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Couple sits on a bench with Yale campus in the background

How Our Love Grew at Yale SOM

The romance of Laura Arrazola Lievano ’19 and Daniel Reshef ’19 started in Madrid and has taken them all the way to Israel. They describe how their time in Yale SOM’s Master of Advanced Management program deepened their connection.

Laura: My husband, Daniel Reshef, and I met at IE Business School at the beginning of 2018, during orientation for the MBA program. Our relationship became so serious that we both decided to join the Master of Advanced Management program at Yale SOM once we completed our MBAs. Upon receiving our acceptance letters from SOM and after only a few months of dating, we made the transatlantic move from Madrid to New Haven. I knew that this amazing adventure that was about to begin would also be the ultimate test for our new and growing relationship. Little did I know that the challenges would begin so quickly.

After a few months at IE, when we were both accepted to SOM’s MAM program, our acceptance brought with it happy and exciting moments, such as sharing the news we had gotten accepted to Yale with our loved ones. But it also brought also stressful times, like apartment hunting, packing, filling out visa applications, etc., all within a matter of a few weeks. The love and support we showed for one another are the essence of what makes our relationship so great.

I am Israeli, and Laura is Colombian. While we come from very different backgrounds, building our relationship against the backdrop of Yale SOM helped us forge a strong bond and cement our relationship.

Daniel Reshef and Laura Arrazola
Daniel Reshef and Laura Arrazola with their Yale SOM diplomas
Daniel Reshef in hockey uniform and Laura Arrazola

Laura: During our last days of MAM orientation in New Haven, I began feeling sick and ended up at Yale New Haven Hospital. During my time at the hospital and the days that passed, Daniel never left my side. As I was in a lot of pain and mostly bedridden, Daniel also took it upon himself to help me and my roommates move all of our belongings into our new apartment. This experience really showed me how much I could rely on him as a partner to support me when I needed him the most.

The rest of our MAM year was not as eventful as the start of it was, but it was also full of experiences that brought us closer and closer together, enabling us to explore each other’s cultures, to travel, and to forge the bond we share to this day. From the very beginning, we had diverging interests as far as areas of knowledge and activities we wanted to explore. We also made different groups of friends: I quickly gravitated toward the Spanish-speaking crowd, and Daniel became very close friends with other Israelis.

This meant that we needed to find spaces and moments outside of classes and studying time to not only spend time together, but also to grow our friendships, both as individuals and as a couple. We made a point of having lunch together at Charley’s Place almost every day, joining my friends on some days and his friends on others. We also came to every single Closing Bell and mingled with our fellow MBA and MAM peers, both together and separately.

Daniel: Taking part in the Yale SOM experience as a couple helped us get to know each other better. Although our choice of courses, clubs, and extracurriculars could not have been more different—Strategy/Finance, Hockey, and Student Government for me, and Social Impact/Share Value, Photography and Voices for Laura—learning about each other’s interests enabled us to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for one and other.

The culmination of our SOM experience came at commencement. Our families traveled from Israel and Colombia not only to celebrate this joyous occasion, but also to meet each other for the first time. Touring the magnificent Yale campus together and celebrating commencement together was the perfect “meet the in-laws” setting.

After commencement, the tools we gained at Yale enabled us to find jobs and embark on a new adventure in New York City, which would eventually lead us to Israel, where we currently live.

Laura: I can also say the New Haven weather played a pivotal role in our relationship: During the coldest months, we spent a lot of time cooking, playing games, talking, and getting to really know each other on a deeper level. During the warmer months, we ventured out to explore the Yale campus and New Haven in general and took weekend trips to explore the Northeast.

All in all, our year at Yale deepened our connection and solidified our relationship. It prepared us for the challenges that would follow us after graduation and lead us to where we are today: married, starting our family, and living in Israel. And for that, we are eternally grateful to the halls of SOM and the people that became a part of our journey.