Graduates talk

We interviewed graduating students about their time at Yale--and what's ahead.

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Jonathan Mitchell / Hyde Park, Utah
MBA, School of Management

What inspired you to come to business school?
I was a teacher in the Hartford [Connecticut] public schools, and then I worked for Teach for America, coaching developing teachers. I went into the MBA program thinking I would like to explore the for-profit sector. Interestingly, after two years I ended up where I’d started, wanting to do more nonprofit work. The classes I enjoyed most, that gave me the most energy, were about how we can make a difference in some of the challenging issues the world faces. I think a lot of that has to do with SOM—their focus on mission and values and making an impact.

Do you have children? And if so, how did this year go for you?
Oh my heavens. It was a whirlwind. We have three kids, and my wife was also in school, studying marriage and family therapy. For six or seven months, our kids were either at home or doing a hybrid [school] schedule. We just took it a day at a time and did the best we could. Interestingly enough, I discovered that sometimes you put so much effort into things like school—when you can do a little less, be a little less of a perfectionist, and get similar results. The key learning here is that in many cases I was operating at the point of diminishing returns. I’m definitely going to be a work-smarter, not work-harder, kind of person.

Where will you be after graduation?
I’ll be a Swensen Fellow, working here at Yale for the next couple years. It’s an internal analyst or consulting role, supporting the provost and several others in making strategic choices for the university.