Dear Yale SOM Alumni,
I write with dwindling days before the Class of 2016 joins the Yale SOM Alumni Community on May 23, 2016. I know that they are looking forward to being part of the ranks of a high-integrity and respected group of alumni who support and enrich the school.
I’m grateful to the Yale SOM community for making this a meaningful year in many ways. The mission to educate leaders for business and society resonates strongly across campus and across the globe as we engage big issues in all sectors and in all regions. As the school continues to evolve, we continue with our purposeful approach, our commitment to working in and across sectors, and a recognition that leaders operate in increasingly complex environments.
My colleagues and I often remind our students that many of them are going to work in different sectors over the course of their careers and that all of them are going to have to work across sectors. So it is essential that in addition to the general management skills that apply across all sectors, our students gain an understanding of the unique challenges of each sector. Therefore we are dedicated to ensuring our students have curricular and noncurricular opportunities to gain exposure to and experience with all sectors.
Let me take this opportunity to respond to some useful feedback from last month’s Alumni Reunion. I was asked about the importance of nonprofit management at the school. My response called attention to the fact that Sharon Oster will be very hard to replace whenever she decides to scale back her phenomenal work. I agree that we should continue robust programs in this space. Currently, curricular and noncurricular experiences available to our students range from Tony Sheldon’s Global Social Enterprise course, to an education management course created in response to a request from the Education Club, to active student organizations focused on the nonprofit sector such as the Nonprofit Board Fellows, to the annual Education conference, which is the only top-tier education conference put on by a business school. The hugely successful Internship Fund Auction earlier this month reflects the excitement around nonprofit management at the School: it raised $32,045, a 26% increase from last year. It is notable to me that students who will go on to jobs in the for-profit sector (at least initially) participate in all these opportunities—exemplifying the school’s cross-sectoral ethos. So I take the question as a push to continue our focus on this critical area for the school.
I want to give a shout out to our faculty. They teach effectively, care about educational outcomes, and are world-class scholars. They embrace the view that the competencies they seek to develop are valuable in virtually all settings. They also, like the school itself, are increasingly involved in Yale and with the Global Network for Advanced Management.
My biggest takeaway from this year is that Yale SOM is positioning itself extremely effectively to advance our mission. When I engage with prospective students, I often suggest that rather than “go back to business school” they should “position themselves at a school that will advance their academic and professional development.” With all the progress we have made – the huge numbers of joint-degree students, the fluidity with which our students and non-SOM students take classes around campus, and increasing connectivity with Global Network schools - this “suggestion” is a powerful inducement to join Yale SOM.
If you want to get caught up about new developments, I suggest that you review (a) the build-out of our entrepreneurship program and (b) the launch of a breakthrough core curriculum course offered by our faculty, Global Virtual Teams.
What’s next? We’ll continue to advance the mission with focused work across campus and across the globe. We’ll promote Yale SOM as the best source of leaders for all sectors and regions. I look forward to a gathering hosted in late August by Technion, a Global Network school based in Israel, of Global Network faculty and friends to focus on global entrepreneurship.
My “p.s.” below provides a couple of recent updates that are quite impressive.
In closing, I want to thank you for all your support of the school, support for each other, engagement in our programs, feedback, and, most importantly, for representing us so well.
Very best regards, Ted
- 469 alumni were at Evans Hall April 15-17 for Reunion Weekend, including members of the Class of 2015, for our first ever one-year reunion.
- 100% of the graduating students from our EMBA, MAM, and Full-time MBA programs participated in the 2016 Class Gift!