Edward P. Evans Hall’s Zhang Auditorium was packed to capacity on the morning of August 12 as 345 members of the Yale School of Management MBA Class of 2021 gathered to hear welcoming remarks and words of advice from school leaders. The event marked the start of a weeklong orientation for the newest members of the SOM community.
Anjani Jain, deputy dean for academic programs and professor in the practice of management, noted that the students are “entering the school at a time of a very exciting transition,” as their introduction to the Yale SOM community dovetails with the start of Kerwin K. Charles’ tenure as Indra K. Nooyi Dean.
At the same time, the new class joins a school with a mission that is steadfast and unchanged.
“The mission of the school is to educate leaders for business and society,” said Jain, “and your presence here is a testament not only to your intellectual love of learning and your potential for leadership, but also to your aspirations to make a lasting contribution to both private enterprise and the public good.”
The MBA Class of 2021 are also now standard bearers of Yale University’s traditions, said Jain.
“Yale’s reputation is built upon the knowledge that our faculty has created and the abilities that our graduates have carried into the world. You inherit this proud tradition today,” he said.
Edieal J. Pinker, deputy dean and BearingPoint Professor of Operations Research, advised the students to “relish the opportunity to shut out the noise from outside” while they develop the skills to effect change.
“You don’t have to react to the latest headline or market fluctuation or outrage,” he said. “Focus on the opportunity learn about how markets and organizations and people function, to learn about and develop your capabilities so you can play the long game… Develop the knowledge and the understanding to shape and influence the world around us so there will be fewer outrages.”
Sherilyn Scully, assistant dean for academic affairs and student life, said that she’s “thrilled” to have the Class of 2021 on campus. She said her team has been hard at work over the past year planning for orientation. The rest of the week’s events and activities include team-building exercises, remarks from alumni, campus tours, and introductions to student life opportunities.