Vance C. Lewis
Yale School of Management
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: A status quo challenger who pushes himself and others mentally and socially to create change.
Hometown: Paoli, PA
Fun Fact About Yourself: In my junior year at Howard University, I played drums with my hip-hop rock band, The Rising Suns, at Amateur Night at the Apollo and we didn’t get booed off!
Undergraduate School and Major:
Howard University – BBA, Marketing
University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education – M.S.Ed
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:
Education Pioneers, Operations Fellow at Roseville Community Charter School
People for People Charter School, Director of Support Services
People for People Charter School, Special Education Teacher
Teach for America – Greater Philadelphia Region, Co-Director of Special Education Advisory Partnership (SEAP)
Mastery Charter School – Clymer Elementary, Special Education Teacher
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In my third year of teaching, I, along with my co-teacher, was able to raise the proficiency rate of our 7th grade home room by 29% in English Language Arts. In doing so, I gave two special young women, whose scores went from Below Basic (the lowest band) to Proficient (the second highest band), the opportunity to attend one of the best high schools in Philadelphia. Each of them had Individualized education plans, but knew if they worked hard, they could attend one of the selective high schools in the city.
Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? Take time to really think about what it is that drives you to go to business school. Understand how this fits in the context of your personal story and your personal journey through life. This will give you a point of reference that will benefit you when you write essays and interview with schools. As far as the GMAT is concerned, know your learning style. If you are able to set a study schedule and keep to it, then do so. If you need to register for a class because you need a little more structure and motivation to study (as was my case), then do that.
What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Yale SOM stood out as the school that most aligned with my vision for my professional success. I knew that I wanted a business school that understood the immense value that business can have on some of our greatest societal needs, such as education. It became very clear early on in my application process that Yale SOM was the school that most understood this, and most integrated this philosophy into their curriculum and overall student experience.
Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? My goal in life is to solve the achievement gap that is pervasive across our country’s schooling system. As such, my dream job is anything that helps me further this goal. It could be in the form of starting my own elementary school, working with tech giants like Google and Facebook on increasing access to their burgeoning education platforms, or working in consulting to help large education organizations increase their effectiveness and efficiency.
What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I want them to say, “Vance was fearless in his pursuit of excellence. He worked extraordinarily hard on improving on his weaknesses and capitalized on his strengths. He was a pleasure to work with on a team and showed great care and support towards his fellow classmates. Oh yeah, his bow ties were great, too.”