Meet Dartmouth Tuck’s MBA Class Of 2019

Ahra Cho 

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and Geisel School of Medicine (MD/MBA program) 

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Former teacher turned medical student, escaping to b-school. Striving to make health care more efficient.

Hometown: Daegu, South Korea

Fun Fact About Yourself: I was one of the first 10,000 people to see the viral video, “The Fox,” by Ylvis. It now has over 600 million views!

Undergraduate School and Major: 

Dartmouth College, Economics and Biology (double major)

Geisel School of Medicine, Medicine

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Teach for America Corps, Houston, Texas – High School Economics and Algebra Instructor

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My three years in the classroom were some of the most humbling and rewarding years of my life. My students were kind, hilarious, and spirited, but came from some of the most disadvantaged and rural communities in Houston. I’m most proud of the work my students and I did together in making sure college was just not just a dream but an attainable goal. I’m also proud that 100 percent of my students passed the Texas Statewide Examinations during my years teaching, which exceeded state and national expectations by almost 30 percentage points. I’m not sure anything else even comes close to the pride and sense of accomplishment I felt upon hearing that.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? Have a great story and a unifying theme, especially if you have an unconventional route to business school. I think every experience can be (and should be) tied together to explain your life, whether that is your value, hope, or a goal. Looking back, I initially didn’t think economics, biology and teaching were related at all – much less applicable to business or medicine – but now I can see that they all helped focus my interests in health care and the business of medicine. Coherently articulating how each of my very distinct experiences led me to pursue an MBA was extremely helpful in my application and deciding on which business school to attend.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? I decided to continue studying at Dartmouth for my MD/MBA because community was the most important factor for me. I wanted my business school experience to be engaging, fun, and most of all—collaborative. I wanted to not just know the names of all my classmates, but learn from each them and figure out how we can work together and combine our different skills to fix the structural problems that exist in health care system—something I feel passionately about. I knew that would be difficult in a larger institution or in a larger city.

I might be biased since I chose Dartmouth for undergrad and medical school and it is my home away from home, but I knew that Dartmouth creates a trusting, engaged alumni community. I benefited a ton from the alumni support at Dartmouth after graduation, and knew that if Tuck was anything similar, I could become the physician and business leader I hoped to be.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? I think I’d consider my first year at Tuck a success if I’ve been challenged to think about and approach problems in new ways that I never would’ve considered before.

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