I grew up in southwest Virginia in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I also spent a significant part of my childhood in my parents’ home of Kerala, India. This unique upbringing made me interested in understanding why places develop the way they do and how we can better foster economic inclusion. Today I’m driven by two things: curiosity and improving people’s livelihoods. I wanted a business school with a close-knit community of people who shared similar values and would push my thinking. SOM students are humble changemakers who continually help each other to make an impact in the world.
I started in the policy world and loved working on projects focused on economic opportunity—especially thinking about workforce development, education, and how companies can create high-quality jobs and better source talent. I wanted to be able to lead initiatives in this space, so I began thinking about pursuing an MBA to supplement my nontraditional work experience.
Yale SOM was the obvious choice. There’s an interest in social impact that includes core areas like impact investing and nonprofit management—and goes far beyond that. There are plenty of courses and extracurricular activities and many students who integrate social sector perspectives into the MBA experience. As someone whose career has leaned toward the “society” side of business and society, I’ve felt welcomed in the classroom alongside peers coming from the opposite side of the ampersand. It’s also a great comfort having a network of peers who are on the same journey. I learn so much from my classmates who are exploring their own social impact interests.
During orientation my first year, I received news that a former coworker—and dear friend—had unexpectedly passed away. The immediate support I received from my classmates, whom I had only known for a couple days, floored me. I knew right away that SOM was a special place.
Experiencing Diwali celebrations at SOM was another highlight of my first year. The whole school community came out to see cultural performances in Evans Hall. The best part was the afterparty at BAR—it was heartwarming to witness all of my classmates having a blast dancing to the classic Bollywood songs that those of us in SOM’s South Asian community grew up with.