Yet easier said than done, as we try to reflect the diverse views of our alumni’s increasingly international footprint and move into non-traditional sectors. In this post pandemic world, our communication with SOM leadership has never felt more needed to both promote the School and the interests of our fellow graduates.
That is why I was thrilled to see the number of candidates from our community willing to dedicate their busy time to this board. This year’s slate was a wide range of highly accomplished individuals with careers ranging from start-ups to established Fortune 500 companies. People who have been actively involved post-graduation via recruitment and local chapters. The Nominating committee met with each individual multiple times and after some lengthy discussion and debate I am excited to present our four finalists for the community’s thoughts.
For your consideration we would like to present Chetan Parekh (MBA '06), Lee Race (MBA '93), Meelendra Singh (MAM '20) and Todd Jorgenson (MBA '20). We invite you to make your voice heard. Please click the following link and register your preference with regard to the confirmation of the slate of nominees to the Yale SOM AAB, as put forward by the AAB Nominating Committee, for a three-year term starting July 1, 2022.
You may either approve the appointment of the full slate of nominees, withhold your approval from the entire slate of nominees, approve only some of the nominees, or abstain.
Thank you for participating and don’t hesitate to reach out to the Board (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any thoughts you have.
Chetan Parekh, MBA ‘06
Fresh out of the 15-year reunion, my passion for what SOM stands for and the unique role it can play in creating the next generation of leaders in business & society has never been stronger. Since graduating in 2006, I have stayed engaged with Yale along multiple fronts:
- Recruiting to P&G: At P&G, I started a formal Yale recruiting team upon joining in 2006, which from a 3-person fledgling operation has now become a 20+ person machine that recruits 3-4 interns every year into its highly selective marketing internship program. Given the intern class size of ~35, Yale has an outsized representation at P&G! I also envisioned a “What is Brand Management” talk at SOM, which since 2007 has become an annual tradition for the SOM Marketing Club, and a rich avenue for connecting with SOM-ers interested in marketing.
- Admissions & Mentoring: I remain active with admissions referrals and interviewing. It’s always refreshing when someone reaches out through the alumni database to talk about their next steps. And I continue to mentor several SOM-ers across sectors and geographies.
- Teaching: From 2015-2018 I partnered with Prof. Taly Reich as a guest lecturer in her Strategic Communications class at SOM (MGT 553). In 2018, partnered with Prof. Ravi Dhar and YCCI to give a talk on “Innovating at the Edge” at the IPSOS Think Tank conference at Yale. I found these experiences to be the ultimate way to give back and would love to figure out how to engage even more!
- Treasurer & Executive Board Member at the Cincinnati Yale Club: A couple of years ago I decided to get more deeply involved with the CYC, the oldest alumni association in the US. In addition to serving as a Treasurer, I became deeply involved in reinvigorating the overall program through COVID. We just had our annual face-to-face dinner (a first in the past 3-years!) that raised a record amount of funds. We kicked off a Speaker series inviting distinguished alums from the area (starting with P&G’s ex-CEO and Yale alum John Pepper). A few challenges we are currently tackling: how to get young Yalies in Cincinnati metro more actively involved, how to create meaningful connections between Yale families in the region, how to create bigger, more impactful scaled programs by partnering with other Ivy clubs in the region.
I am excited and eager to partner with fellow AAB leaders to help shape its next chapter in whichever way most helpful.
- Curriculum development: Bringing the outside in to make the SOM education even more relevant and enable us to stay ahead of the game: competencies that SOM-ers will need in coming decades, new ways of learning both for existing students and alums. Bringing examples from both a big company perspective but also my recent work on innovation with VCs & startups to integrate thinking across the entire Yale ecosystem.
- Diversity: Over the past 5-years, I have led the Asian Brand Community at P&G, building the program across recruiting, mentorship, community engagement, and learning & development pillars. I also work with the P&G Board on DEI programs as part of the AAPI Leadership Team. Lots of passion and ideas on this front!
- Alumni engagement: Lessons learned from mobilizing a small but passionate community in Cincinnati metro.
- SOM Brand & Fundraising: My entire post-SOM career building and reconnecting brands to their core equity at P&G!
- Attracting talent & interviewing: Lessons from intern recruiting at SOM for the past 15-years.
Looking forward to serving the SOM community through AAB!
Lee Race, MBA ‘93
As we approach the end of 2021, the urgency of educating leaders who have the insight, experience and commitment to solve challenges in a way that serves both business and society, is significant.
I took advantage of the full range of interdisciplinary studies during my time at SOM, between the Fall of 1991 and the Spring of 1993. During that time we saw Bill & Hillary Clinton speak at the Law School- while on the campaign trail, I interned for Rebuild LA and Mayor Bradley’s Office, through the Yale SOM Internship fund - in the wake of the Rodney King tragedy and the LA Riots, and my classmates and I hosted Business Week for the first time for a full day showcase of SOM’s faculty, leadership, students and impact. So it is no surprise, I pursued a career in public I spent 17 years as a Senior Vice President at Hill + Knowlton Strategies working on Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and campaigns for public and private sector clients. We moved our family to Europe for my husband’s career, as Paris and London editor for The New York Times, and I returned to work at IBM Corporate Communications. I’ve served on the Parent Advisory Board for the American School in London and my daughter and I have been site leaders for Yale Day of Service for The Mercy Learning Center since 2019. Mercy Learning Center is a non profit in Bridgeport CT which educates and supports immigrant women as they transition their families to the US.
