Yale School of Management Hosts Inaugural Pre-MBA Leadership Program for College Students
Last month, the Yale School of Management (SOM) hosted 41 college students on its campus as part of an inaugural Pre-MBA Leadership Program designed to help underrepresented minority students gain a better understanding of the benefits of going to business school. For two weeks in June, the students took part in some of the same classes and activities that Yale SOM first-year students experience.
Arriving on campus on June 14th, the students dove into classes and leadership development activities while also learning how to impress prospective employers, meeting with SOM alumni and creating business plans for empty storefronts on New Haven’s Audubon Street.
“This was a real approximation of what it’s like for first-year students here,” said Heidi Brooks, a lecturer in organizational behavior and one of the program’s faculty directors. “We didn’t go easy on anyone,” she continued. “There was a ton of work, and students tackled it with enthusiasm and commitment.”
Top faculty took students through 10 SOM courses – including a three-hour version of State & Society, one of the school’s nine Organizational Perspectives for first-year students. The classes came complete with long reading lists, projects and cold-calling. But activities outside of class were also designed to showcase the vibrant student life and sense of community students can hope to find at Yale SOM, Brooks said.
Brooks developed the program with James Baron, the William S. Beinecke Professor of Management, and several SOM faculty, staff and second-year students. The idea behind the program is to give students who otherwise might not apply to SOM – or business schools in general – a chance to experience management education firsthand.
Program participants were recruited from a variety of colleges and universities around the country with particular emphasis on historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions and tribal colleges.
“These were good students and I am sure that we would be happy to see some of them matriculate eventually, but their application to SOM was not the point,” Brooks said. “We don’t view this as a recruiting program, but as a broader public service,” she said, noting SOM’s mission to education leaders for business and society.
“Our plan is to identify potential leaders and help start them on their way,” Brooks said.” The program was a successful and enjoyable experience for the students, faculty and staff involved so we hope to continue to offer it,” she added.
For more about Yale SOM’s Pre-MBA Leadership Program, click here.