2019 MBAs To Watch: Sam Humbert, Dartmouth College (Tuck)

Sam Humbert

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth

“Doting husband and father of two who is passionate about gender equity and diversity.”

Hometown: Noosa, Australia

Fun fact about yourself: I grew up on Australia’s most beautiful beaches but still can’t surf!

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Sydney, Bachelor of Economics

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? State Street Hong Kong, Strategy Manager

Where did you intern during the summer of 2018? McKinsey & Co, Boston

Where will you be working after graduation? McKinsey & Co, Boston

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Recipient of Willard M. Bollenbach Jr. Scholarship for superior intellectual capacity, academic achievement, and overall promise as a business leader
  • Co-chair, International Club
  • Chair, Men as Allies
  • Tuck Admissions Associate
  • Head Teaching Assistant for Global Economics for Managers
  • Conceived and launched the inaugural International Student Experience survey
  • Career Development Office mentor
  • Consulting Club mentor

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I’m most proud of increasing the level of discourse on campus about gender equity and diversity. In collaboration with the Forté Foundation, I helped organize the Men as Allies Symposium at Tuck to mobilize and further educate MBA peers from Tuck and other business schools to champion gender equity. In my first semester at Tuck, I launched what is now an annual survey to better understand and serve the unique needs of international students at Tuck.

In the classroom, I’ve taken opportunities to present an international perspective to the conversation, or raise research and data on gender bias. I’ve also had the privilege to work with a group of my classmates to write a gender and strategy case with the guidance of Professor Giovanni Gavetti, which we will be teaching in the first-year core strategy class at the end of this term.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? In 2013, I moved from Sydney to Hong Kong as head of Asia Pacific for a small research group at State Street. As the only person in my team in the region, I was tasked with building and leveraging my internal and external network to interview and present research to c-suite executives in the asset management industry. Within eighteen months, I’d built my industry network to source and conduct interviews in 11 markets with nearly 100 executives and presented research at six conferences in six different countries.

After discussing my research with the executive team at one fund, I was asked to present my team’s research at the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds in Qatar. It was an incredible opportunity and I was immensely fortunate to have the support and trust of my managers, armed with the team’s world-class research work.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor and former New Hampshire governor John Lynch, who teaches one of the most popular electives at Tuck, The CEO Experience. He has the amazing ability to instill deep leadership truths in an unforgettable way, enrich the class with his own experiences as a CEO and as a governor, and inspires you to be a leader with purpose and integrity.

What was your favorite MBA Course? Professor Ron Adner’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Strategy course was my favorite because it made me completely rethink the way I view the road to success for entrepreneurs. Adner highlights the tools an entrepreneur can use to align the innovation ecosystem in which they operate to maximize their chance of success.

Why did you choose this business school? My primary reason: There is no other business school in the world to which I’d rather bring my family. Tuck is incredibly inclusive of partners and Tiny Tuckies. As an example, I’m working on a group independent study with a professor that required a meeting on Friday which I usually have off from class and spend with my family. That day, I brought my daughter along to meet with the professor and she was more than welcome! Tuck’s unique culture and inclusive community have been cultivated over many generations of accomplished, smart, aware and nice Tuckies.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Reflect deeply. Force yourself to go through the rigorous thinking and analysis to understand why an MBA is the right next step for you, and why Tuck is the best place to take that step.

What is the biggest myth about your school? That being “Tuck nice” means being agreeable and deferential. In fact, it is because of our nice—empathetic, interdependent and principled—community that we are empowered to challenge, dissent and disagree with each other. It deepens our respect and relationships. For example, study group members are very honest in their assessments of one another because the ethos is that we’re ultimately all on the same team. Competition is friendly, and we have each other’s best interests at heart.

Think back two years ago. What is the one thing you wish you’d known before starting your MBA program? Just how much flexibility you’re afforded at business school and how empowered you are to influence your experience. Interested in a subject not in the curriculum? Create an independent study. Wish there was a club focused on your favorite topic? Launch it. Wish something was different? Change it.

