MIT Sloan | Mr. Refinery Engineer
GMAT 700- will retake, GPA 3.87
Berkeley Haas | Ms. 10 Years Experience
GMAT To be taken, GPA 3.1
Stanford GSB | Mr. Singing Banking Lawyer
GMAT 720, GPA 110-point scale. Got 110/110 with honors
Yale | Ms. Social Impact AKS
GRE 315, GPA 7.56
Harvard | Mr. Political Consultant
GRE 337, GPA 3.85
Kellogg | Mr. Chief Product Officer
GMAT 740, GPA 77.53% (First Class with Distinction, Dean's List Candidate)
Said Business School | Mr. Across The Pond
GMAT 680, GPA 2.8
Yale | Mr. Army Infantry Officer
GMAT 730, GPA 2.83
Wharton | Mr. Army & Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Berkeley Haas | Mr. 360 Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
N U Singapore | Ms. Biomanager
GMAT 520, GPA 2.8
MIT Sloan | Mr. Low GPA Over Achiever
GMAT 700, GPA 2.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Corp Finance
GMAT 740, GPA 3.75
Harvard | Mr. Improve Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.8
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Wake Up & Grind
GMAT 700, GPA 3.5
Darden | Mr. Fintech Nerd
GMAT 740, GPA 7.7/10
Stanford GSB | Mr. Minority Champ
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Darden | Mr. Senior Energy Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 2.5
Harvard | Mr. Merchant Of Debt
GMAT 760, GPA 3.5 / 4.0 in Master 1 / 4.0 in Master 2
Stanford GSB | Mr. Indian Telecom ENG
GRE 340, GPA 3.56
Stanford GSB | Ms. East Africa Specialist
GMAT 690, GPA 3.34
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Nonprofit Social Entrepreneur
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Chicago Booth | Ms. Start-Up Entrepreneur
GRE 318 current; 324 intended, GPA 3.4
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Health Care Executive
GMAT 690, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Professional Boy Scout
GMAT 660, GPA 3.83
IU Kelley | Mr. Construction Manager
GRE 680, GPA 3.02

Meet Yale SOM’s MBA Class Of 2021

Yale SOM Interior. Photo Credit: Tony Rinaldo

GO ANYWHERE AT YALE FOR ELECTIVES

For the Class of 2021, Yale SOM’s most distinctive feature is its interdisciplinary character. According to Bruce DelMonico, the school is deeply connected to the larger university. In fact, MBAs can choose to take all of their electives outside the School of Management – a wrinkle unique to business schools in general. In other words, the program personalizes its programming to more closely align with its individual students’ missions. At the same time, business-related courses are highly popular with students from other graduate programs at Yale University. This approach made all the difference for Neil Noronha when he decided on an MBA program.

“Any business school can teach me economics, accounting, finance, and the expertise-related knowledge to be successful,” he concedes. “However, the Yale School of Management seeks to create interdisciplinary leaders who care first about management and the social interactions that govern our systems and society. These leaders approach challenges not just from a purely financial or economics angle, but also from a scientific, environmental, legal, cultural, political, and social one.”

Jasmine Oko, a 2019 P&Q MBA To Watch, took full advantage of this flexible approach, broadening her perspective by taking several classes outside the SOM. “Some of my favorite non-MBA classes I’ve taken include a Yale College education journalism class, where I got my writing ripped apart (constructively!) by a former editor at The New York Times, and the popular Life Worth Living course at the Yale Divinity School, which broadly explores the question of what constitutes a meaningful life through the lens of different religions and traditions. These classes stretched my thinking and learning in entirely new ways from my more practical MBA classes.”

Team meeting. Photo Credit: Tony Rinaldo

INTERCONNECTEDNESS DEFINES THE PROGRAM

The Class of 2021 also praised the MBA program’s global nature. For Lee Young, the program “empowers students to think outside of the traditional confines of business and across functions, industries, and regions.” That’s particularly true with the Global Network for Advanced Management. Founded in 2012 by Yale SOM, the consortium features 30 business schools on 6 continents, with members stretching from the UK’s University of Oxford to Africa’s Strathmore Business School to China’s Fudan University. These one-on-one partnerships are more than a glorified exchange program. The Global Network also boasts Global Virtual Team projects and SNOCs (Small Network Online Classes). Through this network, students can also earn a Master’s of Advanced Management, which attracted 70 students from 23 network schools last year.

