Only 50 some odd days since graduating from Yale SOM, linear optimization problems in spreadsheet modeling already seem like a distant memory. In the interim, many of us in the Class of 2014 have bid good-bye to New Haven, settled into new homes and even started work. A whole new chapter has begun.
Business school, for all intents and purposes, tends to be a heavily left-brained undertaking. Armed with our toolkit of Excel models, storyboards and GANTT charts, we’re pretty much always predicting, analyzing, optimizing, proofreading or managing something—a case, a group project or a problem set. Even pure leisure such as parties and group dinners gets mapped out on Google spreadsheets. In other words, if our left brain and right brain could arm wrestle, there is no doubt which one I’m putting my money on.
As an MBA candidate who was also considering a master’s in social work or public policy in 2012, I was drawn early on to Yale’s mission of “educating leaders for business and society,” which implied that neither business nor society stood—or couldstand—alone. Founded as a degree program for a master’s in public and private management, Yale SOM first appealed to me because of its rich history of and focus on cross-sector engagement, and upon matriculation, I loved that the mission rang true not only in our recruiting materials but actually in our conversations, coursework and professional opportunities.
In their quest for transparency, prospective MBAs often ask me both what I most appreciate and what I find most challenging about business school. While my previous blogs have made clear the many aspects I appreciate, I’ve yet to share one of the dimensions I find most challenging: the pressure to be all-around awesome.
The chance of precipitation was 100 percent. Wind speeds started at 13 miles per hour and reached up to 22 miles per hour. By 9:05 p.m., the temperature had already hit a low of 37 degrees.
Mother nature, however, could not deter the students of SOM from braving the elements to celebrate our 2013 winter formal, “Winter Lights,” on Friday night. By taxi, by car and even by foot, we descended upon the New Haven Lawn Club, where, per the invitation, “formal attire (was) preferred” and “dancing (was) required.”
They were bold. They were bright. They were bodacious.
Bedecked in the likes of Hammer pants and gold berets, they took the stage by storm. The eminent and purposeful Yale SOM had never seen anything like it. Cheers erupted, whistles rang out—and hearts probably melted.
I came to Yale SOM in part because old shoes drive me crazy.
Before you dismiss me as the crazy shoe lady, perhaps I should clarify a bit. As someone who once took a 67 percent pay cut to serve the urban poor, I’ve spent much of my life thinking about ways to maximize social impact. In addition to joining Peter Singer’s campaign to give to the bottom billion, I pretty much donated everything I could get my hands on as a child, to my mother’s chagrin: jewelry, jackets, shoes, clothes, toiletries, books, CDs, canned goods, toy, etc. You name it, I probably tried to donate it at one point or another—though I tried most vigorously if the item happened to be, say, my piano workbook.
In observance of the inauguration of Yale President Peter Salovey, Yale University threw open its doors this weekend with special events and festivities for university affiliates as well as the greater public. While most of the second-year MBAs were out of town for fall break, my Monday flight meant that I could join my friend from the School of Public Health in exploring the campus Open House today.