What I’m Thankful For
As the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. approaches, we asked some of our students what they are thankful for this year.
Joysha Agarwal ’25
MBA, Silver Scholar
Finding a family seven seas across from home. Some give me the piece of home I left behind, and some show me the magical world that lies ahead.
Mohamed Ismaili Alaoui ’23
Master’s Degree in Global Business & Society
I am thankful for the opportunity to lead and serve a group of amazing talented people. I am especially ecstatic to be able to converse with professors who have had a lasting impact on business and society. Yale SOM allows me to better understand what are the elements that will shape our future, and to undertake the tools necessary to be able to influence this future in the right direction. My degree also allows me to explore other schools and departments at Yale, such as the department of computer science, allowing me to have a versatile background, expanding my toolkit in analyzing and solving problems. Being able to work with Jenna Starr ’23, Peter Elser ’23, and Luke Demas ’23 and all other members of the Student Life and Government, has shown me how selfless and oriented individuals can be in serving their community and has inspired me to do the same.
Guarocuya Batista-Kunhardt ’24
Organizing a three-mile kayaking trip on the last day of the season (October 30) on Mill River at East Rock Park with multiple first- and second-years. Wildlife viewing and enjoying nature alongside Dorothy Chen ’24, Trisha Chaudhary ’24, Balajee Renganadthan Sumathi ’25, Balaji Kumar ’23, James Zheng ’23, LK Lau ’24, Azain Jaffer ’23, Gordon Shao ’23, and our partners.
Jon Chen ’23
Master of Advanced Management
After another eight years of post-MBA work experience at Hong Kong, I am thankful that the Yale SOM MAM program gives me an opportunity to be back in campus again. It was an amazing semester for me to learn new things such as programming and data science, especially together with my 50+ talented and experienced classmates.
Louisa Chen ’23
Master of Advanced Management
I am really thankful for all the friends I made at SOM! It has been a challenging and rewarding experience here. The MAM program is only one year, but we cherish every minute we spent together. I have gained a lot of support from my classmates for my studies and life. They always go beyond and above, from moving support to midnight phone calls. I would never regret coming here. Look forward to the rest of the year.
Samanta Cubias ’24
MBA, MFA Joint Degree
I’m thankful for my fellow first year Green Cohort members, who support my work as a joint-degree student at the David Geffen School of Drama. In October, a group of Greenies saw me perform as Velma in Four Meddling Kids and One Dumb Dog at the Yale Cabaret. It was so great to have them in the audience! I can't wait to have them over to the School of Drama again soon.
Production photo by Suzu Sakai
Alyssa Ferdetta ’24
I’m thankful for the ability to find so many different communities here at SOM. Whether it’s a weekly watch party for Lord of the Rings, a Slack channel where people post photos of their cats, or a trip to Disney World, there are people at SOM with whom you can share those experiences.
Lucia Hinostroza Lamilla ’23
I am thankful for all the special moments in the MBA—for all the friendships I built this year and the ones I am reinforcing, and especially for the trips that brought the best experiences ever!
Victoria Lee ’23
I am lucky and blessed to have met so many incredible individuals during my time at Yale SOM. No matter how busy life gets, my classmates and peers always strive to make time for each other, both socially and professionally. I’m so grateful to have made friends for life, and I cannot wait to create more memories in my final year of business school!
Shay Liu ’23
Great friends, new friends, new experiences!
Renée Lanza ’23
MBA for Executives
I am thankful for the SOM community and our EMBA ’23 cohort. Whether it’s classmates celebrating the accomplishments each of us have in our personal or professional lives like new babies, weddings, or new jobs, or an alum going out of their way to help you out because of the Yale SOM connection, the Yale SOM community is so supportive. Grateful to SOM for bringing us together!
Yousaf Shakil ’24
I’m thankful for the community I’ve been able to make at SOM. Coming to Yale and not knowing anyone, I’ve been privileged to find a group of friends who’ve welcomed me with open arms.
Anubha Singh ’23
Friends—the people I have met at SOM have provided me a much needed sense of community. There is no paucity of amazing experiences at Yale but my favorite ones have been the more invisible, mundane moments—sharing a cup of tea, listening to favorite songs together and watching them be amazing in Voices. This daily sense of relatability is the highlight of my time at Yale.
Rachel Szarka ’24
Yale SOM offers no shortage of unique opportunities for “pinch me” levels of gratitude. Whether I am participating in business school traditions, attending a Q&A with President Zelenskyy, or just hiking through East Rock as the leaves show off their full New England autumn grandeur, those opportunities are made even more special by sharing them with my bright, dynamic, and caring classmates.
Transitions are designed to push us, so I am also grateful for the challenges of entering the MBA program. Juggling coursework, new friends, clubs, recruitment, events, and everything else available here has created a new appreciation for Billie Jean King’s words: “Pressure is a privilege.”
Jenny Veliz-Urzua ’24
MBA for Executives
I am thankful for waking up in the mornings, with the opportunity that every day offers.
An opportunity of time with friends and loved ones (pets included). An opportunity for change and growth. The opportunity to help someone in need—to make their journey a bit easier. An opportunity to take risk—because without it there is no transformation.
As an imperfect human, I am thankful for grace, forgiveness, and mercy.
Celeste Watkins ’24
I’m thankful for all of the wonderful friends whom I’ve made at Yale SOM. Whereas in college a lot of my close friends (and I) were all struggling with who/what we wanted to be, as a graduate student, I’ve been fortunate to become close with people both younger and older than I who have a grounding presence on my life. It reflects the different developmental space that we’re all in and complements the idea of graduate school as a place to realize our potential in a new phase of life.
Richard Winchell ’23
MBA for Executives
This year I am intensely grateful for the friends I have made here, both in my cohort and in the larger Yale community. My first year learning team lived up to its name: they truly are the Magnificent 7. Their support throughout the first year made the program a real respite from the business of everyday life. I’m grateful to have found my people here, and I am very happy to have them in my life. Most of all, I’m grateful for my wife’s support throughout this midlife adventure.
Chloe Yang ’24
MBA, MPH Joint Degree
I am so thankful for the many new friends, memories, and adventures I have made within the past three months at SOM. It’s been a non-stop roller coaster with moving across the country, finding my communities, and being part of Student Life. And yet, I feel so happy and at home. Thank you to everyone who's made SOM a home away from home for Dennis, Tofu, and me!