When I was asked to write a blog about our time at Yale so far I was really hesitant, as it seemed impossible for me to fit all the new impressions and excitement that I experienced here in New Haven, into one post. Time flies incredibly fast here at Yale and I can’t believe our MBA exchange semester is coming to an end soon. I have tried to outline here a few things regarding academic and student life at Yale.
Before coming here, I tried to envision my time as an MBA exchange student and was quite nervous about participating in class room discussions with fairly older, brighter and more experienced class mates. Luckily, this is something I did not need to worry about as everyone was open, excited to meet other international students, and always willing to support us.
Over the summer I realised that the variety of courses offered and the lecturing professors is absolutely amazing and it was tricky for me to allocate our 400 bidding points most efficiently. The possibility of selecting classes not only from the School of Management (SOM) but also from other Yale schools and college makes selection even more complex. When it comes to choosing the right amount of points to allocate, it’s best to study previous allocation points– but luck and timing also play a major role. I would highly encourage everyone to attend classes across schools as it not only gives you the chance to study in Yale’s Hogwarts-like Old Campus, but also enriches your experience here– helping to broaden your horizon by exposing you to other disciplines such as Life Science, Global Affairs or Law.
When we first arrived in New Haven, the busy student life at Yale SOM started right away, kicked off by a brief intro session and the many parties and social events happening around Freshman Week. The overflowing Slack channels, numerous (Thursday) mixers and SOM student club events make it really easy to connect with other students and find new friends from across the world. Yale SOM has several degree programs and each group of students vary in age, work experience and industry background. During class time, frequent participation is a must and it is recommended to study the assigned readings before class in order to be able to contribute – otherwise good luck when being cold called ;).
Having completed my first few courses during Fall 1, I can say that I was definitely surprised by the small class sizes and the amount of time you get to spend interacting with the brilliant faculty. In fact, professors at Yale not only stand out academically but usually also have a strong connection to the private or public sector and invite outstanding guest speakers to discuss course related topics or recent developments during class. Nevertheless, case readings, group work, presentations, and exams do keep you busy, so most students end up spending a good amount of time meeting and studying around the SOM Campus.
Due to the fact that Yale is located in the seemingly small town of New Haven, the sense of community is very strong and everyone spends most of their days on or around the beautiful campus. There are many student clubs and sports teams to join and you will almost always bump into class mates when going out to one of the student/graduate clubs (Gryphon’s or BAR) or while trying one of the many delicious pizza places in town (Modern, Pepe, Sally’s). One of the sports highlights was the ultra-popular Yale vs. Harvard football match at Yale Bowl (Yale won!). Tailgating and ‘The Game’ Merchandise was sold out weeks in advance!
As New Haven is located in between Boston and NYC you can easily enjoy your weekends strolling around Brooklyn or watching a Yankees game. Many of us also used the two week-long breaks in October and November to explore some part of America and I ended up driving through California with three other international friends from our MBA cohort.
Reflecting on my time so far, I wish I could re-live my time at Yale SOM all over again, and that my days were longer to make use of ALL the great guest lectures, sport events and discussions happening around Yale.
-Ann-Sophie, GMiM, 2020