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Jamila Abston

Jamila Abston ’17

MBA for Executives

Asset Management

Current Position: Assistant Regional Director, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

I was drawn to the business and society focus of Yale SOM, which is very different from a lot of MBA programs, and also to the integrated approach to introducing concepts—it’s completely novel. What’s really beneficial is the deep dive you take into understanding the different perspectives involved in business—how to lead employees and what employees’ roles are; how to understand the customer and the competitor—then putting it all together and looking at each problem you would face from all those different angles. I don’t think I could have gotten that from any other business school.

Our class is so diverse. I believe 40% are from foreign countries, and there are people who speak six and seven languages. Across the three asset tracks in the EMBA program, you have doctors, lawyers, asset managers, and sustainability experts. There’s an amazing diversity of thought. This really shines through when you work with your team, with the five other people you’re paired with to do presentations and assignments for the first year. What you learn very quickly is that you can’t do it all individually, but someone can always bring the right perspective to the table to get the job done.

The commute from Georgia is difficult, but it’s worth it, and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. Every other week, I get on a plane and I know that at the end of the weekend I will feel so accomplished. When people ask me why I didn’t choose a program that’s closer to me, I think about the experience at SOM—the networking, the connections, the academic experience—and I know it’s worth getting on a plane every other week.