Another New Journey Just Began

Joy Ma

RBS MBA Candidate '18, Yale SOM MAM '17


In a rainy afternoon on May 22nd, in the beautiful courtyard of Evans Hall, I finally received this thin yet precious piece of paper from Dean Snyder’s hands, bringing my nine months’ journey at Yale to an end. Feeling extremely honored, treasured, and blessed, I have officially become a graduate of Yale SOM MAM Class of 2017. One class, 23 countries, 62 students, 283 days together, and life-long friends from all over the world. For many of us, it would be our last time to study at school as a full-time student.

On the first day at SOM, Dean David Bach and Valerie kept telling us that we had to step out our comfort zone. At that time, I was not so sure about where the boundaries of my comfort zone were, and even why I should do it. Through times of working on challenging tasks, working with newly-met students, and trying out and failure, I gradually got the idea that one can never know where his or her boundaries were until he or she actually tried it out. Moreover, the boundaries are often far further than one thinks. By constantly trying out and getting out of my comfort zone, I have discovered more facets of me that I didn’t know before and many possibilities of future.

One of the most valuable memories was communicating with schoolmates from different cultural background or so-called cross-cultural communication. We discussed the difference in political regimes in China and South Africa, explored the traditions of Chinese wedding and Indian wedding, shared our most exciting adventure, and empathized with each other’s joy and sorrow. During this journey, we realized that we were much more similar than our physical appearances. Even though we grow up in completely different continents speaking different languages, we could all feel the same level of love and happiness when the two classmates got engaged, blessing and delight when one of our classmates got a son named Yale, and compassion when David shared us his personal story. We truly are different. However, we are much more similar.

Last but not least, I felt deeply empathized with SOM’s spirit that we should always think about the long-term good for the business and society. My mentor, Kevin Ye, who is the CEO of Sabris Inc. always tells me that as a SOMer, you may not benefit from your education in the short term as those students from technical schools do, but the longer since you graduated, the more you will realize the tremendous value learned from SOM. You can always do well by doing good. If I would only take one thing away from SOM, this would be it.

Now it has come to the end of my student journey at SOM. However, I just started another long journey about life, filled my heart with passion and spirit of Yale SOM.