Letter: Columnist’s depiction of YES was irresponsible, false

To the Editor:

Upon reading yesterday’s editorial by Brian C. Thompson, “Say ‘No’ to YES: Entrepreneurs need better support,” (11/7) I was simply flabbergasted. I have been heavily involved in the Yale Entrepreneurial Society since my freshman year, and now, as a senior, I look back fondly on just how much of an education YES instilled and just how much the organization does for local and student entrepreneurs.

The author clearly failed to actually attempt to seek YES’ assistance in his endeavors and demonstrated that he knows very little about the organization. He blatantly misrepresented YES’ offerings and the highly impressive roster of successful student businesses that have had the help of the organization throughout the years. Off the Map Press (aka The Menu), Mercado Global, the Elmseed Enterprise Fund, Helix Therapeutics, Keren Pharmaceuticals, OneAcre Fund, the Yale Economic Review, the Globalist Foundation, YellowPen, HigherOne, VideoEgg and others are just a few of those who have successfully taken advantage of YES’ programs and gone on to create impressive enterprises through their persistence, hard work and healthy dosage of YES’ help and network.

He failed to mention any of the vast array of educational events, speakers and conferences geared toward student entrepreneurs, and no one from the organization ever recalls him being at any events other than our trip to meet Warren Buffett, just one of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that YES graciously offers its members.

He mentioned nothing of the group’s continuing efforts to personally assist entrants to the Y50K in networking, raising capital, writing and tweaking their business plans and implementing their business strategy. He mentioned nothing of YES’ magazine, its website resources, its community outreach initiatives, its brainstorming sessions or any of its many charitable initiatives. Worse yet, he took personal shots at the dedicated and hardworking team on YES’ Executive Board by calling them resume-padders, an act I consider wholly disgraceful.

The author also conveniently left out another important fact. YEI, the experience he spoke so highly of, was started by a handful of the so-called “resume-padders” he denigrated. Indeed, the program was co-founded and run in conjunction with YES. Perhaps he simply forgot, and actually owes them a debt of gratitude for the “real energy in the air” he commends so highly. He also owes them an apology.

The author demonstrated he had limited experience with the high-quality offerings of YES and the impressive people that devote so much of their time and energy bringing these offerings to students.

In short, his piece was an example of unabashedly poor journalism. I would encourage him and others to actually immerse themselves in YES before making disgruntled, personal and misguided remarks.

Joseph Citarrella

Nov. 7

Citarrella is a senior in Timothy Dwight College and a member of the Yale Entrepreneurial Society.

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