I was working for Gilbarco Veeder-Root, in charge of commercializing new products outside the United States. GVR is most known for making gas station pumps and products that dispense cleaner energies for transportation. I’d climbed to a highly visible, global position, but when we were acquired by a new holding company, I realized I’d only be making lateral moves if I didn’t get an MBA.
At Yale SOM, I recognized just how much I didn’t know. Some of my favorite courses have been Competitor, Macroeconomics, Sourcing and Managing Funds, Operations Engine and Sustainability Systems. And almost all of the knowledge is immediately applicable. Because I can now highlight various aspects of our SEC 10-k and the balance sheets that feed it with much more confidence, I’m reporting on net dollar retention from our software-as-a-service companies to the C-suite.
I had a lot of leadership experience coming out of the Army as an officer eight years ago, and I’ve tried to keep my skills fresh. But I’m aware of my weaknesses. SOM’s team-building exercises and group projects have been great for strengthening my “patient collaboration” abilities. I’m extroverted and action-oriented, but some people like to go at a gentler pace. I want to become a leader who inspires others to work together to change the world for the better.
Networking and relationship-building are the most fun and impactful parts of the EMBA experience. As soon as we get out of class, I go play basketball with anyone who’s interested. The Class of 2023 started an informal basketball group. It was a great way to meet the class ahead of us, and we’re trying to keep the tradition alive this year.
Afterwards, it’s usually off to dinner with one of our various dinner groups and then onto drinks together. There have also been a few special events that really stick out. The Christmas Ball was really lovely. Our class Social Chairs do an amazing job of getting us all together and building experiences in New Haven. And going to Yale sports events in the winter was a lot of fun. The Yale-Harvard hockey game was so close, and at least a third of the class was there!