Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Beginning Of The End

Well, today was the last day of classes. The instruction portion of my MBA is over. I have two finals this Thursday, a final project, and a paper; but, all will be finished by Monday of next week. Then it's three weeks of coordinating (and executing) my move, meeting with managers at my company, entertaining out-of-town guests, and participating in commencement activities before it's, "Au revoir, New Haven."

The Dean sent a very nice email today to the Class of 2007, far more personal than the letter he wrote for the yearbook. I've included it here. It's quite long. Consider yourself warned. :-)

To the Yale School of Management Class of 2007:

As some of you know, I am in East Asia this week meeting with alumni and friends of the school. However, I wanted to take a few moments out of my travel here to email you as you head into your final projects, papers and exams.

When we see each other next and you have finished your graduation requirements, you will have already begun the transition from Yale SOM student to SOM graduate. I am experiencing this transition with mixed emotions. On the one hand, I am excited to see how you will collectively live out the mission of the school in your lives and careers to come. On the other hand, you have been wonderful partners with me from the day that you arrived. We have been First Years – and Second Years – together. Your feedback, thoughts, and hard work helped to usher in so many of the positive changes this school has seen in the last two years -- from enhancements to the Loan Forgiveness Program and direct funding support for the Internship Fund, to increased resources and funding for the CDO, to enhancements in our IT infrastructure, to new elective offerings – and yes, even the new curriculum, which, I know, you did not have the opportunity to take. But you were there at the creation, and you were instrumental in bringing it to life and in supporting and sustaining it through its first year of existence, as Teaching Assistants, as Mentors, as Second Year Advisors, and as the collective voice of tradition, continuity and community at SOM in your second year. As you make the transition to alumni and interact regularly with those who have not been to SOM but have heard about SOM, you will hopefully have the opportunity to experience what the curriculum change has done to elevate the perception of the school as a true pioneer in MBA education, something from which the entire community benefits.

It is my deepest hope that you all can derive considerable satisfaction both from the contributions you have made and the benefits you have realized that were not part of the fabric of this school on the day that you arrived in 2005.

Above and beyond the resources that we as a community of students, faculty and staff have collectively worked to direct, the Class of 2007 has been the carrier of the SOM culture and commitment. You have demonstrated the values of our community from the time that you embraced students from Tulane in the wake of Katrina to the way in which you helped one another (and even members of the Class of 2008) to prepare for job interviews. Your class implemented the first form of elected student representation in the school's history, and in the process you helped to establish a tradition of voice and partnership with the administration and faculty that had not existed before. Perhaps more than any class in history, the Class of 2007 has actively reached out to work with the SOM Alumni Association, helping to create a bridge between the graduates of the school and the current student body. The amount of alumni involvement in the institution has never been greater, and I am confident that it will only increase over time in many ways as a result of your efforts.

To be sure, there is much that remains to be done, and those of us who are staying here will need to continue with what you have helped to begin, whether it be the diversity task force, the IT advisory committee, or the myriad other student-faculty-administration partnerships that have been initiated since your arrival.

We will certainly see much of one another as Commencement approaches. However, I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you good luck on your final papers and exams, and even more, to thank you personally for the support and enthusiasm you have shown to me, and for everything else that you have done to play a part in the exciting story of Yale SOM as it has unfolded over the past two years.

I hope you will stay close to and engaged with the school, and that you will continue to provide us with feedback and continue to be involved in the many positive changes we still have planned, even though you will certainly have some competing commitments over the next few years. Along with the rest of the faculty and staff of the school, I am looking forward to doing all that I can to ensure that the institution will continue to be a source of ever-increasing pride and enthusiasm for you wherever your path leads you, just as all of you will doubtless be a source of pride and inspiration for us in your new lives as Yale managers.

So, from Tokyo, good luck with finals, and thanks again.

See you soon,

Dean Podolny


Blogger Forrest Gump said...

Congratulations on finishing your education. and that email surely read pretty personal...

where are you heading to post SOM ? anything decided yet (sorry if I missed a post if you mentioned it earlier)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007 10:45:00 PM  
Blogger t-test said...

Congratulations. Just as one set of MBA2's graduate, another load step on as MBA1s...

Monday, May 21, 2007 9:51:00 AM  
Blogger Jerry Blank said...

hi, forrest. i'm heading to amex in nyc. i'm very excited about it. congrats, again, on chicago! that's so awesome.

t-test. like the name. lol. congrats on nyu. i love the people i've met who go to stern. you're going to have a great time.

Monday, May 21, 2007 9:31:00 PM  

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