TEACHING GLOBAL BUSINESS THROUGH EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING
Looking ahead, Sally Jaeger, Tuck’s assistant dean and director of the MBA program, notes that two initiatives are increasingly drawing interest from prospective students: the Revers Center for Energy and the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society. In particular, these opportunities are expected to turn Tuck into a go-to destination for students looking to pursue entrepreneurship, social impact, consulting, or finance paths related to energy.
“Already the Revers Center has strengthened Tuck’s connection to this industry, providing rich application experiences and highly personal mentorships for students exploring the sector,” Jaeger says. “The Irving Institute, which will be situated between Tuck and Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering, will create a physical point of convergence for students from across Tuck and Dartmouth interested in energy, while also spurring enhancements to the Tuck campus that will create even more spaces for collaboration and learning.”
Such efforts also tie into one of Tuck’s defining strengths: experiential learning. The program is renowned for its TuckGo program, a series of global immersion courses. Students are required to complete one TuckGo course, which involves traveling overseas to apply their knowledge in a consulting project or complete an exchange with a partner institution. For Lee, such courses expose students to the emerging trends and proactive mindset needed to take their careers to the next level.
Tuck’s “Learn by Doing” mantra enables students to develop a strategic thought process for solving various business problems, primarily by way of the OnSite Global Consulting course, Global Insight Expeditions, and research center fellowships,” he says. “For instance, students can develop a deep understanding of how digital enhancements to business models impact organizations through the Center for Digital Strategies, which will be extremely important as many of us seek to be a CEO or business owner in a rapidly changing technological world.”
A WORLD CLASS FACULTY THAT’S ALWAYS AVAILABLE
Laura Shen, a 2017 grad, took full advantage of Tuck’s “base camp to the world” ethos – even collaborating with a professor on a project sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. From meeting senior executives at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters to organizing a trek to study the impact of colonialism on economic development, Shen could hardly have squeezed more out of her experience.
“These past two years at Tuck have been transformational—both from a professional and personal perspective,” she writes. “I have learned from professors, classmates, and visiting executives. I have explored the world—hiked the mountains of Nepal while completing an FYPGO (Global First-Year Project), sailed the Italian coast in an MBA regatta, bungeed in New Zealand, and led a group of 26 students on a GIX (Global Insight Expedition) to Myanmar and Singapore.”
Tuck’s experiential prowess is amplified by its world class faculty, regarded as among the best in graduate business education. Heavily versed in the case method, the faculty executes a demanding curriculum that boasts heavy workloads and quick turnarounds. At the same time, the school maintains a comfy 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio, creating a collegial vibe where professors are easily approachable.
Macieira, for one, credits the “access to outstanding faculty” – along with the school’s “robust core curriculum, global immersion program, [and] experimental learning projects” – for choosing Tuck and “the natural beauty of Hanover.” Similarly, O’Sullivan includes the faculty with fellow students and alumni “who have consistently lived up to the reputation of being supportive and helpful.”
A SMALL BUT POWERFUL ALUMNI NETWORK
In fact, the alumni may be Tuck’s most underrated feature. A proverbial “small” school, Tuck numbers 10,000 alumni despite being the nation’s oldest graduate management program. However, it is the fervent engagement of its alumni base that separates Tuck from all others. This commitment is underscored by the school’s 2016 annual campaign, where over 70% of alumni made a gift to the school – more than doubling (and sometimes tripling) the participation rate of its peer schools. What’s more, alumni giving is consistent, with Tuck averaging a participation rate of two-thirds or more each year for a decade now.
Considering their involvement, it is no surprise that Tuck alumni look after those following in their footsteps. Look no further than the Class of 2016, where 98% of graduates had already landed job offers within three months of graduation – with average pay packages coming in at $148,997. This was hardly an anomaly, as Bloomberg Businessweek reported that 2012 grads experienced an $81,200 bump in pay within five years of earning their Tuck MBAs. Not to mention, Tuck alumni received the highest marks from respondents in the new student survey from The Economist.
“It is no secret that Tuck boasts the highest alumni giving rate annually of the top MBA programs,” Lee emphasizes. “This is significant because it underscores the(ir) strong connection to Tuck. Additionally, in my personal experience, I received a consistent story from alumni about how positive and transformative their Tuck experience was. I didn’t receive as much consistency when speaking to alumni of other MBA programs.”
“TUCKIES ARE JUST PLAIN NICE”
This “experience” is what has drawn MBAs to Tuck for decades – and the Class of 2019 is no different. Cho, a Dartmouth undergrad, calls the Ivy her “home away from home.” Indeed, Tuck’s modest size and esprit de corps enables students to build deep relationships both within their classes and with the classes ahead of and behind them. This spirit permeates the school, from faculty and administration setting the tone to students and alumni exemplifying the school’s values.
