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Yale Week in Mexico; or, Why size doesn't matter

So I spent part of last week in Mexico City participating in Yale Week in Mexico. Yale Week is a great program whereby various faculty from across the University -- SOM, the Law School, School of Medicine, Yale College, etc. -- as well as Yale administrators travel down to Mexico for lectures, meetings, and other activities (such as a community service project in Monterrey with Yale students and alumni and members of the Tec de Monterrey community). I went down to take part in an exchange with Tec de Monterrey, attend a lecture by SOM finance professor Geert Rouwenhorst, and have lunch with some of our alumni and admitted students. The highlight of the day, though, was dinner. I was invited to attend a dinner party at the home of a Yale alumnus. Twelve of us attended, including the Secretary of the University, one of her Assistant Secretaries, myself, and seven other guests. They included two SOM alumni -- the head of the Carlyle Group in Mexico and the head of Deutsche Bank in Mexico -- as well as graduates of Yale College and Yale Law School, each of whom is highly placed in the Mexican government and legal communities. And the host was a Yale PhD graduate who is a former Finance Minister of Mexico and the founder of a very prominent consulting firm in the country. As I enjoyed the meal, I witnessed first-hand one of the values of a Yale degree. People often say that the Yale SOM network is not a big one, and in some sense they are correct -- SOM has fewer alumni than many other business schools. But what I often hear from students and alumni is that it's not the size of the network that matters but the quality. And as I sat at a table with some of the most influential people in Mexico and listened to their deep passion for Yale, I understood what that means. Not only are SOM graduates extremely well-placed, but they have an abiding affection for the School and the University. And the SOM network -- as I witnessed at the dinner -- extends well beyond SOM to include graduates of Yale College, the Law School, PhD program, Medical School, and other Yale programs. So in that sense it is actually quite large. It was truly impressive to see that network in action.