Meet Dartmouth Tuck’s MBA Class Of 2020

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College



By the same token, the incoming class has worked for 225 unique employees. The largest bloc is represented by the financial services sector, which accounts for 26% of the class. Consulting follows at 19%, with non-profit and government taking a higher-than-average 15% share. Technology also breaks double digits at 12%, with other substantive blocs of the class including consumer goods (6%), energy (6%), healthcare (5%), and media and entertainment (5%).

Such diverse classmates, coupled with an “all-in” attitude, makes for a happy place to live and study. In the 2017 Forbes MBA bi-annual graduate survey, Tuck ranked 3rd among the top MBA globally for satisfaction – which comes on the heels of a 2nd place finish in 2015. One reason for this? MBAs are showered with attention, including a 7-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio that ensures Tuckies receive the best possible guidance and education. In fact, the entire business program is geared exclusively to the full-time MBA program, says Luke Anthony Peña in a 2018 interview.

“Tuck does not have a Ph.D. program, Tuck does not have an undergraduate program or a part-time program or an executive MBA. All of our faculty resources, our initiatives, and the classmates within the community are focusing on one another and pushing each other beyond their limits.”

Another advantage for MBAs, Peña adds, is Tuck’s Ivy League parent, Dartmouth College – which he believes helps create an unrivaled immersive experience for MBAs. “[There are] lots of opportunity for outdoor adventure and contemplative reflection close by,” he notes. “At Tuck, you cultivate both [critical thinking ability and your relationships] through full immersion…The students here study free from distraction and free from disruption, and focus fully on the transformative experience of the two-year MBA program. That allows our students to extract maximum value from the experience and leave very well-equipped to be the wise leader that they aspire to be.”


Tuck students hanging out (outside) in the winter months.

The class size helps with the transformational process as well. The Class of 2020 ranks as the smallest full-time MBA class among the Top 10. Peña believes such scale helps students get to know each other better, as well as foster a sense of trust and supportiveness that translates to a school where everyone makes great teammates. It was this difference that most appealed to Cordaye Ogletree as he prepared to start classes.

“I am a more engaged student when I’m not distracted. Tuck’s bucolic setting will help me stay focused on the mission at hand: excelling in the classroom, leveraging recruiting opportunities, and getting to know the select group of people who are my classmates.”

Erica Toews, a 2018 grad who has moved into the Bay Area edtech sector, believes the structure of the MBA program further facilitates class camaraderie. In a 2018 interview with Poets&Quants, Toews points out a key difference in how classes are organized. Instead of being locked into one cohort, students are mixed together, enabling them to know more people sooner. “Each term, you get a new study group,” she explains. At most schools, you have the same study group all year. We switch them, which is a really amazing way to meet and get to know different groups of people since we work with them so closely.”

That just makes coming together outside class that much easier, Toews adds. ““Every Thursday, we have Tucktails, which is a happy hour. “Because the school is so small, we can all get together in one room and drink beer and wine and just talk and catch up on the week. That’s really special. I was just talking to friends the other day about how there is usually one party on Friday and one party on Saturday that the whole school has decided on and it’s nice that it’s not cliquey because we’re all going to the same places.”


Not that there are all that many places to go in Hanover. Well, that’s what the cynics would say. Ask past graduating classes and you’ll hear the exact opposite. “I think there is a perception that Tuck is in the middle of nowhere and isolated,” writes Alex Amini, a 2018 Best & Brightest who somehow managed to be involved in over two dozen activities at Tuck while commuting to Boston to earn an MBA at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. “While it is not in a major metropolitan area, the location engenders an authentic community where students really get to know, support, and learn from one another.”

Sravya Yeleswarapu, another 2018 Best & Brightest from Tuck, takes a different tact when asked if Hanover is a disadvantage. “I think it’s the opposite. Being in Hanover makes the Tuck network as strong as it is. It amplifies the connections, interactions, and bonds that you develop here.”

You won’t find much of a disadvantage in terms of outputs. Last year, 92% of graduates landed positions within three months of graduation. Total starting pay came out at an impressive $177,842. Even more,

the biggest consumers of Tuck talent remain MBA hiring royalty: Amazon, Bain, BCG, Google, McKinsey, and JP Morgan. Just two hours from Boston (and two more from NYC), Hanover is hardly a town that recruiters shy away from visiting. All of that is beside the point for Peña.

Incoming MBA students in the Class of 2020 at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business

“If your goals for business school include spending most of your time in the city outside of the school, I would challenge you on whether you really need business school at all.”


Indeed, Tuck is one of those schools that take on the identity of its surroundings to bring out the best in its community. “We’re in this beautiful outdoorsy part of the country where each season is incredibly stark and beautiful,” Erica Toews asserts. “Because the environment and the surroundings and outdoor area is so beautiful, it makes us go outside and do things together and be really active in a way that you wouldn’t do in a school in the city.”

