Real Humans of Yale School of Management’s MBA Class of 2021
Jackie Ruggiero, Yale SOM MBA Class of 2021
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Indiana University, Business Economics and Technology Management
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): Prior to coming to SOM, I worked for 4 years at PwC and Accenture as a consultant implementing a commercial loan origination system at various commercial banks.
Why business school? Why now?
I wanted to make a career change, and I thought business school would be the best avenue to make that change. I learned a lot at my old job, but knew that in order to transition into the career space I want to be in, I needed to have certain experiences to develop my knowledge of my target industry.
Through the classes and extracurricular activities that SOM has to offer, I think I will be able to develop a knowledge base that will help me succeed in my job search and in my career moving forward. I believe now is the right time for me because I felt that I had learned what I could from my old job and was ready for the next step in my career.
Why Yale? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
My undergraduate education was in business, and while I knew I wanted to get my MBA, I wanted to have an education that focused on more than just business. Yale SOM strives to be the most connected business school to its home university.
I was excited that I would have the opportunity to spend my entire second year taking classes around all Yale graduate schools, including classes that are cross-listed between SOM and the other graduate schools allowing for broader perspectives on business topics. I also loved the idea of the perspectives courses for the core curriculum and how they would provide a different viewpoint on some of the courses I took while in undergrad.
I love the mission of Educating Leaders for Business and Society and knew that I wanted an education that gave me the skills to be successful in all types of work as well as help me find my passions outside of my career. Finally, I loved my conversations with everyone at SOM from current students to alumni to other prospective students at Welcome Weekend. I knew this was the community I wanted to be part of for 2 years and for the rest of my life.
When making my decision, I thought about the different opportunities each school would have to support me in my transition to corporate sustainability. I thought about all of the people I spoke to and how I felt when hearing about their experiences at their school. I thought about the academic experience I wanted and how I wanted to be in classes that would really challenge me. I also had a gut feeling that SOM was the right place for me, which helped me make the final decision.
What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2021?
I think my most valuable contribution to the Class of 2021 is my desire to support my peers and my community in every way that I can, whether that is talking through problem sets until everyone understands the concepts, picking up groceries for someone who can’t make it to the store, or being a compassionate listener when someone is having a bad day.
Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application?
For the last few years I have created yearbooks that have pictures from all of the events and trips I go on throughout the year. Once I have made my yearbook for the year, I have all of my friends and family sign it.
Post-MBA career interests?
Post-Yale SOM, I would like to work in a sustainability role at a large corporation. I believe that businesses will play a huge role in mitigating the risks of climate change, and I plan on dedicating my career to ensuring that the corporations I work for do what is needed to decrease their carbon footprint while thriving financially.
Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
I visited all but one of the schools I applied to and spoke to current students and alumni to ensure I got a full picture of what each school was like.
–One thing you would change or do differently?
I would start on filling out the actual applications earlier. It took a lot longer to fill out the application than I expected, so I would have started on that earlier rather than waiting until the end when I had finished writing all of the essays.
–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
I did not enjoy writing all of the essays – I actually preferred studying for the GMAT. I got through it by meeting up with friends who were also applying to b-school so we could keep each other accountable and have some fun in the process
What is your initial impression of Yale’s students/culture/community?
Everyone in the SOM community is so accomplished, but also so down to earth and welcoming! Everyone is extremely passionate and driven, which allows for stimulating conversations in my classes and club meetings, and I am learning a lot from each of my classmates. What I appreciate most, though, is that everyone is conscientious and kind and always willing to help with anything you need. There is a huge focus on fostering an inclusive and open environment, which shows in every event I go to.
One thing you have learned about Yale that has surprised you?
I have been surprised to see how much emphasis has been placed on the human side of my education. After one quarter, I have already taken two courses that focus on leadership and personal development. I have also had the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities that aim to provide a space for everyone to share topics that they care about even if those topics are not often discussed.
Thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Finding the right internship as a career switcher. I don’t have a perfect understanding of what jobs are available where the job description matches what I want to do, and I am anxious that once I figure out which jobs I want to apply for, I won’t have the right background to get hired.
Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I am most excited about continuing to get to know my classmates! In the month I have been here so far, I have developed close relationships with people far quicker than I expected, and I can’t wait to continue to do so throughout the year. I am also excited to travel with my classmates. We are planning a trip to Acadia after first quarter finals and soon I will start thinking about which SOM trip I want to go on over spring break for my Global Studies Requirement!