“Tuckies are just plain nice,” observes Gómez. “They’re always there for one another. This was a qualitative component that I put just as much weight on as any quantitative metric. I attended Tuck’s Diversity Conference as a prospective student and saw first-hand the closeness of the relationships formed in Hanover. Current students offered to review my admissions essays and were always available to hop on a call to answer my questions. I have also, without fail, received a response to every “cold email” I have sent to Tuck alumni. The network is real and I truly believe that Tuckies look to pay it forward.”
One way the community does this is by embracing risk. Hill, for one, was thrilled that her nontraditional background was treated as an asset that enriched the conversation. “It was important to me to find a school where I felt welcomed into the community and empowered to try new things, not judged for the path I chose pre-MBA,” she explains. “I found all that and more at Tuck. In every interaction with current students, other T19s, and faculty and staff, my experience was valued as an addition to the incoming class, not a burden for career placement statistics.”
Aside from stretching her capabilities and becoming better rounded, Odusanya dreams of “leaving a strong footprint” after she graduates. One way students are able to do this, Jaeger says, is by offering ideas and turning them into reality. She cites the Class of 2017’s Allin as a perfect example. He organized a trip for 20 classmates to expose them to the social and economic ails that bedevil his native Mississippi. Along with highlighting his state’s history, resources, and institutions, he also arranged visits with change agents like manufacturers, farmers, educators, and entrepreneurs across the state – including a meeting with the state’s governor. “Those who made the journey said they came away transformed,” Jaeger notes.
ADMINISTRATION EXCITED BY STUDENT IDEAS
This example represents a signature virtue of the Tuck MBA, Jaeger adds. “Incoming students should arrive at Tuck with the understanding that as part of the Tuck fabric, they too will have the ability to have a distinctive impact on our trust-based learning community. When they develop ideas and opportunities that are personal, connected, and transformative like Tom did, they too can find support from faculty, administrators, and the broader community to make them a reality. This place thrives with people who are mindful of the connection between business and the broader world – that’s a benefit to all of us.”
Cho is already working towards this end. For her, a successful first year would be “think[ing) about and approach(ing) problems in new ways that I never would’ve considered before.” Similarly, Odusanya defines success by her willingness to take on the fear of failure. “My goal is to finish the first year having done one or two activities outside my comfort zone—lead an initiative, give skiing another go, or stretch myself on a first year project in an unfamiliar country.” Apps plans to follow Odusanya’s lead…with a caveat. “Challenges are also more enjoyable when experienced with good friends,” she says. “To me that’s what success looks like: taking on the big things head-on with a great group of people by your side.”
In fact, Cyphers can’t see himself succeeding without his classmates. They are the most integral part of his long-term mission. “Tuck attracts top MBA candidates from around the world, with a vast array of backgrounds,” he explains. “The students themselves are a rich source of cultural diversity, business acumen, and leadership styles. I want to learn as much as I can from their different perspectives to widen my own knowledge. As I build a greater understanding of the business world, leadership practices, and cultural differences, I will become better prepared to teach cadets at West Point.”
And the Class of 2019 aren’t the only ones who are looking forward to seeing what comes of the 2017-2018 school year. “We can’t wait to see how our Tuck students will surprise and delight us with their ideas this year,” Jaeger adds.
To read profiles of incoming Dartmouth Tuck MBA students — along with their advice on tackling the GMAT, applications, and interviews — click on the links below.
|Gillian Apps||Unionville, Ontario||Dartmouth College||Canadian Olympic Hockey Team|
|Gonzalo Charró||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Instituto Tecnológico de Buenos Aires|
|Ahra Cho||Daegu, South Korea||Dartmouth College||Teach For America|
|Travis Cyphers||Blue Earth, MN||University of Wisconsin||U.S. Army|
|Katie Donovan||Cincinnati, OH||Middlebury College||Brand Networks|
|Orlando Gómez||Chicago, IL||Robert Morris University||Peace Corps|
|Katie Hill||Damascus, MD||Penn State University||International Executive Service Corps|
|Darryn J. Lee||Compton, CA||Temple University||BlackRock|
|Swellen T. Macieira||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||IBMEC||Mason Square Capital|
|Mathew O’Sullivan||Dallas, TX||Washington & Lee University||CrossBoundary|
|Tayo Odusanya||Atlanta, GA||University of Virginia||Gwinnett County Public Schools|
|William Taylor||Raleigh, NC||University of North Carolina||Hudson’s Bay Company|