Alumni Volunteer Feature Story
Lance DeSpain '01, Director, The Hartford
“When I was applying to business schools, I was extremely aware that my fellow students would be my peers for life. That really changes your focus, so I really only considered a few places that I felt really shared my values: service, passion for life, and a commitment to the world outside of business. Because Yale SOM does so closely share my values, “giving back” is really a natural extension of the social contract I made with the school, and that the school made with me. I still feel honored every time I get to go back, and I still feel so lucky to be a part of this place and its students and alumni.”
Since graduating in 2001, Lance DeSpain has been actively involved in “giving back” to Yale SOM. He has been, and continues to be, a very supportive and persuasive advocate for the school. Over the last four years, Lance has been involved in numerous career-related, recruiting, and admissions activities, generously sharing his expertise and time with both current and prospective students.
While still at Yale SOM, Lance was already working as a Second-Year Counselor, mentoring first-year students regarding career development issues and coordinating student mock interviews. Since graduating, Lance has returned every year to Yale SOM to participate in numerous events and has helped to recruit top candidates to the school as an Admissions Mentor.
Lance has been a recruiter and corporate presenter for The Hartford, his post-SOM employer, and he has helped to organize high-profile networking events for current students at company headquarters, including a “Meet and Greet” with The Hartford Financial Group’s Strategy Directors. As a result of Lance’s leadership in building and strengthening Yale SOM’s relationship with The Hartford, approximately 15 Yale SOM students have enjoyed either internship or full-time employment opportunities with the company. In addition, he has been a guest speaker at the school on numerous occasions, talking to students about various career-related issues. “I would point to Lance DeSpain as an example of an alumnus who goes above and beyond. Not only does he consistently participate in the CDO programs and hire our students – he actually will take a group of students to Anna Liffey’s and coach them over a pint of Guinness. Alumni like Lance are critical to our students’ growth and development,” said Coleen Singer, Director of the Career Development Office.
Currently, Lance is a Director at The Hartford, a leading provider of retirement, savings, and protection products with offices in the U.S., Japan, Brazil, Ireland, and the U.K. Before joining The Hartford, Lance worked as an investment banking associate for a boutique Wall Street firm specializing in Financial Services M&A. For his internship at Yale SOM, he worked as an Associate at Booz Allen & Hamilton in their Worldwide Commercial Business division. Prior to attending Yale SOM, Lance was a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps.