Meet Yale SOM’s MBA Class Of 2023

Evans Hall. Credit: Harold Shapiro


Yes, the Class of 2023 is a little different. For one, the class is very welcoming, observes Caitlin Piccirillo-Stosser. “Every person who is here wants to be here, and they want you to be here too. I also use “welcoming” in the sense that students and alumni welcome different perspectives and ideas and encourage learning through debate and inquiry.”

This openness has also left a strong impression on Malcolm Davis. “There is an eagerness to not only discover our uncommon commonalities, but to explore our differences. I’ve already had conversations about the Israel-Palestine conflict, how to increase Black representation at Yale SOM, and improving the workplace culture and safety for the cast and crew of theater productions. For Yale SOM MBA alumni and students, bettering the world is not an afterthought, but a North Star.”

Yes, the Class of 2023 will take an active role in creating a better world. What makes the SOM spirit so lasting is that it is infused with a sense of shared purpose, says Colin Custer. “There’s a sense among students that we can’t “go it alone,” that we’ve all got a role to play, and that being at Yale represents a privilege that comes with responsibilities toward society.”

That privilege also compels MBA students to watch out for each other. Alum Julia Frederick calls her peers, “one another’s champions, constantly cheering each other on at events, making career connections, and helping each other prepare for interviews.” And that supportiveness extends beyond the student body, adds Cathy Zaragoza, an Arts History major who moved into the tech sector with Microsoft after graduation.

“I was incredibly nervous about how I would fare around people who had majored in business or came from traditional business roles,” she explains. “However, Yale provided me with so many resources to get up to speed: tutors, review sessions, and incredible classmates who were always willing to help me out. I started my MBA program in Yale’s pre-MBA “math camp” and ended it having taken every single analytics course the school had to offer and I earned Management Science concentration—a huge turnaround.”

Evans Hall. Credit: Harold Shapiro


By the numbers, Yale SOM enjoyed a 12.3% surge in applications during the 2020-2021 cycle. That was good for the 4th-best improvement among Top 25 programs (where the average was a 3.2% increase). Overall, the SOM received 3,877 applications, roughly the same number as Berkeley Haas and NYU Stern, and ultimately accepting 24% of all applicants.

At the same time, average GMAT scores rose six points to 726, with scores ranging from 640-780. Average undergraduate GPAs came in at 3.66, while the GRE average rose two points to 330 (Quant and Verbal both averaged 165). In sum, 36% of the class submitted GRE scores.

The Class of 2023 also continued Yale SOM’s legacy of diversity. 43% of the class is women. Another 44% hail from overseas. In fact, the class speaks 41 languages and comes from 38 countries including Kenya, Germany, Israel, Singapore, and Peru. The class also boasts 42 Silver Scholars and 13 military veterans. True to the integrative nature of SOM (and Yale itself), 9% of the class are pursuing dual degrees.

The class also features students from 176 undergraduate institutions. The largest segment — 28% — majored in the Humanities and Social Sciences. STEM majors account for 27% of the class, followed by Business (23%) and Economics (22%). Another 14% and the class already hold graduate degrees, with nearly in 1 in 10 students being first generation college graduates.

Professionally, the largest percentage of the class (24%) last worked in consulting. Financial services professionals account for a 17% of the class followed by Non-Profits at 14% and Technology at 10%.. The rest of the class includes representatives from Government, Healthcare, Media and Entertainment, Energy, Consumer Products, and Logistics.


Yale SOM’s robust non-profit recruiting is hardly surprising. After all, Yale SOM consistently ranks #1 in Non-Profit programming in annual surveys of MBA deans and directors conducted by U.S. News & World Report. In fact, Yale SOM is dubbed a “non-profit school” in some circles. It is strength, notes 2021 alum Manny Fadahunsi, but hardly an end.

“This misconception may have resulted from the misinterpretation of the school’s tagline, which is “Educating leaders for business and society.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, just 2.5% of the class of 2020 went on to work full-time for a nonprofit.”

The SOM also tends to follow its vision when it comes to curriculum. Notably, the program has adopted an integrated model in its core curriculum, one that takes first-year beyond the functional silos of finance, account, marketing, operations, and strategy employed in other core programs. Here, MBAs start out mastering the functional fundamentals — Accounting, Economics, Statistics, Negotiations, Managerial Decision-Making — before pivoting into Perspectives. In these courses, students adopt the roles of major stakeholders, including Customers, Investors, Employees, Executives, and Innovators, to understand the motivations and pressures that drive their behaviors. In the process, they apply the functional lessons they absorbed earlier to make their frameworks more relevant and reveal the interconnections between various functions.

