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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.

Grace Liu Happ

Grace Liu Happ ’21


“I’m grateful that Yale SOM is a place where people from so many diverse backgrounds (professional and otherwise) come together and really dig deep into what it means to have an impact on society.

“The nature of SOM is that any one person can make a huge impact at the school within a short amount of time. For example, I am co-leading the first Asian American affinity group at SOM this year, and the amount of support we’ve gotten from administration and fellow students is incredible. I’m also grateful for the plethora of resources Yale gives us—this week alone, I’ve attended talks by Hillary Clinton, Jim Sciutto (the CNN chief national security correspondent), Asian American food entrepreneurs, and the CEO of the Gambrinus Company. I’m incredibly thankful for the privilege of spending two years away from work with some powerhouse thought partners (both in the classroom and out) who challenge my assumptions every day.”

Jonathan Camacho

Jonathan Camacho ’20

MBA for Executives

“This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the support and love of my Yale community. As we carry each other to the finish line, graduation, I am grateful for your wisdom and kindness. On a special note, I’m thankful for the opportunity to welcome into this world a future Yalie, Nico Hector Camacho, and share in these beautiful moments with my brilliant wife, Adriana.”

Daven Hines

Daven Hines ’21


“I am thankful to be in a community that constantly challenges and inspires me to reach new success.

“Here at SOM I’ve been pushed academically, socially, and professionally. But with each new challenge, my SOM community has supported me, without fail, along the way. I am reminded every day of the awesome network of peers I have here. It is their achievements, day-to-day actions, and most of all their hearts that motivate me to keep striving for excellence. I could not be more grateful for the friends I have made here.”

Junko Nakano

Junko Nakano ’20

Master’s Degree in Systemic Risk

“There are many beautiful aspects of SOM that make me feel thankful on a daily basis. First, I am thankful for the Evans Hall architecture, how the sunlight streams into the library in the late afternoon. One of my favorite places is the fourth-floor corridor, with its amazing view of East Rock. Second, I am thankful for the open academic environment, which has made me feel that it is never too late to learn new things. After working for years, it has been great to return to underlying theories, connecting new knowledge with my practical experience and exchanging insights with classmates and world-renowned professors. Last but not least, I am thankful for all the fun study breaks SOM offers. The Friendsgiving dinner SOM held for everyone was a great way to stop, take a breath, and reflect amidst our busy academic life!”

Jeanne Odendaal

Jeanne Odendaal ’20

Master of Advanced Management

“This only child is counting her lucky stars! The highlights from the last three months at SOM are technicolored and plentiful. I have the two most fantastical housemates (here we are, taking an impromptu ‘family portrait’ while attending the sustainability summit at Prada’s NYC head office). I have learned how to deploy some code (thanks, Emmet, Rachel, and Meryl—you are rockstar TAs!). Mostly, I am thankful for the breadth of friendships I have formed. SOM is a hot pot of brains and dreams, with a vibrantly diverse community who is bent on being better, more conscious citizens, and creating a better, more inclusive world. What an honor to be counted among these inspiring humans!”

Nikhita Gupta

Nikhita Gupta ’20


“This Thanksgiving, I am thankful to be a part of such a vibrant, inclusive, and collaborative community. I had a long bucket list before I joined SOM, and I can emphatically say that I was able to check off so many of those items ranging from dancing to Afrobeat to working with Tsai CITY. I am amazed to see how much I learned and grew professionally and personally from having meaningful conversations in this diverse community. I am thankful to Yale and this community for the unique opportunity and for making these two years incredible!!”

Justin Wilson

Justin Wilson ’21

MBA for Executives

“This year has brought me more blessings than I am able to count. Joining the SOM community and finding myself in league with such an incredible group of people is consistently both humbling and deeply inspiring. I am thankful that I get to walk among visionary leaders in my field, and thankful that I am afforded such an opportunity to take that gift back to my part of the world and hopefully share its potential with my people. I am thankful that my boys will never have to wonder whether a place like Yale is within their reach in life. Most of all, though, I am so thankful for my wife, Brooklyn, who is truly the one making the sacrifice so that I am able to be a part of something so special.”

Kfir Alon

Kfir Alon ’21


“I’ve hosted multiple friends who attended other business programs, and immediately upon seeing SOM, they realize that this school is different. The standards held by the faculty and staff are extremely high and make me appreciate and use my time here efficiently.”

Danny Hurvitz

Danny Hurvitz ’21


“I’m thankful that I am a member of The Consortium at Yale SOM. My classmates are an amazing support system that challenge me and my growth… and are super fun to travel with.”

Sofia Ribeiro

Sofia Ribeiro ’20

Master of Advanced Management

“Since I arrived at Yale, the staff has been incredibly helpful in integrating me in SOM and making sure I am getting the best out of this experience. Inside of the classroom, I have found incredible professors and teaching assistants who went above and beyond to make the most out of the diversity of backgrounds, nationalities, and experiences. In AASL, Global Programs, the Career Development Office—just to name a few—everyone has been always helping me with a smile, and doing the best they can for me to succeed. I am grateful to be part of such a welcoming community and to work with such extraordinary individuals.”