so I am imagining myself having travelled somewhere like the moon, so I don’t have access to people but I can connect with them via technology (Sanity is a luxury as times lol). . **What do you miss most about campus?** . Doing homework on time because someone just happened to mention it lol. But seriously, like many people, I just meet the random walking into someone and being able to catch up. I didn’t know I was a hugger until now, I miss the hugs. Low key, I miss some of the free lunch. Taking a class at the Law School made walk through the campus, and I really loved and miss that walk. I look forward to the hugs, the walks, the people of course… and…the free food… and the homework reminders (although now, it will be all electives). . **Can you share some resources that are helping you get through this challenging time?** . Even though I am sitting home through these Zoom calls, I still try to have an agenda and a to-do list daily (I don’t necessarily finish it of course). Also the typical exercise app, quite often 2 sessions of 7 mins is more than enough. Oh and like half of the world, Tiger King (and Criminal Minds) make me realize the validity behind this phrase “Il faut de tout pour faire ce monde.” (you need all types and levels of craziness to make the world go round) . #virtualyale #yalesom #yale

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Hi, I'm Natalie Eller, MBA Class of 2020, involved in the Economic Development Club, Hockey Club, Education Club, and Finance Club. . **What classes are you currently taking?** Mainly Economics and Finance-related (Renewable Energy Project Finance, Real Estate Finance, Capital Markets, Competitive Strategy, and Market Failures and Economic Policy in Developing Countries) . **What are you doing to stay connected to SOM during this time of social distancing?** I am still in New Haven which has allowed me to keep some sort of normalcy while I finish my MBA. It has been nice to go on socially distant walks with SOMers (to get one of my classmate’s, Dena’s, baked goods mainly). I also am appreciating New Haven’s amenities more, such as running trails (see pic) and watching New Haven turn to Spring. I have also kept a virtual Closing Bell routine with friends and enjoy attending other virtual events, like Tiny Desk concerts on Design and Innovation Club’s Instagram live. . **What do you miss most about campus?** Probably like most people, I miss the large, in person gatherings! We had a lot of them coming up, like Spring Formal, Closing Bells, Graduation…but I am using this as an opportunity to create a new relationship with my friends here that are more intimate. . **What are you doing to take care of yourself during this time?** I try to meditate for at least 20 min everyday, move at least 30 min (run on a nearby running trail, virtual workout class, or walk) and read something personal before I go to bed. Do I get to all three every day? Absolutely not, but if I get to two, then I feel more grounded. . **What are some resources that are getting you through this challenging time?** I am enjoying staying informed on the pandemic and taking advantage of the professors and resources we have at SOM. I have been working with the Economic Development Club to host sessions with professors to hear their thoughts and research e.g. behavioral economics with Professors Judy Chevalier and Florian Ederer. #yalesom #yale #virtualyale

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