Chauneice Davis Yeagley
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
“A recovering lawyer, passionate about sharing our untold stories and reshaping corporate culture.”
Hometown: Colorado Springs, CO
Fun Fact About Yourself: I grew up in Colorado but only recently starting skiing!
Undergraduate School and Major: Spelman College, B.A. Psychology; Duke University School of Law, J.D.
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania for Honorable Petrese B. Tucker; Federal law clerk
What word best describes the Wharton MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far and why? Tapestry. The remarkable people I have met so far have been truly vast and varied in their origin lands (80+ countries represented in our class alone), their experiences, and their personalities. I have deeply felt the word “diversity” embodied by the individuals, and woven together, have seen quite a powerful whole.
Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the Wharton School’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? As a hopeful Entrepreneur & Innovation major, I was drawn to the many resources available to those looking to start companies. Most notably, I was very excited about the launch of the Venture Lab.
What course, club, or activity excites you the most at the Wharton School (and why)? Wharton Women in Business (WWIB)—it’s our time! With the record-breaking class representation of 52% women, and Dean Erika James at the helm as the first (Black) woman to lead this institution in its 140-year history, I am ignited and ready to see what this incredible community of women can do to change the world!
When you think of the Wharton School, what is the first word that comes to mind? Why? Excellence—everyone works at the highest caliber as professionals and people. Whether investment bankers or social entrepreneurs, excellence is at the forefront.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Mentorship has been my biggest accomplishment. I began mentoring young lawyers in the beginning of my career because of the incredible mentors I had in undergrad. I continue to make that a deep part of my life because I think it’s critical to always give back as you rise in your own career.
How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? COVID meant a complete change in our society. Of course, our proximity and closeness was impacted, but also discussions about race and social equity were at the forefront in an unprecedented way. In early 2020, I had been working on a podcast focused on American history and Black American identity—which I thought would be incredibly niche—but instead, it became immensely relevant and was used as a tool by those in my community and beyond as they grappled with the pain we were collectively experiencing.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? Wharton is known for its stretch experiences and it was exactly this type of event that led me here. In 2017, I climbed Mt Kilimanjaro while I was working as a corporate attorney in Big Law. It was on the mountain peak that I realized my future was going to be very different than I had imagined. I decided to make my passion for diversity and inclusion the focus of my career, not just a secondary facet. Less than a year later, I left the firm on a quest to learn more about what that change could entail. It was my first major step towards business school & Wharton. Now, I am focused on starting my own company offering data-driven and tech-enabled solutions for corporate law firms hoping to build better communities and promotion practices for Black, brown, women, and LGBTQI+ associates.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? HBS, Stanford GSB, Yale SOM, UC Berkeley Haas, and UCLA.
What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into the Wharton School’s MBA program? Don’t count yourself out at any point in the process. Wharton can feel intimidating, but do not let myths and misperceptions keep you from learning more about what the program is really all about. And when you do apply, be yourself fully, especially if you are a nontraditional applicant—like me.
DON’T MISS: MEET THE MBA CLASS OF 2023: PACESETTERS WITH A PURPOSE
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