Yale School of Management

Katherine Cattanach ’20

MBA

There was a moment when I knew that Yale SOM was the school for me. It was during Women’s Welcome Weekend, when Professor Amy Wrzesniewski gave a talk. She is so impressive. She talked about negotiating and how women often don’t negotiate for salaries in the same way that men do. It was right before I was due to renegotiate a contract with a client. Amy equipped me with all these tools at this very pivotal moment, and I’ll always remember it as a huge turning point. It got me so excited to come to SOM.

Yale SOM sets us up in these very diverse learning teams at the beginning of the year in the Managing Groups and Teams course, and we go through a lot of team-building exercises. How do you work with people who have different communication styles or different ideas on how to structure deadlines or lead projects? Learning strategies to adapt and create a constructive group environment is critically important. Throughout the year, we’re placed on different teams—including virtual global teams—but we still have to connect back to those same principles we learned in our first course.

I’m switching from consulting to banking. This is the point when I’m able to make a career pivot, and the support network to do it at Yale SOM is incredible. The second-year students, especially in the Finance Club, have been so generous with their time and with preparing us for the recruiting process. They’ve been available at all hours of the day to answer questions and talk through strategy—or moments of panic!

The finance skills I’ve learned in class have really changed the way I look at healthcare. It’s a quickly evolving space, and there are so many interesting transactions going on. I’d previously only viewed them from a very different lens while preparing clients to receive FDA approval. Now, I’ve learned to look at them from the investment banking angle, too—what happens to my clients after the clinical trials phase is over and they’re deciding how to navigate the commercialization phase?

The core curriculum is all about making those connections. It culminates in the final Executive course, when you realize you’ve learned to look at things through different functional lenses, at the quantitative as well as qualitative aspects. This past semester helped pull all of it together for me.

Interviewed on April 11, 2019

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