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Daniel Fernandez Palomares ’20

Daniel Fernandez Palomares ’20

Master of Advanced Management

I’ve lived and worked on three different continents—Europe, Asia, and America. I’ve worked in both the public and private sectors, and I’ve launched three startups. I’ve learned a lot through experience, but I didn’t have the kind of academic grounding that would allow me to keep growing in my career. I specifically chose an MBA program that would let me do the second year of my degree at Yale.

In the MAM program, I’ve been able to choose my own path, taking the courses that I’m most interested in. I’ve been able to fill the gaps in my skill set. I didn’t have a strong background in finance. Taking courses in corporate finance, behavioral finance, and entrepreneurship finance has helped me gain knowledge, both theoretical and practical. I now view business problems more holistically.

The program has also helped me think about what kind of leader I want to become. I’ve had no academic leadership training, so courses in public speaking, strategic communications, and influencing and leading people have made a big impact. I’ve realized that I’d like to develop a leadership style that’s inclusive, that values different skill sets, and that is sensitive to cultural differences.

One thing our coursework stresses is that you have to understand how people think, and the cultures that they’re coming from, if you’re going to lead them. Add to that our amazingly international student body, and you realize that at Yale SOM, we’re learning how to become leaders for global business and society.

It is simply amazing being part of a class of 63 people from so many different cultures. I’ve learned about cultures that I couldn’t come into contact with in any other way. We call ourselves the “MAM fam,” and the connections that we have are great. Even though we’re all from different countries and cultures, we’ve learned how to bridge our differences, so that we can relate and talk to each other.

During my first month, I felt overwhelmed by my classmates’ many accomplishments. Everybody here has done very impressive things before coming to Yale. But I’ve found that being surrounded by the best people is helping me become the best version of myself.

Interviewed on December 18, 2019