It’s easy to carry a lot of preconceived notions into a place like Yale, particularly when coming to it from an unusual background. There are things that one comes into the experience wanting to believe that are immediately apparent, and things that are sometimes harder to find. I very much wanted to believe that the universally recognized strength of Yale was the diversity perspectives, passions, and disciplines that can be brought together on a daily basis. The reality has been an evolving realization for me. It turns out that it is terribly easy to be drawn into a silo of one’s own making, filled with people and ideas of one’s own segment of the school. Key institutions in the school who’s roll should be most central to the pulling together of diverse talent sometimes have trouble mustering the wherewithal to so much as put a sign on their facility to welcome people in, which is a difficult concept to struggle with. Events like Saturday’s Careers, Life, and Yale session make it abundantly clear that there are people here who live President Salovey’s One Yale value set, and that’s truly awesome.
The AYA’s “Being Useful” event was remarkably refreshing and energizing to be a part of! Kimberly Goff-Crews, class of ’83 and VP for Student Life at Yale, set the tone with a great talk about the purpose of the event, the vision of its coordinators, and the remarkable stories of the Yale alums who helped make it possible. It’s sometimes hard to pull off impassioned statements like “This event, the first of many, is not about just finding a job…it is about creating a meaningful life”…but she did so with a confidence that was backed up by what unfolded over the rest of the day.
Pulin Sangvi, class of ‘92 and current Executive Director at the Office of Career Services at Princeton University, gave an outstanding talk about the trajectory of his career from Yale through investment banking, the Stanford GSB, consulting, and on into leading change and developing entrepreneurial cultures in elite universities. His talk was so inspirational that many of us were left wondering what it would take to bring Pulin out of tiger land and back home to Yale! Another highlight was the mock interview workshop headed by Matt Meade, class of ’87. Matt and his panel gave a really engaging view from the other side of the interview table along with some very practical advice on how to excel in that environment.
Every speaker I encountered and every student and alum I spoke with was excited about the remarkable things that happen when you bring the people of Yale together to think and work across traditional boundaries. This event was exactly what I had hoped for in choosing Yale. I hope very much that everyone in the university is at some point able to attend something similar and feel the energy and positivity that come from being among friends as One Yale. My thanks go to everyone who had a hand in making it possible!