Meet Yale SOM’s MBA Class of 2018

First-year MBAs in the Class of 2018 at Yale University's School of Management

First-year MBAs in the Class of 2018 at Yale University’s School of Management

Mission Accomplished?

It may be premature to pop the cork, but no one can say that Dean Ted Snyder hasn’t been busy. After taking the reins in 2011, Snyder, who made the Booth School of Business a constant among the world’s top five MBA programs, pledged to do the same for the Yale School of Management. That’s no small feat, considering the b-school elite changes as often as incumbent politicians lose their seats.  Based on Snyder’s early returns, however, Yale is well on its way.


Just look at Dean Snyder’s five-year track record. In 2012, he organized the Global Network for Advanced Management, a consortium of 28 top business schools ranging from INSEAD to the University of Ghana. Pooling their resources, members offer course exchanges, projects, and cases that enable students to build expertise in regional economies and cultures. Two years later, Snyder fulfilled the school’s dream of collecting the business school community in a single location by opening Evans Hall. A 250,000 square foot glass fusion of classical and futuristic architecture, replete with sunny interior walkways, elliptical classrooms, and spacious central courtyard, the building embodies the program’s multidisciplinary and communitarian spirit. In the process, he has launched a new leadership program, boosted investment in entrepreneurial education, and launched new dual degree programs to leverage the assets of the larger Yale community.

The numbers tell the real story, however. Since Snyder’s arrival in New Haven, class sizes have increased by over 100 students, with annual applications increasing by nearly 700 students annually. To put it another way, there were 11 applicants for every available seat, a higher ratio than Ivies like Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, and Dartmouth. Key inputs like GMAT scores and undergraduate GPAs have also risen, as have the percentage of women and international students. Demand and quality aren’t the only areas where Yale has excelled under Snyder. Take outputs like pay. The Class of 2015, for example, saw its median starting pay jump nearly 10% to $146,480 in one year, with over 93% of the class nabbing offers within three months of graduation. As a result, the program earned its highest-ever ranking with U.S. News MBA rankings at #8, topping traditional competitors like Columbia and Duke in the process.

Indeed, Yale SOM has acted as a market disruptor in recent years. In response, some critics have dismissed the program as a flash in the pan, with its “save the world” student body and obsession with ranking-friendly inputs. If the Class of 2018 is any indication, the school is just getting warmed up.


Yale SOM students

Yale SOM students

Who is the Class of 2018? Think of 334 well-traveled, big thinking risk-takers who’ve come to business school, in the words of Steve Jobs, “to put a dent in the universe.” Vance C. Lewis, a Teach For America veteran, probably fits the spirit of the class best, calling himself, “a status quo challenger who pushes himself and others mentally and socially to create change.”  He shares a kinship with Viveca Morris, a North Carolina native who’s “all-in for building a world that treats animals and humans with compassion and decency.” Looking for a woman for all seasons? Check out Sarah Cedeño, who describes herself this way: “Undercover introvert. Coffee-junkie. Netflix-binger. Grounded by my faith and rejuvenated by family and beachside meditation.” In a mission-driven institution like Yale SOM, it’s no surprise that students would also come to campus with deeply-entrenched values. Here are the four principles that guide Nate Micon, a former consultant from IBM and Booz Allen Hamilton, lives by: “Friends and family first, challenge yesterday’s boundaries, keep exploring, coffee.”

Ah, the stories they could tell. Talk about a whirlwind life since graduation: Emily Burchinow has made six cross-continent moves in the past five years. When it comes time for a sixth, perhaps she should huddle with Julian Gomes, who has visited 43 countries (listing Cuba and Cambodia as his favorites). Webber Xu will be in heaven come January, after being one of the first Shanghai residents to learn how to play hockey (in a frozen swimming pool, no less). Mexico’s Olivia Sánchez Badini could star on an episode of Hoarders: “I used to be a major collector of… stuff. Random stuff! I have collections of antique keys, Barbies with closed lips, post stamps, Snoopies, beach sand, banknotes from foreign countries, and (unopened) special edition soda cans.”

 “I can say that it’s as strong and diverse a class as I have seen in my 12 years at Yale SOM,” said Bruce DelMonico, assistant dean of admissions, in an August interview with Poets&Quants. “I’ve also been impressed with how well the class has gelled even in their short time here at Yale. I have already had a number of faculty and staff comment on this fact — as well as the overall quality of the class — so I think it’s going to be a special group.”