I met with several SOM students during my 25th reunion and was so touched to see that SOM is still attracting leaders with new ideas and solutions for long standing challenges. I’d be honored to play a role supporting the board's priorities.
Please accept my enthusiastic self-nomination and I look forward to hearing from you.
Meelendra Singh, MAM ‘20
As a proud SOMer, I am writing to express my strong interest in joining the AAB. I am keen on working with the Career and the Admissions Committee.
Graduating as the Covid class of 2020! was a crash course in resiliency, adaptability, and leadership. However, the biggest lesson for me was witnessing the power and the impact of a strong community. The support SOM and the greater Yale community provided to students through 2020 is the primary reason I was able to not only support my class mates as a student leader but ensure (and bolster) my academic and professional success. Learning about the activities and responsibilities of the AAB, reignited a strong sense of purpose to continue serving the community. Conversations with Mandy Krumnow highlighted opportunities to work closely with the Admissions team to enhance Yale events and highlight the success stories of SOM alumni. Ben Freedman shared the exciting opportunity to strengthen SOMs career development programs and bridge alumni connections across multiple geographies. What excites me the most about working with the AAB is the fact that it’s a working board with cross committee collaboration and the opportunity to engage with other global chapters.
As a 2020 MAM student, I am acutely familiar with the professional and personal challenges students from the MBA, MAM, GBS, and MMS encounter as they navigate SOM’s corridors. My understanding comes from personal connections with students across all programs and representing my cohort as their elected Senator to the Yale Student Government. As a student leader, I had an opportunity to not only represent my program at SOM but also actively participate at the Yale Senate, which allowed me to secure a campus wide understanding of Advocacy, Community Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion, Public Relations and Funding programs at Yale. Through the first 2 Semesters, I led initiatives to improve social collaboration between different programs, coordinated an industry campus talk with a leader at McKinsey, and secured lease extensions from Yale Housing for all MAM students during Covid.
I have continued to mentor SOM students to crack the Amazon recruitment process. I am proud to share that 2 out of the 3 students I coached during the 2021 recruitment cycle secured job offers! As a SOM Alumni Advisory Board member, I would bring the following experiences to the table:
1. Global Experience: My professional and lived experience across US, Africa, South Asia and South East Asia will allow me to bring a regional perspective to committee discussions and also support student mentorship opportunities at SOM.
2. Multi Sector Experience: My experience in Fortune 100 companies, engagements with multilateral organisations, and non-profits will allow me to ensure committee decisions balance SOMs mission of contributing to business and society.
3. Recruiting Experience: At Amazon, my focus in 2021 was on recruitment and mentorship. As an active member of recruitment team, I am involved in RLD interviews and mentoring 5 managers. Amazon has a unique and rigorous recruiting + training process and I look forward to transferring this knowledge to committee workstreams.
Todd Jorgenson, MBA ‘20
It is with great pleasure that I submit this statement of interest to serve as a board member.
My experience with Yale SOM ranks among the most choice and formative of my life, and I simply cannot fully describe the excellence of my MBA journey and Yale education. I will endeavor to contribute to the Yale Alumni community for the rest of my life regardless of any positions I may or may not fill, however, I am hopeful serving with the SOMAAB will allow me a better opportunity to give back to the school that has given me so much. The two years I spent at Yale accelerated my business journey into private equity, business development, business start-up ventures and networking with remarkable results. It is an experience and education I cherish and hope to utilize to make the Yale SOM alumni community more cohesive, impactful, active, sociable and accessible so far as I am able.
I believe my diverse background allows me a unique perspective and opportunity to help organize and elevate the Yale SOM alumni community. I recently completed an exit event with private equity and maintain an active role in continuing deals, I co-own a start-up company called Therapydia, which is a Physical Therapy Chain in the Northwest, a company called FatCats Entertainment and a software company called Banyan. These experiences have given me wonderful exposure to many aspects of business and many friends in several areas of business. I am happy and anxious to take these experiences and connections and see what good I can help bring to the Yale SOM alumni.
Additionally, I enjoy bringing people together at the intersection of business and politics. I believe the two are inseparably connected and should work together to achieve a better world for all. During my time at Yale SOM, I was able to invite and bring sitting Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to Yale to speak to university students and faculty. He was gracious to accept the invitation and did a marvelous job. I also invited former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake to Yale, and he, too, accepted the invitation and spoke not only to my class at Yale SOM, but to the undergraduates as well. His speech can still be viewed on YouTube. I am currently involved with the Yale Corporation elections and hoping to make a positive impact for SOM. I have involved my class in the election, worked to get all of SOM more involved and hope to continue to do so.
If selected to serve on this Alumni Advisory Board, I will make fast friends of every board member, work to elevate board presence within the alumni community and organize alumni events and efforts with energy, vigor, humor and excellence.