Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Patricia Daniel, Yale SOM

Patricia Daniel

Yale School of Management

“I humbly describe myself as an aspiring modern-day renaissance woman.”

Hometown: Port-au-Prince, Haiti / Brooklyn, New York

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am a cat lady in the making, moved to New Haven with my two feline children

Undergraduate School and Major: Cornell University – Development Sociology

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Goldman Sachs – Associate

The Yale School of Management is regarded as a purpose-driven program. What is your mission? How will your MBA at Yale SOM help you fulfill that mission? The Yale School of Management is regarded as a purpose-driven program. What is your mission? How will your MBA at Yale SOM help you fulfill that mission? Simply put, my mission is to learn as much as I can, so I can “do” as much as I can. SOM’s purpose driven program complements this mission in that the common and ultimate goal of making an impact or being of service to others permeates every single aspect of the program. I believe that SOM will allow me to fulfill my mission by way of: 1) its integrated curriculum that uniquely applies the core tenets of business from different perspectives to real life matters; and 2) its vast global opportunities that will set us on a path to maximize our potential and scale our impact.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Almost immediately, I took notice of SOM’s integrity in upholding its mission and the sense of community that naturally follows such a mission. From interactions with members of admissions to catchups with alumni, that sense of purpose and community held true. This observation also trickled down to the variety of student clubs and groups that define how students connect and collaborate across different topics or disciplines that matter to them as a community. It was very telling and refreshing to notice the frequency of terms like impact, society, entrepreneurship and development.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? I would definitely describe my classmates as purpose-driven (hence why they picked SOM!). From the exchanges that I have had so far, albeit mostly virtual, I have picked up on how eager my classmates are to engage, connect and positively influence, regardless of respective career aspirations.

What club or activity excites you most at this school? Given the backdrop of racial tension across the country, I am eager to join the Black Business Alliance. I believe that we are particularly well-positioned as future business leaders to be agents of change in that regard.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Broadly speaking, my biggest accomplishment so far has to be my ability to facilitate cross-functional collaboration on different set of projects. In the capacity of my most recent role, I found myself in that position quite frequently. It allowed me to flex my leadership skills, while dealing with ambiguity and different types of personalities. There is still plenty of room for me to grow my leadership potential in terms of “facilitator” of action or progress. However, frequent experiences of that nature instilled a lot of confidence and know-how, which the lack thereof hindered me before.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I have finally reached the point where I can define my career goals. Pretty soon after that, I realized that getting my MBA will allow me to fill any knowledge gaps, hone appropriate skill sets and build a network as I work towards those career goals.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Harvard Business School and Columbia Business School

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? I can’t recall exactly but I believe it was something along the lines of how I hope to make an impact while at SOM. In other words, I understood it as gauging what I planned on contributing to the SOM community. It was difficult for me to answer this question at the time because I did not yet think of being a contributor to my business school experience as much as I will be a receiver. Thankfully, I have a better idea now and am extremely eager to get started.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I considered (in order of importance): school mission/culture, curriculum, and global appeal. I evaluated schools by perusing respective websites and online forums, speaking with alumni and current students and school visits. I primarily determined cultural fit based on gut feeling and sense of belonging. Analysis of curriculum, core and elective course offerings, and professional clubs dictated fit for my career goals.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? One of many defining moments so far in my career is actually reaching a plateau. This sense of monotony inspired the soul-searching process to determine what my next move should be. Once confirmed, I quickly realized that I was not yet equipped for my next move. Because of this, I am ready to approach business school with utmost hunger to learn and grow. One way this “hunger” will materialize is by pushing myself to do things that scare me. Many, many things can fall under that category, so we will see how I fare!

What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? There are a number of companies that I am exploring but the one that first comes to mind in terms of what business students can learn from them is Microsoft. I think Microsoft, similarly to SOM, very much lives up to its mission. I think business students can learn from Microsoft how strong principles and culture can drive the organizational lifeline of a company.

What is the most important attribute that you are seeking in an MBA employer? An ideal MBA employer for me is one that very clearly and meaningfully invests in the talent that it attracts.


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