Friday, April 15, 2011

A literal sign of our legacy

I got a little dewy-eyed today when I strolled by the club fair. This is Welcome Weekend, when admitted students visit the campus -- some have decided to certainly come to Yale SOM, and others have not. Among the activities is a club fair, mostly manned by the first-year students who have been chosen or elected as club leaders for next year.

I co-led two clubs this year, Q+ (the LGBT group) and the Human Capital Club, which I co-founded with my friend Erika. The purpose of this club is to help students learn about careers on the "people" side of business, which can include human-capital consulting (which is what I'll be doing after school), human-resources management, organizational design and strategy, training and development, and so on. Many business schools have such a club; ours did not, and now it does.

I was so delighted to see the official blue "Human Capital" sign shown above. Last fall, when our club wasn't yet "official," we had to borrow some space at the Operations Club table and do a sign-in sheet with a makeshift, handwritten sign. But now that we're officially approved, we are here to stay, and that's a nice feeling.

At noon, I attended a rather straightforward town hall meeting with the dean-designate, Ted Snyder, who is coming to Yale SOM next year from the University of Chicago. He discussed some of his plans for the school and took questions. I foresee much change on the horizon for my beloved school -- and even if that change is for the better, it's still a tiny bit sad to know it will change. The school is moving into a new building, for example -- a modern glass structure currently under construction and set to open in 2013. The class size will go up a bit, from the roughly 230 it's at now to as great as 300 (still small for a top-tier MBA program, granted, but a 30% increase in size isn't insignificant, especially when it comes to class cohesion and intimacy). It will be interesting to see what becomes of the Human Capital Club, among other things, under the new dean's leadership. I have no idea what his views on this are.

I love SOM and therefore want to see it be the best it can be, and like any school (or anything at all), there's room for improvement. There are some improvements that would be universally deemed as such; there are others about which there might be disagreement. Time will tell what kinds of "improvements" come to the school after I make my exit next month.

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