Major CEOs flooding Yale SOM

February 26, 2007

One of the things I realized over my internship on Wall Street was the importance of successful networking and exposure to C-level folks. During my 10-week tenure, I had the chance to interact with two CEOs of Fortune 100 companies and was amazed with their superb ability to interact with a broad group of people in a very inspiring and engaging manner. So when I came back to Yale for my second year, I was very pleased to find out about the class "Leading a Global Company," which is taught by the prominent Jeff Garten, who had previously worked as Managing Director at Blackstone Group and Lehman Brothers, as well as been undersecretary of commerce in Clinton's administration. The notion of the class is to invite high level speakers (about 10 major CEOs) to class and have them talk to students about their experiences, challenges and successes since their MBA years. So far we've had CEOs of Campbell Soup, Pfizer and Alcan and expect a number more including Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, KPMG and many others to come before May. Professor Garten has selected a very interesting group of CEOs--some of them were great turnaround experts who had been brought in to revamp a firm's operations, others were hired to maintain current state of operations whereas others were prominent M&A experts who had spent billions of dollars in an attempt to deliver inorganic expansion. Small class sizes at Yale (max 30-35 students) makes it very easy to interact with both professors and guest speakers. For example, after the class I approached the Alcan CEO to personally thank him for coming to campus and speaking to us. He was so approachable that gave me his card and said to stay in touch!!! The awesome part about these presentations is that they carry an informal nature where CEOs usually talk to us off-the-record and raise issues that are really important to the firm. Our next speaker is going to be the CEO of Spencer Stuart, which is the top 2 company in the executive search industry. The CEO is an SOM alum and is going to talk about challenges major corporations face in identifying and attracting high level talent.


About the author

Farid Dadashev