The Practice of Leadership

Leadership in Action: Student Conferences

Each year, Yale SOM student clubs organize a series of professional conferences that draw hundreds of industry leaders and top-notch speakers. These events begin in November, with the Yale SOM Private Equity Conference, and run through late April, when the Yale Healthcare Conference takes place; they also include conferences on education leadership, philanthropy, marketing, and the role of religious faith in business.

The day of the conference provides opportunity for discussion, insight, and connection, but behind that day is a year-long learning experience and leadership exercise for the students involved. Students run every aspect of the events—speakers, finance, marketing, food, and venue. In the process, they put many of the lessons they learn in the classroom into practice—while deepening their knowledge and networks in an industry.

"The integrated curriculum really does support what you do in real life," says Gisele Crossa MBA/MPH '14, who co-chaired the 2013 Yale Healthcare Conference. "The conference gives not only the chairs but everyone who participates a way to practice what you're learning."