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Margaret Kuo ’25


Internship: The Rockefeller Foundation

As a child of immigrants who moved every few years, I witnessed the stark contrasts in socioeconomic status and the challenges faced by underrepresented communities. I saw that while talent is equally distributed, opportunity is not. I want to use my education and experiences to help level the playing field. I chose Yale SOM for its mission-driven culture. Course offerings such as Strategic Management of Nonprofit Organizations and Interpersonal Dynamics offer not just academic learning but leadership development. I was particularly drawn by the ability to take classes across the different schools at Yale. I plan to take courses at the divinity, environment, and law schools to challenge the way I think and develop a holistic understanding beyond the traditional business perspective.

A person hiking in a Yale baseball cap
An SOM student and parent sitting together in a classroom
A group of people posing with a sign reading “Yale Philanthropy Conference”

Prior to SOM, I was deeply involved in a grassroots nonprofit in New York. In New Haven, I wanted to continue giving back to the local community. Now I’m a leader of the Nonprofit Board Fellows student club and I serve on the board of the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA. I also do pro-bono consulting for the Black Business Alliance and Higher Heights Youth Empowerment Programs through SOM’s Social Impact Consulting Club. These experiences have given me insights into the functioning of nonprofits, honed my strategic thinking, and will help with my long-term goal of leadership in the philanthropy sector.

One of my favorite moments was my mom’s visit to campus. She grew up in a refugee family that believed in education as the cornerstone of financial stability and personal growth. She was so excited to meet my professors and friends, and everyone was incredibly kind and welcoming. The highlight was a statistics class taught by Professor Katja Seim. My mom was engaged throughout (she took more notes than I did) and approached Professor Seim after the lecture to ask questions. My mom’s visit allowed me to share a piece of my world with her and the warmth and kindness of the Yale SOM community left a lasting impression on both of us. Now my friends are asking when she’s going to come back!