Adam: What parts of the program have you liked the most? The least?
Tuck2013: I just finished the first year and so far I like the core subjects in Tuck, though I haven’t yet taken so many electives. The first-year program in Tuck gave me intensive trainings as a general manager and broadened not only my skill set but also the career perspectives.
The core program in Tuck is highly integrated. The professors teaching core program are sharing the curriculum and they make the core subjects more connected with each other. For example, in Fall A, we learned micro-economics and then in Fall B, we used the knowledge learned in micro-economics in modeling class. Actually, this modeling class was held as a joint-session by the modeling professor and the micro-economics professor. As this example indicates, in Tuck, the students can learn core subjects in an integrated program, which is more practical.
The core program covers all basic subjects as a manager like leadership, micro- and macro-economics, marketing, strategy, presentation and so on. Of course we can exempt the class which we are already familiar with, but basically in the first year, we don’t have the option to focus on what we want to do, which can be either good or bad. But learning broad subjects was actually very good for me, because I could find my weakness and blind spots as a manager leading the company. In addition, learning the subjects new to me was really fun. I worked in derivative sales in an investment bank before Tuck, but in Tuck I pretty much enjoyed the subjects outside my expertise like strategy and marketing, which broadened my career perspective.
The workload required in the first year was heavy. However, I think heavy workload was good, because getting through the first-year in Tuck gave me confidence and I could learn the efficient time management.
What I didn’t like in the first year was that I couldn’t carve out enough time to enjoy winter in Hanover. Though I bought a yearly pass for Killington, the famous ski resort in North East, which is 45 min drive from Tuck, I couldn’t use the pass enough to recover the cost. So I hope that I can play with snow more next year.
Adam: What has most surprised you about your first year?
Tuck2013: One of the things surprising to me was very supportive Tuck community including not only students and families but also faculty and program office. Almost every class has review sessions and professors and teaching assistants spend as much time as possible to support the students. If we have a problem, we can talk to MBA program office anytime. MBA program office is supporting the partners as well by organizing the events for partners. I expected that Tuck has supportive community but the supports from the community are more than I expected.
Another surprising thing was that we didn’t have much snow in the winter. Last winter, New England had the warmest winter in recent years and there was less snow than usual. Dean Danos visited Tokyo last winter and made a joke that Tokyo had more snow than Hanover. I don’t know what is going to happen this winter, but it is not bad to have a ‘real New England winter’ this winter, as long as it is one-time experience.
Adam: How would you describe the culture of the business school?
Tuck2013: In general, Tuck students are very team-oriented. They are basically attracted by the team-oriented culture in Tuck and thus they are very supportive and mature. Tuck students are coming from all over the world and are very diverse but they certainly share the team-oriented mind. I also think MBA program office designs the program to preserve the team oriented culture. In almost every class, we are required the group assignment and in some classes we are evaluated by our peers.
I think that the classmates in Tuck are like family. I actually spent vast amount of time with my study-group mates in the first year and we could develop the very good tie. Even outside of study, Students living in the dorms spend literally 24/7 with classmates and students living off-campus also participate in the event on-campus very frequently. Due to the amount of time spent with classmates, we know our classmates very well and I believe that the relationship with classmates is deeper than other schools. I think this is a unique aspect of Tuck.
Adam: What are hot topics, activities, classes, etc. at your school right now?
Tuck2013: The hottest project in Tuck is probably $300 project. This project was initiated by Prof. Vijay Govindarajan. He is one of the best strategy professors in Tuck and was ranked No. 3 in Thinkers 50 in 2011. The concept of $300 house is to make the house affordable to people in the poor region. Now the project is making a pilot version of $300 houses and expected to be in full implementation in two or three years. Entire Dartmouth community is supporting this project. Now Tuck team is cooperating with engineer school team to build a pilot version. Former President of Dartmouth College, Jong Yong Kim strongly supported $300 house project and he was nominated to World Bank chief by President Obama. His nomination is another big topic for Tuck and Dartmouth community.
Adam: What are you doing this summer?
Tuck2013: I’m doing internship in a private equity fund in Boston. I’m engaged in due diligence of new investment opportunity and monitoring of the current portfolio. I’m also involved in the project to identify the next market segment we should focus on.
I found the job by the referral from Tuck alum. Tuck alum network is tight and really helpful for job searching. Also, Career Development Office (CDO) helped me a lot. Counselors in CDO have each specialized industry like banking and consulting and help us out with their personal network and experience. Due to these strong supports, Tuck has the successful record in recruiting.
Adam: What advice do you have for those considering application to your school?
Tuck2013: Tuck is kind of special environment. We call it as “Tuck bubble” which is like a two-year camp with classmates. Very few students are local in New Hampshire or Vermont. Most of students are coming from outside and Hanover is a nice town but it doesn’t have many amusement spots or fancy bars and restaurants. So the natural conclusion for the students is that they spend much time in Tuck and hang out with their classmates. In “Tuck bubble”, we can’t avoid mingling with classmates. Not everybody can adapt to this environment. So I think that the fit to Tuck community is very important. If you like such an environment and want to enjoy two years with your classmates on the beautiful campus in Hanover, Tuck is a good school for you.
Also in terms of academics, Tuck may not be for everyone, because Tuck is a small school and the number of electives is limited, though I think the quality of faculty is really good. The focus of Tuck MBA program is general management and the program is not for specialists. Thus for the applicants who want to develop their expertise deeply, Tuck may not be a good fit.
I think Tuck has several unique characteristics. Showing the fit to these unique aspects is a convincing way to explain “Why Tuck”, which is the most important question both in essays and interview.
Adam: Are there any specific websites or blogs that you would recommend that applicants look at to learn more about your school?
Tuck2013: I think that the Admission Blog is a helpful resource for the applicants to get the insights from the admission staff and current students.
Also we are now preparing Tuck Connections which connects applicants with current Tuck students and alumni.
I’m planning to renew the Japanese Tuck Website this year to provide the updated information about Tuck. So if you are a Japanese applicant, please check out the Japanese Tuck Website as well.
Adam: Anything else you would like to tell us?
Tuck2013: Tuck campus is beautiful and Hanover is a small but nice town. It is really hard to describe how attractive they are. It is also difficult to explain the culture in Tuck only with this Q&A. I recommend visiting campus and feel the Tuck culture, if you are interested in Tuck. We will always welcome you!!
I want to thank Tuck2013 for taking the time to put together some really great insights into the Tuck experience.
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