I worked in the social justice space before coming to SOM, representing marginalized immigrant communities. At a certain point, I realized that working within law and policy was just not enough. I needed a more solid understanding of the business side of capitalism, and I wanted to learn best practices for organizational management.
I had never taken an accounting or finance course. I’d been trained to think through problems based on logic and interpretations of the law. But through Yale SOM’s core curriculum, I gained a more holistic approach to problem-solving that took into account different perspectives and levers of change, as well as creative applications and arguments based on numbers and data.
Yale SOM has a wealth of resources that helped me explore paths that were meaningful to me. There are clubs designed to foster community and put skills learned in school to practice. I was most heavily involved with Net Impact—the umbrella organization for social impact-oriented clubs on campus. Net Impact has generous support, both relationally and financially, from alumni who are deeply invested in Yale SOM’s mission to create leaders for business and society.
I’ve attended incredible conferences and seminars around the country, where I built my network and learned from industry leaders on topics such as sustainable foods, impact investing, and corporate responsibility. This rich social impact ecosystem introduced me to like-minded students I’ve been inspired by and learned a ton from.
At Yale SOM, I’ve been surrounded by people who don’t always agree with me, but who are smart, empathetic, and thoughtful and who challenge me to see different perspectives.
I was initially anxious to speak publicly about the role faith plays in my life, because of the stigma around Christianity today. But the community gave me the courage to speak in a beautiful forum we have called Voices. Not only were my classmates accepting and loving; they encouraged me.
Another experience was very meaningful, because it was unexpected, and it significantly contributed to my own growth.
It stemmed from open conversations with two classmates whose political views differed from my own. One evening, we had frank, vulnerable, and respectful conversations about contentious topics of the day, ranging from Supreme Court Justice confirmation hearings to undocumented immigrants.
It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. I invited them to a Social Impact Lab talk where they contributed unique perspectives, not typically heard at our meetings. They invited me to an intimate lunch hosted by the Adam Smith Society. I was the only woman, and I shared my unique perspective. My friendship with these two classmates challenged my thinking and taught me important lessons in authentically building bridges