Student Profile: From Military Leader to Business Leader
Christopher Kennedy ’13
Internship: Pitney Bowes
Bank of America Scholarship recipient
After being an Army officer for five years, I had gained a number of valuable, transferable skills that I could use in business, but there were gaps in my education that I needed to address. There were a lot of things about Yale SOM that appealed to me. I had a great undergraduate experience at West Point, and I wanted to replicate some of that. West Point aims to produce leaders of character dedicated to a lifetime of selfless service to the nation; Yale SOM aims to produce leaders for business and society. I think these two missions mesh well. When I visited SOM, I got a feeling for the culture. Everyone here is supportive, collaborative, and down-to-earth, and that means a lot to me.
One of the best things about SOM is that we're very connected to the university as a whole. There are a lot of opportunities to meet and work with students outside of SOM, and I think that's important for establishing a personal network. Throughout your career, you're going to interact with different stakeholders across a wide variety of functions. It's nice to be able to network now with people from the law school or the forestry school and hear their perspectives.
The integrated curriculum has been fundamental in developing my personal view. The curriculum doesn't pigeonhole students into specific functions. I no longer see myself as a 'future finance guy' but rather as a future business leader. The core gives you a wide variety of perspectives and you learn functions from the view of multiple stakeholders and with respect to multiple disciplines. You gain a broader context and a more holistic approach to solving problems.