At Yale SOM, students find mentors, business partners, lifelong friends, and, in many cases, spouses. Maria Fernanda Amaral ’16 tells the story of how she and her husband, Pablo Heredia ’15, launched their professional and personal adventure in New Haven.
Coming to Yale was a fulfilling adventure for both of us. In my case, it was the first opportunity to live abroad, which is always thrilling. For Pablo, it was the chance to pursue a career change. All in all, Yale SOM enabled us to meet extremely driven, smart, and intellectually curious individuals, all with varied interests and backgrounds, which is always educational.
Pablo and I met during a party organized by a friend at Pablo´s building. Despite Pablo having to train for the New York City Marathon the day after the party, he decided to drop in and get to know the first-years. He actually arrived quite late but was the last to leave since our conversation was extremely interesting. The following weeks we went out on a few dates and soon after, we started formally dating.
While at school, Pablo and I enjoyed all that Yale and New Haven had to offer: the incredible trips around the world for job treks and Global Network Week, in Mexico and Israel; playing a round of golf at The Course at Yale; visiting the museums and student residences—Pablo was a Graduate Affiliate at Timothy Dwight; and enjoying the incredible local food scene.
A month after my graduation, we got engaged and have now been married for almost three years. Nowadays, we are the proud parents of a four-month-old baby girl, who we hope will be a Yalie someday. We are happily living in Mexico, Pablo working as the COO of Mexico operations for Rappi, a Softbank-backed unicorn, while I balance motherhood with a senior role at Amazon.
We frequently see our friends from Yale SOM and have kept the tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving alongside them every year. Pablo is now a member of Yale SOM’s Mexico Board of Advisors, trying to give back to the community that enabled all of this to happen. We are extremely grateful for all the abilities and values learned during our time at Yale, and of course, for the amazing people we met, who are now friends—and even family!
P.S. A shout-out to Professor Florian Ederer, Yale SOM’s cupid, who has had more than 10 couples come out of his Competitive Strategy class!