2023 MBA To Watch: Victoria Bush, Yale School of Management

Victoria Bush

Yale School of Management

“MBA Student hoping to make the world a healthier and happier place through behavioral science.”

Hometown: Washington, DC

Fun fact about yourself: I love Legos and had a blast organizing SOM’s first Lego Build Championship!

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Chicago, BA

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, Paralegal

Where did you intern during the summer of 2022? GEM, New York City

Where will you be working after graduation? FRED, Founder

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Silver Cohort Representative, Title IX Working Group Chair, Nonprofit Board Fellow, Racket Sports Club Leader, Orientation Leader

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I’ve really loved getting to serve as the Title IX Working Group Chair this past year. It’s been an incredible opportunity to work with other SOM organizations and with AASL to spread awareness about sexual assault prevention efforts and gender equity issues more broadly. We’ve been able to collaborate with SOM organizations as well as Title IX working groups at the Law School and School of the Environment, which has been a great way to connect with students in the broader Yale community.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? This past fall, I launched The Chipper Project, a venture I started thinking about before coming to SOM. After reading about the link between nutrition and mental health, I started changing the way I ate to be more conscious of the effects that certain foods had on not just my physical but also my emotional well-being. I learned about the gut microbiome and glucose responses and started seeing changes in how I felt. I wanted to share all of these insights with everyone I knew so that they could all benefit in the way I had! I started thinking about how I could educate people about the link between nutrition and mental health in a more formalized way while making an impact in the health space. I started The Chipper Project to share information and helpful tips on optimizing what we eat for our mental health. There is so much interesting academic research on this topic but we wanted to make sure that all of this information was accessible and easy to digest. The most rewarding part about starting The Chipper Project was having people reach out and tell me that they were starting to see positive effects on their mental health after making the changes we talked about on our Instagram!

Why did you choose this business school? I chose SOM because of the people. During the application process, after I received an invitation to interview, someone from the Women in Management Club reached out to me to see if I had any questions or if I wanted to chat about SOM. I remember thinking, “Wow, I haven’t even gotten into this school and someone is taking time out of their busy day to check in on me.” I was so appreciative that she was so willing to chat; she even connected me with one of her friends, who was working in behavioral science. This kind of generosity and willingness to help others was a common thread across all the conversations I had with SOM students, and the more people I spoke with, the more I got the sense that this was a key part of the SOM culture. When I was deciding which program to choose, I thought about the type of leader I wanted to become. I firmly believe that we become who we surround ourselves with and I knew that I wanted to become like the people I met at SOM. They were all welcoming and supportive and truly wanted to make the world a better place. I’ve learned so much from my classmates and feel that they truly have turned me into a better version of myself over these past two years.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite professor at SOM has been Professor Jennifer McFadden. She teaches the Startup Founder’s Practicum and has become my mentor this past year as I’ve worked on The Chipper Project and now Fred. She has always been so supportive and I’m so grateful for all the ways she has advocated for me from first ideation to launch day!

What was your favorite course as an MBA? Before coming to SOM, the Discovery Project was a class that I knew I wanted to take. The course is offered through the Yale Center for Consumer Insights and gives students the opportunity to work with a client on an applied behavioral science project. My team was asked to look into how our client could make their product more interesting to a younger demographic. We conducted interviews in the field and ultimately came up with actionable recommendations for ways in which the client could improve both their infrastructure and messaging to better connect with millennials and Gen Z. We used behavioral science frameworks to dig deep into the data we collected and generated insights about shopping behavior. I learned so much through the process, and still use those same frameworks to think through problems. It was such a great experience, and I was able to use the applied behavioral science strategies during my internship at GEM this past summer.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? I was lucky enough to get to be an Orientation Leader this past fall, and it was one of the absolute highlights of my time at SOM. It was such a privilege to get to welcome new students to SOM and to New Haven, and I got to meet wonderful people who I now consider some of my best friends! It was such an action-packed and exciting week, and I got to share everything I love about the SOM community with the incoming class.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? Looking back, I wish I had become more involved in the community right from the start. It wasn’t until my second year that I became involved with student government and took on more responsibilities within the clubs I was a part of. I’ve gotten so much more out of this second year and have met such wonderful people that I wish I had become more involved right from the start. Contributing to the SOM and New Haven communities has been the most rewarding part of my time at SOM, and I’ve learned so much from these communities that I’ve been so lucky to be a part of.

