What happened to my MBA life

It’s time to complain.

I really do not enjoy my MBA experience so far at Yale SOM. I am not sure if it’s the school’s fault or my fault – I have become more confused than I had ever been. I don’t feel intellectually stimulated, don’t feel my time or money is well spent. If I could have another chance, I probably would choose to continue working instead of coming here.

1. Most of the classes I have taken so far, with the exception of 3, have disappointed me. I thought Yale is supposed to provide the best education in the world. What happened?! Some of the professors here are much worse than the professors I had in U of T. The curriculum structure was extremely messed up. About a third of my time was wasted taking useless classes, a third was simply review sessions to my undergrad courses, the rest of the classes were the 3 classes I like and the 1 nobody likes. And the worst part is one cannot opt out of any class even if you’ve already known most of the stuff. This “non-opt out” policy would work in HBS, where most classes are taught in case format, or in GSB, where classes of different levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced) are offered. Otherwise it’s really a waste of time for many students, whose time could be better used for something else. I was sleep deprived because of the large number of hours I had to spent in class in quarter 1, while attending corporate presentations. I did not need to be sleep-deprived at all. I already knew material for about half of the classes and should have been able to opt out. If not, at least to learn the material at a different level.

I am comforting myself sometimes by thinking about the purpose of an MBA education. It’s not about classes. Then I felt slightly better and let this go.

2. Career services is not helpful. In the past couple of months, there are quite some clashes between students and career services. Career services at Yale SOM is really weak. It’s a vicious cycle. We are not a core school for most buy side firms. (almost not a core school for any buy side firm) We are also not a school with good entrepreneurial incubator program. We pretty much tag along with undergrads to share their resources. Because of that, we don’t send graduates to some of the best firms, then we do not have alumni there. No alum means no connection. And the companies might end up never coming to recruit. The Career Development Office just kept telling us “we are on our own”. Instead of feeling supported, quite a number of classmates I talked to felt intimidated.

Frequently the school administration uses the excuse of “being small” or new to shield their inabilities.  Cornell is exactly the same size as Yale SOM, but it has such great resources! I attended a conference organized by Cornell with a few other classmates. WE WERE SO JEALOUS of their resources and infrastructure. They have multiple relationship managers for finance – including banking, diversified financial services, private equity, and investment management. They host multiple competitions and conferences. Just the one they hosted last week was in the Seaport Hotel in Boston, one of the most luxurious hotels in Boston. They paid for other schools’ attendees to attend, with company representatives from many top investment firms. I wonder when SOM would ever be able to host a investment conference like that. I thought by coming here, I would have the infrastructure to figure out a career path. Unfortunately, all I felt is I am not supported.

The people I want to thank are the alums. They really go all out for us. Although sometimes there is only 1 or 2 of them in a firm, they are truly doing the best they can to open doors for us.

3. Student clubs are strained of resources, or could not allocate resources well. I am not very active on the student clubs front, but I heard quite a number of my classmates complained about how some second year club leaders have phrased out and let mostly first years run the show. I can understand how busy a lot of the second years are. However, I felt we have way too many clubs here. It would have been far more efficient if we combine some of those clubs so that we don’t host events with 5 attendees, waste food/alcohol, or have to attend 3,4 meetings for similar things.

4. New Haven is not a good place to live. My biggest fear is living in a place that’s boring, cold and unsafe. New Haven has it all! Two days ago the police locked down the school because someone reported he saw a person with a gun walking around the campus. It’s dangerous to walk at night, especially during the winter. Campus shuttles are there, but not reliable. I already had more than 3 incidents of no show. This constraint of mobility makes winter that much unbearable for me. Everyday, all I think about is to escape from here, escape from this dreadful place. I was often afraid of falling into seasonal effective disorder. In fact, I have already gotten it this year.

Done with complaining, time to go eat. My time in Houston should be spent on food.




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