Roberto Vásquez has already experienced city life in Lima, Peru, home to 10 million people. He had been looking forward to moving from a desert environment to four definitive seasons. “The location of Tuck, with so much greenery and nature, is like a little paradise but with great cities nearby when I want a little bit of hustle and bustle. I know that here I will get a very intense, 24/7 learning experience, surrounded by classmates and faculty who also live nearby. Coming from a very big, chaotic city, Tuck’s setting really resonated with me.”

Being remote also creates time and opportunity for long-lasting relationships to form. Coupled with a small class size, this dynamic creates loyal networks, particularly with alumni. Notably, nearly 70% of alumni make a gift each year—a generosity unmatched by any other MBA program. In April, Tuck launched a $250 million dollar capital campaign – one that has already raised $142.8 million dollars. Two months earlier, the school received its largest gift, $15 million dollars, from Paul Raether to support scholarship funding to align with the school’s “wise leadership” mission.

Beyond picking up the check, the Tuck alumni network also goes above-and-beyond when it comes to supporting the current students. Much of the heavy lifting is performed by the career services team led by Jonathan Masland, executive director of career development. His secret? Channel the alumni’s natural love for Tuck by finding ways to engage them, whether it is bringing them to campus for educational programming or involving them in supporting student job searches.

“As we get into the year, we’ll get fairly detailed profiles from students for their summer internship or full-time job,” said Masland in a 2018 interview. “We’ll group them. Let’s say you want to work on the West Coast in early stage tech. We’ll share those things with alums who work in that precise area. We’ll ask the alums to see what they can do to help the student. We connect with 2,000-3000 alumni across a whole breadth of subsectors based on student interests.”


Students ice skating on the Dartmouth campus.

What is the Class of 2020 looking forward to over the next two years? Certainly the overseas travel component has stirred their imaginations. The TuckGO requirement, where students work around the world, remains popular. The requirement can be met in numerous ways, such on-site consulting projects or first-year team projects. Global Insight Expeditions (GIX), where students travel with faculty overseas during March break also counts, as do school exchanges. In fact, Luke Anthony Peña likens Tuck to a base camp, a well-supplied hub where students can launch their efforts far beyond the Northeast.

“Our students travel the globe for projects, internships, to engage socially, and to visit companies, so there is significant engagement with the world beyond Hanover,” he explains. “We regularly welcome alumni, executive speakers, and visiting scholars to our campus. And when our students are on campus, they are deeply and meaningfully engaged with our visiting experts and each other without the distractions and disruptions of a large city.”

Outside of travel, the class also intends to embrace winter sports. Just ask Ijele Adimora, who regrets avoiding these activities when she previously studied medicine there. “I do not think I will ever have as big an opportunity to play hockey and go skiing as I do here,” she says. “Luckily, Tuck creates several avenues for that through tripod hockey (I admittedly cannot ice skate), and other sporting groups.  After three years of reluctance, I am ready to step out of my comfort-zone and let my inner New-Englander thrive.”

Maybe Adimora should think twice about picking up a stick. Turns out, tripod hockey is the “language of a Tuck alum” according to Jonathan Masland – and a way for students to bond with alumni, whether they are man or woman or young or old.

“Here, tripod hockey is the stuff of memory for many students. “I believe at least 50% of class goes out and plays hockey in the evenings,” says Masland. “It is something the alums did too. They can remember being on the ice, where your stick is like your third leg, and they remember it fondly. So students can talk to alums about it and they can relate to that shared experience.”

What led these professionals to enter business schools? Which programs did they also consider? What strategies did they use to choose their MBA program? What was the major event that defined them? Find the answers to these questions and many more in the in-depth profiles of these incoming MBA candidates. 

Student Hometown Alma Mater Previous Employer
Ijele Adimora Greenville SC Duke University Duke Global Health Institute
Colin Chapin Phoenixville, PA Hamilton College Cambridge Associates
Vivian Guo Tacheng, China Shanghai International Studies University BBDO
Corine Graber Alvarez Goshen, IN Goshen College AlixPartners
Shailendra Khemka Assam, India National University of Singapore MatchMove Pay
Sudhanshu Khemka Assam, India National University of Singapore Deutsche Bank
Cordaye Ogletree Detroit, MI University of Michigan RAND Corporation
Claire Shaw Anchorage, AK Scripps College Twilio
Makena Timmins Harris Seattle, WA The University of the South U.S. Army
Irina Titkova Mogilev, Belarus Brooklyn College KPMG
Roberto Vásquez Lima, Peru Universidad del Pacífico Intercorp Retail

Meet the Class of 2020 Series

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