Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Rachelle Clark, Yale SOM

Rachelle Clark

Yale School of Management

“California girl hoping to make the world a better place!”

Hometown: Huntington Beach, CA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I grew up doing beach Junior Lifeguard summer camp and know a good amount of radio code (ten-code)

Undergraduate School and Major: Huntsman Program for International Studies and Business, The University of Pennsylvania

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Latin America Corporate Strategy, Citigroup

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 finance industry has a stereotype that it is only focused on profits and helping the rich make more money. However, I believe that finance can be used for good and for improving the world. Working at financial institutions, I have seen the critical role banks play in emerging markets. I have seen countless deals where banks create development opportunities and stabilize economies in some of the world’s most fragile markets. I want to merge my interests in social impact and finance to help promote sustainable economic growth and reduce poverty around the world.

Studying at SOM and being immersed in a community of students and professors who share the belief that business can and SHOULD make a positive impact in society will help prepare me to be a better leader in the business community.

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? I was drawn to how Yale’s mission – to educate leaders for business and society – is integrated to every part of the curriculum. Other programs have separate tracks or concentrations focused on social impact, but I really liked how Yale’s goal is to provide a truly holistic business education for every student.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? My classmates have a mix of being ambitious but also down-to-earth – their accomplishments are truly amazing! I admire how everyone truly values the business and society mission, and is collaborative and friendly.

What club or activity excites you most at this school? I am excited about the Economic Development Club, a group with the unique mission to build a community around social impact for economic development. I am also excited for the International Experience course and Global Network week to learn and travel around the world!

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: At Citi, I had a unique regional role where I got to oversee projects in Mexico, Costa Rica, Venezuela, and Chile. I learned to understand the different business structures and unique macroeconomic and political environments in each country. More importantly, I got to learn from my intelligent colleagues all over the region. Adjusting to different work and communication styles was hard at first, but I learned that having a positive attitude was the answer to everything!

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I wanted to transition to a role that had greater variety in clients – specifically including governmental entities and more financial institutions—so that my work could make a bigger impact.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Due to my interest in international relations, I applied to dual-degree programs at Georgetown and Columbia.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? Yale’s essay question about “commitments” caused me to do a lot of self-reflection about my personal and professional goals. I took a lot of time to really think about my priorities and how to accurately communicate these values to the admissions committee.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? Talking with students and alumni really helped me learn about the culture of each school and the career paths of graduates post-MBA. I reached out to a lot of people through “cold” messages on LinkedIn and seeing how responsive students from each school were, along with how informative they were about the strength of the alumni network and the character of the program. I was impressed by how Yale students and alumni genuinely cared about my application progress (even though I was a stranger) and were willing to take out so much of their own time to help me.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? My grandparents are Mexican, Colombian, Chinese and African-American. They instilled in me the value of giving back to the communities where they came from. However, I always believed that this positive social impact had to be completely separate from my profession. When I started working, however, I realized that there was a way to intertwine these two ideas and make a positive social impact through my career. During business school, I want to continue to learn about how to fuse my two interests in social impact and finance to promote development in emerging markets around the world.

What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? To be honest, working at Citi was great! It is a company that truly values diversity – not just in ethnicity but also diversity in thought, in age, and in experience. I believe that when all employees are respected and supported, it makes the company better.

What is the most important attribute that you are seeking in an MBA employer? I am looking for a global employer that supports employees’ professional growth within the company. I want to find a collaborative culture where I can learn from interesting and intelligent colleagues.

DON’T MISS: MEET YALE SOM’S MBA CLASS OF 2022

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