2019 Best & Brightest MBAs: Becca Constantine, Yale SOM

Becca Constantine

Yale School of Management

Community-oriented triathlete and book lover passionate about helping organizations create sustainable positive change.”

Hometown: Northampton, Massachusetts

Fun fact about yourself: I recently completed my third Ironman triathlon. My classmates were incredibly supportive throughout training, and I met my goal of finishing the race in under fifteen hours!

Undergraduate School and Degrees

Brown University – Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Classics; Bachelor of Sciences in Mathematics

Stanford University – Master of Arts in Higher Education Leadership

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Stanford University – Director of Finance and Business Operations, Center for the Advancement of Women’s Leadership

Where did you intern during the summer of 2018? Knight-Hennessy Scholars, Stanford University (Stanford, CA)

Where will you be working after graduation? To be determined (industry: higher education)

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Toward advancing gender equity in our professional spaces, I have facilitated the Circles leadership training program (see next question) for 200+ Yale SOM students (in partnership with the Women in Management club), staff, and alumnae. I will also moderate a panel at SOM’s upcoming Fempire conference, which explores the intersections among women, technology, and power.

To engage in the SOM and broader New Haven communities, I serve as a Nonprofit Board Fellow at New Haven Promise through SOM’s Nonprofit Board Fellows program. Along with attending meetings of the Board, I work with Promise’s executive leadership to help the organization strengthen its relationships with the local business community as a key aspect of my board service. I also participated in the Social Impact Consulting Club in my first year, working on a four-member consulting team that helped New Haven’s Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS) develop a financial model for refugee and immigrant families. I’ve loved my time as an admissions interviewer for applicants to SOM.

In academic leadership, I served this year as a teaching assistant for the Microeconomics, Probability & Statistics, and Sourcing & Managing Funds core courses. I am also a Forté Fellow and recipient of SOM’s Shanna and Eric Bass ’05 MBA scholarship.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of bringing Circles to the Yale SOM community and helping build a flourishing Circles program. Before SOM, I worked as the Corporate Program Manager, then Director of Finance and Business Operations, at Stanford University’s Center for the Advancement of Women’s Leadership (now the Stanford VMware Women’s Leadership Innovation Lab). My team had partnered with Lean In to develop what would become Lean In Circles and Stanford Voice & Influence Circles. The goal of Circles is to give participants an understanding of gender bias in the workplace, equip them with tools to navigate it, strengthen their voices in the workplace, and help them understand how their organizations can reduce bias and better support all employees. In my time at Stanford, I helped bring the Circles leadership training to more than 1,000 women and allies on campus and in a number of large multinational companies.

When I came to Yale SOM, I saw the opportunity to bring Circles to this community. I worked with the Women in Management club (WIM) to launch a WIM Circles pilot last spring, in which nearly 100 SOM students participated. WIM has chosen to continue WIM Circles as a core element of its programming, and had close to 150 participants each in Fall 2018 and Spring 2019. I had the privilege of training the Circles leaders for all three WIM iterations. I also enjoyed immensely bringing Circles to the SOM staff and alumnae communities, leading in-depth training for pilot cohorts of staff and SOM alumnae who are already finding ways to bring what they’ve learned into the world beyond SOM. I love being able to create spaces for community development and positive conversations around gender equity at SOM, and to help the SOM community gain tangible, actionable skills to continue to advance talented leaders across all genders in the future.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am most proud of my work helping corporate leaders to advance diversity and inclusion in their organizations. My team at Stanford worked with senior executives at companies in the Fortune 100 and beyond to increase organizational effectiveness by improving their hiring and promotion processes along with the rest of the employee lifecycle. I am proud of the many conversations I had with professionals at our participating companies on how to apply cutting-edge research on reducing bias in the workplace to their specific settings, and of hearing success stories further down the road.

What was your favorite MBA Course? My favorite MBA course has been the Ethical Choices in Public Leadership elective taught by Eric Braverman. Each week, Eric had students undergo a range of simulations in which we tackled challenging ethical dilemmas that we will all likely encounter in one form or another later in our careers. The biggest insight I gained about business from the course was that, as leaders, we should take the time to prepare not only for the financial, communications, and other challenges we will inevitably face but also for the ethical challenges. By grappling with possible challenges in advance and getting our teams on board with conversations about how we would handle ethical dilemmas, we will be much better equipped to handle them when they arrive on our desks.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Yale SOM because I believe deeply in the school’s mission of educating leaders for business and society. It was essential to me that any educational institution prepare me to lead not only for profit but also for social, global, and community good. I am thrilled to have found that in the classes and community at Yale SOM.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Be authentic. We want to get to know the real you. As an admissions interviewer, I love getting to see the passion that applicants have for their work and life shine through in the enthusiasm that they bring to the interview.

