2020 Best & Brightest MBAs: Kevin Yuan, Dartmouth College (Tuck)

Kevin Yuan

The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College

“Passionate explorer who seeks to create a sustainable future for all.”

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Fun fact about yourself: I have attended schools in 6 of the 7 continents

Undergraduate School and Degree: B.S. Engineering, University of Texas at Austin

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Senior Project Engineer, Chevron

Where did you intern during the summer of 2019? Sustainability and Innovation, Nike, Portland

Where will you be working after graduation? Sustainability Manager, Nike

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Diversity and Inclusion Chair, Student Board
  • Revers Center for Energy Fellow
  • Center for Business, Government, and Society Fellow
  • Dartmouth United Nations COP24 and COP25 Delegate
  • Patagonia Project Lead
  • Tuck Admissions Ambassador and Interviewer
  • Tuckstuff Store Manager
  • Tuck Leadership Fellow
  • Tuck Community Consultant, Hanover Conservancy

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I was selected to represent Tuck and moderate a discussion on Climate and Clean Energy Transitions with Presidential Candidates Amy Klobuchar, Deval Patrick, Pete Buttigieg, Andrew Yang, and many others in New Hampshire. I am extremely proud of this opportunity because I was able to engage presidential candidates to discuss and advocate for climate solutions as well as apply academic learnings by engaging major news and media outlets to express my passion for a sustainable future.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? At Chevron, I worked with the California Department of Energy as well as the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to pilot and successfully launch a new type of hydraulic fracturing fluid that was the least environmentally invasive solution ever and to be adopted corporation-wide. At National Geographic, I went on assignment to document coral bleaching in the Maldives and document the tragic frailty of one of the few all Muslim countries in the world.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Dean Matthew Slaughter. His course, Leadership in the Global Economy, structured as weekly congressional hearings covering topics ranging from the carbon tax to immigration bans, taught me how to speak with presence, lead with confidence, and take a definitive stance on divisive issues.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Tuck for three primary reasons: community, opportunity, and global outlook.

Community: After attending an undergraduate institution with over 50,000 students and working at two companies that exceeded 60,000 employees, I was intentional in seeking a business school where there was a tight and intimate community. I wanted an MBA experience that would grant me an adopted family and a home away from home.

Opportunity: Tuck allowed me to transition from an engineer and photographer to a sustainable fashion professional. Through Tuck’s network, I was able to lead a consulting engagement with Patagonia, evaluating the viability of a new market entry. I was also able to pivot successfully to working on the sustainability and innovation team at Nike.

Global Outlook: Tuck is the only business school in the world to be invited to the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Through Tuck, I have been able to travel to Morocco to learn about its renewable transition, travel to Hawaii to consult for the city Honolulu and evaluate its climate risks, travel to Denmark to learn about its biomass energy system, travel to Iceland and lead an experiential trek for 30 classmates, and travel to Poland for COP24 and Spain for COP25.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program?  With only 280 people in each class, everyone matters, and everyone needs to contribute to the Tuck Fabric. The sooner you discover your reason and your contribution to the fabric, the better!

What is the biggest myth about your school?

Myth: Tuck has a small and isolated network that lacks global reach.

Truth: Tuck is the basecamp to the world. From winning the Global University Challenge at the World Government Summit last year to sending students on global insight expeditions to six different continents each year, Tuck’s international reach rivals any of the other top MBA programs.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? The one thing I would do differently is to tap into the Dartmouth network more. This past summer at Nike, I had the pleasure of having many Dartmouth alumni reach out to connect and with the new CEO of Nike being a Dartmouth alum, I wish I had tapped into the greater Dartmouth resources sooner and more extensively.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Caroline Wells: She is Tuck’s Student Body President and the definition of a servant leader. As peers in the Center for Business, Government, and Society, Tuck Student Board, and Tuck Admissions, I have had the pleasure of working with her directly and seeing her passion enacted to further global data privacy and security at Google and work with the diverse student body at Tuck to ensure an inclusive community.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My father works in international agricultural development across Sub-Saharan Africa and South America. His ability to command presence through leadership and general management skills, as well as financial acumen, truly cemented, in my mind, the definition of a holistic leader. I believe an MBA at Tuck will grant me an introduction and gateway to similar skills to will hopefully make me an effective leader.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. To make the global fashion industry carbon neutral.
  2. To ensure climate science is incorporated in public education at the local, state, and federal level.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I would like my peers to remember me as someone who was incessantly curious and someone who worked tirelessly for the things that he believed in.

Hobbies? Photography, scuba and free diving, hiking and climbing, marathons, coffee, and baking bread.

What made Kevin such an invaluable member of the Class of 2020?

“Tuck’s mission is to develop wise, decisive leaders who better the world through business. Kevin Yuan embodies everything that Tuck aspires to achieve in educating business leaders to make meaningful change in the world. His impact on the Tuck Class of 2020 specifically, and the Faculty and Staff, more generally, will last far beyond his time here in Hanover.

Kevin is hard-working, motivated, has strong intellectual curiosity, emotional maturity, and is revered by everyone that works with him. As a Chevron engineer prior to starting business school, Kevin prepared for Tuck by spending four months traveling between Reykjavik, Iceland, China, Japan, and Peru in order to study geothermal energy, cultural and environmental policy, disaster mitigation and nuclear energy technology, and water resource management, hydro-electricity, and sustainability practices. Once he arrived on campus, his intellectual curiosity, clear sense of intentionality and motivation to learn, and his seeming commitment to helping to shape and positively impact the world around him through a future career in corporate sustainability, cannot be understated.

In addition to his academic achievements – which are many – Kevin has worked with Tuck’s Centers for Energy, and for Business, Government and Society, and has demonstrated leadership, collaboration, and initiative in all matters related to the business of energy, sustainability, climate and ESG. Kevin has already represented Tuck as a member of a student delegation at both UNCOP 24 in Katowice and 25 in Madrid! He was a member of our Ross Case Competition Team, which placed third. He was also chosen by his peers to lead the MIINT Competition and chosen by the MIINT Impact Investing Board to lead the San Francisco impact trek for top MBA students globally. He has organized a learning trek to Iceland to visit geothermal power plants, hydroelectricity dams, and the University of Reykjavik’s School of Energy over the winter break, and he has participated in nearly every co-curricular workshop we have hosted. Additionally, Kevin has signed up to lead workshops with his peers to teach them about the fundamentals of oil and gas, as well as, renewable energy. And he most recently posed specific questions on climate and clean energy agendas of 9 presidential candidates running in the 2020 presidential elections at the NH Youth Climate and Clean Energy Town Hall.

Beyond all of these academic and professional accolades, Kevin’s most invaluable contribution to the Tuck 2020 Class is his election to the Tuck Student Body Leadership, as the Diversity and Inclusion Chair, with the explicit purpose to promote a greater sense of unity in our community and to further diversity and inclusion initiatives on campus. One of his major initiatives was starting the ‘Real Humans of Tuck’ community to showcase the everyday people that inspire the Tuck community.   Kevin’s impact on the Class of 2020 is obvious. His impact on Tuck will be long-lasting, and is evidenced not by his intentions, but proven through his actions.  He will be an invaluable addition to Nike upon graduation, leading North American Sustainability.”

April Salas
Executive Director
Revers Center for Energy
Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College


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