The Leading Independent
Resource for Top-tier MBA
Home » Blog » News » Real Humans of the Yale SOM MBA Class of 2020

Real Humans of the Yale SOM MBA Class of 2020

Image for Real Humans of the Yale SOM MBA Class of 2020

With students flooding back to business school campuses around the globe, we are thrilled to kick off our Real Humans of the MBA Class of 2020 series with this spotlight on members of the incoming Yale School of Management (SOM) first-year class. Last year’s series—our first ever—was hugely popular with our audience, and we’re hoping this year will be the same. We’re also pleased to include many more schools this year, close to 40 in all! We plan to publish two per week, so stay tuned to learn more from students at all the schools you may be targeting.

To the Yale SOM students featured below and the dozens more participating students from other schools, thanks so much for making time to take part as you settle into life at business school! We can’t wait to see how you make the most of your MBA.

Real Humans of the Yale SOM MBA Class of 2020

Yale SOM is widely recognized as the #1 MBA program in the world for students seeking careers in the nonprofit industry. With 8 percent of its most recent graduates heading into the sector, Yale SOM leads most other top MBA programs. Still, that leaves nine out of 10 graduates taking jobs in the private sector. So why is Yale SOM’s brand not as well known outside of the nonprofit industry?

If you’ve been tempted to think of Yale SOM as “just a nonprofit school,” think again. You might consider that idealism and desire to make a difference the school’s greatest strength, but it is far from its only one.

In fact, diversity is a hallmark of the Yale SOM experience. One reflection of that diversity: The career trajectories of SOM grads are among the most balanced of any leading business school. According to the school’s most recent employment results, 54 percent of students in the Class of 2017 accepted jobs in consulting and finance, compared to 72 percent at Columbia and 67 percent at Chicago Booth.

Academic integration is also a hallmark of the Yale SOM MBA. The school implements what’s known as an “integrated curriculum,” a unique design to tie the elements of a business school education into a meaningful whole. In addition to teaching the fundamentals of business, Yale SOM builds an understanding of the big picture, delving into the impact of business on society at large. Due to its interdisciplinary nature, entering students cannot waive any classes, even if they come in with a background in accounting or finance.

All students go through the entire curriculum from start to finish. Yale SOM doesn’t have concentrations: Students have the flexibility to select from the vast array of electives in the areas of corporate strategy, technology, finance, impact investing, sustainability, corporate governance, and more. Students also have unlimited elective choice at other schools throughout Yale University.

While many MBA programs have begun to shift towards offering experiential learning courses, Yale SOM’s instructors tend to focus heavily on theory. But a key component of the integrated curriculum is the use of “raw cases,” a teaching method that consists of receiving extensive, un-curated data about a real situation, including news reports, interviews, and other web-based sources. SOM students must then synthesize this information and build their own analysis to come to a decision point. While not hands-on work with a real company, this method does call on students to put some of their newly developed skills to work, ranging from accounting and marketing to organizational development. This differs from traditional cases, in which students read a 10- to 15-page narrative of a business situation followed by a series of relevant exhibits and a decision point.

Another aspect that makes Yale SOM unique is how it integrates professional development directly into the curriculum. Here, too, Yale is an outlier among its peers. Within the first semester, students complete a program called “Orientation to Management,” a series of modules about careers taught by the school’s career development team. This approach ensures that students are not just apt problem solvers but also able to approach real-life situations after graduation from multiple perspectives.

A broadminded approach certainly pays off: The Yale SOM 2017 Employment Report shows 93.4 percent of MBA students received job offers within three months of graduation, with a median base salary of $124,900.

Numbers aside, it does seem that plenty of studentschoose Yale because of a common sense of purpose. “Yale SOM students are not cynical,” Yale Director of Admissions Bruce DelMonico says. “They want to make a difference, and they feel that doing something worth aspiring to. This core quality shapes the culture and community here at a deep level.”

We are thrilled to kick off our Real Humans of the MBA Class of 2020 series with an introduction to some of the incoming MBA students at Yale SOM. Read on to learn more about their application process and what led them to choose Yale. 

Jonathan Pfeffer
Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as Contributing Writer at MetroMBA and Contributing Editor at Clear Admit, he was also a co-founder of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.