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Yale SOM: London Bound 2010

While most SOMers found the opportunity this past week to see family and travel home for the Thanksgiving holiday, a group of us spent the time visiting companies, mingling with other MBA students, sightseeing, and otherwise “letting off steam” in the capital of England. I think I have heard from enough of my classmates still lingering back into the country today to say on behalf of us all: it was truly an amazing experience. On the productive front, around twenty of us joined a consortium of other top U.S. business schools (including Columbia, NYU Stern, Tuck, Darden, Johnson, UCLA Anderson, Michigan, and Duke) in visiting consulting, finance, and specific industry companies around London. Welcomed by senior partners, recruiters, and associates very recently in our position, we were able to learn about the culture of professional London and opportunities there for American MBA students. Among the companies visited: Nomura, Accenture, National Basketball Association, Deloitte, Providence Equity, Disney, ESPN, JP Morgan, McKinsey, Prudential, State Street, IMG, Goldman Sachs, Bain, Citi, BCG, Carlyle, and many more). It is true: I am biased; but Yale SOM was quite impressive—I’ll dare say “the most impressive” (not my words!) group at many of these places. Representing America, Colonial style: way to go team! Outside of our official purpose, we found ample opportunity to show the Brits our profound social skills. From the clubs and bars on the east side to the famous red bus rides around Trafalgar Square and into the City of London, it may have been more of a bonding experience than orientation (an idea I had not considered possible before the trip). It was my first time to London, and because of a wonderful new friend met here in New Haven, I had the privilege of local hosts there. All of the tourist attractions to necessarily cross off an initial visit to a historic city are just infinitely better when intertwined with cozy local pub visits and dripping with British humor. The high treason of our revolt against the crown many years ago has not been completely forgotten, but it is nothing that a class of mulled wine and a visit to the German fun house at London’s annual “Winter Wonderland” carnival cannot amend. London: all things considered, I’m definitely a buyer. What do y’all think—graduation trip to the 2012 Olympic Games? Yes.