Hear From Alumni

Alumni of Jackson’s graduate programs apply their interdisciplinary learning to a variety of roles and sectors.

In Their Words

Piper O'Keefe, Class of 2022 Thumbnail
Piper O'Keefe, Class of 2022

“The intellectual curiosity; leadership, research, and writing skills; and connections I gained from my time at Jackson prepared me well to make a difference through my work as a policy analyst and PMF in the federal government. Jackson’s flexible curriculum challenged me to take courses in topics I was interested in but knew little about (such as SOM’s Global Social Entrepreneurship course) and think in different ways. I’ve found this ability to engage with subject area experts and make interdisciplinary connections to be invaluable in my work at the Department of Energy. Additionally, the hard skills I gained in my courses — especially Ambassador Rank’s lessons in memo writing — prepared me to make valuable contributions almost immediately. I came to grad school because I wanted to gain the skills to center impacted people in policy-making decisions, and Senior Fellows such as Oby Ezekwesili and Clare Lockhart gave me practical approaches to doing so which I employ in my day to day work. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Jackson exposed me to a strong network of alumni who have helped shape my career trajectory and life-long friends who help me be the best version of myself.”

Gal Komem, Class of 2022 Thumbnail
Gal Komem, Class of 2022

"The personal curriculum I built at Jackson included classes in international political economy, history of aid and development, and data analytics. This mix of classes exposed me to a breadth of knowledge about trends in the global economy. It deepened my understanding of the complexity in implementing economic policies in different local contexts. Moreover, it provided me with tools to think critically about economic strategies that governments and communities follow all across the world, and evaluate them humbly, using both quantitative and historic reasoning. Perhaps most importantly, my studies helped me to identify role models and platforms of influence, through which I could work on the policy challenges I’m passionate about. Upon graduation I joined the World Bank’s private sector development arm - I feel that my studies at Yale both inspired and enabled me to pursue this unique opportunity."

Eunjung Irene Oh, Class of 2022 Thumbnail
Eunjung Irene Oh, Class of 2022

"The flexibility of the curriculum allowed me to take courses not only at the Jackson School, but also in the Political Science and History departments, the Law School, and School of Management. This interdisciplinary learning gave me a broader historical, social scientific, and strategic lens to ask big questions and examine global security challenges from various perspectives.

"I was also able to gain a wide range of experiences at Jackson that helped me successfully transition into international civil service from the military. Teaching and research assistantships, summer internship at a prominent think tank, and leadership experiences at various student organizations were invaluable in navigating my transition and provided me with necessary skills and confidence to successfully perform my job in the United Nations.

"Last but not least, I also found a community of dedicated mentors and peers at Jackson who provided support and advice every step of the way, challenged me with new ideas, and encouraged me to move beyond my comfort zone. I’m immensely grateful for their guidance and support throughout my Jackson journey."

Anirudh Krishnan, Class of 2021 Thumbnail
Anirudh Krishnan, Class of 2021

"Jackson provided me with a platform that has permanently shifted the trajectory of my career in very exciting ways and dared me to dream bigger. I arrived at Yale looking to arm myself with a broad understanding of the foremost thinking on what drives global poverty and income inequalities within and among countries. At Jackson, I found in it a wonderful community of intellectuals and practitioners working to find unique approaches to addressing underserved issues globally. Between the breadth and flexibility of the curriculum, the tremendously diverse experiences of my cohort, travel opportunities, an internship at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at MIT, honing my analytical skills as a research assistant to a Yale sociologist, and teaching alongside one of the all-time best statistics teachers, I was able to fill known and unknown gaps in my training and exposure to the world of public policy in developing countries. As I embark on a career at the intersection of evidence and government policies and programs, I am constantly pushed by the example of my Jackson peers and alumni to strive for the greatest impact in all that I do."

Tiffany Chan, Class of 2021 Thumbnail
Tiffany Chan, Class of 2021

"If it were not for Jackson, I would never have co-founded Hillhouse Analytics with my fellow classmate. Jackson had a wonderfully close-knitted student and faculty community that provided a lot of intellectual and moral support for our entrepreneurial efforts. The curriculum was flexible enough that I could take exactly the courses I needed across campus. People don’t often associate entrepreneurship with global affairs/public policy programs, but the kind of big picture, strategic thinking combined with ground-level inspection of reality that was encouraged at Jackson was precisely what’s important for a good leader of any organization. I left Jackson with not just a start-up, but also the confidence and inspiration I needed to pursue a more unconventional career path."

Adam Hammer, Class of 2020 Thumbnail
Adam Hammer, Class of 2020

"The world is hungry for leaders who are comfortable with the complexity of an interwoven world. Yale Jackson equips leaders with an interdisciplinary toolkit and a personal network of practitioners, strategists, and innovators to help navigate an ever more uncertain and turbulent world. I left Jackson more informed, better equipped, and more inspired to take on the world's most urgent challenges. Jackson is built around the individual—its personalized curriculum and tight-knit community of scholars provided me with foundational skills to develop and execute policy while affording me an opportunity to forge life-long friendships with colleagues, staff, and professors. I know I'll carry Jackson—the friendships I made and the lessons I learned—everywhere I'll go."

Shanavian Houser, Class of 2019 Thumbnail
Shanavian Houser, Class of 2019

"As the private sector becomes increasingly involved throughout the global development space, becoming knowledgeable and utilizing both skill sets are essential in order to address the most pressing societal challenges. Jackson’s flexible curriculum gave me the opportunity to cross-pollinate with the School of Management and thus increased my ability and skill set to become an effective leader and contributor in the partnership development space. Classes like 'How Business Can Align Profit and Purpose' (a Jackson course) and 'Strategic Management of Nonprofit Organizations' (a SOM course), well prepared me for my current role at the CDC Foundation where partnership development is key! As the world continues to fight against the Covid-19 outbreak, the Foundation’s partnerships with private donors and public health organizations have uniquely positioned it to rapidly mobilize resources and directly support the CDC’s coronavirus response. Without the knowledge and skills I gained throughout my time at Jackson, I would not be able to be a part of such a pivotal moment in history."

Tabish Azeem, Class of 2019 Thumbnail
Tabish Azeem, Class of 2019

"My internship at KKR Global Institute was facilitated through Jackson’s career development office.
It opened doors to a summer at the investment firm’s New York office. I worked with a small team led by former CIA Director General David Petraeus.

It was a valuable learning opportunity that gave me a window into how private investment could help developing countries and the risks around investment climate in a world that’s undergoing a change in the global order. I cannot think of a better way I could have spent my summer, and it all started with the job posted by Jackson’s Career Development Office!"

Jillian Anderson, Class of 2018 Thumbnail
Jillian Anderson, Class of 2018

"Jackson gave me two years to delve deeply into the topics I’m passionate about and ask the big questions. And SOM gave me two years to delve deeply into functional skills (how to run effective organizations). Jackson students and SOM students are asking the same big questions. In my field, global health, one of the big questions is how do we solve the HIV/AIDS crisis? At Jackson that question would largely be approached from what can we do with the World Health Organization, how do we partner with governments? At SOM the perspective starts with: 'You’re running an organization and you’ve been given $100 million, how do you actually serve the most people possible?'
"Being able to speak fluently in both 'languages' and communicate with all of the different stakeholders that are going to be involved in complicated decisions has really added value: that we bring something unique to the table. That if you’d only done one degree you wouldn’t necessarily be able to do."