Veterans on Why They Chose SOM
From its Yellow Ribbon Program affiliation to its supportive atmosphere, military veterans weigh in on the deciding factors that led them to pursue an SOM MBA.
Audrey Atwell ’23
The Yale MBA for Executives program—in particular its sustainability area of focus—was my number-one choice when I was considering MBA programs. After serving 21 years in the Army as an engineer officer, I knew that I wanted to attend a high-quality program that not only capitalized on my interests and unique experiences, but also an educational program that views the integration of “business and society” as a critical component of the curriculum—to date, Yale SOM has not disappointed.
The program served as a bridge, giving me the skills and knowledge I needed to successfully integrate my military experience into the civilian sector and opening doors I never would have thought possible. SOM is a Yellow Ribbon school, and the support I have received as a veteran from the program office has been phenomenal. I highly recommend the program and encourage any veteran or active-duty service member considering Yale SOM to reach out, explore the program, and discover how it could be a perfect fit for them as well.
Conor Cardillo ’24
After serving in the U.S. Navy for nine years, I chose to apply to the MBA for Executives program as a way of refining my business acumen, especially in the areas of supply chain and logistics management. I hope to utilize this newfound knowledge to help build sustainable delivery options during my time at Amazon. Additionally, this program offers a robust alumni and faculty network that can be leveraged in solving the most complex issues today’s society has to face. Yale is where innovative ideas to better human life are born, and I want to be a small part in making the world a better place than I found it. Beyond its very generous financial support through the Yellow Ribbon Program, SOM truly embraces the diversity and unique perspective that service members add to the classroom conversation. We bring wide-ranging leadership experiences from all corners of the world!
Matt Powers ’24
I chose Yale SOM as one of the schools on my short list because it has an amazing reputation as a great EMBA program. As I started to reach out to the various programs, I was really impressed with everyone I spoke to at Yale (alumni, people in the EMBA program, and the program team). I also spoke to some of my friends in startups in Silicon Valley, and they spoke highly of Yale. Yale SOM was very supportive throughout the application process and getting all the right paperwork submitted to the VA so I could take advantage of the Post 9/11 GI Bill. It’s been very easy and seamless. I was a little worried, because there is not a lot of information online or in my network on how the GI Bill works and the whole VA and university process, but Yale SOM guided me perfectly through the process with little stress. And now everything is settled and working great!
I decided to do an EMBA at this point because it is the right time given my family situation (kids are a little older), and my business basically told me I had hit a ceiling if I didn’t get an EMBA. I was in India a year and a half ago when my company told me I had to come back to the U.S. I thought it would be to come back and lead a major department or one of our smaller businesses. When I put my name in for those opportunities, HR told me I wasn’t qualified and to read the job description again. I fit the description perfectly except I didn’t have an MBA, so I took the hint and chose to come back to a job closest to the great schools of the Northeast and applied while I was moving. Now that I’m in the program, I can see why my company wanted me to get an MBA before leading a major portion of the business. I am gaining a ton of knowledge, which is giving me the credibility I will need to immediately gain respect in my industry as a business leader.
John Ruizo ’24
I chose Yale SOM for my MBA not just because of the school’s military history that dates back to the early 1900s leading up to World War I, but because of the tremendous positive feedback from current student veterans and alumni. Yale SOM and the MBA for Executives program has exceeded our expectations and has been very generous and supportive of veterans in achieving our educational and career goals, as we pave the way toward the next phase in our lives.
Moon Shinwon ’23
I chose Yale SOM because of cultural fit. I appreciate how mission-driven, yet down-to-earth my fellow students are. The shared struggle of juggling classes, extracurriculars, and recruiting alongside my fellow classmates reminded me of the camaraderie I had with my brothers and sisters in arms. SOM was also instrumental in helping me successfully pivot into finance. I will be joining Citi as an investment banking associate after I graduate next summer.
Alexis Travis ’24
I chose Yale for the same reasons I chose the military: the opportunity to make a difference. It has become ever clearer to me over time that true change only happens at the intersection of passion and education, and Yale manages to capture both. The commitment from the staff and students to hold true to their brand as the socially responsible, forward-thinking MBA program is incredible. The variety of student interests, focuses, and skills has given me a new perspective on the impact of diversity. The unique curriculum structure has helped me integrate different skills together in a way that my previous academic pursuits have not.
I am genuinely thrilled to take everything I learn here back to the Navy after graduation because I don’t feel like anything we do is limited to just profit maximization or traditional, big business; rather, it’s a series of skills and frames we can use to make anything we do better and more impactful.
Adam Tucker ’23
I chose to attend Yale SOM for three main reasons: the amazing academic instruction where I can pursue my passions, the support to pursue my career interests, and Yale University’s unmatched support for veterans. SOM is well known as a top business school with amazing faculty, and my favorite part about the curriculum is the ability to tailor my schedule to my interests. My favorite classes so far are Sports Analytics with Professors Moskowitz and Rudi and The Future of Global Finance with Dr. Garten.
SOM has also allowed me to pursue a career in technical product management and has provided opportunities to enhance my skills in that area. My favorite experience so far has been joining the Yale Center for Customer Insights on a student team working in the tech industry. Yale University also provides amazing support to veterans and was recently ranked as the number-one university for veterans. Not only is my tuition fully covered via the GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program, but the veteran community across campus is also unmatched. I have enjoyed both the academic rigor and the student camaraderie.