Diverse Backgrounds, Shared Interest: Tuck MBA Students Trek To Tech

“As I learn more about these companies I’m probably able to see which of the cultures I fit.”

Aiming for a future in marketing, either in consumer goods or technology, Malli found the boot camp to be a validation that putting tech high on his options list was the right choice. “It’s also shown that for business school students, tech can offer a steep learning curve – there is a lot that we can learn by working in this industry post-MBA,” he says.

Incoming Tuck MBA student Madeline Dufour at the Googleplex in Silicon Valley - Ethan Baron photo

Incoming Tuck MBA student Madeline Dufour at the Googleplex in Silicon Valley – Ethan Baron photo

Four years in private equity and venture capital at Bain Capital in Boston gave Madeline Dufour much more than expertise in finance – it was a window into the technology industry. “I watched our investment team invest in a lot of tech companies, in California but also across the U.S.,” Dufour says. “There are some companies out there doing some really interesting things.”

Her interest piqued, the incoming Tuck MBA candidate jumped on the opportunity to attend the Tuck tech boot camp. “One of the great things about getting an MBA is it’s a chance to explore many different opportunities, and coming on this tech trek seemed like a great way to explore the tech world, and I can see if I want to pursue a career in tech,” says Dufour, who has a BA in economics from Colby College in Maine, with a concentration in financial markets.

Partway through the boot camp, Dufour was getting the impression that in “basically any field you could think of” there were potential opportunities for MBAs. “Tech companies always need business-minded people who are willing to roll up their sleeves and put in the time to get their operations running,” she says.

She was looking forward to hearing more about the kinds of jobs available to MBAs in Silicon Valley.  “I’d just like to know in a little bit more formal way what those roles look like,” she says.


She found Google appealing. “What I learn about he companies that I visit here will help me understand if they’re a good fit for me or not,” she says. “Google seems great. There are a lot of benefits to working for a company this large. There’s a job for anyone here, as long as you culturally fit here you can probably find a position that’s right for you.”

The boot camp provided a chance for Dufour to see for herself the Silicon Valley working environment and lifestyle. “You read articles about the excess of the Valley and I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect but so far everyone that I’ve met seems very smart, very motivated,” she says. “But it seems like there’s also a good balance here that you don’t necessarily see on the East Coast. Life is better integrated into work. People in general seem happy here, not that they don’t out East, but it feels like there’s a lot of room out here to pursue things that as an individual you find interesting and challenging, and that they give you the opportunity to kind of chase your own projects as long as you have a good, relevant reason why.”

Of course, for many MBAs interested in the tech sector, two worlds of possibility await: the successful industry giants, and the legions of new ventures. “I’m still trying to learn the landscape,” Dufour says. “There are benefits to working for both a small startup and a large established company, and you just have to weigh the pros and cons depending on what offers you get.”