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Notes from Orientation

We're talking to members of the MBA Class of 2018 and the MAM Class of 2017 as they meet one another, learn about the school, and take part in Orientation activities.

We’re talking to members of the MBA Class of 2018 and the MAM Class of 2017 as they meet one another, learn about the school, and take part in Orientation activities. 

Thursday, August 18

 

Name: Garrett Dargan ’18

Where are you from? Dublin, Ireland.

Why did you decide to come to Yale SOM? The main reason I came was because of the people I met when I came to visit.

What did you learn from working on the Orientation project, both from your own team and seeing others’ work? I think what’s really surprised me about Orientation and the project is just how engaged everyone is in the process. This isn’t graded, but because of how hungry everyone is, everyone got super involved and there were people here working on it until 12 a.m. today. People are engaged and energetic, and it’s great to be around those types of people.


This isn’t graded, but because of how hungry everyone is, everyone got super involved and there were people here working on it until 12 a.m. today. People are engaged and energetic, and it’s great to be around those types of people.


Name: William Rhem ’18

Where are you from? Greenville, North Carolina.

Why did you decide to come to Yale SOM? The selling point for me was the global nature of the program, both in terms of the students but also its focus on Global Network Week and the mandated global experience you have during your time here. That stood out to me since I want to have a global career and I want learn to interact well within an ever-changing, cross-cultural, and developed world. 

What did you learn from working on the Orientation project, both from your own team and seeing others’ work? I thought it was very interesting how everyone came together, almost organically, with something they could contribute. It didn’t feel forced. It didn’t require that much delegation because one person would say, “I’m great at PowerPoints” and “I know all of these statistics about using mobile phones in India.” You have an amalgamation of everyone’s bits of knowledge and expertise, which happened pretty seamlessly. I was really impressed by how well the groups were constructed and how well we all meshed together. 


Name: Adam Hetherington

Where are you from? Toronto, Canada.

Why did you decide to come to Yale SOM? It’s a smaller program and it’s focused on more than being just a conventional business school. It’s integrated with the rest of the university, there’s the emphasis on a more global program itself, and, for me, I felt that would offer a more well-rounded experience rather than a traditional two years with a piece of paper at the end of it.

What did you learn from working on the Orientation project, both from your own team ad seeing others’ work? I learned how much every person here has a talent or a skill just tucked away and how quickly they are to share that skill or that talent with the rest of us when it’s needed. When we identify a problem together, in order to solve it, we need to call upon those skills. It was a very short period of time and it just came together in a way that was super friendly and nice. There wasn’t any hostility that I saw in any group, which isn’t something I think you’d get when you put a bunch of A-type personalities together and tell them to work on such short notice.

Wednesday, August 17
 

Name: Alyson Zandt ’18

Where are you from? North Carolina.

Why did you decide to come to Yale SOM? I have a background in the nonprofit sector and I’m really passionate about promoting economic security and increasing wealth in low-wealth communities. In order to successfully do that in my career, I need to have really strong nonprofit leadership skills and also be interacting with other leaders from that sector, but I also need to be able to work well with the public and for-profit sector leadership. I’m excited to be here at SOM, where I’m meeting people from all sorts of backgrounds. 

What has been your favorite thing so far about  Orientation? My favorite thing so far has been getting to know people in my cohort and on my learning team. I’m really excited to be working with those folks for the rest of the year. 

What did you learn from today’s adventure program of team exercises? Everyone was so supportive and willng to communicate and collaborate, and we really played on each other’s strenghts. There were things that all of us were bad at, but also things that all of us were good at. It was cool to get to see the way that people brought those strengths out in each other.

What has impressed you the most about your classmates? I’m most impressed with how excited everyone is to get to know people that are from dramatically different backgrounds and how good at listening everyone is.


Name: Christine Chen ’18

Where are you from? Honolulu, Hawaii.

Why did you decide to come to Yale SOM? I’ve been recruiting here for years for a consulting firm and I was so impressed with all the students and their leadership qualities, how down to earth they were, and how well rounded they were that when I decided to come to business school Yale SOM became my top choice.

What did you learn from today’s adventure program of team exercises? Effective communication is important, and it’s OK to make mistakes sometimes, especially in a group that understands that you have to and you need to make mistakes sometimes in order to be successful.


