Two Yale School of Management students are among a select group of students and young professionals who will spend two weeks this summer in a unique program studying issues of professional ethics posed by the Holocaust.
Jennifer Gilbert ’18, a joint degree student at Yale SOM and the Yale School of Public Health, and Ruirui Kuang ’18 will take part in Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE). Each year, the highly competitive program chooses 12 to 15 business fellows to spend two weeks in Berlin and Poland, where they visit key historical sites and participate in daily seminars led by specialized faculty.
Run under the auspices of the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York, FASPE examines the role that professionals in business, journalism, law, medicine, and the clergy played in Nazi Germany and how breakdowns in the moral codes of these professions can have devastating consequences. FASPE offers fellowships across these five disciplines.
Business fellows study the role that German business executives and their enterprises played in Nazi Germany and elsewhere from 1933 to 1945, and consider how to apply lessons from the Holocaust to current ethical challenges in their own professions.
Kuang said that she was thrilled to be named a fellow. “I came to business school to learn how to best achieve social change through the private sector,” she said. “In FASPE, I will gain a community of like-minded people who really care about being ethical leaders. While I learned about the Holocaust from books, I know that seeing, hearing, and touching the living memories will help me address the tough questions about the purpose of business today.”
Gilbert also sees the program as an opportunity to learn how to respond to today’s challenges. “Rather than just learning ethical frameworks, the program encourages you to practice ways to speak up when you sense something is wrong,” she said. “I look forward to learning strategies on how to not only identify an ethical course of action, but also how to act on it.”
The FASPE Business Program will run from May 20 to June 1.