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Ezra Nelson

Ezra Nelson ’21


Internship: The Robin Hood Foundation

After college, I joined Teach for America, and I taught math at a high school in Boston for four years. I also coached the school’s robotics team and served as a school-based representative for a mentorship program for young men of color. 

I decided to pursue an MBA because I wanted to expand my impact beyond my classroom. I was attracted to Yale SOM’s mission and its commitment to educate leaders for business and society. Once I got here, it was easy to see how that mission is lived and breathed in the curriculum, clubs, and culture of the school.

I have an awesome learning team. At first, I was skeptical of being placed on a team for a whole year, having never met any of my teammates. But whatever algorithm they use to formulate the learning teams really works. Everyone on my team had very diverse backgrounds and interests. Some came from consulting. One person worked at the Fed, another worked in the Obama administration. That diversity meant that we were able to leverage different members’ strengths at different points throughout the year, and everyone benefitted by learning from one another.

I’ve been active in a number of student clubs, and I’ve gained so much from each. The Design and Innovation Club does a great job of balancing industry exposure and skills development. I learned about opportunities in the field that I never knew existed.

I’ve also had opportunities to build out my skill sets. In the Data Analytics Club, I improved my PowerPoint and Excel skills, in addition to getting training on platforms that were new to me like SQL and Tableau. And I served as director of finance for the Education Leadership Conference. Helping organize this major conference was a great way to develop a deeper understanding of the education landscape while learning how to design and finance a large-scale event.