What is the biggest myth about your school? Yale SOM’s mission is “educating leaders for business and society.” It’s a huge myth that there would be “business people” and “society people” at SOM rather than people who focus on business and society. While any given class discussion may focus more strongly on profits or societal benefits, SOM students and faculty alike care deeply about the intersection of business and society. I’ve loved conversations with classmates who think creatively and collaboratively about how businesses can maximize profits while also being exceptional stewards of societal goods, from the environment to human health and beyond.

Think back two years ago. What is the one thing you wish you’d known before starting your MBA program? I wish that I had known which curve was supply and which was demand! I spent the first two weeks of Microeconomics figuring it out.

MBA Alumni often describe business school as transformative. Looking back over the past two years, how has business school been transformative for you? This summer, I had the opportunity to take on ownership of a wonderful and very amorphous project in an area I didn’t know much about for my summer internship. Even after only one year of business school, I could already see a clear transformation in how I approached the work.

As a result of my time at SOM, I’ve gained confidence in owning my role as a leader across a range of situations, managing projects without clear deliverables, and connecting an organization’s strategic goals with day-to-day implementation. I’ve also gained an exceptional community of peers and fellow leaders to support and guide me in my future work. I look forward immensely to bringing these with me into the world beyond SOM.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Hannah Stonebraker is one of those people you want to know. She is kind, compassionate, and exceptionally thoughtful. When talking about what we learned from a class discussion, Hannah will provide wonderful learning outcomes that bring in her work in global development. In a small-group setting, she has an outstanding ability to draw others into the conversation through curiosity and insightful questions. Hannah will be an exceptional teammate and leader wherever she goes next.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My mom had a huge influence on my decision to attend business school. After earning her MBA, she went on to be the CFO of a top liberal arts college for over two decades. She was elected and served as the first female board chair of my hometown savings bank, which was founded in 1873. I saw how an MBA helped her gain leadership skills and financial acumen to succeed – and help organizations succeed – in an amazing range of settings.

What is your favorite movie about business? The Social Network. I love watching entrepreneurship in action and appreciated how the movie highlighted human interactions and decision-making in Facebook’s growth from a website created in a college dorm room to one of the most influential players on the global stage.

What was the goofiest MBA term or acronym you encountered – and what did it mean? We have so many acronyms at Yale SOM that we actually host Acronym Trivia at the end of orientation to help first-years absorb them all! One of my favorites is SNOC (pronounced “snock”), which stands for Small Network Online Course, one of the wonderful offerings through the Global Network for Advanced Management. It’s just so fun to say!

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…in school for something else! I’d most likely be getting a doctorate in Organizational Behavior or Higher Education Leadership.”

What dollar value would you place on your MBA education? Was it worth what you paid for it – worth more or worth less? My MBA education has been priceless. I would not be the leader or the person I am today without my time for Yale SOM, and I appreciate every way in which this school and this community have shaped me.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

  1. Learn to bake croissants from scratch.
  2. Visit Antarctica.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I hope that my peers will remember me as a compassionate and driven classmate, friend, and leader for business and society.

Hobbies? I love training for triathlons, volunteering, reading, crossword puzzles, travel, photography, and hosting dinner parties.

What made Becca such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?

“Becca is a second-year student in the MBA program at the Yale School of Management and strongly demonstrates the qualities outlined for this award.

In my role as the Director of Academic Affairs and Student Life at the Yale School of Management, I have had the privilege of watching Becca excel both inside and outside the classroom. She is a fantastic student and was tapped by many faculty members to serve as a teaching assistant for their rigorous courses. Becca has devoted much of her time providing academic support to many of our students. Her academic achievements are most impressive, but even more, is her ability to share her knowledge and expertise with the rest of her classmates to ensure their academic success as well.

In addition to her remarkable academic record, Becca has also devoted much of her time to running a four-month leadership program for more than 200 students, staff, and alumni, called SOM Circles. Becca led these sessions to help advance gender equity in the professional space and to share her wonderful experience from her time developing and running a similar program at Stanford University. These sessions were very well-received by all constituents involved and provided an incredible professional development opportunity for our community. In addition, it helped raise awareness about subjects that are not as frequently addressed and provided tools for how best to navigate these complex topics.

Becca has also demonstrated her leadership abilities at Yale SOM with her involvement as an Admissions interviewer, serving as a Nonprofit Board Fellow at New Haven Promise, and participating in the Social Impact Consulting Club. Even with the demanding workload and extracurricular activities, Becca still found time to challenge herself by training and competing in an Ironman this past year and accomplishing her impressive goal of finishing the race in under fifteen hours.

Becca is someone who continues to give back to our community in multiple ways and serves as a role model for her work ethic, dedication, and professionalism. She demonstrates a strong sense of compassion and empathy that greatly benefits all who know her. I recommend Becca for this award and am so grateful for the incredible impact she has made on our Yale community.”

Rebecca Udler

Director of Academic Affairs & Student Life

Yale School of Management



Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.