Student Profile: Faculty Connections
Jason Kearns '11
Summer Internship: Google
Finance Chair, Internship Fund
Co-leader, Technology Club and Ski and Snowboard Club
Blogger, Yale SOM Community Blog
I worked for the federal government for six years before coming to business school. I came to SOM because of the people that I met, the classes that I attended, and the interactions that I had when I visited campus. The idea of being in a community where you know everybody was very appealing to me. When the dean and every professor you have knows you by name, you feel like you're part of something special.
This year, I worked with Professor Cade Massey on a statistics project outside of class. Spending time in his office and talking with him about how he thinks through problems was a great experience. I feel like Professor Massey is someone I could email five years from now asking about his research or if I was in the area, stop by and have a coffee and chat with him.
I've taken several great elective classes. One was an independent study with Professor Jeff Garten. I helped him develop a new class on managing global catastrophes. I had the opportunity to build a case study about the response to the Haiti earthquake and how the international community, local government, and NGOs responded. I interviewed several top leaders including Ambassador Lewis Lucke, the former head of USAID in Haiti and Iraq, who was appointed by Obama to oversee all of the U.S. government efforts after the earthquake. He provided his perspective on what the situation was like down there and what lessons he drew out of that response. It was fascinating to talk to him about it and take away some concrete lessons on leadership and management in crisis. I know that SOM is going to open doors that I wouldn't have otherwise had access to, and put me in touch with people that I never would have met otherwise.
I want to leave SOM better than I found it in some small way. I like to be involved and contribute when I can. I was the finance chair for the Internship Fund during my first year. When I came to Yale SOM I knew the Internship Fund, which raises money to support students doing nonprofit and government internships, was the one thing that I absolutely wanted to be a part of, and the one thing that I wanted to devote as much time to as necessary to make it as successful as possible. In the end we ended up raising a record amount and funding many of our classmates to follow their dreams last summer.
SOM attracts people who want to do good things in the world. And people certainly want to be successful, but I think they're driven by much more than the bottom line or their own pockets. There's something more to most of the people here.
Interviewed on February 3, 2011.