Yale School of Management

Marisa Mitchell ’19

MBA for Executives; Deputy Product Team Lead, Pratt & Whitney

As an engineer in the aerospace industry, I had minimal exposure to the business side of decisions. I wanted to learn more about the financial aspect of companies and to understand what drives certain strategies. The executive MBA program is allowing me to do this in a way that’s already impacting how I perform on a daily basis. In classes, we’re learning the elements of business from different stakeholder perspectives, which has shaped how I operate with my team.

I’m in an industry where there are few, but strong, competitors. Having a broad understanding of what’s driving business decisions, and being able to use this knowledge to manage my project teams, is making me a more effective leader. The concepts we’re studying in class have allowed me to have more perspective and to see the bigger picture much more clearly.

In the core, I found the Competitor class extremely interesting. One of the things we studied was oligopolies—like the aerospace industry—which are markets with only a few competing firms. It introduced me to aspects of the business I hadn’t quantified before—how firms position themselves, strategize, and differentiate within an industry.

I also really enjoyed the Economics and Game Theory courses. I had no previous exposure to game theory before the program, and quickly learned how important game theory is to strategic planning since it teaches you how to best position yourself in relation to others and their decisions.

All of the courses have been amazing in their own way. What’s truly great about the curriculum is how the courses build on each other as the program progresses. Because of this, I’ve been equipped to look at business problems differently.

The emphasis on teamwork at SOM makes us truly look at how we work with others, and because of this emphasis I’ve gained a much better appreciation for the intricacies of teamwork. I’ve learned a lot about my strengths and weaknesses as a leader and have come to realize that on top of academics and professional achievement, maintaining a good work/life balance is crucial to being a truly effective leader.

Interviewed on March 8, 2018

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