Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Alvaro Morales, Yale SOM

Alvaro Morales

Yale School of Management

“The opposite of me on the dance floor: imaginative, open, and light on my feet.”

Hometown: Virginia suburbs via Huancayo, Peru

Fun Fact About Yourself: I was born at two-mile altitude.

Undergraduate School and Major: Amherst College, Economics

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Founder and Director/Producer creating immersive media (VR/AR) experiences and documentaries

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? My mission is to be of service and to contribute to the world as much as my privileges and limitations will allow. Yale is helping me figure out which steps to take to fulfill this mission by providing amazing peers, intellectual and personal growth, and time.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of Yale SOM’s MBA curriculum or programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? I chose SOM because it allowed me to pursue a joint-degree public policy masters with Yale’s Jackson School of Global Affairs. I made pursuing a dual degree program my bullseye shortly after I first began thinking seriously about grad school. Yale became my target because of both SOM’s and Jackson’s missions, open curricula, and potential financial aid.

But even if I hadn’t gotten into any policy dual degree programs, I likely would have still picked SOM for the opportunity to easily bolster my management education with classes from other professional schools.

What course, club, or activity excites you the most at Yale SOM? The outdoors club WILD. Camping, hiking, biking, all in the company of awesome people… what’s not to love?

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest career accomplishment is working with Gladys and her mother, who at 84-years old had recently lost her ability to walk and talk. I produced for Gladys a grant-funded, personalized virtual reality experience. She was able to put on a virtual reality headset and “visit” the home country she hadn’t been to in 20 years. She was able to see her neighborhood via 360-videos, walk around photorealistic and life-scale 3D renderings of her childhood home, and see her 84-year-old mother through a hologram. This “virtual reunion” would end up serving as Gladys’s last goodbye—her mother passed away shortly after.

This work was part of the Family Reunions Project, an advocacy and service initiative I co-founded after leaving economic consulting. I conceived the project to highlight the coercion faced by immigrants like Gladys. As an undocumented immigrant mother of three, Gladys could not physically hug her mother goodbye without risking the life she built in the United States.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? In my junior or senior year of undergrad, I decided that I would use my 20s for intentional exploration and my 30s to build deep expertise. I chose to pursue an MBA because I ended up deciding to build expertise in being a generalist.

With only a few weeks into the MBA, I would be betraying my curiosity and imagination if I knew exactly what I wanted to do after graduating. However, I’m certain that whatever I end up doing will be guided by the mission I described above.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? Currently revisiting Designing Your Work Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, design-thinking professors at Stanford University. I promise it is not a cringy self-help book. It will give you structures for reflection. See Step 1 in my advice below.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? GSB, Haas, Ross, Stern

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Yale SOM’s MBA program? Since you asked… here’s a 3-step process for potential applicants who may apply to SOM the same year they decide to pursue an MBA. This is not for the super planner who may apply in future admissions cycles. The following is targeted for the non-GRE/GMAT parts of your application and is based on my experience supporting others on their admissions journeys. Results may vary.

Step 1: Block out as much time as possible to consider whether and specifically how an MBA and Yale SOM will help you achieve your goals and live your values. Carefully structure this process and take the long view.

Step 2.: Relax! You have already done the hard work via your previous personal, professional, and educational experiences. Seriously, despite what the MBA-admissions-industry will tell you, there’s probably not that much you can do now, so focus on what you can do.

Step 3: Craft your application based on the reflection from Step 1.


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