In this series, Karen Guzman checks in with recent Yale SOM alumni to learn how their Yale SOM education has shaped their career paths since graduation.
Austin Muñoz ’22
Investment Partner, Principal Strategies Group, Amber Group
How have you pursued your aspirations to make an impact since graduation?
I pursued a master’s degree to become a stronger candidate for a senior role as an asset manager. The Yale SOM asset management program’s extremely rigorous coursework gave me the skills to earn my current role as an investment partner for Amber Group’s Principal Strategies Group. I’m now fortunate to work directly under the CEO of the company, helping to decide the company’s investment strategy both in its venture arm as well as in its other lines of business.
What’s a lesson from Yale SOM that has helped you on your career path?
Always ask questions, even if you feel they are basic. It’s somewhat counterintuitive, but I’ve learned that “stupid” questions are usually the most important ones to ask because they solidify your understanding of a topic. If you can’t explain an idea using simple language, then you probably don’t understand it well enough. This is easier said than done because it feels embarrassing, but ironically, asking these questions conveys competence and confidence because it shows you aren’t afraid to admit what you don’t know.
Have there been unexpected benefits from your SOM education?
I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how open Yale and Yale SOM alumni are to speaking with other alums after just a cold email or Twitter DM. It’s had an outsized impact on my work because these folks are often decision-makers at top organizations.
What are you passionate about in your work?
I’m passionate about learning something new every day. Speaking with venture founders, I learn about the mechanics of what they’re building. I also learn by working with Amber Group’s other business lines, including our market-making and quant investment teams. I feel very grateful to be working with such smart folks who are so willing to share their knowledge.