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Meet Yale SOM’s MBA Class of 2018

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Nate Micon

Yale School of Management

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: My four principles: friends and family first, challenge yesterday’s boundaries, keep exploring, coffee.

Hometown: Niagara Falls, NY

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have seen an embarrassingly small number of movies

Undergraduate School and Major: The George Washington University; BBA, Finance and International Business

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Greenwich Strategy, Consultant

Booz Allen Hamilton, Senior Consultant

IBM, Consultant

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Being selected to the board of my firm’s LGBTQ employee engagement group (GLOBE) has been the most rewarding thing I’ve achieved in my career, at least on a personal level. I truly believe that diversity accelerates innovation and begets a positive organizational culture. During my tenure on the Board, I had the opportunity to help build a workplace that celebrates individual perspectives, advocate for more inclusive policies with the firm’s senior leadership team, meet passionate and inspiring leaders who helped me learn what kind of leader I want to become, and work to break down silos between various engagement groups.

However, I am most proud of my efforts to establish a reoccurring networking event that gave a changing group of junior LGBTQ staff members the opportunity to meet and have lunch with executives of the firm. It may seem like a small event, but I know how validating it is to have a senior executive tell you that it’s okay, and encouraged, to “be your authentic self at work” and it was humbling to be a part of that for some of my colleagues.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? There are myriad blogs, books, and consultants advising you on how to craft the perfect application and how to frame your story. Trying to take in every last suggestion can be paralyzing and unproductive, and doing so will probably result in an insincere package. This doesn’t mean to go in blindly or without a plan, but don’t be afraid to close the blogs once you’ve done some initial research. The process is not about exceptionalism nor can someone else give you your story. Instead, figure out your “DNA”: what makes you unique, what inspires you, and what enables you to get back up after falling down.

The best applications and essays work because they weave together examples of your successes, obstacles, values, and passions into a cohesive and honest story. When you’re done, I think you should be a little nervous about what you wrote because the package isn’t “cookie cutter” nor was it something you were “told” to write. Instead, it’s truly personal and exposes something fundamental about who you are. Such admissions can be unnerving or seem risky, but that nervousness is a good thing and means you’re on the right track!

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? I chose to apply to Yale SOM because it has a strong point of view and culture with which I immediately connected. It was clear from SOM’s mission statement (“Educating leaders for business and society”) that the school focused broadly on cultivating leaders who understand the intersectionality of today’s issues and who think globally. To achieve this, SOM builds a diverse community. These commitments are deeply etched into the school’s ethos, and reflected in every step of the application process, including its essay prompt. (I think you can tell a lot about a school and what it values from its essay question).

However, the most salient factor in deciding to attend SOM was meeting current students. Every single student I met was engaging, supportive, and fearless. The community was global and comprehensively diverse but everyone shared a goal of developing with—not against—one another. This attitude of community means failing is safer, learning is more collaborative, and creates an alumni community who want to help you succeed.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? I have been in consulting my entire professional life and working for a top-tier management consulting firm is where I see myself immediately after graduating Yale SOM. I love consulting because I love solving complex and highly consequential puzzles every day; it pushes you to keep learning, rewards creativity, and ensures your tasks are varied. Consulting also mandates that you learn how to align the goals of diverse stakeholders, even when people have differing goals and definitions of success. This skill is important in many jobs, especially those focused on policy creation and advocacy which is a field I could see myself entering in the future. 

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I hope my peers say that I never stopped pushing myself, and I hope they say that I challenged them to broaden their perspectives, changed how they approached something, or encouraged them to live their passion(s).