The Yale MBA for Executives experience begins with a weekend orientation and two in-residence weeks that include accelerated academic coursework, workshops, and social events. Five students from the Class of 2018 are sharing their experiences along the way.
On July 29, 2016, at 11:20 a.m., a cab dropped me in front of one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen in my life–Edward P. Evans Hall–a building that I thought I might have never seen again after my interview round. This building was whispering to me that I was about to become part of a 300-plus-year-old Yale legacy. That moment was not void of other emotions; a cocktail of sentiments surfaced at the same time. I was excited, anxious, fascinated, curious, and flabbergasted, yet I tried to remain calm on the surface as I passed the tall and transparent foyers of Evans Hall and walked toward a room full of people. As I tried to juggle my already overflowing emotional states, yet another feeling set in: trust. I was looking at my fellow EMBA classmates: 71 well-anchored support structures that were about to re-shape my life. Though from various backgrounds, we had all convened with a common mission: to become leaders for business and society.
All 71 of us have come a long way in the past week of orientation, which we now know is called a boot camp for a reason. I have never seen CEOs, COOs, managing directors, directors, and managers come together so quickly! It has only been a week, but the EMBA Class of 2018 cohort has become one giant family. We all realize that in order to stay afloat we will have to operate like a close-knit family over the course of this program. We became one individual person, instead of 71 different individuals. Group meetings before and after our classes, late- (really late!) night study marathons, and early morning over-breakfast discussions have added significant value to the already rich learning experience. We challenge each other every time a new concept is taught. Some of us take over the chalkboard and re-do the class work after our professors have left to ensure we understand the topics being taught.
Yale has provided us with cuisine from all over the world every day. Clearly the message from Yale SOM is to study hard, but to also stop and smell the roses and eat well. This program has made a significant impact on my life already. Can’t wait to face next week’s challenges and to learn from some of the smartest people I have ever known in my life.