Yale SOM Ups Ante On Global Strategy

Anjani Jain, senior associate dean of SOM’s MBA program

Anjani Jain, senior associate dean of SOM’s MBA program

When The Financial Times’ ranking came out in January, one of the biggest winners of all was Yale University’s School of Management. The school climbed four places to finish in the world’s Top Ten for the first time in seven years.

The reason for the upswing? Dean Edward “Ted” Snyder’s highly successful efforts to make SOM the most global of the U.S. business schools. Now the school is upping the ante yet again on Snyder’s strategy. Yale announced yesterday (Feb. 27) that it is introducing a global studies requirement to its MBA program.

The school’s faculty voted to expand an existing International Experience course requirement into what it is describing as “a broader, more flexible” prerequisite for all MBA candidates. Now students will have to complete before graduation at least one of the following:

  • An International Experience course
  • A Global Network Week
  • A Global Network course
  • The Global Social Entrepreneurship course
  • The Global Social Enterprise course
  • A semester-long international exchange with a partner school


Anjani Jain, senior associate dean of SOM’s MBA program, says the new requirement is a natural outgrowth of the school’s novel partnership among more than two dozen business schools across the world that share research, teaching materials and students called the Global Network For Advanced Management.

The schools range from the Asian Institute of Management in the Philippines to the University of Indonesia Faculty of Economics. But there are a number of highly prominent members as well, including IE Business School in Spain, IMD in Switzerland, INSEAD in France and Singapore, HEC Paris in France, the London School of Economics in Britain, the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Business School in China.

“This was a fairly active discussion over the last year. especially with the launch of the new global network which has already begun to engage large numbers of students,” said Jain in an interview with Poets&Quants. “It is something that we were thinking about for awhile, and it supports our aspirations to be the most distinctly global of the U.S. business schools.”


Among other things, the new requirement encourages SOM students to take one of an increasing number of anti-MOOC courses that are a direct result of the network. Dubbed SNOCs, rather than MOOCs, by Dean Snyder, the acronym stands for Small Networked Online Courses which are offered virtually by a member school and open to students from throughout the network.

Launched as a pilot last fall, the first couple of SNOCs were on mobile banking, in which students from six schools enrolled, and global antitrust law. So far this year, two more courses are being offered: Natural Capital:  Risks and Opportunities in Global Resource Systems and New Product Development. The former course, says Jain, has 66 students in it from 11 network schools. The latter is being offered by a professor from Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology.

“Instead of trying to do it all on our own, we are much more effective using a network as a basic resource and a tool of innovation,” explains Jain. “In these courses, students are divided up into teams with members from different schools and had to work across boundaries.”

The network, in Jain’s view, has an added benefit that derives from the fact that business schools are coming of age in a wide range of countries and regions in the world. “Students in Shanghai and Bangalore now often see the best economic opportunities right in their own regions. They no longer see a U.S. school as the only or best alternative to economic opportunity.” So the network, he believes, is able to tap into some of the world’s best business students and faculty no matter where they are.

  • Jacques Ularity

    You should first learn about the Global Network before you throw stones, friend.

  • Norbert Weiner

    I think you’re missing the value the network may provide to YSOM MBAs.

    Yale is advancing the careers of the top 1% of MBA graduates from network schools via Yale’s MAM program. These MAM students come into Yale with local experience, business skills, and contacts. They graduate with the benefit of Yale’s business training and cachet to hopefully secure job and/or leadership development opportunities at companies who are industry heavyweights in their respective markets and/or emerging multinationals. It’s akin to what Harvard does in the U.S. and many Western economies with its Ivy League brand admitting MBAs based on potential and placing them into top tier leadership positions. Yale is using its global Ivy League brand admitting based on potential and placing graduates into top tier leadership positions but for frontier, emerging and developing economies. It’s not a strategy that will produce globally minded CEOs overnight, but will over time as more and more Yale MAMs (and to a certain extent MBAs) move up the corporate ladder. That’s why people think the global network is a great idea. It’s Yale’s medium to long-term strategy for relevancy (and hopefully dominance) among business schools around the world as markets become increasingly competitive and geographically integrated.

    Now, Yale is taking that potential pipeline to executive leadership grown via the MAM program, i.e. the global network, and trying to leverage it for MBAs. It’s not just a study abroad program, which is what other posters have experienced and what most top U.S. business schools mean when they say they provide international perspective. At Yale, it’s a concerted, global effort consisting of a series of global online/in-person classes, case study competitions, lectures, research studies, etc. The exposure, experience and connections gained via the global network may aid YSOM MBAs in accessing job opportunities in local markets. If Yale can pull this whole thing off, it will pay dividends for graduates and SOM for a long time to come.

