So, I am actually jumping the gun here by talking about my perceptions of Yale post- welcome weekend, before actually describing the weekend itself. But the alcohol doused thoughts are somewhat fresh in my mind and I am eager to get them on paper lest I start getting them backward..
(1) Academic Program
So much has been said and written about the new curriculum. What does it really mean to a student? The " funky diagram
" as the Dean calls it, is in many ways, just plain common sense enveloped in an exceedingly elaborate wrapping paper. I remember learning a bunch of disjointed concepts in economics, statistics and financial management in my undergrad days and never thought to connect them until I started my first internship. Hearing my client talk about his budgeting and sourcing plans and then seeing them take shape through accounting concepts resulted in perpetual "light bulb" moments and I would always go.."OOOH, this is what the prof was talking about". More recently, Ive found myself putting to use(subconsciously) several of the leadership styles we all read about in college. Yale's new curriculum does just this, except it is a conscious attempt to integrate several traditional disciplines so as to mirror what happens in a real world setting, thus making managers super efficient. You may argue.."dont we all do this at our work places already?" True, we probably do, and if we dont, we should be. Thats why, this reform to me is just common sense. I love the underlying idea. If my management education will directly point out how various fields are related, thus saving me the trouble of figuring it out on my own, I am definitely for it!!
As someone who's looking at an MBA as an education to strengthen my fundamentals and not just as a means to change careers or get a job, I cannot say enough about Yale's world-class faculty. Attending the faculty reception on Friday evening as well as the Finance Club's faculty panel on Saturday afternoon, made me aware of how approachable the professors are. I ve always been faulted for being too curious; the student-faculty ratio of 3:1 at Yale gives me hope that I can give some wings to my curiosity without disrupting the proceeds of a regular class.
SOM has often been faulted for having less-than average in their midst. I have always felt the opposite and to test this theory, I made it my weekend's mission to talk to as many fellow admits and current students as possible. At the end of the zillionth "where are you from?" conversations, I happily confirmed that the quality of people there is no less than those of other schools. Why do then so many people think otherwise? Do they classify only the wannabe investment bankers/Ceos or consultants as the go-getters of the world? Maybe its the industry these people are in, or the aggression they need to portray in these fields ( I should know, I am one of these), they are just automatically classified as the ambitious lot. To all the skeptics out there, "non-traditional" doesnt mean below-average. Just because these people arent clamoring to get into the rat race of the financial world, doesnt make them any less competitive or any less qualified..!!
Talking to many of my fellow admits helped me learn about the gamut of jobs there are in this world. It was such a refreshing change from the usual bschool talk and I am thrilled that I will have the chance to interact so closely with people from different industries and sectors rather than confining myself to my comfort zone within finance. I have no doubt in my mind that many of my fellow admits pursuing these so-called "untraditional" fields will be the best in their chosen areas and I will be richer for their friendships !!
To be continued...