Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Hana Ezaldein, Yale SOM

Hana Ezaldein

Yale School of Management

“Someone who is good at names.”

Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am a huge fan of the culinary arts and once cooked a three-course meal for 25 lucky guests!

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Florida, Economics

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: IBM, Senior Consultant

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? Coming from a disadvantaged background, I am dedicated to contributing to a more equitable society by improving access to quality care for underserved groups.

As a designated Consortium and Forté Fellow, I saw that Yale SOM’s unique mission to educate leaders for business and society truly resonated with my core values and long-term career goals. This mission-driven environment is ideal for me to explore ways to fulfill my aspiration of creating sustainable equity and growth for marginalized communities.

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? Yale is so much more than the sum of its parts. The interdisciplinary collaboration occurring at Yale SOM with other graduate schools is what makes this program so special. I was attracted to SOM because its program is consistently breaking down barriers to allow students to fully explore their scholarly interests so that we are best equipped to solve the world’s most pressing challenges.

I feel honored and privileged to sit in cohorts that are enriched by the presence of intellectually curious joint-degree MD/MBA, JD/MBA, MFA/MBA, and MEM/MBA colleagues. Interacting daily with this caliber of diversity has broadened my perspective, and I look forward to learning more from the diverse experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds of my colleagues. I also am excited to take elective courses at Yale Law School and the Yale School of Public Health in the near future to further explore my own academic interests.

What course, club, or activity excites you the most at Yale SOM? There are so many incredible initiatives occurring at SOM and the broader Yale community around innovation, entrepreneurship, and healthcare that drew me to this program.

As a budding entrepreneur, I am excited to immerse myself in the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale (Tsai CITY) and collaborate with innovators from across Yale’s campus to create impactful solutions to challenging problems. At Tsai City, I hope to engage with mentors, learn from founders, and compete in competitions like the Yale Innovators Prize.

Yale’s emphasis on creating innovative solutions to solve public health challenges through the Sustainable Health Initiative also resonated with my career aspirations and drew me to SOM.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I owe much of my success to mentorship I have received throughout my life, and I knew I wanted to give back after entering the professional world. I worked with an organization called Defy Ventures, which allowed me to mentor formerly incarcerated aspiring entrepreneurs and assist them in crafting their business plans and pitches. After months of working closely together, my mentee was able to launch her food truck venture, and her success is a keynote accomplishment for me because it is a testament of how mentorship can change the narrative.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? The racial health disparities highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic motivated me to shift the focus of my impact from consulting to solving for improved health outcomes for diverse patients. I plan on leveraging my time at Yale SOM to take advantage of resources and coaching necessary to incubate and realize my long-term health equity-focused venture concepts.

Upon graduation, I aspire to lead teams that will launch innovative solutions focused on increasing access to high-impact preventative care technologies.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? Relationships are the most valuable resource you take away when you graduate the MBA program, which is why I wanted to learn strategies that would allow me to authentically build a rapport with all my future classmates.

I read the book Captivate by Vanessa Van Edwards this summer, and can’t recommend it enough to all prospective MBAs. I consider myself someone who is highly extroverted and genuinely enjoys networking, and I still found this book to be packed with insights and surprisingly practical tips that I will leverage during interviews, social gatherings, negotiations, and pitches. This book breaks down the science of human behavior so that you can learn how to improve your first impression, forge deeper connections, and ultimately grow your personal and professional networks.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Stanford, Wharton, MIT Sloan, Columbia, UChicago Booth

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Yale SOM’s MBA program? I have two tidbits of advice for all applicants, and one catered towards my fellow underrepresented minority prospective applicants.

Firstly, you are more than your GPA and test scores. Attaining a seat at a top MBA program can feel intimidating and overwhelming, especially with all the misperceptions and rumors out there. Just remember that while these data points are important, you likely have much more to contribute to the MBA programs you are applying to so do not self-select out of opportunities.

Secondly, be intentional in connecting and collaborating with individuals you normally would not have the opportunity to. The MBA classroom is notably a place for diverse discussion and I have found the disagreements to be especially enriching and refreshing. If you limit yourself by only engaging with individuals who come from a similar background and share in your perspective, you are not taking full advantage of the MBA program. I recommend going to as many affinity club, speaker, and networking events as possible so that you gain exposure to the variety of nationalities, industries and perspectives reflected in the SOM community.

Finally, I would highly encourage my fellow underrepresented applicants of Black, LatinX and Native American descent to apply to Management Leadership for Tomorrow’s (MLT) MBA Prep Program. MLT helped me go into the application process more confident and gain a network of diverse MBA peers who are now my classmates and will be my lifelong friends. Shoutout to my MLT Coach Liz Riley!


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