MBA Alumni often describe business school as transformative. Looking back over the past two years, how has business school been transformative for you? Tuck has given me the opportunity to reflect on where I’ve been and where I want to go in a way that would have been impossible while working. In the challenging business school environment, you’re constantly forced to prioritize, which hones your passions, like setting a compass for your path ahead. I’m on a new career path in consulting now. I have had transformative international exposures and the Tuck network of faculty and classmates has opened up a whole new set of opportunities for me that will last my entire career.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Bekey Kettering. She’s incredibly bright and insightful in group discussions and has carved her own path at Tuck. While we were all struggling through the demands of our first semester at Tuck, Bekey was doing it with a 3-month-old son and her husband also studying, at Dartmouth’s Geisel Medical School.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My high school economics teacher. She had worked for the World Bank and had traveled the world. She opened my eyes to the opportunity that a business career provides to explore the world while solving huge problems.

What is your favorite movie about business? Moana. She shows us how to turn around an organization that is failing to react to changing industry dynamics because of an entrenched way of doing things. She seeks out long-forgotten stories – of being voyagers – to unite and inspire her people to adapt and thrive.

What was the goofiest MBA term or acronym you encountered – and what did it mean?

Every time we talk about the FDII (Foreign-Derived Intangible Income Deduction), pronounced “fiddy,” I just can’t help but think about Curtis James Jackson III (aka 50 Cent).

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…in law school.”

What dollar value would you place on your MBA education? Was it worth what you paid for it – worth more or worth less? Yes, it was definitely worth it. The investment of tuition and foregone salary significantly increases future earnings, while also providing an invaluable lifelong network. 

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

1) Go on a safari.

2) Run a marathon.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? A family man who helped others.

Hobbies? Watching Moana with my daughter, of course always followed by a case discussion on what we can learn from Moana’s change management philosophies.

What made Sam such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?

“Sam is the epitome of the wise leader who strives to better the world around him. He has a keen intellect, strong ethical values, and a disarming smile that makes you feel you have known him forever.  He has consistently ranked in the top 5% of his class and as a result, was the recipient of the Willard M. Bollenbach Jr. Scholarship for superior intellectual capacity, academic achievement, and overall promise as a business leader.

Sam is charming! He is thoughtful, self-determined, and solution-oriented in everything he does. While many students are free with their thoughts on how to improve their community, Sam always goes multiple steps further by offering solutions and acting on them. He truly cares about the Tuck community and wants it to be an important and thriving “home” for everyone.

Two areas Sam is deeply committed to, passionate about, and where he has made the most difference are the international student experience and male allyship. As the co-chair of the International Club, he strives to make the experience for students coming to Tuck from outside the US vibrant and meaningful.   He came to Tuck with an appreciation for the unique needs of international students and furthered that understanding by creating and launching an annual survey to better understand what life is actually like for international students at Tuck. Here was the feedback that Sam turned into actionable opportunities and experiences for his fellow classmates and their families. Always part of the solution, helping to support the vibrant community he genuinely cares about.

In addition to the international student community, Sam has had an indelible impact on the discourse surrounding gender equity and diversity. He is chair of Men as Allies at Tuck and helped create and organize the first ever Men as Allies Symposium at Tuck in conjunction with the Forte Foundation. This fall he’s been working with a group of classmates to write a case on gender and strategy that they will present to the core strategy course at the end of the winter term.

Sam leads by his actions and gives everything he has to those activities he truly believes will make his Tuck community a better place for his classmates and their families. He acknowledges his wife, Róise, and children, Scarlett and Oliver, are full partners in his Tuck experience. Without Róise’s selflessness, support, and willingness to move halfway around the world, Sam fully agrees he would not have been able to give to Tuck as he has.

He is my favorite kind of leader – one who lives by example is humble and kind and has the strongest sense of integrity. He has made such a difference at Tuck in his quiet, selfless manner. At Tuck, we aspire for our students to be leaders who are confident, empathetic, and inspirational through understanding and making a part of their own life experiences, the diverse ideas, and experiences of others. This is Sam Humbert. He will be missed here at Tuck by all.”

Sally Jaeger

Associate Dean, MBA Program

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth

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