Meet Dartmouth Tuck’s MBA Class of 2017

Nicole Burns

Nicole Burns

The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College

Hometown: Newburgh, New York

Undergraduate School and Major: Brown University – Commerce, Organizations, and Entrepreneurship

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

JP Morgan Chase, Vice President, Business Operations Manager

JP Morgan Chase, Associate, Strategy & Analytics

JP Morgan Chase, Analyst, Retail Financial Services Leadership Development Program

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? Develop and stick to a schedule that involves studying both quantitative and verbal components of the exam, even if you feel you are stronger in one area. Use the diagnostic tests to determine areas where you need to allocate more time and repeat harder problems until you have mastered them. Take practice tests under real exam conditions to get used to the timing of the exam and to build stamina.

Based on your own selection process, what advice do you have for applicants who are trying to draw up a list of target schools to which to apply? It is important to understand what type of experience you are looking to achieve by matriculating to business school and which schools will foster the most transformative, meaningful experience for you personally. You should consider different variables like the class size, school location, curriculum, teaching style, alumni network, clubs, and post-MBA career opportunities. Once you have developed a list of target schools, take time to visit campus and speak with current students to get a feel for whether or not you will thrive in the community.

What advice do you have for applicants in actually applying to a school, writing essays, doing admission interviews, and getting recommenders to write letters on your behalf? My number one piece of advice is to be true to who you are in your essays and admission interviews. Do not try to craft up a story that you think the admissions committee would like to hear. Develop a story that relates to the core essence of what makes you unique and expresses why you will be a positive contributor to the school. As it pertains to requesting recommendations, speak to your potential recommenders early about your interest in pursuing an MBA, and why you are applying to school. Even if the recommender is your direct manager, you should clearly communicate your professional, personal, and leadership successes with relevant examples.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? I chose Tuck because of the small class size, genuine people, and close-knit family environment. Students who attend Tuck are interested in gaining a relationship-driven experience and this environment resonated with me. I learned that no matter what background you come from, you are a Tuckie and the community is there to support you. The bonds that you form by attending school in Hanover are truly magical. I knew that attending Tuck would push me out of my comfort zone and allow me to grow personally in new ways because of the small environment and outdoor recreational activities.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? I would like to grow in my application of core business knowledge to solving real world, complex issues, as well as build and customize my leadership style through the small group learning component at Tuck. I plan to take on leadership responsibilities focused on the advancement of social issues through Tuck’s Center for Business and Society. I look forward to building lasting relationships with my classmates and experiencing new activities that I would have never explored if I didn’t choose Tuck.

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