Their accomplishments speak for themselves. Burchinow was a driving force behind Old Navy’s entry into the Chinese market. Chris Frerichs achieved his childhood dream by spending a decade as a Navy SEAL, culminating in his promotion to Naval Special Warfare Development Group. Gomes has grown accustomed to rarified air, “presenting financial information to government committees, senior management of partner companies, and high-net worth stakeholders (think Forbes rich list).” In the Peace Corps, Yihanna von Ritter pushed legislation that resulted in greater transparency and accountability for political representatives in the Paraguay city of Encarnación. At the same time, Nina Straathof was instrumental in helping to reform Dutch health care. Through her efforts, physicians are now incented on the quality instead the quantity of care, saving the country tens of millions of dollars.

Such efforts are in keeping with past classes, adds DelMonico. “Each incoming class strikes me by their collective commitment to the mission and values of the school.  This year is no different.  The incoming class shares a desire to further the school’s mission to educate leaders for business and society, and to do so with a spirit of collaboration, transparency, and mutual support.”

Yale School of Management admissions chief Bruce DelMonico

Yale School of Management admissions chief Bruce DelMonico

It was also a banner class by the numbers. The school received 3,649 applications in 2015-2016, up from 3,449 the previous year (and 2,756 the year before that). That was good for a 19% acceptance rate, along with a 48% yield rate — numbers consistent with previous classes.


The class also sports an average GMAT of 725, an all-time high that places the program ahead of MIT (724) and behind only Stanford, Wharton, Harvard, Kellogg, and Booth (whose scores range from 727-733). However, Yale’s 730 median GMAT was equal to that of Harvard, Booth, and Wharton.  Its 3.63 average undergraduate GPA was also a historical landmark and an impressive step up from its 3.51 average just five years ago. It also only trailed behind Stanford (3.75), Harvard (3.67), and Berkeley Haas (3.64) among top tier American full-time MBA programs.

Along with its high selectivity and academic performance, the class ranks among the country’s most diverse. Women account for 43% of students, just a shade below Wharton and Dartmouth (44%) for top honors. This also represents an 8% upswing over the past five years. For a business school with a decidedly global bent, Yale’s percentage of international students, 46%, is higher than any T7 school outside of Columbia (48%). Even more, it is a six point improvement over the previous year and nearly double its 26% figure from the Class of 2013. Overall, the 2018 class boasts students from 46 countries. In fact, 64% of the class hails from North America, with Asia (24%), Europe (10%), Africa (7%), and South America (4%) also constituting large blocs of the class. Students of color comprise 28% of the class, with 13% being underrepresented American minorities.

Humanities and social sciences majors make up the largest portion of the 2018 class at 33%. Business majors cover the second largest share at 22% (down 3% over last year). They are followed by a relatively balanced subset of majors in economics (17%), engineering and information technology (17%), and mathematics and physical sciences (11%), numbers relatively consistent with Class of 2017. However, a sizable number of students, 16% to be exact, also hold graduate degrees, with another 14% pursuing a dual degree with their MBA. Normally, finance and consulting professionals take up the highest number of seats in daytime MBA programs — and Yale is no different. 19% of the class comes from finance, followed by consulting (16%) and non-profits (16%).

Go to next page to read 13 profiles of incoming Yale MBA students.

  • avivalasvegas

    I’m glad you’re happy and satisfied. I’m also glad you made it into MBB from Tepper. Not that I respect the management consulting profession in the least, but most Principle/ EMs from MBB will tell you that they primarily recruit at the Top 10 schools to fill their annual vacancies. If they don’t fill them at the M7 schools, they go lower down the food chain.

    I believe that most prospective MBA student’s goals are similar i.e. to make money, find a great career, learn ALOT, share a classroom with really smart and capable people, earn credibility and to explore. Unless a lower ranked B school offers an edge in some way (YALE SOM has a strong non-profit niche), its unlikely that a lower ranked schools offers any of the above in any better way than a Top 10 program.

  • MBB-Associate

    I have picked Tepper over Yale for my full time MBA three years ago. I am very happy and satisfied and achieved my goals, I was working in technology, and after the MBA got into MBB in strategy. Don’t assume everyone is addict to rank or brand, a lot of reasonable people choose schools that better serve their goals and find the fit in them.

  • avivalasvegas

    You should really consider a career in standup.

  • CheongSeoHwa2

    I too chose Yale SOM over Stanford and Harvard despite the fact that I was offered full ride at both schools. But I went to Yale SOM with no money because I knew it is better in rank, prestige, employers perceptions, and much better brand in asia as well. You are not alone my friend who chose Yale SOM over all the M7 schools. You and I are excellent examples of visionary students who know the future of the business and know certainly that Yale SOM is the best business school on earth.

