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From Commack valedictorian to Whiffenpoof to 'Glee'

Mike Young in 2009, left, and in 2019.

Mike Young in 2009, left, and in 2019. Credit: Mike Young

It took 32 hours in Hollywood to create one of the most memorable 30 seconds of Mike Young’s life — but that’s just showbiz.

If you’ve seen the Season 4 finale of “Glee” you might have caught the 2009 Commack valedictorian singing in the background.

Young, and the rest of the Yale Whiffenpoofs — the oldest college a cappella singing group in the country — took a year off from school in 2013 and traveled to 40 countries to perform full-time. They made an appearance on the popular FOX comedy show, spending two 16-hour days filming on set for what became their cameo.

“Keep an open mind about the world and about yourself. Don’t ever get yourself too set on any one path. Be ready to learn and go with the flow. Enjoy the ride,” he said.

The Long Island native thought of theater as a side hobby in high school, but “I felt really lucky to be able to do it and explore it more in college.”

“It was really special to be a part of this century-long tradition that dates before your time,” he said of the group, which was founded in 1909. He sang baritone and tenor 2 for the group.

It was also in theater at Yale where he met his sweetheart Lily Lewis-McNeil and got engaged last October.

Young graduated from Yale University in 2014 with a degree in political science. After that, he joined global management consulting firm Bain & Company as a consultant. He took a six-month leave from Bain for an externship at Facebook where he helped build products for local and small businesses. One of the products he helped to roll out was the job posting function of the social networking site, he said.

Last summer, Young interned at Bessemer Venture Partners, a venture capital firm, where he helped to evaluate investments in technology companies.

“Looking ahead to the next decade and beyond, the world is going to have to reckon with some massive existential challenges, from climate change to increasing economic inequality,” he said. “I believe that new technologies will have a major role to play in solving these problems, and I want to help bring these technologies to life.”

He’s currently finishing his MBA at Harvard Business School and will graduate next month, adding that he’s “retired for now” from singing.

After graduation, he plans to move to New York City to be closer to Long Island.

“You can’t get good pizza or bagels here in Boston.”

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