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orientation sporting event

An Action-Packed Orientation Week

Master of Advanced Management student Jason Lee ’23 reflects on the lessons he learned and the connections he made during his first few days at SOM.

My first week at SOM was marked by non-stop action and packed with activities, workshops, info sessions, and, of course, a lot of socializing.

At 9 a.m. on my very first day at SOM, I had my first “goosebumps” moment. Dean Kerwin K. Charles mentioned in his welcome speech that while other schools are now integrating social aspects into their business programs, Yale School of Management has been, from day one, educating leaders for business and society—the precise reason why I applied to Yale SOM. It was really invigorating to hear about the commitment of an entire community—faculty and students—to that ethos.

group at orientation
orientation event
orientation  event

Throughout the week, we had various workshops on topics ranging from bystander training to effective presentation skills. My personal favorite was one where each residential master’s degree program cohort got together to pen down a code of conduct that was agreed upon by the whole class. I appreciate that it allowed everyone a chance to verbalize values that matter to them and to collectively build a set of behaviors that we all (democratically) approve and will hold each other accountable for.

orientation class photo
orientation class photo
orientation class photo
orientation class photo

The week was also filled with plenty of opportunities to interact and connect with colleagues from not only my own Master of Advanced Management program but also other programs within SOM. I love this integration of people from a myriad of backgrounds, having various levels of experience and pursuing different goals, coming together to exchange viewpoints and spark new collaborations. I personally have connected with an MBA student who has a passion for public service to discuss how we could find ways to support current and future SOM students in pursuing a career in public service or social impact, which may not have happened if not for an informal chat during the week.

As orientation drew to a close, I was reminded by keynote speaker Raymond Chang ’96’s words to “just step out of your comfort zone and see what’s out there.” I am truly excited for what’s to come in the year ahead and like how Dean Charles put it: I am sure that I will richly and thoroughly enjoy my time here at Yale SOM.

I would also like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the staff team from Academic Affairs and Student Life, the student leaders, and the many individuals who worked tirelessly behind the scene to ensure that things ran on schedule and that more than 500 participants were well-fed with breakfast, morning coffee break, lunch, afternoon coffee break, and evening reception every single day—a very big thank you!