Nicholas Zeffiro ’23
Post-SOM position: McKinsey & Company, Digital and Analytics Practice
Working in finance, I realized the parts of my job that were the most exciting to me were those relating to corporate social responsibility and digital strategy and innovation. We worked with a lot of entertainment clients, and I felt drawn to the media industry. I was fascinated by the ways storytellers shape our societal narratives around certain topics, particularly gender, sexuality, and race.
I wanted to make a career pivot, and I realized an MBA would help and would let me network with peers from all over the world. I began looking into top business school programs, and from the start, Yale SOM stood out. The school’s mission of educating leaders for business and society really resonated with me. I want to weave social impact into my career journey as much as possible.
This year I took Entrepreneurship in the Art Market, an elective course with Professor Magnus Resch. I’ve never worked in the art industry, but I’ve always been interested in learning more about it, and I love museums and working with creatives. The class was unique in that it was cross listed with the Yale School of Art, so there were MFA students in the classroom with us, which was a great opportunity to meet peers across Yale.
The class was a jam-packed with incredible guest speakers—like famous artists Beeple and KAWS, as well as the CEO of Sotheby’s. A really cool part of the course included a field trip to the Armory Show art fair in New York City. It was so much fun to explore the event with my classmates, discover new artists, and have the opportunity to meet with different gallerists. Professor Resch also spoke on a panel while we were there, and it was great to see him in action.
Student clubs have been a big part of my time at Yale SOM. Coming from a background outside of the tech industry, I was worried whether I would be able to make a career pivot. But the Tech Club has been a huge help. I was able to get involved in the leadership and through planning educational events and curriculum, I very quickly learned so much about the ins and outs of the space. It has also been a ton of fun.
I’m also a member of Out of Office, SOM’s LGBTQ+ affinity organization. As a gay man, I’ve found connecting with identifying peers to be an incredibly rewarding experience and one of the highlights of my time at business school. It’s also allowed me to connect with the broader Yale community, through mixers and other programming with affinity organizations across the university.
As part of SOM’s Nonprofit Board Fellows program, I’ve been honored to serve as a member of the board of the Women and Family Life Center of Guilford, Connecticut. This 18-month placement has allowed me to learn how nonprofits operate and to get keyed into the broader Connecticut community. With the organization, I’ve marched in a town parade and attended a ribbon cutting, all while volunteering with an incredibly worthwhile cause.
Interviewed on October 27, 2022