Jasper Daniel ’19 and Brad Wayman ’19 wanted to get to know their classmates in the Yale SOM MBA for Executives program better, to find points of common interest and opportunities for collaboration. Daniel and Wayman thought that giving their peers a chance to share their experiences would open up a multitude of angles for discussion.
“Getting to know our peers and their stories builds empathy and collaboration within our group,” Daniel says. “That’s where we came up with the idea for Panel of Peers.”
Panel of Peers, which Daniel and Wayman launched in January 2018, is a forum for EMBA students to share their professional and personal experiences. The student-led forum is held every two weeks as part of the EMBA program’s in-residence weekend. Some discussions start with a set topic—sustainability, for example—but the conversations often follow unexpected paths.
“We have had the opportunity to learn from veterans in business, entrepreneurs, leaders in technology, athletes and others. More than anything we have had the opportunity to learn more about the depth of diversity and the immense intellect and experience of our group,” Daniel says.
Panel of Peers has already had an impact on students’ professional lives. “In the very first session we held, a VP of corporate social responsibility was on the same panel as founder of a nonprofit,” Daniel says. “It was during the POP session they realized that they had an incredible opportunity to collaborate and partner.”
Now the forum is expanding. During Global Network Week for EMBA students on June 11-15, several participating Global Network schools are holding their own version of the event. Unlike the SOM event, students from Network schools will be meeting for the first time and not only come from a variety of industry sectors, but also have different cultural experiences.
Daniel sees the Global Network Week Panel of Peers events as a chance to develop meaningful connections in a short period. “We can see this platform driving great visibility to leaders within the network and an opportunity to network in a really meaningful way,” he said.