Thursday, May 16, 2013
Exploring Yale SOM
I had previously ruled out Yale SOM from my list of schools, but I'm now seriously taking a look at it. Although one of the youngest b-schools in the country, Yale has some serious things going for it.
First, Dean Snyder is at the helm, the man who revived Darden and Booth during his years as dean at those schools. Under Snyder's leadership I'm pretty confident that Yale will continue to improve. Second, I really like the integrated curriculum, which is potentially a good fit with my interests and personality. Third, the student body is rather unique by MBA standards. And finally, the new building looks absolutely sick. Although that should not play a major role in choosing a b-school, a little eye candy certainly does not hurt!
However, I have some major reservations with the school, mainly the size and strength of its alumni network. Given the school's age and still rising reputation, will Yale SOM be a long-term bet that pays off big, or in finance lingo, an out of the money call option? Last fall I had lunch with a group of Yale SOM alums at an event sponsored by adcom. The alums talked more about the strength of the overall Yale University brand and network than they did about SOM, something I found quite disconcerting. Granted, Yale is a very powerful brand, especially the undergrad and law schools. But I'm not at all convinced that has some sort of "trickle-down" effect on the b-school. After all, SOM students go through separate recruiting from the college, and the college alums will tend to be loyal to other college alums. Perhaps Yale is different in this regard from other ivy league schools, and I don't quite have enough hard evidence yet. Either way, Yale SOM is an intriguing program, and I'm going to look deeper into it in the coming weeks.