Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Xu Han, Dartmouth College (Tuck)

Xu Han

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College

“A trusted friend, global citizen, great chef, and aspiring singer and songwriter.”

Hometown: Beijing, China

Fun Fact About Yourself: I had always wanted to perform on stage. One night during a project in Nashville, while having drinks with my team at a bar, I spontaneously went on stage and performed “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith with a live band!

Undergraduate School and Major:

  • Undergraduate: Capital University of Economics and Business / Bachelor of Management
  • Graduate School: Bentley University / Master of Science in Information Technology; Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Ernst & Young (EY); Senior Consultant

What aspect of the school’s culture or values resonates most with you and why? I regard great leaders to be people who are altruistic and dedicate their time to helping all team members succeed both professionally and personally. Tuck is a place that encourages us to become leaders who are collaborative and empathetic. This aspect of culture resonates most with me. I believe that my education at Tuck will guide me through the journey to become a better leader.

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? Tuck has only one academic program: the full-time MBA. That focus and the small class size really help to build a tight-knit community. Before school started, Tuck offered plenty of opportunities for me to connect with its wonderful community. One of the pre-matriculation programs allowed me to read an amazing book: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander while educating myself and discussing my learnings weekly with a group.

The Executive Director of Career Development Office at Tuck, a professor at Tuck, two second-year students who were going through internships and three first-year students, including me, were in my group. They are all busy people; nonetheless, they all took this opportunity very seriously and dedicate much time to the group so that we could all learn together in a meaningful way. I am truly grateful for that!

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? Fellow Tuckies are so genuine and supportive! The mentality of “I am only winning when everyone is winning” is real at Tuck. For example, the current situation with COVID has delayed some of my study group members’ plans to travel to the United States. Whenever our study group schedules a meeting, team members keep the time difference foremost in mind, providing great flexibility and support. I have already learned so much and this would have not happened without my fellow study group friends’ support. I have faith that we will become life-long friends after two years at Tuck.

What club or activity excites you most at this school? I look forward to small group dinners both virtually and in person. I love cooking and want to share great food with fellow Tuckies. Having a small group dinner is the perfect chance for people to get to know each other and create lasting friendships.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I supervised a team of five to help a Fortune 500 energy company implement AI automation for its finance and operations capabilities, resulting in cost reductions of $1M+. I mention this achievement not only because the outcome had a huge positive impact on the client company, but also because I was able to help my team members work through challenges related to work tasks and was able to create a collaborative and supportive culture on the project.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? As for career goals, my previous job as a technology consultant taught me a lot from the operational perspective. However, I want to learn business more holistically and from a strategic point of view. As for my personal life, I want to build life-long friendships with fellow Tuckies.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Fuqua, Kellogg, and Yale SOM.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? Questions such as “How do you deal with conflict in the workplace” can be challenging for me since I try to avoid conflict at work. It is one of my areas of improvement and I hope to be able to reflect on this during my studies at Tuck.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I value a school’s culture the most. Through the application process, I participated in multiple events. It really allowed me to get to know many community members and learn about their experiences. Based on the insights they shared, I realized right away how collaborative and supportive the Tuck culture is!

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? I was bullied severely in middle school. My core values and abilities were constantly challenged. Luckily, I did not just give up on myself; I came out from such miserable experience as a stronger individual. It also made me even more empathetic to other people who are going through difficulties in life. There is powerful learning that comes from the self-reflection toward such experiences. I am eager to be able to do more self-reflection through my MBA journey at Tuck!

What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? My favorite company is BeBeyond. It is a Chinese education enterprise with 20+ full-time employees dedicated to people’s personal development. I joined BeBeyond educational workshops during college and have learned so much from its community including the realization that self-reflection can be a powerful tool in guiding my life and career. It is a for-profit company with a mission to create positive impact. It demonstrates that there does not have to be a trade-off between profit and social impact in the business world.