Overall, nearly 7,500 students have traveled overseas to complete week-long network courses in March, including over 700 in 2019. Such partnerships only boost the networking opportunities for SOM MBAs, says Giancarlo Solorzano Picasso, who earned his mechanical engineering degree from Notre Dame.

“Yale has explicitly made it clear in its mission that it seeks to be the most “distinctively global” school in the US. This commitment is evident with the sheer amount of international students who make part of each class. Building a network that can connect you with the resources of hundreds of different countries enables you to take the best that each country has to offer, culturally or otherwise.”

A walk inside the SOM. Photo Credit: Tony Rinaldo

The sense of interconnectedness, both with the larger society and various fields of study, is the key feature of Yale SOM’s vaunted integrated core curriculum. Forget “functional silos,” where each discipline is taught independently. Instead, says Bruce DelMonico, courses revolve around business stakeholders like investors and employees. That way, students can take an in-depth look at broader organizational or marketplace perspectives.

“We look not at marketing as a class or function, but we look at the customer as a stakeholder and what parts of an organization relate to the customer or affect the customer experience. So it can include marketing, but also operations, technology, and accounting.”

NOT A NON-PROFIT SCHOOL

This direction hit home for Abhishek Agarwal. “While working as a product development manager and engaging with different stakeholders, I realized it was important to understand all the stakeholders involved and their varied points of view. The integrated core curriculum will help develop leadership skills as they relate to various organizational roles rather than to discrete disciplinary topics. It will prepare me to look across functions within a particular organization as well as across organizations, industries, and sectors when making strategic decisions.”

More than that, the integrated core – particularly raw cases – reflect the often ambiguous and conflicting nature of business decision-making. “I tend to adhere to the school of thought that the best way to learn something is through experience,” adds Kiara Feliz. “Yale’s innovative curriculum takes this to heart by providing various stakeholder perspectives and raw data that may or may not be relevant to solving the issue at hand. This forces students to discern what to prioritize and thereby simulating the next best thing to a real, on-the-job experience.”

Of course, being different often means being misunderstood. In Yale SOM’s case, that translates to being narrowed to a “non-profit school.” The program fed 35% of its grads to consulting in 2018, along with 23% to finance and 15% to tech. In sum, just 1.2% of the class landed jobs with non-profits. Reality is, students come to New Haven to learn how to make an impact and a difference so they can fulfill a larger mission. For the Class of 2021 – or any past or future class – the real value of a Yale SOM MBA is the ability to absorb an array of perspectives and apply them wherever they land for the greater good.

“They might be going into investment banking but thinking about it in a different way because of the things they learned, the values that they acquired or were able to accentuate at Yale,” adds DelMonico.

What led these professionals to enter business schools? Which programs did they also consider? What strategies did they use to choose their MBA program? What was the major event that defined them? Find the answers to these questions and many more in the in-depth profiles of these incoming MBA candidates.

MBA StudentHometownAlma MaterEmployer
Abhishek K AgarwalPanjipara, IndiaIndian Institute of Technology (IIT)Unilever
Taylor BarnardStansbury Park, UTTufts UniversityDeloitte Consulting
Kiara FelizManchester, NHUniversity of PennsylvaniaFHI 360
Michelle GilroyWest Chester, PAClemson UniversityAmerican Airlines
Swapna KumarRochester, NYUniversity of RochesterBoston Children’s Hospital
Eva LeungHong KongLondon School of EconomicsStandard Chartered Bank
Nomawethu MoyoBulawayo, ZimbabweColby CollegeIndustrial Economics, Inc.
Pemika NakataBangkok, ThailandUniversity of Southern CaliforniaBualuang Ventures
Ezra NelsonIndianapolis, INBrown UniversityBoston Collegiate Charter School
Neil NoronhaBowie, MDGeorgetown UniversityOffice of Senator Tammy Duckworth
Diego OrdoñezMonterrey, MexicoTecnologico de MonterreyCapitel Desarrollos
Giancarlo Solorzano PicassoManagua, NicaraguaUniversity of Notre DameSER San Antonio
Anna TroeinWindsor, United KingdomTufts UniversityHirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Lee YoungEvansville, INMorehouse CollegeDelta Air Lines
Allen XuOverland Park, KSStanford UniversityHarrisX