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Alexander Costa

Alexander Costa ’22

Master’s Degree in Global Business & Society

Post-GBS position: Consultant, McKinsey & Company

Yale’s reputation and community are remarkable. These two factors certainly shaped my decision to come here, but it was the quality and flexibility of the GBS curriculum that was the deciding factor. I was looking to combine studies in finance with studies in both sustainability and politics. I wasn’t disappointed. All these disciplines overlap in the real world of business now, and the curriculum allowed me to address each separately and as they intersect. I’ve had the opportunity to be taught by several CEOs of private equity firms, internationally distinguished social activists, and former presidents, whose practical expertise developed through decades on the job complemented my theoretical background.

student at Chichén Itzá in Mexico
group of students in robes at commencement
group of students at Xel-Ha Waterpark in Mexico
From left to right: At Chichén Itzá in Mexico; with friends at Commencement; with friends at Xel-Ha Waterpark in Mexico

I’ve become a big believer in the case method, especially in the “raw” case pioneered by Yale SOM. Raw cases throw unstructured information at you in a way that mimics real business problems, leaving it up to you to discern the essential from the simply useful and from the fully useless. They work as a great supplement to the traditional and linear “cooked” case. Even more importantly, the class discussion of a case, raw or cooked, is often followed by a presentation from the business professional on whose experiences the case is based, helping students engage with the content far better than a 10-page PDF solution.

I find myself continuously inspired by my classmates. They are genuinely impressive in terms of their professional and personal backgrounds, which range widely from serving as the CEO of a global charity to competing as a professional athlete. However, what really distinguishes the Yale SOM community from other equally formidable ones is that everyone is willing to go the extra mile for each other. I’ve never felt before such a strong sense of camaraderie.

The social events organized by the community have been a highlight of my time at Yale SOM. I had feared that the pandemic restrictions would severely limit these opportunities to bond with classmates and spend time together, which would have been a shame. Studying at Yale represents a rare opportunity to meet truly bright and diverse people from across the world. Luckily, I was proved wrong. There have been excursions to Boston; the Harvard-Yale football game; trips with classmates to Chicago, Mexico, and Puerto Rico; and class meetings with Handsome Dan, to name just a few of the experiences that have made my time here unique.

Interviewed on December 07, 2021