I’ve been recruiting here for years for a consulting firm and I was so impressed with all the students and their leadership qualities, how down to earth they were, and how well rounded they were that when I decided to come to business school Yale SOM became my top choice.


 

Tuesday, August 16


Name: Nishtha Ghosh ’18

Where are you from? Northern California.

Why did you decide to come to Yale SOM? I chose Yale SOM because of its wonderful and diverse community and the program’s emphasis on  allowing you to pursue your passions.

What has it been like to work with your team on an orientation project today? It’s been great. I’ve been completely amazed by the different people in my working team, not only in terms of nationality and geographical location, but background as well. I have a team member who is working in the art industry, one working in the music industry, one who is an M.D. who just finished his residency—it’s amazing to me that within a group of nine people there can be so many different perspectives.

What has been the most surprising aspect of Orientation so far? I knew that it was an incredibly diverse program, but it’s hit me just based on talking to different people how incredibly diverse this program is. Even after living in Washington, D.C., which is essentially a melting pot of people from everywhere, I feel like I’ve never been somewhere where I’ve experienced so much diversity. 


It’s refreshing to be around people who are so willing to replenish their knowledge and to become wiser and more knowledgeable not only about business but also about society and what their impact is. 


Name: Tobby Yi ’18

Where are you from? The San Francisco Bay Area.

Why did you decide to come to Yale SOM? I came to Yale SOM to meet some amazing people, to grow as a leader, and to experience New Haven in all its glory.

What has it been like to work with your team on an orientation project today? It’s been great. I think, one, I realized that there’s so many different perspectives. It’s been incredible to hear the different industries people have been in, but also their perspectives when we’re thinking about creating a mobile solution in a remote areas. It’s been awesome to hear amazing ideas around waste management, around blood donations, around food surpluses. 

What has been the most surprising aspect of Orientation so far?  Everyone is so excited to be in school again. One, I think it shows that they’re excited to grow and to learn again, but also it’s refreshing to be around people who are so willing to replenish their knowledge and to become wiser and more knowledgeable not only about business but also about society and what their impact is. 

Monday, August 15


Name: Cooper Watts ’18

Where are you from?  Hudson Valley, New York.

Why did you decide to come to Yale SOM? I came for two main reasons. The first is for the strong healthcare presence at Yale SOM and the broader Yale community. I’m a joint-degree student at both Yale SOM and the School of Public Health, so it presented a really unique opportunity. The second reason was for the people. I met so many smart and outgoing people while I was looking for schools, so it really stood out to me and I couldn’t find something like that elsewhere.

What are your impressions of your classmates so far?  Like I said, everyone has been really outgoing, fun, and funny. It’s refreshing and it makes me really excited for the next few years. I started classes here eight weeks ago [at the School of Public Health], so it’s been great.

Has anything surprised you?  The diversity of backgrounds is incredible. Our cohort is full of people from different countries, different industries, both inside and outside of the United States. It’s incredible to me that our 60-person cohort can be so diverse.


The diversity of backgrounds is incredible. Our cohort is full of people from different countries, different industries, both inside and outside of the United States. It’s incredible to me that our 60-person cohort can be so diverse.


Name: Aashna Mehra ’18

Where are you from? I’m originally from New Dehli, India, but I’ve been living in the United States for the past five years.

Why did you decide to come to Yale SOM? I studied mechanical engineering for my undergraduate degree. I had no foundation in business at all, but I really wanted that, so that was the first reason I pursued studying at Yale SOM. Also, it was important to me that Yale SOM was one of the most well-integrated business schools with its home university. I’m actually considering pursuing a dual-degree program, like the [Master of Environmental Management] program at the School of Forestry, because I want to work in renewable energy and the energy storage sector. So that’s what brought me to SOM.

What’s been memorable so far? I have not seen two people who come from the same background yet, or even the same trajectory. Everyone has done something entirely different or are in different stages of their life. It’s blown me away. The diversity is incredible, and I did not expect that so far.

What are your impressions of your classmates so far? I love them. Even before orientation began, we’ve been meeting for happy hours and getting to know each other. I think the impression I’ve had of what a business school is—people wearing suits and being a more stuffy atmosphere—has completely been debunked. It’s been an awesome experience.