  • Norbert Weiner

    Another YSOM-hater

  • cf

    If you come to think of it, Dean Snyder’s strategy sounds quite sound. It would be a herculean task to compete with other school in sectors where those schools are already well established. Every school has/needs its own “distinctive factor”, i.e. General Management: HBS, Finance: Wharton, Close to NY: Columbia.
    Imo it makes sense for Yale to embrace the strategy “the most global of the U.S. business schools”. To be honest -as an international prospective applicant- this strategy sounds quite compelling, especially linked to Yale strong brand name.
    @JohnAByrne:disqus: “International students now compose 40% of the enrollment (up from 37%)”. Are you sure, this number is correct? Yale website mentions something of 32% (up from 27%). Just curious.

  • Subh

    I just collected data for last three months about news ( News Section) on various schools mentioned here. This is a rough estimate and I have not included news sections where multiple schools ( 5 or more) were mentioned. However this is a fair representative sample, i believe, for schools discussed here. Clearly Harvard is the winner, way ahead of its next competitor ( Yale).

    Others US


  • Matt

    Lots of haters here just in general. 🙂

  • DesperateYYY

    Unfortunately, yes it does…

  • Wonderer

    Yale has a business school??!!!

  • Norbert Weiner

    It’s remarkable how many YSOM-haters frequent P&Q.

  • It’s Whatever

    They love Harvard, Stanford, and Yale Ted Snyder is the greatest thing since sliced bread. ALL the top 20 are offering global requirements and study abroad options. ALL of them have top people coming up with new ideas. This is business education-these courses are not splitting the atom and solving medical mysteries.
    Very little in P&Q on NYU Stern, UCLA, MIT (John apparently doesn’t like acronyms), Darden, and Tuck.

  • JohnAByrne

    I would beg to differ. Of course, there are pieces of Yale’s global strategy have been done elsewhere. In fact, most of the pieces Yale has had in place for many years. What is new here is the leveraging of the global network of schools which is completely unique. There is no other U.S. school that has put together a network of 25 schools–24 of which are located all over the world–to leverage faculty, students, research, etc.

  • JohnAByrne

    We’ve written plenty on all these schools. Just go to Google and put in PoetsandQuants: Darden or Tuck or whatever and you’ll see.

  • Myron

    As a neutral observer, this piece looks very fluffy and Yale SOM’s publicists may be delighted of its results. Much of Yale’s initiatives are old hats and have been practiced at aforementioned B-Schools such as Ross, Fuqua and Kellogg. Yet these MBA programs don’t get the favorable coverage at P&Q. Unfortunately, on case studies, Treks and job opportunities, Yale is playing catch up and is less international.

  • dalai

    Breaking News: Officials from Yale SOM and Chicago Booth band together to bribe the administrators of Poets&Quants.

  • gosh

    “Upping the ante on global strategy” through “a global networking week” or “an international experience week”… what a joke!

  • PatientMBA

    In addition to your mentioned list – I would love to hear more on Cornell Johnson, and Virginia Darden. Almost nothing written and both have great things brewing IMHO….

  • Escquat

    I think what Yale is doing is a great exercise in branding and will pay long-term dividends to increase its status among peers. As a current applicant deciding between SOM, Sloan, and Tuck, I really like that the SOM culture seems to place a greater emphasis on experience rather than on notching up a six-figure salary post-graduation. I would rather be poor, passionate, and worldly than rich, boring, and narrow-minded.

  • bwanmia

    Jain comes from Wharton. All the schools, Wharton in particular, talk up the global stuff when they think they have to vie for higher position in the rankings. It’s just prattle — meaningless marketing language.

    This quote from Jain that argues against internationally focused programs: “Students in Shanghai and Bangalore now often see the best economic
    opportunities right in their own regions. They no longer see a U.S.
    school as the only or best alternative to economic opportunity.” Exactly. students in Bangalore and Shanghai know that it’s the same boring curriculum all over the world. What’s the point for them of in bowing down to the US schools?

    Jain is an operations research guy. Which means he has limited capability to understand that his own arguments undermine his claims.

  • SylvanLearner

    I’ve noticed.
    I’d like to hear more about the four other schools you just mentioned.

  • Thor

    It’s obvious P@Q loves Yale SOM. They make mention of the school more than they do more prominent business schools like Haas, Kellogg, Tuck or Fuqua.

  • devils0508

    If Yale wants to be a top school, they need to fix their recruiting and average starting salaries/5-year out salaries, everything else is just window dressing,