Business school is about much more than strategy or finance. It’s a whole framework and way of thinking. It’s about leadership, organizational behavior, behavioral economics. It’s about how you lead and motivate people. You need to understand who the stakeholders are in any situation and then how to create a dialogue and track progress and work towards a goal together. And the notion that business and society are mutually exclusive just does not exist here. It’s all one big conversation. Thinking an issue is only about a financial statement or the stock market is naïve, and we don't approach problems that way.
I didn’t realize how much it would matter that 40% of my class is international. It has been a huge learning experience. The norm is that the classroom is basically half non-American and coming with a different perspective. What I like is that whenever we’re talking about a case based in a different country, there is someone in the classroom who has direct experience. If we’re talking about the Panama Canal, there’s someone in my cohort who is from Panama and worked on the Canal.
Yale SOM has tremendous career resources. I used them all, from the Career Development Office to the Consulting Club to working with other first-year students who were seeking the same jobs I was. I reached out to lots of Yale alumni during my job search, and I now serve as the Alumni Affairs Chair, connecting students with alumni, and alumni with students. Alumni really want to know what's going on on-campus, and they also love supporting students.
There is a huge community built around how you can help your classmates prepare and be the best possible candidates, and in return, they do the same for you. There is this real feeling of, “We are in this together.” Once I received a job offer, I immediately turned around and said, “OK, how do I pay it forward? Who can I help?” So now I work with a team of first-year students. I spend a lot of time talking with them about my experiences and helping them prepare. It just feels right.