Monday, May 21, 2007

Advice For Future SOMers

So, I figured it was time to share some of what I’ve learned . . . through personal experience and observation . . . during my two years here at Yale SOM. You’re not going to find this information in any official publication from the school. I hope current and future SOMers find it helpful.

Note: I reserve the right to add to this list. Readers are encouraged to leave their own pearls of wisdom in the Comments section.

1) Proficient is sufficient. Believe it. Or at least resign yourself to it.

2) You’re rewarded for what you already know, not for what you learn. Of course, learning is its own reward. (But try comforting yourself with that when you work your ass off and still get a Proficient. . . . And, no, I’m not still upset about my grade in Pricing Strategy. I swear.)

3) Contrary to expectation, the elective classes that are most difficult to get into are usually the worst. Ignore the email from the registrar that tells you which courses are traditionally oversubscribed. You’ll be glad you did.

4) Some people come to business school to work. Others are here on vacation. Try to get into study groups with people who came here for the same reason you did. It will save you a lot of grief.

5) Don’t fool around with your classmates. (Unless there’s REAL potential for a relationship. Then, maybe.)

6) Be careful about the reputation you develop. Though I like almost everyone here as a person, there are some people that I would never want to hire after working with them (or not working with them) in a group. And I’m sure those feelings are reciprocated. The point is: Be careful.

7) Don’t take CorpFin2 in the spring semester of your second year. Every distinction-gunning finance nerd from the first year class will be in there with you.

8) Don’t get suckered into serving as editor of the Yearbook . . . or doing any other thankless job.

9) Many of your classmates will behave as though they can trade in their livers at the end of two years. Your liver needs to last your entire life. Take it easy. Don’t try to keep up with the alcoholics in your class. It’s impossible.

10) Don’t cheat. A first year student got a bad grade on his exam and changed some of his answers. He asked the professor for a re-grade. What the student didn’t know was that the professor had made a photocopy of the student’s original exam. Needless to say, the student was expelled. Two people in my own class were expelled last year for lying about the fact they cheated on a homework assignment that was worth less than 2% of their overall grade for the course. Trust me, were the 35 Duke students caught for cheating a few weeks ago enrolled at Yale SOM, all of them would have been expelled. This school has a zero tolerance policy . . . and rightly so.


Blogger Forrest Gump said...

pretty sage advice...a lot of it holds true for many of us out there who are joining different bschools.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007 8:21:00 AM  
Blogger Keven said...

I'll bite.

1) One of my disappointments from the last two years is there is so little that I've done that is my best work and I can be proud of. If there was a class I was good at then I would transfer effort away from that class to one I needed work on. Part of business school is learning to live with these tradeoffs.

4) Very true, particularly post job offers or during recruiting time.

9) There are a lot of partiers here, there are also some borderline alcoholics. Generally the alcoholics appear to be heading to the most stressful jobs. I worry for them.

10) On the flip side to this, find out from each professor where the line is drawn. In the first semester in particular I tried to do everything that wasn't specifically a team project on my own because I didn't want to risk cheating. However, that wasn't necessary in most classes and meant that I missed out on a lot of learning I could have got from my classmates.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007 8:24:00 AM  
Blogger Keven said...

Are you planning on continuing blogging post MBA?

Friday, May 25, 2007 7:04:00 PM  
Blogger KV said...

Congrats on being done and good luck in NYC

Sunday, May 27, 2007 1:28:00 AM  
Blogger Jerry Blank said...

thanks, kv! where are you going to be? you're coming back to the states, no?

keven - thanks for your comments and, yes, i probably will continue to blog after i graduate. but it won't be here. this is a b-school only blog. i'll let you know what/where my new blog is once i've set it up.

Sunday, May 27, 2007 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger KV said...

Actually I'm going to stay in London. We have our training in NYC August 11th to 15th. Maybe we could meet up one night for happy hours.

Sunday, May 27, 2007 10:56:00 PM  
Blogger Jerry Blank said...

kv, that would be awesome. my email address is flatpointmba at let me know what your plans are and we'll work something out. looking forward to it!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 12:55:00 AM  
Blogger zanat0s said...

hey man can you link to my blog and i link back to yours?


Thursday, May 31, 2007 3:45:00 AM  

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