Lifelong Memories at Yale: Behavioral Science of Management Program

Jayne Xu

IMBA Candidate '19

2018-03-23

Before Our Journey to Global Network Week

With more than 300 years history, Yale University is well known world class university around world focusing on research. We, as the representatives of Renmin's Business School, were very proud and honored to visit this old university as well as to join the Behavioral Science of Management Program at the School of Management in 2018. From March 12th to 16th, we had a group of 6 students joining the Behavioral Science of Management Program. The Global Network Week did not start until March 12th, however, with expectations and passion, we have started preparing for this coming program since January from VISA applications to raw case reading and analyzing.

Experiencing Yale SOM

At Yale, every corner seemed eye-catching to us, not only because of the architectural design, but also due to the cultural penetration. Technology plays a big part in designing classrooms for different functions at Yale School of Management. We experienced the diverse atmosphere of reception room, break-out discussion room, dining hall, our main teaching classroom and etc. We sincerely hope that we could spend more than a week here to experience and study.

Global Network for Advanced Management (Global Network)

Yale School of Management organized an Opening Cocktail Reception for us on the first day. This gave us a great opportunity to socialize and network with our classmates. Some professors joined this reception too. It was this event that we finally found out that there was no distance between our school and Yale School of Management. We could share business ideas, innovations, start-up experience, and so much more.

Lectures

The theme of this academic tour was based on the practice of Behavioral Science in different fields, including consumer experience, negotiation, decision making, choice architecture, influence, and finance.The topic of first day were Understanding Consumer Experiences and Negotiation Mindsets taught by Gal Zauberman and Daylian Cain. To take a marketing approach in management, Professor Zauberman explained theories and daily examples about how good consumer experiences reshape a brand and add essential value to the product. His example based teaching was very direct, and it was very helpful to let us understand the idea about adjusting consumer experience. The concept of Finishing Strong in service industry was highly used in business, and this concept was one of the top mentioned take-aways in GNW by a lot of students from different backgrounds. Daylian Cain, a Canadian professor who often demonstrates his idea in an entertaining way. He taught us that negotiating is always necessary and the results usually would be better by communicating in a proper way. When we connected what he taught with our business and career decisions, we truly found out that we ignored the power of negotiation, and even gave up the chance of negotiating. What an inspiring point!

Group study is very common in North America. We were divided to groups of 6 or 7 by Yale School of Management to diversify backgrounds and cultures. The purpose was very clear, that was to create opportunity for us to communicate with other students from all over the world. A small Airline case was discussed in each group. We felt really proud that we analyze this case in a very efficient way with limited time and brainstorming. Marketing Professor, Nathan Novemsky used this case to present to us how to make better decisions in business using behavioral science.

And the last, but not the least, Nicholas Barberis, who is well-known as the Stephen and Camille Schramm Professor of Finance at Yale School of Management. He shared his research about management behavior and left us deep thinking about why individuals and companies could not reach the best performance. It was helpful for a lifelong time, just like a guiding star or a kind reminder when we face the similar business situation in a later time.

Company Visits

We had a whole-day business trip to Synchrony Financial on the third day. It took us more than an hour and half to reach our destination, Synchrony Financial in Stanford, Connecticut, but it worth the trip. Synchrony is one of the nation's premier consumer financial services companies in United States, which roots in consumer finance trace back to 1932, and today becomes largest provider of private label credit cards in the United States based on volume and receivables.

Ken Yoon, as VP-Business Development and Strategy at Synchrony Financial, presented an overview about Synchrony Financial and its industry in the United States. By getting to know the Vision and Mission, Business Partnership, Competitive Advantages and current Threats in the market, we were prepared to brainstorm some business idea and solutions for Synchrony Financial. During this visiting session, we also had chance to take a deep company tour.

The afternoon session was focused on seeking possible solutions for Synchrony Financial, and we were again divided into small groups, but with different group member this time. After an intense discussion, each group would prepare a presentation to the panel of Synchrony Financial. Great ideas and practical solutions were generated that afternoon, and we even had very high-quality talk during the dinner reception prepared by Synchrony Financial. Since the issue was regarding to electronic payment, the students from our school really contributed plenty of good suggestions since we are experiencing way more advanced electronic payment options in China.

Campus Exploring

Finally, we had a chance to go around the campus. If you say that Yale University could be a small town by itself, then that would be very true. Yale University is located in New Haven, Connecticut, and when you walk down on the streets of this small town, you would see buildings for different faculties all over the place. That morning, we led by Yale’s students rambling around libraries and Student Centre. The weather was chill, but the campus tour brought warmth and passion to us. We never found that it was enough for us to stroll along the boulevard at Yale in March when the sun raised after a heavy snow. We listened to the history of Yale University, and we heard the laughter and twitter as well. We extremely expected that we could absorb and discover more of it.

Conclusion

How time flies! On the last day, each group of us delivered our presentations about experience of our GNW and valuable take-aways. We always had more to say, however, it was the end of this GNW journey. A certificate ceremony was arranged, and it was more like a farewell ceremony. We got to know friends who are sharing the same value with us; we celebrated what we have done together; we connected with each other and kept the momentum going on. With the learning and luck, we believe that Behavioral Science of Management Program 2018 at Yale School of Management will be our lifelong memories and we could not recommend more about this experience.

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