Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Catherine Diane Uduba, Dartmouth College (Tuck)

Catherine Diane Uduba

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College

“Soft, curious, and fun loving!”

Hometown: Manila, Philippines

Fun Fact About Yourself: I enjoy collecting perfumes, particularly florals.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of the East, Accounting

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Institutional Shareholders Services, Associate.

What has been your first impression of the Tuck MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far. Tell us your best Tuck story so far. My first impression of Tuckies is that they’re truly caring! During my application process, I met a T’23 who introduced me to a bunch of other amazing students and volunteered to review my essays. I later learnt that he was down with COVID over the Christmas holiday and was unable to review my essays, but that didn’t stop him from helping me. He connected me with another Tuckie and made sure my essay was reviewed and then followed up to ensure that my essays were in good shape. I was awed by how he went out of his way, even during a completely understandable health issue.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of Dartmouth Tuck’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? It is Tuck’s intentionality in promoting awareness and creating a safe space for people. I am a proponent of mental health. During my application process, I got to learn about the wealth of opportunities to support mental health on campus. The “river of life” activity, Tuck Talks, iMBA, and sessions on diversity, equity, and inclusion are just a few of the programs that I attended that developed my awareness before classes even began. It showed me how much Tuck cares for the students, not just academically.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Dartmouth Tuck? Management Communication—I have never been comfortable with public speaking. This course forces me out of my comfort zone, and I am slowly becoming more comfortable being myself in front of a crowd.

What excites you the most about coming to live in Hanover? What is the one activity you can’t wait to do? The serenity of the entire environment. Taking walks everyday have become a part of my routine to take a break, enjoy nature, bond with classmates, and explore Hanover. Unlike many who are looking forward to Tripod hockey, I am excited to finally learn to swim and join classmates at the dock.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: At my previous role, I worked on an initiative to help family businesses in the Philippines. Growing up with a family business in Nigeria, I knew the struggles that these businesses face and how important they are to families and the society at large. Being able to apply my knowledge and skill to help family businesses that faced these same issues is something I will always be proud of.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? A book I read during my application process was Fervent by Priscilla Shirer. The author writes about her struggles in different areas of life and shares a practical action guide on achieving goals. It was a gift from my mentor at Deloitte that ended up keeping me grounded and ultimately reminded me that I am not alone. Simultaneously writing the GRE, application essays, and reports at work led me to have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I was discouraged for a while seeing how it affected my daily activities and prevented me from retaking the GRE. Besides being a source of entertainment during the lockdown in Manila, this book reminded me again that I wasn’t alone and that I will be fine no matter what.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? After working for four years on the deals side of consulting, highlighting issues in deals and target companies, and then the other side of table in economic advisory, I am now ready to fill in knowledge gaps, bridge my experiences in consulting, and take on a role that will bring me full circle in my career. I intend to become a strategy consultant post-MBA.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Chicago Booth, Michigan Ross, Duke Fuqua, UNC Kenan-Flagler

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Dartmouth Tuck’s MBA program? Don’t be afraid to go for the school you really want. Reach out to students from various schools and begin to narrow your list based on what you learn about the school. Find about three things that really matter to you and ask specific questions to find out how the school ticks those boxes. I believe many MBA programs can help achieve any goal but what really matters is the journey and the community while getting there.


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