Fan Wen ’19

Internships: OurCrowd and TuSimple

One of the primary reasons that I chose Yale SOM is that the school’s values resonate with my own. SOM’s mission is to educate leaders for business and society, and that’s a commitment in my life, too. Yale emphasizes social responsibility. To me, the value of having a job is not just the salary I’ll receive, but also the impact that I can make, and the opportunity I can have to help people, especially in the developing world.

I thought I would return to the real estate industry after my MBA, but Yale SOM helped me explore new worlds and different spaces. I realized that I wanted to transition into the tech industry—specifically the role that venture capital plays in it.

My summer internships helped me learn more. I had two internships. One was at a startup, working on autonomous driving vehicles at a startup in California, and the other one was at a venture capital firm in Israel. At the startup, I worked in business development, in strategy and partnership building. In my venture capital role, I used a lot of the analytical skills and the knowledge of entrepreneurship I learned at Yale SOM to perform due diligence when analyzing startups as investments.

There are a lot of resources at Yale for students interested in entrepreneurship. I’ve taken four related courses, some from the entrepreneur perspective, teaching you how to go through the life cycle of a new business, and some from the investor’s perspective, focusing on how to evaluate the value of a startup and help it grow.

I also participated in the annual student-led private equity and venture capital conference last year, and right now, I’m advising researchers from the Yale community through a program run by the Yale Office of Cooperative Research and helping them commercialize inventions and research.

The most important resource at Yale is our alumni network. When I was preparing to interview and applying to different companies, I reached out to so many alumni working at the firms I was interested in, and they were very willing to help. The SOM community, and that includes alumni, is very close and supportive. It’s like a big family.

Interviewed on October 22, 2018