What is the biggest myth about your school? SOM is known as the social impact MBA program, and that was one of the many reasons why I chose SOM. I wouldn’t consider this a myth but rather the reason why SOM is such a special place. In my opinion, the reason why the SOM community is so wonderful is because the social impact focus of the program attracts a particularly considerate and compassionate type of MBA student. I love that every single person at SOM wants to make the world a better place, each in their own way. Even those who go into more traditionally corporate careers like investment banking are still involved in organizations like Nonprofit Board Fellows and Social Impact Consulting. I think that speaks to the type of person that chooses to come to SOM, and I feel so lucky to be surrounded by such socially conscious and compassionate people.

What did you love most about your business school’s town? I’ve loved living in New Haven these past two years, so it’s difficult to choose the thing I love most, but I think it would have to be East Rock Park. Having a beautiful forest to hike in just a 10-minute walk from my home is such a luxury! The view from the top of East Rock is stunning, and watching the trees change from fall to winter to spring is so lovely. Playing tennis and pickleball in the shadow of East Rock has been one of my favorite things about living in New Haven!

What surprised you the most about business school? I came in knowing I was going to learn a million things over the two years I would be at SOM, and I was excited about all the classes I would take, but I never expected to learn so much from the people in my classes. I’ve learned so much from the experiences and insights of my classmates, I’m so grateful!

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? During the application process, I appreciated the way in which the essays encouraged me to reflect on the type of leader I wanted to become. Having this in mind before starting school allowed me to seek out opportunities and courses that would build those skills and allow me to become that leader.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I really admire Luke Demas, our fearless President. He has an unbelievable ability to bring people together and foster a wonderful, engaged community. He always brings his true, authentic self to everything he does, which allows everyone else to feel comfortable doing the same. He so effectively fosters an inclusive and connected community, and I’m so grateful for his leadership and involvement in the SOM community!

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? My two goals for my professional career are to become a mentor and to foster entrepreneurship in others. I’ve been so lucky to have wonderful mentors at SOM, both in professors and in my peers, so I would love to be that for others in my career after I graduate. I’m also so grateful for the way in which SOM has encouraged and supported my entrepreneurial dreams. I hope to do the same for others.

What made Victoria such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?

“Victoria is a second-year student in the MBA program at the Yale School of Management and firmly exhibits the qualities outlined for this award. Her leadership skills stand out through her various roles including being a Cohort Representative in our Student Government and serving as an Orientation Leader, where she provided wonderful assistance and support to all our incoming students.

In addition, Victoria is one of the Student Chairs of SOM’s Title IX Working Group. She has been instrumental in guiding this group by leading meetings, generating new ideas, providing creative visuals, and fostering an inclusive environment. Under Victoria’s leadership, the group has organized poster campaigns, speaker events, a Title IX Awareness Week, and a myriad of other programs to increase community participation and promote discussion on this important topic.

Victoria is deeply committed to the student experience at SOM and her involvement at SOM has been extraordinary. Victoria created the first Lego Challenge last year and continued it again this year, engaging students from across all degree programs in a friendly competition with faculty judges to determine the winner.

Victoria continues to give back to our community in multiple ways and serves as a role model for her work ethic, dedication, and collaboration skills. She always exemplifies positive energy and enthusiasm that greatly benefit all who know her. I recommend Victoria for this award and am so grateful for the incredible impact she has made on our Yale community.”

Rebecca Udler
Director of Academic Affairs and Student Life


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