  • CheongSeoHwa

    I choose SOM over Booth, Wharton, Kellogg & MIT. I offered full ride at Wharton but I know SOM higher rank more better brand, especially in Asia Yale much better brand than lower rank Wharon non-M7

  • WizK

    with all due respect, I believe it is stupid idea to consider such selection. Columbia is better than Michigan by all measures.

  • WizK

    pure business education perspective, Kenan Flagler, Tepper, and Emory all better than Yale.

  • avivalasvegas

    But I’m not sipping’ on the hatorade. I like Yale SOM and think it deserves the 10th spot. But only a fool would chose Yale over Kellogg and SOM.

  • WizK

    No, only Duke or Michigan can replace CBS for M7.

  • avivalasvegas

    lol. Gotta love the “who cares” response. Perhaps the students who turned down HAAS and went to an M7? I’m willing to bet that number’s pretty high. That being said, if there was one school that could unseat CBS from the no.7 position, it would be HAAS, so I’m waving the pom poms too.

  • Norbert Weiner

    Haters gonna hate

  • Norbert Weiner

    Haters gonna hate

  • Randski

    It’s true Haas isn’t part of the M7. But who cares? Haasies don’t care at all.
    Almost everyone, as in almost everyone, if not everyon, at Berkeley Haas has been admitted to at least one M7 school. Plenty of students at Haas have turned down Sloan, Columbia and Booth. There’s also a considerable number of students who have turned down Wharton. The only business schools that have consistently beat Haas are Stanford and HBS. People who are drown to technopreneurship are making Haas as their top choice when they’re unlucky with their Stanford GSB admissions.

  • avivalasvegas

    HAAS isn’t M7 and is superior to Tuck only in its location.

  • avivalasvegas

    Sure there are. There’s tons of people who make bad decisions out there every day. I mean, just look at the political race going on right now. No worries, you’ll be fine as long as you land on your feet.

  • avivalasvegas

    My alma matter? But both schools are bitter rivals. Are you accusing me of promoting my school AND my school’s rival ahead of Wharton? Now that would be exceedingly gracious of me now wouldn’t it?

  • Randski

    I don’t see a compelling reason for Yale SOM to overtake Berkeley HAAS.
    All stats would lead to Berkeley HAAS as the superior program, and the gap is huge.
    Haas admitted just 11% of the applicants this year. When will SOM ever reach to that level? If and when it does, Haas maybe admitting just seven or six percent.
    There isn’t anything Yale SOM provides that Berkeley Haas doesn’t or couldn’t. Haas grads can get into Wall Street — just that the vast majority of Haas grads would rather stay in the Bay, just like Stanford GSB grads do. But there are always invitation, so Haas grads don’t run out of offers from WS. On the other hand, Yale SOM or even Yale, as a whole, doesn’t get much respect in the Bay, specially in Silicon Valley. It doesn’t have a strong tech, innovation and engineering culture. And, doesn’t have a strong alumni presence in the area. It also doesn’t help that SOM’s location, New Haven, is a dull, ugly and lifeless place… The Bay Area is bustling and booming, and has always something going on for it.

  • Randski

    I don’t agree with the order. I am in the opinion that it is more acceptable this way:
    MIT Sloan, Chicago BOOTH, Berkeley HAAS, Columbia
    Kellogg, Tuck
    Yale, Fuqua, Stern,

  • dergo

    First : No one asked for your agreement.
    Second : Yale don’t need your support or praise. In fact, they are ashamed that their fans are of your quality.
    Third: Cornell don’t care about trolls like you. In fact, they are amused that people bashing them are of your quality.
    Fourth: YOU and I know, readers know, yale and cornell know, and prospective students know that you are a loser.
    stop and get a life.

  • TrollFinder

    Calling you out. You sound as bad as somsquared and others who troll! Yale SOM is terrific but so is Cornell Johnson in its own right. To call Cornell 5th tier is ridiculous. Also to mock great schools like CMU and Vanderbilt seems better suited to College Confidential trolls. Cheers!

  • ghost

    Well I agree with the above commentary: most regard Cornell as a 5th tier school, possibly even worse than Vandy/CMU. SOM is ranked properly at #8 in USNews, however with the gains they’ve been making I won’t be surprised when they’re in the top 3-5 within the next decade.

