Thoughts on the Past Academic Year from the Alumni Advisory Board Chair

July 2, 2021

My fellow SOM alumni:

As chair of the SOM Alumni Advisory Board (AAB), I am delighted to share a few thoughts on the just-concluded academic year from an alumni perspective.

To refresh: the AAB is a diverse, global 20-member board comprising alumni from SOM’s degree programs.  We meet regularly with senior SOM leaders to provide alumni input into SOM initiatives, and to catalyze alumni support for and participation in school-related activities. 

Befitting the stressful and unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, it was a remarkable and productive year for both the school and the AAB. On the positive side of the ledger, the school launched the new Broad Center at Yale SOM this summer and prepared for the slightly delayed launch of the Masters of Asset Management program, which will officially open this fall. These new programs further diversify SOM’s degree offerings (now up to 7 master’s programs and the Ph.D. program) while remaining true to the core mission of educating leaders for business and society.  Anyone who graduated from SOM before Evans Hall opened in 2014, will be struck by how much more complex and diverse SOM’s programming has become in recent years.

There were challenges aplenty, however, and the AAB was there to support students and the school. When the campus shut down in March 2020, AAB members joined many other alumni and the school itself in supporting students who lost permanent job offers or exciting summer internships. When the new school year dawned in September, AAB leaders met monthly with student representatives to learn from them about the challenges of campus life, and to offer our advice and perspectives as conditions changed over the course of the year. 

Most of the AAB’s work takes place at the committee level, and we saw good progress across many fronts in the past year. In particular, I want to call out the success of the Admissions Committee, which worked with SOM staff to increase by nearly 50% the number of alumni referral candidates to the school. The Global Chapters Committee focused on starting new chapters for currently “unchaptered” alumni, with work currently underway in Raleigh-Durham, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, and a swath of states in the mid-south of the U.S. The Careers Committee turned its attention to SOM’s international alumni community, and has been a catalyst for new forums and new conversations for peer-to-peer networking outside the U.S.  We continue to serve as a voice for alumni and our Communications Committee helped promote alumni awareness of and engagement with the school’s dedicated alumni social media channels.

As we transition to the new academic year, I’d like to give a special thanks to our officers and committee chairs: Sojung Lee (Vice Chair, AAB); Matt Broder (Secretary, AAB); Victor Padilla-Taylor (Chair, Communications Committee); Tony Lynn (Chair, Admissions Committee); Manka Khanna (Chair, Global Chapters Committee); Ben Freedman (Chair, Careers Committee); and Charles Liu (Chair, Nominating Committee). You can be proud of the way these dedicated AAB members are working to advance the alumni experience while supporting the mission of the school.

Finally, we bid farewell this summer to two AAB members: David Pearlstone and Shannon Marimon.  David served for three years with a stint as Admissions Committee Chair, and Shannon served six years with stints as Vice Chair and Nominating Committee Chair.  We also welcome our two newest members: Stuart Tarmy (MBA 1987) and Vivian Li (MAM 2013).  All four represent the very best traits of the global SOM alumni community, and we thank them for their service.

I wish you a happy and healthy summer (or, for those south of the equator, winter). I welcome alumni feedback and input into our work, so please write to me at ysomaab@gmail.com.

Best,
Jeff Juger ‘11  
Chair, Yale SOM Alumni Advisory Board

About the author

Jeff Juger