Meet Dartmouth Tuck’s MBA Class of 2017

Claire Laudone

Claire Laudone

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College

Hometown: Glastonbury, CT

Undergraduate School and Major: Yale, Economics

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

  • AEA Investors Private Equity Associate: Consumer & Retail Group. New York, NY. (2013-2015)
  • Credit Suisse Investment Banking Analyst: Healthcare Group. New York, NY. (2011-2013)

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? Start early! I began contemplating a graduate degree when I was still an undergraduate. I took the GMAT during my senior year of college while I was still in study mode, which helped me to avoid the challenges my peers faced in balancing a full-time job and test preparation. Even though I took the test senior year, I was still too late to take advantage of certain early application programs. GMAT scores last five years and the average applicant has approximately five years of work experience, so I recommend taking it sooner rather than later, even if you may not apply for a few rounds.

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? School websites and rankings can be extremely valuable in detailing what each school has to offer, but the best way to get a feel for the program is to speak with alumni. If alumni remain active and continue to exhibit an exuberance for the school, it says a lot about that school’s culture and the potential effectiveness of its network. I would also encourage people to think about location when applying. Having spent my entire professional career in Manhattan, I actively decided not to apply to any schools in the area. I wanted to fully immerse myself in the MBA program without the distractions and conveniences of my prior social life and focus on building new relationships.

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?

  • Writing essays: Be honest and write from the heart. Many of the questions asked in admissions essays are extremely open-ended and designed so that the author will really self-reflect on their motives and goals. Write about how you feel and what’s actually important to you, not about what you think the admissions officers want to hear. Chances are, if your values don’t align with the school’s, then it’s not the right fit for you anyway!
  • Letters of recommendation: Help your recommenders out by brainstorming ideas with them before they sit down to write the recommendation. Let them know what strengths and values you’d like to convey to the admissions office, and how these key points are already being outlined in other areas of your application. You want your letters of recommendation to confirm the main elements of your story without being too redundant, and adding something extra of value.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? The culture at Tuck! Not only does Tuck have an excellent academic reputation, but its culture is unparalleled across top schools. I was hard pressed to find a single alumni who had anything but wonderful things to say about their experience here. Tuck is full of smart people who care about helping each other succeed and work really well together.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? I came to business school to be challenged in new ways, learn frameworks, and develop practical skills for everyday on-the-job use, meet amazing people, and explore what I’m passionate about. My ultimate goal is to leave business school with a job offer in hand that makes me excited to go back to the workforce!

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