I honestly don’t know where to start writing about my Yale Master of Advanced Management (MAM) journey, but let me begin with this: It’s been almost two months since I graduated and if I were to sum up the whole experience in a phrase, it would be “no regrets.”
I remember being hesitant about pursuing an MAM degree. I had various reasons: It cost too much money, I wasn’t sure of the ROI after I graduate, I didn’t want to miss out on the last 6 months of being with C11 (my cohort in the Asian Institute of Management where I took my MBA), I didn’t think it was realistic to finish my MRR (the thesis equivalent) by July… These were some of my biggest concerns. I applied anyway because I didn’t like having “what ifs” in life and I figured I didn’t need to worry about these problems until I get admitted.
Then came the admission letter. This was when I realized I really wanted to go. I had always wanted to study abroad and now I had the opportunity to do so—in an Ivy League school at that. I would be crazy not to get it. So I said yes to Yale, negotiated my partial scholarship, took a student loan, crammed my MRR, and said goodbye to C11.
When I got to Yale (or New Haven), I was amazed by so many things.
The campus. The gothic architecture of Yale buildings is so beautiful, I always felt like I was in a Harry Potter movie. The Yale School of Management (SOM) doesn’t have this appeal but its modern design is still very beautiful, especially at night. In the spring and summer when the days are warm, you’d see students studying, playing, and hanging out on Yale’s well-maintained lawns and gardens.
The climate. Coming from a tropical country, I was thrilled to experience all four seasons, especially as they transition from one to the next. I remember that at each start of a season I would think, “It’s so pretty! This has got to be my favorite season!” Then the next season would come bringing its own unique beauty. It’s honestly hard to choose a favorite, but I think mine would have to be spring.
The people. Yale SOM is one of the most diverse business schools in the world. In my cohort, there were 62 students and we represented a total of 28 countries. Aside from the diversity, the students were incredibly smart (of course, what did I expect?). I remember sitting in one of the undergraduate courses I took and I was impressed by the depth of thought and the social and political awareness that these college students had. It was a humbling but also a very enriching experience because you learn something from each and every person you meet in Yale. Not to mention the amazing professors, some of whom are Nobel Prize winners like Robert Shiller (Economics).
The courses. I went to Yale to learn more about Sustainability because it was something I wanted to focus on. I took one of the BEST classes of my life here under Professor Dan Esty, who was absolutely amazing. He was the former Environmental Commissioner for Connecticut and he was involved with the Paris Climate Agreement discussions of 2016. He never used a PowerPoint slide nor wrote on the board the whole term but everyone in his class was engaged. He was THAT good. There were also a couple of SOM courses where every meeting we had C-executives from big companies like Pepsi, Spotify, IBM, etc. talk about their job and their company’s strategy. The classes always left me inspired afterwards. There was a ton of personal development and leadership courses too. My favorite would have to be Interpersonal Dynamics. I can’t say too much about what goes on in that course but let’s just say I have never felt so self-enlightened after taking it. Another favorite was my Spanish class. I’m so happy I got to learn a new language while in Yale, mainly because I’ve always wanted to learn a foreign language. But it also proved to be most helpful when I went to Costa Rica for Global Network for Advanced Management (GNAM) week, traveled to Mexico during Thanksgiving break, and to Argentina and Peru after graduation. There were quite a lot of locals that didn’t speak English in those countries so it was such a good life skill to have!
The facilities. I could see why the tuition was so high. Yale pulls out all the stops to facilitate student learning and well-being. One time, Professor David Bach joined our class through video conference and the screen was on this robot-like stand that could move around our classroom as David controlled it all the way from Europe! We all felt like we were in the movie I, Robot! If you’re a huge gym and sports buff, Yale has everything from golf to squash to hockey to ballroom dancing—you name it. I joined the SOM Hockey Club and I didn’t even know how to skate. It was very difficult and painful (I can’t count how many times I fell on my butt) but it was very fun! I never really got to learn how to play hockey itself (long story!) but I did learn how to skate and this skill became very handy during winter when New York City opened its skating rinks. It was awesome. One of the concerns of prospective Yale students is the security. It’s been said that New Haven isn’t a very safe place but I think it’s been made out to sound worse than it is. Yale offers free door-to-door shuttle to all students from 6PM onwards, you only have to call. They also have boxes across the campus with a security button that you can press in case you feel unsafe. Personally though, I’ve never felt at risk even while walking alone late at night.
The activities. SOM never ran out of events where students can meet people and enjoy. There are trips to must-go places in and near Connecticut, student parties organized by student clubs or council, the weekly Closing Bell where you can relax and socialize with other SOM-ers at the end of the school week, and so much more. Of course, there were professional events too since that’s what we’re in business school for, right? The Career Development Office (CDO) had many networking events, coffee chats, and company talks lined up during the year, catering to every career interest you have such as consulting, tech, investment banking, health, education, entrepreneurship, and others.
The resources. Speaking of career development, the CDO provided full support to students in preparation for job and internship hunting. They gave out materials, did coaching, held mock interviews, and provided us connections to SOM alumni that we could reach out to during this phase. The alumni network is a valuable resource of the school because they refer you to job openings, give you tips for the recruitment process, and even help you practice for interviews! Also, if you’re a book-lover, you’d be in book heaven here in Yale. Yale has over 15 million books in its library system available to students. I once had to look for short stories written in Tagalog (my native language in the Philippines) because I gave Tagalog lessons to two Fil-Am Yale college students. I was impressed to find that the library had Tagalog books and these helped a lot in my lessons!
I can go on and on about the amazing things I experienced while in Yale and in my MAM experience. Of course, I won’t deny that there were some low points too. Change is not always easy and adjusting takes time, but experiencing the discomfort also means growth. All in all, taking the Yale MAM program for me was having the best of both worlds: I had AIM and C11 but expanded my world to Yale and MAM as well. So again, no regrets.
Word by: Ces Domingo
The AIM MBA-Yale Master of Advanced Management (MAM) Dual Degree Program gives the students the opportunity to obtain two Master’s degrees in two years. This option is available to students who have successfully hurdled the first two terms of their MBA program, and have completed an acceptable Capstone project. Courses taken in the MAM are then credited towards their AIM MBA degree.