It was a fine evening in the city of San Francisco as our group – which included the four of us Yalies along with our parents, the ILC administrators, chaperons, and more – made our way to RN74, a lovely urban French restaurant nestled in Mission Street.
It was a night I was very much anticipating, as we would be dining with Yale alumni as well as current students; the wide spectrum of Yale experiences would surely provide us with a span of valuable knowledge about the educational institution.
Our company began to slowly augment in size as more guests piled into the restaurant, and many of us took the chance to mingle with one another before sitting down to commence the dinner.
One of the first guests my cohort and I met were Michael Montano (Yale c/o ’03) and Laura Hurtado (Yale c/o ’04). Michael graduated from Yale with a major in Philosophy, and, to our surprise, attended Stanford Law School. Upon our curiosity of the correlation between his major and Law School, Michael explained that he suggested majoring in an area unrelated from your field of interest, be it medicine or law - not only would it assist someone in being a more well-rounded candidate, but it could also help him in standing out among a pool of other applicants.
I was also very pleased to see Yohanna Pepa and Austin Long, two former Pinole Valley High students and current Yale Bulldogs. They are such great examples and inspirations, and it was nice catching up with them as well as learning more about Yale through their perspective.
As the dinner commenced, I sat next to Eli Luberoff (Yale c/o ’09) and Lata Prabhakar (Yale c/o ’97).
Eli was such great company – he started up a mathematics software business that brought him the Bay Area. Throughout the evening, I noticed that Eli couldn’t stop expressing how much he missed the university – if he had the chance, he said, he’d go back to college in a blink of an eye. Yale had obviously made a huge impact on him, and after listening to all Eli had to say about his college experience, I could not wait to be on Yale’s campus to absorb all the greatness I possibly could.
When Lata attended Yale, her intentions were to enter the medical field. After completing her undergraduate studies and taking the MCAT, she realized that her interests didn’t lie in the area. Lata explained to me the benefits of Yale being a liberal arts school – or any liberal arts school, for that matter. It allows students to branch out and dabble in different interests, taking classes that possibly have no relation at all to their majors.
Unfortunately, I did not have the chance to speak with Kristina Yee (Yale c/o ’89) as much as I would have liked. Towards the end of the dinner, as we shook hands, Kristina suggested that I, having grown up and lived in the West Coast for so long, should experience life on the East Coast – the culture and people differed greatly across the country, and it would no doubt serve as a valuable experience.
I very much enjoyed having the opportunity to meet such wonderful individuals, and was able to express my gratitude and excitement for the program in a speech. I could not look forward to the embarking to the East Coast more after hearing about Yale that evening – though it isn’t likely that I will be able to have the full college experience with the duration of the program being two weeks, I will make an effort to soak in as much as I possibly can during that time.