MBAs are sometimes caricatured as cutthroat climbers. They spend two years in business school with one goal in mind: Landing a job. For many, business school is about more than opening doors at McKinsey or Goldman. After four years in the rat race, some have started to lose their way as they undergo their quarter life crisis. They crave renewal and meaning, an opportunity to figure out who they are and where they fit.
As a 28 year-old, Henry David Thoreau faced a similar crossroads. So he headed to Concord, Massachusetts to spend his two years communing with nature at Walden Pond. These days, the ambitious and idealistic alike have translated Thoreau’s journey to a trek north to New Hampshire for the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. While the goals of Thoreau and Tuck – contemplation, awakening, and growth – are the same, the means are altogether different.
A COMMUNITY LIKE FEW OTHERS
The Tuck experience is considered as transformational as first love – intense, intimate, and enduring. As part of a small class on a small campus in a small town, Tuckies aren’t seeking solitude to contemplate the next step. Instead, they’re gravitating towards community, a tight-knit culture where students nurture future confidants and Godparents as much as supporters and business partners. Indeed, Tuck is a throwback, where graduate students live together in plush dorms in a high touch atmosphere, Here, full-time MBAs, being the focus of the program, aren’t competing for resources with pesky undergrads or part-timers. Instead, MBAs live, study, and play as teams, where competition is tempered by collaboration and self-interest is subjugated to consensus. If Tuck operates by any formal principle, it is that the sum is truly greater than the parts.
As a result, every member of an incoming class is carefully vetted for fit and value. In the incoming class, you’ll find a wealth of backgrounds and experience. The Class of 2017 has worked as social entrepreneurs, investment bankers, consultants, and platoon leaders. Their employers have included storied names like Blackstone, JP Morgan Chase, Major League Baseball, and Teach For America. And they have started launched businesses and opened new markets in nations like Chile, Kenya, Uganda, and Israel.
In remarks to students and faculty, Dean Matthew J. Slaughter described the 2017 Class as “incredibly diverse, accomplished, and poised to achieve great things both throughout their two years here and in the many years beyond.” And Dawna Clarke, Tuck’s director of admissions, couldn’t agree more. “Though we are just a few weeks into the first term, we can already feel their positive energy and the impact of their contributions, both in and out of the classroom. These students possess all of the characteristics we seek in Tuck MBA candidates and the world seeks in its leaders today: Confidence and creativity, exemplary interpersonal skills, wisdom, and humility. They are ambitious and eager to make a positive impact on their communities and the organizations they will one day lead, and most importantly demonstrate the capacity to become the difference in the world of business and beyond.”
HISTORIC CLASS FEATURES 10% JUMP IN WOMEN
According to Clarke, the 286-member 2017 Class is among most diverse in the school’s history. Most notably, it features a record 42% women. To put that number in context, it is 10 percentage points higher than the Class of 2016 (and nine percentage points better than the most recent graduating class). Even more, the size of this group ranks Tuck just below Wharton and Kellogg, whose classes are comprised of 43% women — the high water mark for top full-time MBA programs. In other words, Tuck now draws more women than East Coast elites like Harvard, MIT, Columbia, and NYU. What’s more, another 20% of the class comes from underrepresented American minority groups – a six-percentage-point jump from a year earlier.
That said, the percentage of international students slipped from 35% to 32% with the 2017 Class. However, that doesn’t mean it is any less diverse said Slaughter in his address, noting the class represented “23 countries around the globe, and 22 of our students from the United States are dual citizens of another country. Some 58% of the class studied abroad, 50% have worked abroad, and over 88% speak a foreign language in some capacity.” Although Americans account for 68% of the class, there are significant student blocs from Asia (17%), Latin America (6%), and Europe (6%).
Academically, Tuck also maintained its high standards, with incoming students averaging a 717 GMAT, a point above the previous year, with the GMATs running between 680 and 760 in the 85% range. These numbers place the Tuck class slightly above the 715 GMAT averages achieved by the incoming classes at Columbia and Haas. Students also bring a 3.5 undergraduate GPA, roughly the same as the previous two classes. Not surprisingly, Tuck’s student-centric model has particular appeal to career changers. Some 53% of the incoming class hold undergraduate degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and economics. About 26% earned their degrees in STEM-related fields, with just 21% possessing an academic background in business and finance.
Like most highly selective MBA programs, the class, on average, is 28 years-old, with ages ranging from 25 to 34. They also own five years of work experience, with nearly a quarter (24%) coming from consulting. Finance accounts for the highest percentage of the class, with financial services and real estate registering at 15% and investment banking and private equity holding down another 12%. Unexpectedly, government, military, and nonprofits make up 18% of the incoming students, with those who have experience in consumer goods and retail (7%), technology (7%), health care (6%), and manufacturing (3%) rounding out the rest of a carefully-constructed class.
Go to next page to access student profiles of this year’s incoming class.