Ryan Moschitto, Yale SOM MBA Class of 2019
Hometown: Atwater, California
Undergraduate Institution and Major: United States Military Academy West Point, systems engineering
Pre-MBA Work Experience: U.S. Army Signal Officer, 6 years
Why business school? Why now? Over the last 6 years in the Army, I was fortunate enough to have leadership that embraced new ideas to improve fiscal responsibility, streamline processes, and increase efficiency. My foundation in systems engineering allowed me to see the greater mission as well as the second- and third-order effects my decisions as a Platoon Leader, Commander, or Communications Officer would have. Through my projects and the people I mentored, I developed a practical knowledge of identifying and defining problems, measuring severity, analyzing root causes, and implementing change. However, I recognized my own shortfalls, and knew an MBA would broaden my business acumen, strategic understanding, and analytic toolset to help solve some of the Army’s most complex challenges.
Why Yale SOM? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend? Three things distinguished SOM for me. 1) The goal to be the most global U.S. business school creates the perfect opportunity to learn from so many intelligent and humble individuals that are as diverse in experience and backgrounds as their post-MBA pursuits. 2) The integration with Yale University lets me explore courses outside SOM that will enhance and complement my business education. 3) Instead of the common siloed approach, SOM uniquely integrates its curriculum to bring a simultaneous cross-functional experience for students.
What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2019? I would be remiss not to acknowledge my military background and first-hand experience in European affairs. But I think more than that is sharing my experiences as a change agent, leading through uncertainty, scrutiny, and transformation while executing a very technical mission. Making decisions within those contexts, while trying to improve processes and performance, reinforced inherent problem-solving skills that easily translate into the private sector. Having said that, one of the main reasons I sought out SOM was to challenge my own perspectives and processes with different approaches that I can bring back to the Army.
Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application? I started a band in high school.
Post-MBA career interests? Immediately after graduation, I will return to West Point as an Economics professor in the Social Sciences Department, where I can share my knowledge and experience with the next generation of Army leadership. After teaching, I plan to pursue a role in Army Cyber Command and resume leading projects as a certified Army Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt.
Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process? Take the time to really reflect on what you want from the MBA experience, where you might go after graduation, and which school is going to best get you there. For each person this is a different path, and getting lost in all the different blogs, rankings, and such may get you lost in where you want to go in life.
–One thing you would change or do differently? I would have taken the GMAT earlier to prevent having to balance mission, applications, and studying.
–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it? The essays, because of how long I spent reflecting and refining my response to the different prompts. What got me through it was realizing that it was my shot to shed light on who I am, what I want to achieve, and how an MBA can get me there.
Greatest highlight so far at Yale SOM? Managing Groups and Teams. This first course of SOM is a packed week of exercises and simulations to reveal dynamics at play when working on a team. Having led many teams in the Army, I found it a phenomenal experience to analyze norms, barriers, and processes that overtly or counterintuitively rise within teams that I will practice for the rest of my career.
One thing about Yale SOM that you didn’t expect before arriving? How open, supportive, and embracing SOM is as a community for all frames of mind and lines of thought. It has been such an awesome experience to share and challenge ideas that may directly conflict with others. Having classmates who contribute insight in a respectful, articulate way will help us all grow and create our own definition of what it means to be a leader in business and society, and what the moral implications and effects our mission statements or business models will create.
Thing you are most anxious about in your first year? Fear of Missing Out. SOM is a constant source of opportunity to explore so many subjects and sectors of society through clubs, workshops, and experts. I will be carefully balancing these intellectual pursuits with the personal pursuit of making up for lost time with my family, my fantastic and supportive wife, and our newborn.
Thing you are most excited about in your first year? Besides the Yale/Harvard Football Game, the 10-day International Experience. This is an incredible cultural immersion with classmates to understand the interconnection and complexity of the business, legal, political, and social factors contributing to different nation’s economy.