  • eddysham

    I believe he is a Yale student. He is trying to do it the other way. stupid.

  • DoubtIt

    If your claimed background is true (which I seriously question), you would do well to represent such an amazing University by not mocking or hitting out at other fantastic universities as Yale. Your negative comments about other schools weaken instead of strengthen Cornell.

  • BullDogAp

    Ultimate troll ^^^^

    Congrats SOM. Incredible class. This program is bonafide top 10 and will be top 5 eventually. As a Yale undergrad I didn’t consider SOM in my long term plans but am now definitely adding it to my decision set. I just hope I can get there while Snyder is still Dean.

  • somsquared

    LOL whatever bro! I am a Cornell Student and damn proud. I have been mocking SOM students because they think they are better than everyone else because they now send 50 kids a year to MBB and are ranked top 10. Like people actually care…the quality of your research from professors is poor and you have no entrepreneurship track to speak of.

    Cornell was ranked 2nd behind GSB for entrepreneurship programs. Now that we have combined with the hotel school we will probably challenge other top management programs like Darden and HBS in Management ranking.

  • ReolanJii

    still keeping up this act? We know you went to Johnson…why can’t you just pretend to be happy with your school.

    BTW I got into CBS, Kellogg and SOM and choose SOM. You can troll all you want but that is the truth and I know many more like me.

  • bunny101

    I agree somsquared is a troll, but he/she is correct in saying that SOM belongs in the same tier as Booth, Tuck, etc. I know several people who chose SOM over schools like Booth/HBS, etc.

  • Orange

    Not sure what your problem is buddy. Despite what you seem to think, I have no beef with Cornell or any other school- just this guy who keeps trying to damage SOM’s good name.

  • DoubtIt

    Cheers! Despite his/her repeated rants, SOMSQUARED could not be a Cornell or Yale student or alum! Real affiliates from either of those two great universities would never speak the way he/she does.

  • Warren

    both of you belong to neither Cornell nor Yale. Both of you are not a material of those two great universities. Both of you are losers.

  • Orange

    Yawn. You’ve already admitted several places on this site that you’re a Cornell alum trolling SOM. I would recommend at least changing your username again (maybe you can go back to using USNewsFan) if you want people to think you are actually an SOM alum.

  • somsquared

    This is amazing! Best class profile so far. SOM will be #2-#4 in USNEWS very very soon. Highest MBBBBVEPC placement and superior to lower tier schools like Booth/Tuck.

  • Orange

    SOM alum here- I think the top of your list is probably about right, though I don’t necessarily agree with the order. I would put Wharton between HBS and Booth, and would also probably say Kellogg=MIT=Columbia. I think it’s probably more like Yale / Fuqua / Ross, with Stern / Darden / Anderson right behind them.

    Other than the occasional poster pretending to be an SOM alum, you’ll find that most alums are pretty rational when it comes to our place in the rankings. The M7 have a lot of advantages that will be challenging for SOM to overcome. Yale’s MBA alumni network is small, given that the school has been around only since the 1970s. We don’t have a ton of millionaires and billionaires among our alumni ranks who can donate a building at the drop of a hat.

    I could see SOM passing Tuck and Haas in the next few years, but even that will be tough. IIRC, Tuck has the oldest MBA program in the US, so has a deep alumni pool, while Haas will continue to be buoyed by its proximity to Silicon Valley.

    Dean Snyder could make it happen, but it’s not going to happen overnight.

  • Spartan 22

    Gotta love the subtle Wharton trolling.

    So you did a “Top 3” MBA and then put Booth and Kellogg in front of Wharton? That looks suspiciously like an attempt at cheerleading your alma mater.

  • avivalasvegas

    I know this is going to stir up a storm, but everything I’ve learnt over the years before and after my Top 3 MBA experience tells me that the top schools are:

    GSB>HBS>Booth>Kellogg>Wharton>MIT>Columbia>Tuck>Haas> YALE/ STERN/ ROSS.

    I see the No.10 position alternating between these 3 programs and also see Fuqua as a real threat to their place(s) as Top 10 programs. Has Yale really cemented its #10 spot? I think this article tries to say so. Given the pedigree of the parent university, I’d have to say I agree.

  • anonymous

    Very strong class, and great to see some schools innovating and trying to reach higher while so many are resting on their laurels.

    To be fair though, the international students % is only up because they changed how they count it – now anyone with a citizenship other than US (including US citizens) are counted in, before only non-US citizens were counted. This is more in line with other schools, but for all we know, there’s actually less “actual” internationals in this year.