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What I’m Thankful For

This week, students are traveling for the Thanksgiving break. But before they left, they told us what they’re thankful for this year.

Matt SwareMatt Sware ’19

Matt Sware ’19, a student in the Yale MBA for Executives program, recently had a daughter, Rhonda. He took advantage of the Extended Classroom option to attend class remotely. During a break, he introduced the newborn to his classmates.

I am grateful to be on this journey with so many supportive friends and faculty at SOM! My growing family is grateful, too!

Woraphot Kingkawkantong (Ping)

Woraphot “Ping” Kingkawkantong ’19

“It didn’t take me long to realize that I am in a very special community. When I first arrived in the U.S., everything seemed so intimidating—making friends, participating in class, even finishing the assignment, or going to social/ networking events–but shortly I felt right at home. The community here, especially my F1 learning team and ADH friend group, have been so generous, supportive, patient, and welcoming. It is the type of place where you’re supported and encouraged to try new experiences or develop new skills, while also having a lot of fun doing it. More than a year has passed, and I find New Haven my new home. I am thankful for every day that I have here.”

Amanda Hatheway ’20

I am so thankful for the amazing people that I have gotten to know since I moved to New Haven in August.

Amanda Hatheway“It’s funny to think that just a few months ago we were all walking into orientation together to meet for the first time. SOM has a vibrant and diverse community, and everyone is always willing to support one another. Whether it’s listening to people share their stories during Voices, cheering each other on during hockey, or hanging out as a cohort together after class, we always work to build each other up. Our caring culture is truly one of a kind!”

Cliff Sakutukwa

Cliff Sakutukwa ’19

“I’m thankful for many things, but I’m especially grateful for my wife, Pamela, and how she has battled ovarian cancer. Six months ago she was diagnosed with stage one ovarian cancer. She underwent major abdominal surgery to remove it, including her left ovary. Immediately after, she was put on chemotherapy–a difficult journey she is still going through and hopes to be done with by the end of this month. Through all this, the support from fellow students, faculty, staff, and everyone around SOM and the greater Yale community has been incredible. We are both thankful to everyone for all the acts of kindness, thoughts, and prayers!”

Andrew Graf

Andrew Graf ’20

“I am thankful for this special place. It is humbling to know that on any given day, a senator, CEO, or humanitarian may be teaching here, yet the people sitting next to me in class will make the most impact in years to come. The diversity of perspectives transforms the MBA experience into a dynamic learning environment that goes beyond textbooks, classrooms, or financial equations.”

Florian Kogler

Florian Kogler ’19

“I am co-chairing Voices this year—a space for the SOM community to come together and listen to their peers share stories that are meaningful to them. Every week I feel awed and inspired by the stories my colleagues share. It’s a powerful reminder of how blessed I am to be part of a community where people dare to be open, candid, and vulnerable and support each other in their professional and personal growth. Recently, we hosted a special Faculty Voices where three SOM professors shared stories about themselves. Professors and students loved the format, and it was great to see the community coming together at this event.”

Thanksgiving is a time for families to come together. As an international student, I am grateful to have found a family here at SOM.

Dasha Slavina

Dasha Slavina ’19

“This Thanksgiving I’m feeling especially grateful for time and friends. SOM has given me the huge gift of time to chase my curiosities (which have taken me as far as China) and be introspective about my passions. Most of all, I am thankful for friends and classmates who now feel more like family and have been my biggest source of inspiration and strength during my time at SOM.”