A Close Relationship
When Tom Halsey graduated from SOM in 1981, his toddler sons Chuck and Tom were in the audience. He went on to join the Treasurer's Department at Exxon Corporation and worked his way up through the corporate hierarchy, with stints as financial manager (CFO) of Exxon Chemical Belgium/Middle East/Africa in Brussels, Belgium, and treasurer of Exxon Capital Corporation, Exxon's principal financing subsidiary. After Exxon merged with Mobil Corporation, Halsey became Exxon Mobil Corporation’s manager for the capital markets division of the Treasurer's Department.
His relationship with the school has continued through all these years. He made regular recruiting trips to campus on behalf of Exxon. He served as a Class Agent for more than ten years and as Chair of the Yale SOM Alumni Fund for the past year. This fall, Halsey’s daughter, who wasn't born at the time of Halsey's graduation, will be coming to SOM as part of the class of 2012.
"Growing up my father couldn’t speak more highly of SOM," says Dorothy Halsey. "He felt it shaped who he is and how he views the business world." She has been working as a sales trader in the financial markets and her early admissions acceptance meant SOM was the only school she applied to. SOM is the youngest of Yale's professional schools, graduating its first class in 1978, and Tom Halsey is one of the first SOM graduates to have a child attend the school.
Halsey described why he has remained so loyal to the school.
How did your SOM education play into your career?I am exceedingly grateful for the education and the experience I had at SOM. It enabled me to be successful at a company that is a very demanding meritocracy. SOM’s quantitative courses were challenging and interesting, but the qualitative courses were what I found to be most helpful in giving me tools to be successful. Out of SOM, I joined the Treasurer's Department of Exxon Corporation in 1981, and stayed until I retired in 2005. It was assumed everybody had quantitative and analytical skills. What differentiated people was their ability to succeed in a multinational environment — seven people around a conference table might well represent five different cultures, which was often the case while I was working in Brussels. At some point in time, everyone had to be able to manage in an environment that was totally foreign to them. I found it exhilarating, and felt very well qualified to step into this environment without giving it a second thought. That is where the qualitative aspects of the SOM curriculum became exceedingly helpful to me.
How did you begin volunteering for SOM?In the early 1990s, I began representing Exxon's Treasurer's Department at SOM for recruiting. I would be back on campus at least twice a year. That process allowed me to maintain a close relationship with the school. It was quite natural to start serving as a Class Agent for the Annual Fund. I have served continuously, and at this point, I'm the Chair of the Alumni Fund.
Your daughter will be attending SOM in the Fall of 2010?Yes. Dorothy likes the philosophy of the school; she's obviously heard me talking about it. She has been working on the trading floor of UBS in Stamford, Connecticut, having been with the firm since graduating from college in 2006. She had a wonderful experience at Yale as an undergraduate and very much likes New Haven