High schoolers descend upon SOM

Local high schoolers left their classrooms Friday to spend a day with faculty members and students at the School of Management in a program designed to expand the types of careers they consider.

13 students from the Metropolitan Business Academy, a New Haven public school, toured the School of Management campus, listened to professors and talked with current business school students as part of the “Business Student for a Day” program. Anthony Webb SOM ’13 organized the event through his non-profit corporation, Boys Speak Out Inc., which has coordinated over 70 “For a Day” programs at universities across the country that expose disadvantaged youths to various professions such as medicine, law and entertainment.

“We have to open our doors to the community and share,” Webb said, adding that this marks the first event he has hosted at Yale.

The day began with a roundtable discussion led by economics professor Keith Chen and organizational behavior professor Amy Wrzesniewski, who answered questions about their research and how they chose their fields of study.

The students later rotated through discussion groups with SOM students and concluded the day with an informal lunch and more conversation.

In his keynote address, Webb encouraged students to follow his “three keys to success: hard work, dedication and surrounding yourself with positive people.” The only way to succeed, he said, is to believe in your own ability and always put yourself in situations that foster growth.

Travis Jinks, The Metropolitan Business Academy’s youth development coordinator, said the students enjoyed the program, adding that he would like his school to return to Yale in the future for similar events.

Six high school students interviewed all expressed satisfaction with their trip, though two said they would have liked to attend an actual SOM class.

Yilcaly Colon, a 10th grade student, said she appreciated the chance to meet SOM professors and students, adding that the experience strengthen her desire to manage her own business someday.

“Hearing from the source helps me decide what I want to be,” she said.

Autumn Glatz, a high school senior who plans on attending business school, said she was glad to have an opportunity to speak to members of the SOM community about the process of applying to and succeeding in business school. Rebecca Romprey, a 10th grader, said the experience showed her opportunities she did not know existed.

“I liked getting to pick [graduate students’] brains on what it’s like to be a student, why they came, and how the school has been beneficial,” said 10th grader Rebecca Romprey. “This was a way to open another door.”

Three SOM student volunteers interviewed said the most beneficial aspect of the program was the high schoolers’ exposure to new perspectives and opportunities. Jonathan Beauford SOM ’12, who volunteered at the event, said it is important to show youth that there are people who care about their successes.

The event was sponsored by the Black Business Alliance at SOM, the Latino Leadership Association at SOM and Porsche Cars, North America.

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