Five Yale SOM students and recent graduates describe how SOM has helped them develop their career interests.
Todd Kaplan '06
Pre-SOM position: account manager for Visa International, Millsport
Current position: Assistant Manager, Integrated Marketing, Pepsi Cola North America
Marketing is my passion ó itís what makes me tick. Before coming to SOM I worked in sports marketing. I applied to business school to get a holistic view of the marketing discipline. I also wanted to learn more about finance, accounting, operations, and other areas of business to which I hadnít been exposed.
SOM provided me with the fundamental business skills I needed, and I also experienced a great deal of personal growth during my time there. The CDO was a valuable resource ó company presentations, industry speakers, job treks... PepsiCo recruited on-campus, and I was fortunate enough to receive an offer for their marketing summer internship.
My summer project was to develop a sports sponsorship strategy to reach the Latino consumer. Working closely with Pepsiís sports properties, from MLB to the NFL to MLS to the X Games, I determined which assets were most relevant to the Latino market and created a highly targeted marketing strategy. At the end
of the summer I presented to the chief marketing officer, and Pepsi has already begun to put my recommendations into action.
After accepting their full-time offer, Iím back at Pepsi creating a new division that specializes in branded entertainment, ranging from product placement in TV and film to creating full-length proprietary content. Itís an exciting challenge and a fun place to be, given where marketing is heading with the convergence of the media, digital, and entertainment worlds. My role is right in the middle of the vortex.
Grace Chionuma '07
Pre-SOM position: Director, Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Post-MBA position: Associate, Morgan Stanley
I applied to a number of schools. One huge factor for me in picking Yale was how intimate it is. I wanted to be at a place where I wasnít just one of 700, where I was able to connect with people and people were able to connect with me. I felt that I had an opportunity to build relationships with my peers and my professors, and there was a sense of community here that didnít exist at the other schools.
The intimacy of the school made a big difference at the CDO. People there knew my story and understood what I wanted; the CDO was able to personalize advice about how to get from point A to point B.
And that sense of community is one of the things that led me into investment banking ó I was an intern at Morgan Stanley and I will return after graduation as a full-time associate. Coming into school I had crossed that field off the list, but when I got here there were some second-year women who were going into investment banking who I knew through the Finance Club and the Yale Black Business Alliance. They really took the time to share with me what their experiences had been within the firms and to answer the questions I had about what this career path would look like. Had it not been for that candid, personal exchange I donít think that I would be doing what Iím doing. The community has a way of transferring information about careers and giving advice that is unique to SOM.
Nicole Huvelle '07
Pre-SOM position: founding faculty, D.C. Preparatory Academy
Post-MBA position: Manager, School Selection and Development, Renaissance Schools Fund
I came to business school to build on the experiences I had as a teacher in an urban school and a founding member of a charter school. I wanted to gain the skills necessary implement change in bigger organizations and improve education on a district-wide level.
I had a great internship. It was at the Chicago Public Schools and was funded by a venture philanthropy firm. I worked on a high-level project in which I was evaluating the principal eligibility process. The district is expecting a large number of principal vacancies in the next five years, so I was making sure they have a good process for filling those positions. I was able to make many changes and institute new policies within a huge organization, do something I thought really made a difference, and use a lot of the skills I had been working on at Yale.
After graduation, Iíll be working at The Renaissance Schools Fund, a nonprofit firm that works in conjunction with the Chicago Public Schools. They raise money from the business community in Chicago and invest it in the public school system, specifically in opening new schools. Again, itís a good mix of using business skills and my education interest.
The student body here provided a great resource in my search for the right position. I actually first heard about the internship from another student. The alumni network at the school was also extremely helpful. They have so many alums involved in this field that I had a lot of guidance, advice, and support.
Amy Bennett '05
Pre-SOM position: water and energy consulting, Kleinschmidt Associates
Current position: Managing Consultant, IBM
I had only one job before coming to Yale SOM, working for a small energy and water resource consulting firm. I had some experience in management, but I needed to acquire the financial and strategy skills to go farther. Since I held only one job before SOM, even after a year of school I didnít see myself as a polished candidate, particularly when it came to my job-searching skills.
This is where the CDO made a huge difference for me. I spent a lot of time up there, getting to know the people and learning anything I could from them. I practiced interviewing with multiple people, participated in the workshops and attended the lectures. They had an open-door policy and provided really strong insights, helping me think through different career paths and companies.
Through the CDO services, I polished my skills well enough to secure the job offer I wanted. I learned about the position at IBM when SOM alumni came to campus to recruit. My original plan was to go back into energy consulting. But an alumnus suggested the internal strategy and change practice, which is where I am now. Weíre the internal consulting shop for IBM. I work on projects with senior executives; some of what we develop is viewed directly by the CEO. Itís really exciting. There are six SOM alumni alone in my small department and thereís a real dedication to the school. Now Iím a recruiter for IBM at SOM.
Avi Prabhakar '04
Pre-SOM position: primary care physician
Current position: Leadership Development Program associate, Roche
Before I enrolled in SOM I was a primary care physician. But even when I was in medical school I knew I wanted to pursue a business career.
My plan was to go into biotech or the pharmaceutical industry. When I applied to business schools, I looked for programs that were strong in these sectors. Yale jumped out at me, especially the biotech club, which spans the various graduate schools and is very active. I was drawn to the prospect of going to a school with a huge student group boasting a consulting team and an investment analysis team that also sponsors annual conferences. It seemed a perfect fit for me.
Once I arrived I thought my best chance of landing a full time job was to get a really good internship. I acquainted myself with the CDO immediately and availed myself of every resource there was. I spent a lot of my time with my mentor, a second-year student, who really honed my interviewing skills. He recommended mock interviews with the CDO, contacting alumni at my target companies, and practicing my 30-second speech with professors. I ended up speaking with every alumnus working at Roche and had about 10 mock interviews, including two with alumni. When I went on real interviews I was very well prepared. I landed an internship at Roche and the company asked me to join its leadership development program when I graduated. Itís exactly what I hoped for when I enrolled at Yale.