An intrepid group of Yale School of Management students who began their academic programs during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic received their diplomas during a December 17 ceremony in Evans Hall.
The 32 students are graduates of Yale SOM’s Master of Advanced Management (MAM) and Master’s Degree in Global Business and Society (GBS) programs. The students began the one-year programs in January 2021 because of the complexities of travel during the pandemic, and completed their studies this month. The graduates included 23 students from the MAM program and 9 from the GBS program.
Yale SOM Dean Kerwin Charles congratulated the students, thanking them for the richness that their presence brought to campus during this difficult period. “Your decision to join us was a courageous decision,” he said. “I’m deeply grateful to you for your understanding, flexibility, your trust, and your confidence in us.”
Deputy Dean Anjani Jain praised the perseverance of the students, who came to Yale SOM from all over the world after study at another school in the Global Network for Advanced Management. “Despite the pandemic, you sought the experience of pursuing a new academic environment and a cultural milieu very different from the ones in which you were raised,” he said.
The ceremony also included three student speakers: Boyu Zhang ’22 from the GBS program; and Ayesha Chokhani ’22 and Yuting Hua ’22 from the MAM program.
Zhang and Ting thanked their classmates and the Yale community for supporting students during the pandemic. “Thank you, Yale SOM, for making this impossible venture possible,” Ting said. As Zhang put it, “We’ve endured, we’ve overcome, and we are better because of it.”
Chokhani acknowledged the “whirlwind” of challenges and opportunities that students faced, while recognizing her classmates for the empathy they displayed along the way. “You haven’t just been strong, Class of ’22,” she said, “You have kept each other strong.”