I recently attended the Bangalore Information Session of the Yale School of Management. The info session was on 20th September 2012 at Hotel Taj Westend, Bangalore. The session was hosted by George Joseph (In-charge of Yale International Relations-Asia, In-charge of Leadership Development Program at Yale School of Management). Along with George, there was a Class of 2008 alumnus present too.
The session started with a formal presentation by George and was followed by Q&A session both with George and the alumnus. I would say that the presentation started in style for what Yale SOM is known for – Impact on Society. The first few slides highlighted the various problems the world is facing today like food security, energy security, corruption, business environment etc and ending up the problems sequence with “Educating Leaders for Business and Society”. The idea conveyed was that the world is such a complex place and hence it needs well aware managers who can lead the business and society to have a real impact on it which they call “Leaders for Society”. I personally was flattened by such a start of the session. George informed us that Yale SOM is a relatively new school and the school believes in training managers. Apparently, this is the underlying philosophy why they don’t call themselves Yale School of Business and call themselves Yale School of Management. Apart from the general stuff about the school (which is readily available on website) there was some interesting information that was shared too. Replying to a question on how admissions committee decides upon an applicant, George said that they are not looking to match a pre-designed template for applicants. Instead, admissions office looks at the application holistically and then decided on each applicant. They try to create a class that is as diverse as possible. Talking of candidates from India, Indian students constitute the largest group of international students at Yale SOM. As an example, George told that there were approx. 40 Indian students in the present class at Yale SOM.
Yale SOM has started a unique initiative called Global Network for Advanced Management where 24 business schools from around the world are part of the network where students and faculty interact with one another. From India, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM-Bangalore) is part of this network. Talking of curriculum, Yale believes in a holistic 3600 view of management where there are no concentrations. At Yale, one does not get an MBA in Marketing, Operation or something like this, we get just an MBA. The curriculum focuses on each aspect of business equally. The Core curriculum starts with Orientation in Management which aims at bringing all students at one level to start business education. George informed that this has been done keeping in view that fact that all students come from different backgrounds and hence it is necessary to bring everyone to par to start a formal business education as a class. I found this particularly great as not many business schools follow such a practice. The next quarters are what they call Organizational Perspectives. This essentially highlights the Holistic 3600 view curriculum that I just mentioned a couple of lines before. At Yale SOM, in the core curriculum, there are no classes by the name of Marketing or Accounting or the likes. Instead, they teach business from different perspective like Competitor, Customer, Investor, Sourcing & Managing Funds, State & Society, Employee, Innovation, Operations and Global Macro-economy. The idea is to learn about business from these different perspectives and the stakes that they hold in the entire scheme of things. Along with this core curriculum there is this Leadership Development exercise that continues through the whole of 1st year. There is also a mandatory 2 weeks International experience trip as part of the 1st year curriculum which happens around March. Each visit has a theme and students get to meet alumni, government officials, Senior Executives in the companies where the team is visiting. As an example, the team visiting India got to meet the Prime Minister during their International trip. One very special highlight at the Yale SOM that I personally feel is simply great is the concept of what is called “Raw Cases”.