Nikki Liao ’22
Post-SOM Position: Investment Banking Associate, Credit Suisse
I worked for five years as an architect and workplace design strategist at Gensler, a global architecture and design firm. I have a passion for creating built environments based on collaboration with stakeholders from both business and society, so Yale SOM’s mission really resonated with me. I wanted an MBA to develop the business and financial skills that would let me explore a career at the intersection of real estate and finance—where I can drive impactful decisions affecting the built environment. I also wanted to learn from, and develop a network with, peers who share Yale SOM’s mission and who have a wide variety of backgrounds and goals.
The integrated core curriculum has given me the tools to examine organizational challenges from new and diverse perspectives. The capstone course, the Executive, was my favorite because it truly captures the essence of the integrated approach. In every session, Professor Novemsky and two additional professors, applied their own expertise and tied in the skills we had learned, to unpack the issues involved at the heart of very complicated, interdisciplinary cases.
One of the most memorable experiences I’ve had at Yale SOM was participating in the WIM Circle as a first-year student. The Circle is a monthly discussion sponsored by the Women in Management club. It gives students a safe space for personal development and a supportive network to connect, reflect, and inspire one another. It allowed me to ask second-year students for advice on navigating the challenges I faced as a new student during the pandemic. Their feedback was incredibly helpful, and the opportunity just showcased what a supportive, caring, and welcoming community Yale SOM is.
Networking with numerous Yale SOM alumni, and with current students who have similar professional goals, inspired me to pursue real estate investment banking immediately post-MBA. My internship with Credit Suisse last summer confirmed that this role perfectly aligns with my desire to learn more about the intersection of capital markets and real estate while developing my financial acumen in a fast-paced and dynamic workplace.
Interviewed on January 21, 2022