Better still, the school leans heavily on raw case studies. Basically, these cases are broader outlines of specific events and issues, which are supplemented by outside resources like data sets, interviews, and media accounts. As a result, these cases, which make up roughly half of SOM’s teaching, better simulate the real world, where narratives aren’t packaged and leaders must decide what is pertinent, credible, significant, and actionable.

Yale SOM’s interdisciplinary nature is also reinforced by its deep ties to the larger Yale community. Before enrolling at the SOM, Jenn Burka, a 2021 MBA alum, heard that the SOM was more integrated with its home university than any other business school. This was a huge draw for her since she intended to take courses at both the schools of Law and the Environment. While she enjoyed that flexibility, Burka’s experience didn’t turn out exactly how she’d planned.

“I imagined that I might spend my second year taking classes entirely outside the business school,” she admits. “Once I arrived, I was pleased by how integrated SOM really was with the larger Yale community. Not only was I able to take classes outside of SOM, I was also able to attend events at other graduate programs and at the college as well. I utilized the Yale Art Gallery, attended theatre productions at the Yale Cabaret, and volunteered at the Yale Farm. The thing that did end up surprising me was that as I learned more about business and finance, there ended up being so many classes I wanted to take at SOM that I took far less classes outside of the business school than I had originally expected.”

Evans Hall. Credit: Harold Shapiro


An interdisciplinary approach is just one of the hallmarks of the Yale SOM experience. Last month, P&Q reached out to the school’s administration to learn more about what differentiates the program and what developments are in the works at the school. Here are some insights into these areas from several members of Yale SOM leadership.

P&Q: What are the two most exciting developments at your program and how will they enrich the MBA experience for current and future MBAs?

Bruce DelMonico, Assistant Dean for Admissions: “There are so many exciting things happening at Yale SOM, but two that I’ll highlight are the new Broad Center at Yale SOM and the new Master’s Degree in Asset Management. The Broad Center recently relocated from Los Angeles to Yale, and engages in a host of research and programming—including two master’s degree programs—that are aimed at developing transformative leaders for public education. And the Asset Management degree is a new program that was developed by David Swensen, the longtime head of Yale’s endowment, and professor Toby Moskowitz to train leaders of impact in asset management.

What I think is notable about these two programs is how they so neatly exemplify our founding mission of educating leaders for business and society. You would be hard-pressed to find another business school where such disparate disciplines so comfortably coexist. But that’s the beauty—really, the magic—of Yale SOM. Another important aspect of this defining mission is not just how it encompasses diverse fields such as education and asset management, but how it shapes and transforms them as well. It brings heart to a field such as investment management that could otherwise tend toward the technical and impersonal, training leaders who understand the impact their investment decisions have and who steward that responsibility with thought and care. And it allows educators who are passionate and purposeful about their work to approach it with heightened rigor, amplifying the impact they can have in their classrooms and communities. So these two new programs are emblematic of Yale SOM’s special mission and values on multiple levels.

Beyond the influence these two programs will have on SOM generally, they will enrich the MBA experience specifically by enhancing the research, programming, and course offerings available to MBA students in these fields, up to and including the option to pursue a joint degree with the MBA. So these two programs can have very real and direct influence on the MBA experience here at Yale SOM.”

Bruce DelMonico

P&Q: What are two biggest differentiating features of your MBA program? How do each of these enrich the learning of your MBA students?

Bruce DelMonico, Assistant Dean for Admissions: “Among the many differentiating features of a Yale MBA—including our distinctive global programming and deep connections to Yale University—I would point to our mission of educating leaders for business and society and our unique integrated curriculum as two of the biggest differentiating features of Yale SOM.

The mission informs just about everything we do here at SOM, and animates so much that happens at the school. At a high level, it means that we educate our students to think broadly about the kind of impact they will have in their careers and lives, and to see the interconnectedness of the various sectors—public, private, and non-profit. It’s very much a multi-sector approach to management, which is infused throughout the MBA experience and means that even graduates who go into traditional MBA fields such as management consulting and investment banking think about their roles differently coming from Yale than they would had they gone to another MBA program.

And the integrated curriculum is one way the school operationalizes the mission in the MBA experience. Our curriculum is different than curricula at other business schools. We teach many of the same core concepts, but we break down the functional silos in teaching them to help our students gain a broader, more holistic perspective on the concepts so that they can see the big picture more easily, and as a result, bring an elevated mindset to their careers. We also teach beyond traditional business disciplines, drawing from the resources across the university at large to incorporate law, medicine, the environment, political science, philosophy, and other areas into the SOM classroom. There’s a good bit of team teaching that happens, and we teach using our distinctive raw case method, so a great deal of the academic experience here at Yale SOM is differentiating, and it aligns with the overarching mission of the school.”

Next Page: 12 Profiles of Yale SOM MBA Candidates

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