I wanted to have a focus in Asian business and its culture, so I went to NUS Business School to get my MBA. Singapore is a very small country, with an open, internationally exposed economy. Some of the cases we were exposed to at NUS were similar to ones taught here in the United States, but we approached the topics from the Asian perspective. I was getting global exposure, but I realized I had gaps and blind spots: I didn’t know much about Africa or Latin America, for example. The Master of Advanced Management helped me fill in those gaps.
Now I have classmates from those regions and others, but I also had the opportunity to take my education to a new level through the Global Network. I attended Global Network Week at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business and while there, I connected with their dean, learning how the country has interacted with China and America, and how South Africans view their role in the world. At the end of the week, their alumni relations team connected us with others from the school, and told us we’re alums of their program now, too. It’s a privilege to be able to share those connections globally, with the best resources in so many countries from so many schools.
At Yale SOM, faculty and staff show a genuine interest in helping you become a leader in both business and society. Not everything may seem immediately related to your career, but the topics have an impact on your thinking and approach as a whole person. You may be learning about the history of South Africa, the impact of urban poverty in Brazil, the root causes of homelessness. And through these learnings, you see how as leaders we can improve people’s lives and how we can take what we’ve learned during our time here and apply it to our careers and our work when we leave.
The best class I took outside of SOM was the Psychology of Gender. That was my first exposure to gender identity, and during the class discussions, people were very open about their gender. We had people who fall into that non-binary category in the class, and every week we discussed gender-related issues like gender identity, sexual harassment, gender stereotypes, and domestic violence. In Asia, these were issues we rarely talked about. At Yale, they’re at the forefront of the discussion.
That class also inspired me to get involved in the equality and inclusion committees at SOM, where we started a series of workshops on how to train more inclusive managers. It helped to show me how to become a manager who can work with a variety of people who have faced challenges and how to better incorporate them into a larger organization. That’s something I love about SOM: it empowers you to take those discussions and become the driver for change when you return back home.