Yale School of Management

What A Real Study Group Looks Like

We are in the midst of our second week of classes and as the scale and difficulty of work ramps us, many of us will become increasingly dependent on the support of our study groups. Since it has often been said that MBAs learn as much from their classmates as their professors, I thought it would be helpful to discuss how study groups work here at Yale SOM. Upon arriving at orientation, each student is given their predetermined study group assignment of 8-9 people. For the first year, each study group shares the same class schedule and collaborates on each group assignment in the core. It is important to note that the study groups have been carefully constructed to bring together students with diverse backgrounds, both professionally and culturally. To give you a taste of what a real study group looks like, here is a snapshot of mine:

Arun
Hometown: Kottayam, India
Education: BITS, Pilani (Electronics Engineering, 2002), Drexel University (MS, Biomedical Engineering, 2006)
Prior to SOM: High frequency proprietary trading
After SOM: General Management in Technology/Biotech/Pharmaceutical industries

Balaji
Hometown: Glen Rock, NJ
Education: University of Virginia (Commerce, 2003)
Prior to SOM: Hedge Fund Industry
After SOM: Consulting

Brandon
Born in Shanghai, China but grew up in Vancouver, Canada
Education: Carleton College (Economics, 2007)
Prior to SOM: UBS rotational program
After SOM: Investment Banking

Henry
Hometown: Bethesda, MD
Education: University of Maryland (Finance, 2006)
Prior to SOM: Finance/Defense Contracting
After SOM: Finance

Jackie
Hometown: Manhattan, NY
Education: Yale College (Ethics, Politics & Economics, 2007), Columbia University (MS, Philosophy, 2009), concurrently pursuing JD degree in the Yale Law School
Prior to SOM: PE/Private Equity at Contour Global LP, Foreign policy at the Clinton Foundation
After SOM: Law Clerk for a federal judge, Private Equity

Jacob
Hometown: Berkley, California
Education: Cornell University (Sociology, 2006)
Prior to SOM: worked in government and politics, the last 2+ years as Director of Communications for Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.)
After SOM: Entrepreneurship and social enterprise

Nithya
Hometown: Rockville, MD
Education: Dartmouth College (English/Economics, 2008), concurrently pursuing MA in International and Development Economics at Yale
Prior to SOM: worked in corporate finance/business strategy at Harvard Business School writing Case Studies and managing first-year MBA course in negotiations
After SOM: Microfinance/non-profit work in developing countries

Wenxi
Hometown: Shenzhen, China
Education: University of Wisconsin (Business Administration, 2004)
Prior to SOM: Real Estate Development
After SOM: Continue working in Real Estate Investment Industry by leveraging various financial options and products in Asia

Alex
Hometown: North Bellmore, NY
Graduated from Syracuse University in 2005 (Marketing/Psychology)
Prior to SOM: Advertising/Media
After SOM: Brand Management

As you can see from the brief bios above, my study group is not only diverse, but also extremely accomplished. From speaking with my peers, this seems to be the case in most everyone’s study groups. I look forward to getting to know my study group over the next year and learning from each member.

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About the author

Alexander Roberts