Yale School of Management

Mark Lavoie ’18

Post-SOM Position: Senior Financial Analyst, Amazon

Probably the most striking thing to me about Yale SOM at first was the variety of sectors that my classmates were coming from. On my learning team, we had a professional actress, a navy pilot, an electrical engineer, a policy officer for the parliament of Turkey, a consultant, an equity/fixed-income research financial professional, and someone who had worked in environmental sustainability. The variety of different working styles was remarkable, and we were forced to learn how to all work together, which was really great. I gained a whole new appreciation for listening, collaborating, and team building.

I found my internship after going on the Technology Club’s winter job trek in January. We went to Amazon in Seattle, to Lyft in San Francisco, to a couple of venture capital firms, and to Google, Apple, and others in the broader Bay area. But what I probably enjoyed the most was visiting with an impact investing fund called DBL Partners, which stands for “double bottom line.” One of their managing partners is a Yale SOM alumna named Nancy Pfund. She met with 12 of us to just talk about their strategy and their investments in Tesla, SolarCity, and a number of other companies that do truly incredible stuff. It was really informative—we got to spend a lot of time just asking her questions.

I interned in corporate finance for Amazon’s Cloud computing division, doing analysis to understand the infrastructure costs of the website and the investments needed to ensure high levels of customer service. I really enjoyed it. The multidisciplinary approach that we learned in SOM’s core curriculum was super helpful because my role was fast-paced. I needed to consider multiple perspectives as I was working through something, so I could create a model and explain, every week, the progress I was making and the various parameters I was taking into account.

One of the biggest surprises to me at Yale SOM has been the degree of openness and engagement I have with my classmates. Having come from a business background, I thought an MBA would be a good way for me to crank up the dial on my skill set, but now I would say that the biggest benefit has been that I’ve gotten to know people from 50 different countries and 100 different cities who are incredible people, incredible professionals, and great friends. They’re people I’ve relied on, and who have relied on me, to help each other through coursework and recruiting and just dealing with all the stresses of a new environment.

Interviewed on October 25, 2017

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