Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Jonathon Chin, Dartmouth College (Tuck)

Jonathon (Jon) Chin

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College

“Curious, I love asking questions. Empathetic because of the diverse perspectives I’ve been exposed to.”

Hometown: Marshfield, MA

Fun Fact About Yourself: The first and only race I’ve ever run was a marathon (Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, MN).

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Michigan, Industrial & Operations Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Target Corporation, Merchandise Planner for Women’s Swimwear

What aspect of the school’s culture or values resonates most with you and why? Community. It’s a bit of a cliché with Tuck’s marketing material, but I’ve really had such great experiences working and interacting with my classmates. There’s so much support between students for class help and interview prep. It truly feels collaborative and not competitive.

Aside from your classmates and culture, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? It would be a fully-engaged career center. When I visited Tuck in October the economy was doing well, but at a panel an alumnus made an off-the-cuff comment about her experience graduating in 2009/2010 and how the career center set up a war room to ensure every single student had a placement. That resonated with me; it showed that Tuck will step up when times are tough. Now a year later with a completely different job market, I feel confident in the support of the administration and career center to ensure the best possible outcomes for us.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? Helpful. Even without COVID-19, Hanover only has a single Uber/Lyft driver. Before our class even got a chance to know each other this summer, people were offering rides from the airport, picking groups up from hikes, and doing grocery runs for those still quarantining.

What club or activity excites you most at this school? Skiing and tripod hockey. While I’ve only skiing once before and haven’t ice skated since I was a kid, I’m super excited to join my fellow Tuckies this winter. I think it’s so unique to have something (almost) everyone in the class participates in, regardless of skill level. It’s something that bonds everyone and I’m thrilled that at least for the time being, they’re both still possible this year.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Creating a new pricing strategy for Target’s Adult Beverages business. It was such a challenge to create a solution that was adaptable to differing state regulations, while factoring in consumer behavior and variable costs. It was so satisfying seeing the project start from scratch to rolling out and expanding across states.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I was an engineering major in undergrad. I had a solid foundation in analytics that I was able to hone over my time in pricing at Target. However, I really wanted to take the time to solidify my understanding of business concepts and build frameworks. Secondly, I had only worked in a single industry, for a single company. I loved my time at Target, but I wanted to take the time to try something new.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? HBS, Wharton, Sloan, Kellogg, Yale SOM, Ross

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? “Tell us your story.” Those essays were not easy for me. Sometimes, it felt like there was so much to share, sometimes like not enough. With a lot of pushing and prodding from my partner (and classmate) Gissell Castellon (T’22), I was able to give an answer I was happy with. The learnings from all that reflection have been super valuable and have helped me hone in on my motivations and what I’m looking for in the future.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I prioritized job prospects and community. Career reports are super helpful, as well as talking to students to get more granular information. Community was tougher to nail down without extra research. I knew I didn’t want to be in a city where students filter back off campus as soon as classes are over. This is especially helpful now with COVID-19. Since the first part of the fall term (called Fall A) was virtual for first-year students at Tuck, no one needed to be on campus, but everyone wanted to be. The community piece really shines in times like this where it’s tough to stay connected.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? In undergrad, I was still figuring out what I wanted to do. I was interning in State Farm’s Systems/IT department, but got the opportunity to lead a group of interns in a pitch competition. I had so much fun coming up with the idea and working with everyone to evolve the idea and figure out the best way to present it. I realized I had a lot more fun working collaboratively on new business ideas than on a computer with IT data structures.

What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? I can’t not say Target. The biggest takeaway I think is looking at how Target has been able to grow and differentiate itself despite being in the “dying industry” of brick and mortar retail.