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Real Humans of the Yale SOM MBA Class of 2019

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Wiwit Kiat-anupong, Yale SOM MBA Class of 2019

Yale SOM MBA Class of 2019
Wiwit Kiat-anupong, Yale SOM MBA Class of 2019

Age: 28

Hometown: Bangkok, Thailand

Undergraduate Institution and Major: Thammasat University, economics

Pre-MBA Work Experience: 1.5 years in management consulting and 4 years in impact investing

Why business school? Why now? I have been working in many investment-related functions at a leading impact investment manager, including doing deals, portfolio management, risk management, restructuring, and interfacing with our investors. Impact investing has the potential to become a major alternative asset class or integrate into other investment practices. However, there are many challenges that the industry is facing.

I came to business school to expand my understanding of business and develop my capabilities to lead change. I want to pivot into mainstream finance after my MBA and bring those lessons back to impact investing in the long run.

Why Yale SOM? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend? A holistic understanding of the world is one of the most important competencies for a finance professional. Your worldview shapes your investment philosophy and risk appetite, and allows you to see opportunities where others don’t.

To me, Yale SOM is the best place to obtain a holistic understanding of business. SOM stands out for its integrative approach that breaks down silos between disciplinaries. Many classes are taught by two professors who bring different perspectives on the same subject, which allows you to see a problem from many different angles and form a much more comprehensive understanding. And if that’s not enough, you can take unlimited classes at any of the Yale schools outside SOM. Furthermore, Yale SOM has one of the most diverse classes in terms of previous industry experiences and nationalities, creating a rich learning experience. Ultimately, what ties us together is the idea that business is good for society, and that we are here to have a wonderful time and learn from each other.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2019? SOM is a very mission-driven place, and wants its graduates to be leaders for business and society. I think I was able to convince the school of our shared value through the fact that I have worked at the cross-section of maximizing profit and creating social impact, and obtained a good understanding of challenges when trying to achieve both.

Yale SOM MBA Class of 2019
Kiat-anupong says, “Boating on a sunny day in Amsterdam, where I lived before coming to SOM.”

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application? I was a national table tennis champion in Thailand when I was 15 years old.

Post-MBA career interests? I want to work in the mainstream finance world after MBA. Working in a more matured and sophisticated financial market will allow me to obtain the skills and understanding that will help take impact investing to the next level.

Advice to current prospective applicants:

–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process? I was able to gain many valuable perspectives and advices by reaching out to current students and alumni. It also helped me get a feel of the people and culture at the school.

–One thing you would change or do differently? I didn’t have a chance to visit the school before I applied. But if you can do it, it can provide a lot of insight to meet with current students and sit in on one of our classes.

–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it? I was not used to writing the kind of essays that business schools asked for. However, I found that if you are true to yourself, the process can greatly help you understand your motivations, and consequently set you up to reap the full benefit of the school once you get in. I would like to thank my partner, friends, and colleagues, who supported me throughout the process.

Greatest highlight so far at Yale SOM? The team-building activities at the start of the first year were a great experience, especially since I had never liked team-building exercises before.

One thing about Yale SOM that you didn’t expect before arriving? I expect the MBA to be a boost to my career, but have not fully grasped the breadth and depth of opportunities that are available. The access that you can get to business leaders here is incredible. For instance, two weeks ago, I got a chance to dine in a small group with a prominent real estate developer in Africa.

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year? You are bombarded with career and extracurricular activities in the first year in addition to academics, and it is impossible to do everything. It is a very anxious experience having to cherry-pick a few things to do out of all these excellent opportunities.

Thing you are most excited about in your first year? I really look forward to attending a course on value investing by Peter Lupoff, a prominent distressed-investment fund manager. Understanding how to look for and create value is a fundamentally important mindset for any business professional.