2022 Best & Brightest Executive MBA: Nathan Tribble, Yale SOM

Nathan Tribble

Yale School of Management, EMBA, Asset Management Track

Age: 38

“A quintessential only child. I’m always game for a spirited disagreement.”

Hometown: Oakland, California. I’m lucky enough to call Hermosa Beach, California home today, but the 510 is my “hometown.”

Family Members:

My toughest critic and biggest fan, my mother Monica Jackson.

My champion and partner-in-crime, my spouse, Missy Coffey.

Our iron-gutted, perpetually troublemaking 14-year-old puggle, Rory.

Fun fact about yourself: I was a competitive debater from age 11 through college. After my own competitive career ended, I had the opportunity to coach some of the most brilliant high school and college debaters around.

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Redlands and TESU – Political Science

Where are you currently working? As of June 15, I am the Chief Executive Officer, Vikasa Capital Partners.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles: I am fortunate to serve on the board of two non-profits: the Stockpile Foundation, whose mission is to support the financial independence and economic empowerment in underserved communities; and Turnkey Speech and Debate, whose mission is to bring the magic of competitive debate to middle and secondary schools throughout California and beyond.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? During business school I served on a special committee for my local city council. Yale School of Management’s mission is “to educate leaders for business and society.” I’m particularly proud of having the opportunity to apply the lessons learned in the program to real-world challenges being addressed by my city. While compromise ruled the day, I was able to apply the data-driven analytic frameworks learned in class to challenges facing our small beach city.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I’ve always been an advocate for professional and career development for my teams, employees, and peers. Finishing this program was my personal testament to that commitment. During my tenure at Stockpile, we tripled the number of licensed reps and principals, while also adding entirely new areas of expertise to the team. More important, the culture changed from seeing professional development as a chore or requirement into an opportunity to proactively expand horizons, experiences, and skills. Celebrating every new license, certification, or degree brought the kind of pride that can’t be calculated on a bonus check or balance sheet.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? I think I can speak for all my fellow classmates when I say there were too many outstanding professors to have a “favorite.” Professors Kelly Shue and Sonia Marciano are masters of the teaching craft, they made complex material engaging and straightforward. Having the chance to TA for Professor Lorenzo Caliendo means I got to re-engage with his macroeconomics lectures and watch him work magic at the chalkboard. Professor Nicholas Barberis is a genius. His ability to connect the dots between the latest research in behavioral science and the latest research in finance is inspirational. My wife will have him to blame for me pursuing more academic work after this program. Lastly, Professor William Goetzmann embodies the absolute best of Yale. From a financial history lecture spanning Babylonia to Bitcoin to quantitative analysis of alternative asset classes, every class he taught challenged us to consider more perspectives with a more rigorous critical lens. He’s the academic Renaissance man I’d most like to emulate.

Why did you choose this school’s executive MBA program? Yale was the only program I applied to. The integrated curriculum meant we had multiple opportunities to engage in our core coursework (in practice in the workplace and theoretically in subsequent courses). There is no better place on earth to study behavioral finance and economics; after two years of study, I’m still in awe of the faculty’s research and ability to bring the material to life. The Yale School of Management mission is about more than making money; it is about preparing us to be the courageous leaders it will take to tackle humanity’s biggest challenges. I know that sounds lofty and grandiose, but when you’re sitting in a classroom surrounded by the world’s future business, political, and civic society leaders, it’s impossible not to think about the dent you can make in the world.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family and education? At a few different points in the program, I was enrolled in extracurricular courses offered by the broader business school (meaning classes throughout the week during my 9-5) while also enrolled in courses offered by both the School of Management at Fudan University in Shanghai and Oxford Said. Essentially, I had stretches of time where classes were literally around the clock, it was tough on my sleep schedule. “Juggle” would be a misnomer—things certainly got dropped as I gave my all to work and school. But having the support of the program staff and my family meant there no challenges we couldn’t address.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? First, get buy-in—from your work, your family, and your friends. With their support everything else falls into place. Second, once you’ve made your own ROI calculation and determined that it makes sense, find the program that’s right for you and just do it. Lastly, read more.

What is the biggest myth about going back to school? If you’re telling yourself “It will be too hard,” you’re probably wrong. If you’re telling yourself “It will be easy,” you’re definitely wrong. 

What was your biggest regret in business school? COVID-19 denied my classmates and me the opportunity to travel abroad as part of the Global Network Week Program. While Zoom helped to bridge the gap, I would have loved to actually get on a plane and interact face-to-face with my classmates from around the globe. Thankfully, the entire Executive program team was mindful of this shortcoming and has extended the opportunity for us to join subsequent classes abroad. I can’t wait to take them up on that offer and continue my global learning.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I’m going to cheat and name each member of my first-year learning team. Jing Tu is so generous with her knowledge we call her Professor J. She had an uncanny ability to always know how to apply what we learned to what we needed to solve. Kate Fuentes is a master pragmatist. Some lawyers obfuscate, Kate clarifies and elevates what’s important. Meshach Cleary is a peacemaker and a coach at heart. He always found a way to mediate tough discussions and get the team where we needed to be. Quinn Tivey is the most creative thinker I know. Armed with his off-the-chart emotional intelligence, QT gave us the edge on assignments by enabling us to approach challenges from multiple perspectives. He paid attention to the details that made us a team. I learned as much from Echo Trust (the greatest team ever) as I did from any class in the program.

What was the main reason you chose an executive MBA program over part-time or online alternatives? I might be odd in that I picked the school before I knew what programmatic options were available. The executive program gave me a chance to put into practice the leadership skills and best practices we learned in real-time. The serendipitous benefit of being in a program that catered to existing managers and executives was getting to learn just as much from my peers and classmates as I have from case studies and classrooms. We were encouraged to bring our perspectives and experiences to classes with us, and I’m grateful for every Zoom call or lunch time chat I had with my peers.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? My long-term professional goals have always been about growth and adaptability. My Executive MBA was one critical step in that direction. I’m excited about getting the opportunity to take the helm at Vikasa Capital Partners, which will encourage me to learn more and give me a new opportunity to share my love of professional development. I also plan on going back to grad school to study behavioral economics (hopefully with some strategy and game theory sprinkled in). My wife says it is because I don’t want to be the only person in the house without a PhD. She’s only partially right.

What made Nathan such an invaluable addition to the class of 2022?

“Nathan Tribble has an omnivorous curiosity and infectious good cheer. I deeply appreciate the energy and thought he has put into his SOM experience.”

William Goetzmann
Edwin J. Beinecke Professor of Finance and Management Studies
Faculty Director of the International Center for Finance
Faculty Director of Asset Management Curriculum, M.B.A. for Executives Program


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